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Math in Land Management
Math in Land Management

Math in Land Management

Allan Savory makes use of math in his work in land management, using, for example, the sigmoid function. He talks about his work (but not the math; he needed to keep it simple for the general audience) in his TED talk How to Green the Desert and Reverse Climate Change. You can see some of his math in his book Holistic Management. But the basic idea is that the number of animals in a herd on some land — and the amount of vegetation — increases exponentially for a while, then levels off at a limiting value.

The talk is described as:
Finally, here’s something that offers genuine hope for resolving climate change and desertification. It’s doable. It’s easy. It doesn’t take new technology. It works with nature, not against her. It solves a thousand ills & makes the world beautiful again. And none of that is hyperbole.

The solution is in following nature with large herds of animals in grasslands. It goes against all we’re believed, the idea that animals are a major cause of climate change. That’s wrong—and when you watch this, you’ll know the truth, that we can resolve hunger, poverty, violence, social breakdown, and even most war.

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Too bad Mr. Savory buys into the man-made climate change idea, but the main idea and facts about land management and animal husbandry are right on. The solutions to the “problems” we have are reasoning and science, not government oppression and destruction of business.

Don’t be confused by the conventional thinking he discusses at the beginning. Around 4:00 he says that “we know that desertification is caused by livestock” — then corrects that viewpoint. He compares that viewpoint to the belief that the world is flat. Then he goes on to discuss what he discovered and what actually works.

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