conservation of habitats (rain forest)

Jane McGary
Wed, 28 Dec 2011 13:42:10 PST
At 09:09 PM 12/27/2011, you wrote:
>I am unclear what
>triggerd the climate changes in north Africa, causing the Sahara Dessert
>Where I believe 2000 years ago there were grain fields?

I have read that pastoralism (overgrazing) is one major factor in 
desertification. We in the developed world can do little to resist 
this. I've sent several requests to an organization called the Heifer 
Project to take me off their mailing list, because there is no way 
I'm paying them to give out goats or cattle. (Chickens, OK.) Another 
thing to think about, especially around the Christmas gift season, is 
what the production of cashmere is doing in Mongolia: it comes from 
goats, and they are being raised on marginal arid lands. However 
appealing it is and however inexpensive it has become, let's boycott it.

Overgrazing has led to the destruction or impending demise of many 
plant species, to wholesale changes in ecological communities, and to 
the periodic suffering of pastoral societies through famine and 
territorial warfare. It is highly unlikely that the human species as 
a whole will become vegan, so reducing and eventually reversing its 
expansion through education and the empowerment of women is perhaps 
its best hope.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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