Andrew K Fletcher – Originator, Operation OASIS We are turning Our Planet
Earth into a giant desert!
The time for talking is gone!
We need to act now if we are to
avert catastrophic Climate
Image credit: NASA Earth
We have farmed the land and failed! Food and fuel prices are out of control, crops are failing and fossil fuels are being exhausted.-
Are drought and famine acceptable failures?
Deserts are expanding! People are forced to abandon their land. Pollution is the consequence of our consume-and-dump-mentality.
Flash floods and forest fires are becoming all too familiar as uneven distribution of rainfall wreaks havoc. Erosion of top soil spills into rivers and pours into the ocean along with
wastewater from our toilets. If business as usual remains unchecked our very survival is
threatened and we are destined to go the way of the dinosaurs!
Why did the rains fail?
As the originator of Operation OASIS and a dedicated environmental engineer, I would like you to understand that we have the capacity to change our direction. But first, I need you to understand why the rains failed again in Ethiopia and Somalia.
When forests and vegetation is stripped from the coastlines of a continent clouds are prohibited from crossing onto the land due to heated air or thermals, rising from the
exposed hot arid desert sands.
The Key to Unlocking the huge potential of deserts is to manage water and soil sustainably until coastal trees and vegetation induce rainfall.
The problem is that deserts are devoid of renewable water and aquifers are salty and depleted.
We must connect the worlds arid coastlines with the wastewater we discharge into our oceans and rivers, to transform them into productive rainforests and agroforestry Using the shipping supply chain which ships around 5 billion tonnes of sea water as ballast each year
sustainable solution that recycles
wastewater from our sewage to reforest
and restore arid coastal soils
To restore arid lands we will need an endless supply of billions of tonnes of salt free water and organic matter to build soil structure so that it has the capacity to retain water.
Sewage and wastewater has all of the components required to succeed Developed and developing countries are all guilty of pouring billions of tonnes of treated and raw sewage
into the oceans and rivers every single day.
We eat the fish that lives in it and we frequently bath in someone else’s end products so why not clean up the coastlines and restore the deserts instead?
Pipeline: Super Tankers are set to
become the Environment’s Allies
A Super tanker has to take on ballast water in order to return back to a desert port. Discharging sea water ballast has introduced invasive marine species which have devastated fish stocks. Ballast Sterilization plant is set to add $billions to the cost of fuel and there is no guarantee that it will be effective. It is akin to closing the stable door when the horse has already bolted
The OASIS pipeline is already in place!
Super crude oil tankers transport around 100,000 tonnes of sea water back to desert coastal waters and discharge it into the sea! This waste of fuel and resources is ludicrous!
Substitute the sea water for treated waste water and we can feed the starving millions by enabling them to grow their own food while they help to convert the arid lands into lush
fertile tropical rainforests.
counted on the day that this photograph
was taken in 2011
With Treated waste water irrigating deserts we will sustain forestry and agriculture without making any significant changes to routine trading practices. We therefore eliminate the pollution from the coast of the donor countries and the ballast pollution at the coast
of the recipient countries.
This feasible and sustainable approach has the potential to arrest
climate change when scaled up.
We have seen what happens when we
get it wrong
We seldom see what happens when we get it right with desert reclamation projects.
Gunter Pauli, Darwin, Willi Schmidt, Harry Hart and many others have observed increased rainfall following reforestation.
Gunter reported a 10% increase in rainfall after land was reforested in Columbia.
He stated that investing in this land was more financially rewarding than investing the same money in Microsoft from the Onset. The Ascension Island example from Dr Wilkinson is difficult to ignore.
So why is it so difficult to be heard?
Thermal Barrier and Coastal air currents
During the daytime exposed land heats up rapidly. The hot air rises and cool air blows in from the ocean. At night the opposite occurs. The wind direction reverses and blows
offshore as the warm ocean air rises and cooler air from the land is drawn towards the ocean.
Arid coastlines heat up rapidly in the day. Thermals rise high into the atmosphere forming an effective barrier against incoming clouds and moisture. Fog rolls around the coast but cannot
cross onto the land during the hot daytime.
Clouds roll along arid coastlines and release precipitation over densely vegetated areas.
We are seeing more flash floods as a result of uneven rainfall distribution.
Logically, if less rain is falling in one region, more rain must fall in another.
Fog hugging the coast
I have filmed the Thermal Barrier in Paignton. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoO-OAvEdPQ
A Narrow strip of trees as wide as a dual carriageway running perpendicular to the coast on a hot day is sufficient to draw in the fog bank stuck on the coastline during the summer.
The heated concrete coastal road and treeless areas prevent the fog from crossing over at any other point. One side of the hot concrete coastal road is bright sunshine, the other side
is engulfed by dense fog. In Mexico and many other desert regions it is common for banks of fog to remain over the sea and hugging the coastline.
What would happen if the thermal barrier was moved inland by planting coastal forests?
Not Rocket Science is it?
frequents the coast
but cannot move inland
We have been using nets to catch coastal fog for thousands of years mimicking the action of trees. Today fog nets are used in many regions where water is scarce.
If fog nets were used to surround land irrigated with waste water, they would provide a workforce and animals with perfectly safe potable water by recycling the evaporated
The Hadley Cell (Air currents in Africa)
- Hot dry air circulates from the coast to the
- Rainfall is deposited in the densely vegetated land
- Applying irrigation at the north coast will feed the Hadley Cell to increase rainfall in sub Saharan countries
The Hadley Cell circulates air from the north and south coasts to the equator, relieving all precipitation over the central African Green Belt.
The air that moves over the desert is dry but it could be wet. If we introduce billions of tonnes of
treated waste water to the coastline of North Africa
The clouds we create, together with the incoming moisture from the sea drawn in by trees and moist soils, will be pulled into the Hadley Cell and migrate towards the Sub Saharan regions, shielding the sun from the land as they travel on this atmospheric conveyor belt cooling
the climate and blotting out the sun.
A Pocket Full Of Acorns
- Where do we get the trees from?
- Where do we get the labour from?
- How do we get the land to plant the trees?
This simple project was conceived to demonstrate the economy of scale when planting trees by mobilizing and motivating people to obtain permission to transform unproductive
land into biodiversity rich woodlands, through all media outlets. The objectives of the project were to show how large scale reforestation can be achieved on a very small budget by engaging people on a volunteer basis to gather native tree seeds and saplings to plant directly
into the soil on permitted land or to germinate seeds and grow them in containers at home until permission is obtained.
Involving the people and communities in any country is essential for successful land restoration projects because once the public have been engaged in planting trees and observed the results from their labour, they inevitably become guardians for the new woodlands and forests and regularly visit the reclaimed land.
Kennels Road Paignton Planting 1994
The Kennels Road planting took place in 1994 Permission to use the Pocket Full Of Acorns approach was granted following huge media coverage and all was achieved on a shoestring
This Is the same stretch of road today
Cockington 5 acre Planting 1994
In Cockington we now have a rich biodiverse 5 acre woodland thanks to Dominic Ackland at Devon Coast and Woodland Trust. This soil was full of stones and very difficult to dig so was turned over to nature.
A Pocket Full Of Acorns helped to restore this land.
The very young, together with the very old came armed with spades, saplings and seeds following a call in the local newspapers. Today this woodland is 15 feet tall and teaming with life.
Cockington Planting Today 2011
The trees planted for free now dwarf the gates of the same barren unproductive land. The rich diverse soil has fungi, and trees have self seeded .
We are planning to use this approach to stabilise the coastline of East Anglia, where properties and farmland are falling into the sea at an alarming rate.
The Governments plan is to let nature take its course and sacrifice communities. Properties in this region can be purchased for a £1.00
We are also talking to Spain’s Government to Implement a Pilot Demonstration in Spain's Arid Coastline.
Slide 17 The new woodland soil is now rich with leaf litter and humus. The unproductive
stony farmland is just a memory
The barren farmland where topsoil was washed away is now full of rich organic humus from broadleaf deciduous trees.
Insect, bird and animal droppings have triggered natural soil restoration and seed dispersal.
With a little help, nature can restore the destruction that we have caused without humans having to perish before it happens. My question to everyone in this room today is when can we make this happen?
How Much Time Is Left?
Andrew K Fletcher (Lateral thinker)