For decades, scientists have been trying to at least prevent desertification from escalating further, if not to reverse it. Unfortunately, all their efforts have been ineffective, and have only resulted in a handful of scientific articles that outline the potential of various preventive techniques that might not work if temperatures continue to rise.
But while researchers are going beyond their means to understand desert environments, the architect Stephane Malka came up with the ultimate invention that could turn the sandy environment into a green paradise. Meet the “Green Machine“, a gigantic mobile city that plows, seeds and waters the deserted land as it moves along.
The “Green Machine” is an incredible, although a bit too futuristic, concept of an entire city that not only has the typical houses, schools, parks and hospitals, but it is also an agricultural infrastructure that can potentially produce as much as 20 million crops per year. The giant machine will be entirely self-sufficient. It will be equipped with solar towers and wind turbines to produce its own electricity, while balloons that make water out of condensed air, will be supplying the needs for irrigation of the land and hydration of the inhabitants.
In addition, the machine will have two pairs of treads just like a caterpillar, positioned on the front and at the back. The front ones plow the desert land, while the ones at the back fertilize it, water it and seed it. The idea is that after some time, the land will experience ecological succession turning into a favorable environment for vegetation to grow.
Realistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that this NASA-inspired giant will ever be caught walking around the Sahara desert. However, it does serve as a reminder that desertification is still happening and still presents danger to humanity and numerous eco-systems. Chances are, the effect of climate change will continue to grow, and more and more agricultural lands will continue to dry out, become abandoned and eventually turn into deserts, just like the software DSSAT predicts. Therefore measures and action should be taken immediately, even if this means that we have to build gigantic monsters that would be walking around.
Image (c) Stephane Malka