Greening the Sinai.

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Who2
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Greening the Sinai.

Post by Who2 »

Well this was the most interesting and informative article I read all last week.
The Weather Makers a Dutch firm of "holistic engineers" please don't stop reading because of the word 'holistic.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... eir%20name.

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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by newcastle »

It’s an interesting article....and a topic I haven’t come across before. Possibly because it seems to be based on a misconception.

The article states :

“What turned the Sinai into a desert was, most likely, human activity. Wherever they settle, humans tend to chop down trees and clear land. This loss of vegetation affects the land’s ability to retain moisture. Grazing animals trample and consume plants when they try to grow back. The soil loses its structure and is washed away – hence the silt in Lake Bardawil. Van der Hoeven calculated the lake contained about 2.5bn cubic metres of silt. If one were to restore the Sinai, this vast reserve of nutrient-rich material was exactly what would be needed. “It became clear we had a massive opportunity,” he says. “It wasn’t the solution to a single problem; it was the solution to all the problems.”


Wrong. 4000-5000 years ago there was very little human activity in the Sinai area ( or anywhere else for that matter). Certainly not enough to denude such a huge area of greenery. What changed was the climate...the loss of rainfall caused by a shift in the monsoon rains. It caused desertification on a massive scale.

The author refers to the Loess Plateau in China.

The Loess Plateau was highly fertile and easy to farm in ancient times, which contributed to the development of early Chinese civilization. But centuries of overgrazing, subsistence farming, deforestation for fuel wood gathering and cultivation of crops on slopes, exacerbated by China's population increase, resulted in degenerated ecosystems, desertification, and poor local economies.

A different problem, caused by human activity, and with a different - and viable - solution.

Changing the climate is a subject better scientists than Van der Hoeven have wrestled with for decades. Comparing it to moon travel is just silly.

Despite his “other worldly” pseudo-hippy fantasies, I wish him luck .

In approaching the Egyptians, particularly the military top brass, he’s probably hit on the one audience that will give him the time of day. :lol:

But I suspect their experience with the ill-fated Toshka project will give them grounds for hesitation. :ct
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by Dusak »

I was thinking that this may be a possible reason why so many Egyptian farmers are using so much fertilizers now. Before the Aswan dam was constructed the anual deluge deposited thousands of tonnes of rich fertile silt which the land and any crop grown benefited with the production of organic crops, now the soil is showing its age, needing chemical intervention. Just a thought. I watched an interesting program the other month on the NHK channel, scientists have developed an organic carpet that when layed on steep hillsides prevents landslide in heavy rainfall, it is also impregnated with seeds that take root, eventually removing the risk of future land sliding, the three years on progress photos showing all the new growth were pretty impressive. They stated that they are looking into the possibility of increasing the thickness of the mat to retain moisture from low nightime temperatures that would reclaim these desert areas making it possible to grow and farm a variety of important crops.
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by carrie »

Traveling to Hurghada via the desert road, when I first went that way the road was in the desert. Now, I say now, a couple of years ago actually since I passed that way, new fields have spring up on both sides and the road and in many places looked to be in the middle of lush vegetation.
Whilst in one way good, increases the amount of food grown here but at what cost to the water supply?
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by newcastle »

carrie wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:24 am Traveling to Hurghada via the desert road, when I first went that way the road was in the desert. Now, I say now, a couple of years ago actually since I passed that way, new fields have spring up on both sides and the road and in many places looked to be in the middle of lush vegetation.
Whilst in one way good, increases the amount of food grown here but at what cost to the water supply?
Water is always the problem...in a country devoid of all but minimal rain, and a river that’s already overused.

Desalination? Possibly.....with cheap Mediterranean oil & gas to power the desalination plants.

But it’s all a long way off......and Egypt’s record on reclaiming the desert is not good. Better they concentrate on reducing the enormous water wastage.
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by Dusak »

My friend has relatives living in the desert areas off Aswan way, this guy is always delivering a variety of vegetables and fruit to her family on the 3 or 4 times a year he comes down this way, all cultivated on desert ground, I usually receive some as he tends to overkill the delivery. All I do know about the water needed is that he sunk a very deep well. As for the Hurgahda road, I did spot on the numerous occasions we used to go that way on our shopping trips if there had been heavy rainfall it totally flooded that area, you could clearly see the runoff tracks in the sand from the mountains. Maybe that was the cause of the sudden greenery, dependant when you pass by. Did they ever finish that single track rail line to nowhere?
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by newcastle »

Did they ever finish that single track rail line to nowhere?
If you mean the narrow gauge track running from Qena.....I think most of it has been thieved by passing Bedouin :lol:

I think it was only there to supply construction stuff to those buildings (rest houses etc.) you see on the way from Qena to Safaga.

There’s occasional talk of a high speed rail link to the Red Sea but I assume it would take the Wadi Hammamat route from Qena.....much more straight.
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by Who2 »

The bedu that live on the road to hurghada are just cleaning the solar powered phone masts.
(Oh! and making sure no-one nicks the panels)...
We've stopped and had tea and a smoke with them.
Years ago, I found out most of Upper Egypts' bango was grown out in the wadi's, the growers
where using solar powered well pumps back then.
I have a pal who has an old house near the mountain and he doesn't even need a pump, amazing but true.
Mind you his old family home on the mountain had no water at all.. 8)
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And a rather good aerial view of Mohammed 'snakes place, always a favorite..
I once left the jeep and it rolled down the hill...lol

Ps: in 'snakes tomb, they stored their push bikes and a donkey...true..
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by carrie »

I actually meant going to Qena
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by Dusak »

carrie wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:47 pm I actually meant going to Qena
, so it was a trick question then, a test run up to April the 1st, I like it.
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by newcastle »

carrie wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:47 pm I actually meant going to Qena

Aaah....I know where you mean.

There’s even what looks like an orchard.

I assume it’s all fed by water piped from Qena and the Nile. I remember seeing vast flocks of sheep...and sometimes camels 🐪
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by Dusak »

newcastle wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 4:39 pm
carrie wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 1:47 pm I actually meant going to Qena

Aaah....I know where you mean.

There’s even what looks like an orchard.

I assume it’s all fed by water piped from Qena and the Nile. I remember seeing vast flocks of sheep...and sometimes camels 🐪
" I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orian. I watched C. Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate...
Life is your's to do with as you wish- do not let other's try to control it for you. Count Dusak- 1345.
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Re: Greening the Sinai.

Post by newcastle »

Dusak wrote: Tue Mar 23, 2021 5:07 pm

" I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orian. I watched C. Beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate...
I take it you’ve found Who 2’s stash.

He’ll be well p*ssed when he returns to Egypt :lol:
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