His overarching synopsis was that 2/3 of the planet's lands have been degraded by systemic problems in how people make decisions in livestock management. He stressed the need for a holistic context in which we go beyond the problem and get a statement of what people value and link that to the resource base that will provide quality of life for generations. Savory argues that once that context is taken into account, our management will shift from reductionist thinking to one that addresses causes, not symptoms. He contends that any effort to curb climate change is mute unless desertification if also reversed.
Savory reemphasized his TED talk point that ONLY livestock can solve the problem of desertification and ineffective rainfall in brittle environments (wet season, dry season). Often seen as humanities savior, technology cannot fix this issue on the scale that is necessary. It requires the hoof action of ruminate animals with which grasslands evolved. High density grazing is the only way organic matter is biologically broken down effectively in these environments, the key to ecological health.
CNB members questioned how to accomplish this when working with federal agencies and other institutions that work from traditional range management. Savory's response, is that institutions cannot change ahead of public opinion, so don't blame them. He urged those that are working towards better functioning grass lands to communicate with the public and change our own cattlemen's organizations.
Savory got to the heart of the matter when he recounted finding what turned into his life's work. He was in the army when he was sitting on a riverbank watching a destructive flood that was exacerbated by poor upriver grasslands. It was at that point he realized that he would spend his life making sure there was something to fight for. He implored those listening to give our lives towards mending grasslands on our own ranches, but as important, promote holistic management on a broad scale. Savory says our civilization depends on it.
5th Generation Rancher