Radiant in Residential

Combating desertification​ with technology

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:52

Over the course of mankind's history, people have had a massive effect on the environment around them. They've transformed the landscapes to suit their needs at nature's cost. Recently there has been motivation to revert the damage done and create a more sustainable way of life.
Technological innovations have made it possible for everyone to help curb these adverse effects, even homeowners. With advancements like radiant heaters and energy-efficient light bulbs, everyday people can make small changes into their lifestyle that will reduce their carbon footprint on the planet. But the best heating system for your house can't solve problems that are affecting entire regions halfway around the globe.
The sand of erosionAccording to the United Nations, desertification is one of the major environmental problems the world faces today. Deserts like the Sahara in Africa grow larger every year as the sand dunes swallow more land. Desertification doesn't just mean existing deserts are growing; it can also include the process of rendering previously suitable land worthless. This means habitable land which could have been used for farming is transformed into empty sands. 
It can be caused by many factors including climate change, overfarming and too much grazing to the point where the land becomes so arid that nothing can grow on it anymore. The source reported that as many as 50 million people could be dislocated within the nest 10 years if this process continues.
The "Green Machine"Architect Stephane Malka has come up with an idea to combat this growing problem, according to Inhabitat. Malka created the Green Machine, a device which, in its essence, is a roaming city. The massive structure would contain everything from housing, stores, schools and parks atop of its huge treads, which it uses to move around the arid landscape. That's not its main purpose, though. The sets of treads will plow the dry ground it moves over and implant it with water, fertilizer and seeds that will lead to an eventual transformation of the land.
This traveling city will be completely self sufficient, utilizing the hot sun in the desert with solar panels attached to towers and drawing in water from floating balloons that condense the higher air through condensation. Not only does the Green Machine work to convert lands previously useless, but it acts as a solution to other problems too, such as food shortages, overpopulation and the reliance on fossil fuels.
The results of the Green Machine won't appear overnight. Like all ecosystems, the modified desert will have to go through the steps it needs to develop into a full blown sustainable environment that can once again provide life and nourishment. What the Green Machine does is tackle a problem facing the world now with measures that will help the future. The wave of sand rushing over lands far and wide must first be stopped before it can be changed, just like the array of other problems humanity faces today. Every small effort made helps fight these problems. Everyone can aid by making smart choices in every aspect of life from building a home to driving a car.