Skip to main content
main-content

2010 | Buch

Progressive Development

To Mitigate the Negative Impact of Global Warming on the Semi-arid Regions

herausgegeben von: Arie S. Issar

Verlag: Springer Berlin Heidelberg

Buchreihe: Environmental Science and Engineering

share
TEILEN
insite
SUCHEN

Über dieses Buch

The book is based on the results of the investigations of the authors in the semi-arid and arid regions (ASAR) of the globe. These investigations brought to the conclusion that the warming climate will cause the drying up of the water resources in these regions. In this case the principles of Sustainable Development will not be able to avert forthcoming catastrophes. These conclusions brought to the compilation of the policy of "Progressive Development", emphasising investment in the development of new water resources and changing the natural environments while advancing the local populations on the dimension of knowledge by education.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Progressive Development - Human Society Can Mitigate the Negative Impacts of Aridization Due to Global Warming

Chapter 1. The Past is the Key to the Future
Abstract
As mentioned above the guiding principle in the author’s research was that “The Past is the Key to Forecasting the Future”. In many respects this reverses the direction, along the dimension of time, of the basic principle of the science of geology, according to which the author was educated. This corner-stone principle, laid down by the founders of the science of geology during the nineteenth century, stated that “The present is a key to the past”. This allowed learning from such present geological processes as the mechanisms and duration of erosion and deposition, to be applied to the time scale and processes of past geological eras.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 2. Present Global Warming, What Will Be Its Future Impact?
Abstract
The negative impact of the present global climate change was strongly emphasized by Sir Nicholas Stern, government economic advisor in the United Kingdom. and formerly Chief Economist at the World Bank, His report published on October 31, 2006, described climate change as the “greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen”, but said that action could and should be taken to avert the worst effects. These effects would transform the physical geography of the world with many millions, of people facing starvation, water shortages or homelessness. There will probably be both more droughts and more floods. An increased incidence of devastating storms is expected. And there is an increased risk of famine in the poorest countries.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 3. Malthusian and Neo-Malthusian Prophecies of Calamity
Abstract
Prophecies of calamities involving starvation due to deficiency of rains are abundant in the Judeo-Christian heritage, thundered by the prophets of the Bible, from the warning words of Moses the first prophet to that of the last. Yet, famine, due to drought, was prophesized to occur as a result of the wrath of the Almighty, and as a punishment of not following His commands. As time progressed these commands were differently interpreted by the various spiritual leaders, who arose and offered new versions of the original ones.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 4. The Principles of “Sustainable Development” a Result of Neo-Malthusian Conceptual Model
Abstract
The Neo-Malthusian ideology professed by the late Professor Donella Meadows led her to establish in 1981 the International Network of Resource Information Centers (INRIC), which distributed, on a global scale, the principles of sustainable development. In 1996 she founded the Sustainability Institute in order to form an educational methodology by which to apply these principles and thus reverse damaging trends in the environment, economy, and social systems.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 5. The Theoretical Basis Behind the Falsification of the Theory of Malthus and Verification of Condorcet’s Confuted Model
Abstract
Before discussing the new program of Progressive Development it is important to analyze the wider theoretical basis on which the conceptual model of Malthus was based. As mentioned in arguing against Condorcet and Godwin he claimed that his predictions are based on observations and calculations, while the works which he debated were written as philosophical speculative essays. Malthus’ methodology has set the foundations of modern science of economics and no wonder that the his essay, albeit written about 200 years ago, is obligatory reading for every student of economics and is still included in the reference list of modern articles about economics. On the other hand, the forecast of Condorcet, which was written by a leading mathematician, was based on intuitive ideas and ideals, rather than observations and calculations.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 6. “Progressive Development” the Modern Version of Condorcet’s Conceptual Model
Abstract
At the root of the conceptual model of “Progressive Development” is Condorcet’s claim that the human mind, educated properly, is equipped with the faculty to supply the material and needs of its society. As mentioned above, Malthus did not agree with this basic idea and claimed that Condorcet belonged to “a set of artful and designing knaves who preach up ardent benevolence and draw captivating pictures of a happier state of society” and are not “aware of the tremendous obstacles that threaten, even in theory, to oppose the progress of man towards perfection”.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 7. Development of Groundwater, the Fundamental Resource of Projects Based on the Principle of Progressive Development
Abstract
An important question to be answered is whether there is enough water in the arid and semi-arid regions to enable development projects on a global scale. The answer is positive for extensive portions of these lands [1, 2]. Hydrological and hydro-geological investigations carried out in these regions worldwide have shown that ample water resources are available, and as in the past, whether this water can be utilized to a positive end is simply a question of human ingenuity.
Arie S. Issar
Chapter 8. Progressive Development by Greening the Deserts, to Mitigate Global Warming and Provide New Land and Income Resources
Abstract
Traveling back on the dimension of time to the 8th millennium before present (BP) the tourist could have gone for a safari in the present hyper-arid part of the Sahara. He could have sailed over vast lakes of fresh water, watched hippopotami and crocodiles and with the local aborigines hunted the giraffes, gazelles and other savanna type ungulates which roamed the plains [13]. One of the French scientists who investigated the paleo-Sahara, late Professor Hugues Faure (Professor of CNRS, France and former chairman of INQUA Carbon Commission, IGCP 404) calculated that during the time when the Sahara flourished, i.e.
Arie S. Issar

Regional Investigations

Frontmatter
Chapter 9. Progressive Development and Groundwater Resources of Israel
Abstract
The history of the development of groundwater resources of Israel is the basis on which the conceptual model of Progressive Development was constructed. This development was dictated by various factors. In the first place stands the socio-economic factor, namely the need to secure a supply of water to answer the demand of a fast growing population due to incoming immigration and natural growth. In the second place come the physical-geographical factors resulting from the fact that Israel is located in a semi-arid zone and is susceptible to abrupt variations in the amount of its annual precipitation, including severe droughts. In addition to this factor is the fact that the average annual amount of precipitation in the southern half of the country is less than 200 mm. The third factor, which was dominant mainly in the past, was the limited funds as well as the educational background of most of the new immigrants which was on the level of many of the countries in the third world at present.
Arie S. Issar, Eilon Adar
Chapter 10. The Negev Desert of Israel – A Conceptual Plan of a Progressive Development Project for an Arid Region
Abstract
This Negev Desert is situated on the intersection lines between climatic zones, geological provinces, ecological systems, and human societies. Due to its special situation one can find in it most types of desert environments, on most scales of aridity. These environments comprise rolling sand dunes, mountainous rocky terrains, loess plains, savannas, alluvial fans and salt marshes. While the Mediterranean climate affects its northern part, its eastern part is affected by the down faulted rift valley (“graben”) topographic features of the Arava Valley, part of the Syrian-African Rift system. This major rupture in the earth’s crust, a geological embryonic phase of a new ocean, contains the Dead Sea in its deepest section, and the Red Sea in its most southern part. Since it was formed, just a few millions years ago, it has caused the deep gorges which flow into it, to cut down and expose a geological section from the most ancient to the youngest layers. In the rocks one can find the most ancient fossils, while in the river terraces the most ancient artifacts. The various types of rocks also produce all land forms of erosion.
Arie S. Issar, Eilon Adar
Chapter 11. Progressive Development in the Marine Environment
Abstract
From about 15,000 years ago as the global warming following the Last Glacial Period dried up many of the countries bordering the desert belts, a few human societies started to give up total dependence on hunting and gathering and step by step began to practice domestication of animals and plants. This enabled gradual transition to a sedentary way of life. About ten millennia ago some human societies adopted a way of life almost totally dependant on agriculture and animal exploitation.
Menakhem Ben-Yami, Arie S. Issar
Chapter 12. Progressive Development of New Marine Environments for the Production of Marine Vegetation
Abstract
The rise of sea level, a consequence of global warming, will devastate the economy of most countries with sea coasts. Estimates of the rate and extent in the rise of sea level, by thermal water expansion and by melt water from glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, differ among scientists. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (February 2007) [1] foresees sea-level rise of 0.2–0.6 m by 2100, assuming no rapid melting of glaciers. A major melting in Greenland and West Antarctica will add 7 m to the level of the sea. There are worrisome signs that the process has begun. The eventual disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet will add another 7 m to sea level.
Amir Neori, Arie S. Issar

Progressive Development and Strategic Environmental

Chapter 13. Some Examples of Development in the Desert Belts
Abstract
Most semi-arid regions face strong population growth. For example, with the actual growth rate in Jordan, population doubles every 25 years. Many countries in the desert belt experienced rapid modernisation during the last 50 years. Taking Jordan again as an example, modern western life styles are spreading quickly. They co-exist with traditional herding and farming in the rural areas, but urbanization is rapidly expanding.
Bernhard Lucke, Iourii Nikolskii, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 14. Sustainability in the Desert?
Abstract
According to the definition of sustainability, the achievements of past civilizations, e.g. the floodwater farming near the site of Umm el-Jimal, were sustainable since they did not rely on non-renewable resources. But they did not allow continuous settlement from antiquity until today. It is often assumed that breaks in settlement history were due to over-exploitation of the environment, e.g. overgrazing and soil erosion [1].
Bernhard Lucke, Iourii Nikolskii, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 15. The Potential of Progressive Development
Abstract
The overview of developments in the desert makes clear that Progressive Development is already implemented is many areas, although it is not acknowledged as such and a coordinating master plan is missing. International plans would be very desirable, since water is a transboundary issue. For example, exploitation of the Disi aquifer led to conflict between Jordan and Saudi Arabia [1]. Jordan, Syria, Israel and Palestine share the Yarmouk River as the primary freshwater resource, which is a very sensitive political issue.
Bernhard Lucke, Iourii Nikolskii, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 16. The Feasibility of Progressive Development
Abstract
It is a deeply entrenched belief that historic land use led to land degradation in the desert belts. Supposedly, overgrazing and farming caused erosion, and irrigation led to salinization. Considering the gaps in settlement history, mismanagement is considered a prime reason for abandonment [1–3]. If this is so, Progressive Development might be doomed to fail, because the soils are already degraded and will inevitably degrade further. Climate variations, however, can also lead to degradation, and might have caused the fluctuations of settlement history. The correct assessment of the past will be most important for evaluating the impact of Progressive Development. This and the geographic law of soil zonality allow predicting how soils and the environment will develop under irrigation and permanent vegetation.
Bernhard Lucke, Iourii Nikolskii, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 17. Modelling the Impact of Climate Change and Irrigation by the Geographic Law of Soil Zonality
Abstract
In order to quantify the impact of climate change on soil fertility, it is possible to apply a mathematical simulation of the relationship between some soil properties (f) and mean annual climatic conditions (I) at the present time. The relationship f(I) can be quantitatively based on the geographical law of soil zonality [1–4] which says that the distribution of the world’s main soil types correlates with climate. In other words, the relationship f(I) reflects a permanent equilibrium between virgin soil and climate. In the case of a rather slow climatic change, the relationship f(I) (corresponding to geomorphologically homogeneous groups of soils with similar texture and subsoil mineralogy) should always be conserved.
Iourii Nikolskii
Chapter 18. The Socio-Economic Framework: What Can be Learned from Earlier Failures?
Abstract
Large-scale irrigation projects are theoretically beneficial; however there are examples of outstanding failures which partly led to ecological catastrophes. We think that irrigation per se does not necessarily lead to land degradation. Even in the famous case of the Mesopotamian plains, the idea that ancient Sumerian irrigation caused irreversible salinization [1] is far less evident than often assumed in the public discussion [2].
Iourii Nikolskii, Bernhard Lucke, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 19. Strategic Environmental Assessment to Assess and Monitor Sustainable Resource Use in Progressive Development: Potentials and Limitations
Abstract
Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is recognised by a vast number of countries worldwide as an important instrument for integrating environmental concerns into development strategies – policies, plans and programmes [1]. SEA is a planning and decision-aiding tool that informs decision-makers about potential effects of development strategies on the environment. In the EU it is legally defined by the EC SEA Directive.
Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Chapter 20. Discussion and Conclusion
Abstract
The current discussion of “sustainability” focuses on aspects of conserving the environmental status quo. However, the environmental history of the desert belts is characterized by strong environmental fluctuations, and modern technology started to irreversibly change societies living in arid regions, initiating a growth which long since crossed the limits that could be supported by renewable resources. Due to these conditions, it seems unlikely that “sustainability” in the conservative meaning of preserving the status quo will be feasible in the desert belts. In fact, Progressive Development is already implemented, though not recognised as such and without coordinating master plans.
Bernhard Lucke, Iourii Nikolskii, Hendrike Helbron, Dmytro Palekhov
Backmatter
Metadaten
Titel
Progressive Development
herausgegeben von
Arie S. Issar
Copyright-Jahr
2010
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Electronic ISBN
978-3-642-10640-8
Print ISBN
978-3-642-10639-2
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-10640-8