According to the Sahara Forest Project there will be 9.3 billion people on the planet by 2050. Ensuring there is enough land, fresh water and power for such an immense population will require more than halting the destructive effects of climate change like desertification we must actively reverse them.
In Julius Caesar’s time the Sahara was Rome’s breadbasket, and the Sahara Forest Project’s ambition is to make the world’s deserts productive again, at the same time providing rare jobs in often underdeveloped regions and restoring vegetation. It will do this by piping seawater across the sands to innovative bioplants where clusters of solar, thermal and salt water evaporation technologies will combine to produce biofuels and electricity as well as food crops and purified water.
There are already pilot schemes underway in Qatar and Jordan, where a pipeline will carry water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea. The project leaders say all they require is a low-lying area of desert that is close to the ocean of which, like people, the earth has an abundance.
Editor’s Update September 2017:
Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway the Sahara Forest Project Launch Station in Jordan was inaugurated on 7 September 2017.
Michael is a former British Magazine Writer of the Year and two times Columnist of the Year. He is a regular contributor to Wired, author of a social history of the AK47 and his cultural and travel writing appears in the Financial Times and New Statesman.
Joakim Hauge, CEO