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Desertification: Loss of credibility despite the evidence

Warren, Andrew and Olsson, Lennart LU (2003) In Annals of Arid Zone 42(3-4). p.271-287
Abstract
The reasons for loss of credibility are first scientism and evasion, which feed oversimplification and confusion as the primary reasons. A case study from central Sudan is used to illustrate of these issues. Credibility has drained away with the deflection of focus from matters that are patently “ desertification” ; and with the deployment of confusing science. The choice to emphasize land degradation was the crucial misjudgement. Land degradation is very difficult to assess, and is anyway seldom the critical issue in dryland management. Evidence is then given for seven types of desertification, in two categories, all of which, on the contrary, are measurable and demonstrably important constraints on drylands production. The “ local”... (More)
The reasons for loss of credibility are first scientism and evasion, which feed oversimplification and confusion as the primary reasons. A case study from central Sudan is used to illustrate of these issues. Credibility has drained away with the deflection of focus from matters that are patently “ desertification” ; and with the deployment of confusing science. The choice to emphasize land degradation was the crucial misjudgement. Land degradation is very difficult to assess, and is anyway seldom the critical issue in dryland management. Evidence is then given for seven types of desertification, in two categories, all of which, on the contrary, are measurable and demonstrably important constraints on drylands production. The “ local” issues are dune and sand ovement, salinisation and falling water tables. The global issues are devegetation, dust, and rainfall decline. The global concerns need global management. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Annals of Arid Zone
volume
42
issue
3-4
pages
271 - 287
publisher
Arid Zone Research Association of India
external identifiers
  • Scopus:10644234924
ISSN
0570-1791
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
a405d8d6-eab7-4395-846d-2e0ec35015a5 (old id 789543)
date added to LUP
2008-01-23 14:24:36
date last changed
2016-10-13 04:27:55
@misc{a405d8d6-eab7-4395-846d-2e0ec35015a5,
  abstract     = {The reasons for loss of credibility are first scientism and evasion, which feed oversimplification and confusion as the primary reasons. A case study from central Sudan is used to illustrate of these issues. Credibility has drained away with the deflection of focus from matters that are patently “ desertification” ; and with the deployment of confusing science. The choice to emphasize land degradation was the crucial misjudgement. Land degradation is very difficult to assess, and is anyway seldom the critical issue in dryland management. Evidence is then given for seven types of desertification, in two categories, all of which, on the contrary, are measurable and demonstrably important constraints on drylands production. The “ local” issues are dune and sand ovement, salinisation and falling water tables. The global issues are devegetation, dust, and rainfall decline. The global concerns need global management.},
  author       = {Warren, Andrew and Olsson, Lennart},
  issn         = {0570-1791},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3-4},
  pages        = {271--287},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x99fa600)},
  series       = {Annals of Arid Zone},
  title        = {Desertification: Loss of credibility despite the evidence},
  volume       = {42},
  year         = {2003},
}