2004, Nature  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 6.87/10 from 68 users.

A desert is a sandy or pebbly territory that lacks or has little vegetation because of an almost total absence of rain. It is also an unpopulated and undeveloped area. The word 'desert' is very present in the semantic range. It alludes to the most arid ecosystems on the planet but it also evokes historical, literary, philosophical and religious concepts.

The concept of a desert is intimately tied to mankind's destiny. It was the desertification process that converted dense tropical rain forests into African savannas, which in turn favored the first hominids to walk the land and the eventual appearance of the 'Homo' genus in primeval Africa.

It can be said that human beings are to a certain degree a consequence of both a primary desertification process and of the climate change that took place many hundreds of millions of years ago. Since the beginning man has learned to live in the desert and this is no coincidence. After the oceans deserts constitute the largest ecosystem on the planet - more than 50 million square kilometers of land constituting almost a third of the above water landmass, distributed among all continents alike.

The first civilizations arose along river oases in deserts. The Fertile Crescent that extended throughout Mesopotamia and Egypt saw the birth of the first stable communities based on agriculture and on animal domestication, destined to form pastoral societies. Thanks to the accumulation of man-made wealth, writing, government structures and organized religions flourished there... in other words, the pillars of contemporary society.

The three great monotheistic religions are linked to the desert and they refer to it when they speak of purification and retreat. Hermitism was born there as a way to encounter ones own interior and give oneself to God. Revealed truth and theophanies became manifest in those places. There is where Yahveh revealed the Mosaic Law, where Christ revealed the New Law, and it was there where Muhammad had his own revelation.

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27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Banjamin

    Hi I am in 3 grade and we are studying the desert and I can’t wait to tell my class about the desert

  2. Al Pigeau

    The music is horrible, I had to turn it off.

  3. Ike Kaiser

    Deserts are such intensely interesting places. Why couldn't this guy stick to the subject instead of yapping at supersonic speed about all sorts of side issues? Very disappointing! 3 in 10.

  4. William Hoffmaster

    Try using human words so normal people can understand what your saying.

  5. hum01

    with how great indigenous tribes are how terrible civilization is... spare me all this lecture..

  6. hum01

    oh this is all about the bad stuff we do again. always a lecture how about just talk about deserts.

  7. Nothing_Is_Real

    Way to much religious crap.

    1. Sleshi

      Interesting and informative except some images and videos are misconfigurat specially about East African deserts and tribes.

  8. Nothing_Is_Real

    Already with the religious garbage, will try to watch a little longer. lol

  9. dewfall

    So busy clinging to the galloping narration I for got to actually listen. I think i liked it though ;)

  10. Fabien L

    Some nice images with ok music, commentary is so so and in my opinion there is way too much of it. They also show tsunami images while talking about climate change which are totally unrelated. Gave it a 6.

    1. Maddestmax

      Re tsunami, ever heard of thermodynamics? Gave you a 5.

    2. Fabien L

      Yes and I don't see how a change of 1 degree Celsius in the temperature of the ambient air greatly increased the possibilities of earthquakes in this century.

    3. Maddestmax

      Noticed you strategically used the word "greatly" in your rebuttle, not totally unrelated then. It is not just the air that has increased temperature.

    4. Fabien L

      I think you chewed too much khat if you think climate change caused the tsunamis in Thailand and Japan. I am open to scientific articles that prove it if you can come up with any...

    5. Maddestmax

      Strawman, I never made such a claim.

    6. awful_truth

      @Fabien L'Amour: I agree with you that a 1 degree change in temperature is an unlikely cause of earthquakes. With that said, scientific data conclusively shows that our increase in co2 emissions would not create global climate change for app. 700 years. (heavy industry only been around for 250 years) Thus, the number 1 impact on climate change is variations in solar activity. (the poles on Mars are melting)
      Just to be the devils advocate, I will throw a conspiracy theory out there and ask what do you think of the possibility that HAARP caused the earthquake, and tsunami in Japan to knock Toyota from number 1 car manufacturer in the world?
      (I know, it is out there, but not beyond the realm of possibility. - it may have just been your regular everyday earthquake, I mean it is the Pacific rim!)

    7. Fabien L

      Earthquakes of greater magnitude happened in this century before HAARP
      was built and that zone has been riddled by earthquakes for thousands of
      years due to a well known tectonic plates subduction zone.

      I also question how HAARP would achieve triggering an earthquake. The purpose of HAARP is to analyze the ionosphere and investigate the potential
      for developing ionospheric enhancement technology for radio
      communications and surveillance. I would need some clear scientific explanation of how the ionosphere is linked to movements in the earth's crust in a way that can trigger earthquakes to give that theory any credit.

      Given how many Toyota cars are made in North America and that Toyota is a
      publicly traded company with 628,902 hareholders including many in
      North America, it would be a self defeating move to create an earthquake
      to try to knock Toyota off from the #1 car manufacturer spot.

      I conclude it is very highly improbable HAARP had anything to do with it.

    8. awful_truth

      @Fabien L'Amour: Well, you restated what I said regarding earthquakes in the pacific rim. (that's a given) As far as HAARP triggering an earthquake, scientists who worked there, stated the amount of power they are directing at the ionosphere (a billion watts) are not only capable of lifting it up, but able to reflect a resonance frequency back at the tectonic plates, capable of triggering an earthquake. (whether or not this is true, is up for debate)
      As far Toyota goes, General Motors has every reason for concern since they were dethroned, not to mention their need for a financial bailout in 2009. Like national interests, corporate reasoning trumps all when it comes to greed.
      Energy directed weapons are very real, and here to stay; they are far more pernicious, and far less mentioned than your everyday nukes.
      Of course, this is precisely why these types of ideas fall under the heading of 'conspiracy', not because they aren't true, just that national security, and military secrecy have prevented them from coming to the forefront of general knowledge.
      You are probably right, and HAARP may be as harmless as you believe, (which I eluded to originally) however, 'highly improbable' might be better stated as 'unlikely', at least until general knowledge catches up with the reality of our true technological capabilities, which are unknown to most of us.
      In any case, this was only food for thought. I respect your position, which is not far from my own. It just never hurts to keep an open mind, and a healthy distrust of the powers that be. Take care, and best wishes Fabien!

    9. Fabien L

      You wrote : "As far as HAARP triggering an earthquake, scientists who worked there,
      stated the amount of power they are directing at the ionosphere (a
      billion watts) are not only capable of lifting it up, but able to
      reflect a resonance frequency back at the tectonic plates, capable of
      triggering an earthquake."

      Can you provide me a source for that information please?

    10. awful_truth

      @Fabien L'Amour: Sorry for the delay, I have been away from the computer for several days. To answer your question, I have seen several documentaries that have dealt with this subject. Since I am doing this from memory, the only 2 that stick out in my mind are a documentary called 'HAARP - Holes in Heaven', (on this documentary website) and a conspiracy documentary with none other than Jesse Ventura. (just go to youtube and type in his name and HAARP) I have seen a couple of others, but cannot think of them off hand. These will give you the names of the people who have made claim to the dangers of HAARP. Check them out, and let me know what you think. Take care Fabien!

    11. PlasmaStick

      If you go to geoengineeringwatch at the typical org web address, and click the documents tab, the last document in the list, as of this posting, entitled HR2977, section 7 will explain what HAARP or similar weapons are capable of. Note that the pwrs that bee have planted some very interesting large devices in the middle of the ocean for some purpose that the lame stream media never reports. However, one can find photos or youtube vids of such. Also an ex Canuck and author living in Japan claims Plasma was seen out above the ocean, near the Japan area that was struck by Tsunami. I doubt they would go to that extent regarding Toyota but for banking or other govt policy not keeping with the what the pwrs that bee desired.

  11. John Defalque

    This commie doesn't associate religion with advanced civilization.We all have a conscience and ethics trump religion.

    1. Maddestmax

      Did we just watch the same thing?