1. Exquisite Tweets from @vtcraghead

    blechCollected by blech

    At the risk of going on a timelapse bender, I just saw another amazing humans-in-the-sahara situation . . .

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    The wheat gets literally swallowed by the dunes, when . . . what? When the money runs out? When the fossil water goes dry?

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    The next move is orchards, looks like dates or citrus trees up close:

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    And those are still there. In the middle of the Sahara.

    Maybe those dates are in your local Whole Foods.

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    The place is called Ain Salah - an oasis town on an ancient caravan route. One example of an explosion of agriculture in the Sahara.

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    Other examples: Al Jawf, Libya - they tried out a land distribution tactic also visible in the Bolivian Amazon: earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=2…

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    Ghadduwah, Libya - this actually LOOKS like someone dropped a seed-bomb around 2006: earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=2…

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    As a counterpoint, here's some mesmerizing natural dune motion over the same time period: earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=2…

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    Zaiouet Kounta, Algeria: someone does an actual rotation cycle, moving the fields around year to year: earthengine.google.com/timelapse/#v=2…

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    I don't mean to sound too judgmental here - these are incredible feats of engineering. Humans are making the desert bloom.

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    But seeing the speed of transformation is astonishing and unnerving. It's shock and awe on the fringes of a globalized food system.

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