Desert Development

Man and Technology in Sparselands

  • Yehuda Gradus

Part of the The GeoJournal Library book series (GEJL, volume 4)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Viewpoints

  3. The Built Environment

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 39-39
    2. Baruch Givoni, Lisa Orlick
      Pages 60-80
  4. Provision of Services in Sparselands

  5. High Technology in Desert Areas

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Amos Richmond
      Pages 167-183
    3. Charles F. Hutchinson
      Pages 201-217
  6. Economic Potential and Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Eithan Hochman, Gideon Vitkon, Richard E. Just, David Zilberman
      Pages 256-270
  7. Towards the Future

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Joel Schechter
      Pages 287-309
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 310-324

About this book


The fact that approximately one-third of the world's land mass is arid desert may be congenial for the camel and the cactus, but not for people. Nevertheless, well over half a billion people, or 15% of the world's population live in arid desert areas. If the world's population were distributed evenly over the land surface, we would expect to find about 30% of the population inhabiting arid desert areas. Does the fact that 'only' 15% of the world's population live in an arid desert environment reflect the harshness of the environment? Or is it a testimony to the adaptability and ingenuity of mankind? Do we view the glass as half-full? Or half-empty? The contributors to Desert Development: Man and Technology in Sparselands adopt the position that the cup is half-full and, in fact, could be filled much more. Indeed, many arid desert zones do thrive with life, and given appropriate technological develop­ ment, such areas could support even greater popUlations. While the dire Malthusian prediction that rapid world population growth exceeds the carrying capacity of existent resource systems has gained popularity (typified by the 1972 Club of Rome book, Limits to Growth), there is a growing body of serious work which rejects such pessimistic 'depletion' models, in favor of models which are mildly optimistic.


Arid Zone desert education remote sensing

Editors and affiliations

  • Yehuda Gradus
    • 1
  1. 1.Ben-Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-94-010-8882-4
  • Online ISBN 978-94-009-5396-3
  • Series Print ISSN 0924-5499
  • Buy this book on publisher's site