The world today is devastated in many places and needs to be replanted with healthy new vegetation. Deserts have been created where there were formerly forests and grasslands, but replanting them has been impossibly expensive, and so the good soil that was formerly there is being eroded away and naked rock will soon be all that remains. This kind of over-exploitation of the environment by an over-exploitative population will be dealt with by Mother Nature the way she has done in the past. The natural destruction of the consumers will be very painful but that form of destruction is emotionally easier for us to tolerate than oppressive human controls and so that is the way it will be done.
In the short run there is a relatively inexpensive way to replant these destroyed areas and save humanity for a while. That is to plant with appropriate species and regrow these areas. However, even if these areas are restored to perfection there will come a time when they are over exploited again by humans if some form of human intervention does not prevent it. This is similar to my argument against creating more short term energy creating methods for human use. It just results in a generation or two with more humans which just end up with more massive numbers living in absolute destitution. In the past it was famine which limited the human population and it will be so in the future unless there is some form of world wide human intervention. When people can freely move about, as I believe they should be allowed to do, any unlimited populating by one group will soon over-run the whole world. Unfortunately by the use of famine, the natural form of population control, there will also occur recurrent devastation of the natural environment. That is why there needs to be some form of universal control which will probably come about soon because of the advent of The One as described yesterday.
That being said, here I propose a way to replant the devastated Earth quickly and cheaply. The basic idea is to spread seeds which are already encased in a nutrient and protective container, a sort of meta-seed, before being planted. This is ideally done in remote areas by flying over them with an airplane or dirigible which manufactures and spits out these metaseeds at an appropriate altitude above the chosen terrain.
The metaseeds are created in the aircraft by mixing seeds into a slurry of mud which has just been created from dirt, water and appropriate nutrients, insecticides and herbicides, and squirted through a field of pipes of appropriate size. As the metaseeds exit from the pipes they are spray-painted with a thin water tight coating which sets up while the metaseeds fall through the air toward the ground. The external coating, which has been sprayed onto them, dries and forms a water tight barrier. When the metaseed lands it has a supply of water and nutrients for several days of life, enough for the seed to get started, which gives it a survival advantage. The coating is designed to break down easily in a few days leaving this tiny new plant in this tiny new locally fertile environment. There could be small pellets mixed in with the slurry which would become part of the metaseeds and break down slowly and release their nutrients and insecticides directly to the new plant over the course of a couple of weeks. That would give the new plant another boost in its effort to establish itself in this hostile environment.
The pilot-ecologist of the seeding aircraft would select likely areas for seeding depending upon the type of metaseeds being planted. Sometimes they would choose to fly along stream beds and other times along open hillsides; it depends upon what is being planted. Because there are a great number of pipes in this machine there could be variation from one pipe to another in what was being squirted out and thus in a single flyover there could be a great variety of appropriate plants being put in place. A complete ecological system could be planted with a single pass. If the aircraft flew slowly there would be a greater concentration in a given area and if they flew rapidly there could be larger areas covered with metaseeds but more thinly. Because the materials, dirt and water are heavy compared to the seeds there would have to be refilling stations very near the intended target but in some situations the filling stations could be at great distances. Aircraft presently being used for forest fire suppression could be adapted for this purpose.
Start metaseeding now for a better future next year.