Terraforming the deserts could be humanity's best hope for survival

Looking like something more at home on Tatooine than here on Earth, this is the Green Machine. It's a massive, rust-caked tank-of-a-thing that you might think only a Jawa could love. It's also one man's idea of how we might revitalize the planet's deserts.

With populations rising and global warming looming, architect Stephane Malka has designed this behemoth to not only provide living space for a nomadic colony of tank-dwelling folks on its back, but to terraform the desert as it passes by. If the Green Machine is successfully built and implemented, the 20.9 million square miles of desert our planet currently boasts could be converted into green, bio-diverse plains.

To do this, the Green Machine has been designed to completely power itself. Its nine solar towers will generate 450kw per day. Those silly-looking balloons will gather enough water through condensation to provide both for the crew and to irrigate the desert. It is, in theory, an oasis-building tank.

With the world warming, sea levels rising and fertile lands drying up, maybe the safest place to set up shop is the back of a structure capable of running on sunlight, which draws water from the very air. Then again, you could just have it build you an oasis and start your own little colony in what was once an arid wasteland.

Malka Architecture, via Designboom

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