Invention is the mother of necessity. For every invention, there is an equal and opposite problem created. The impression one is taught in school, of a steady line of inventions being added to the list, each one a solution to a problem that existed previously and was solved by that invention, is a false one. The facts are that every invention has both advantages and drawbacks, and usually, the advantages are seen and the drawbacks ignored untill it is too late to avoid them.
A good example is the horsecollar. It came into common use in Europe in the late Middle Ages, long after oxen were used to plow fields, which started in early antiquity. An ox can pull a plough with a rope around its' neck, but a horse would choke if that was tried. The invention of a way to shift the weight from the neck to the shoulders of a horse meant it could be used to pull a plough. And since a horse is much faster than an ox, that meant a much larger area of land could be cultivated in a day by the same number of workers.
So food production boomed. And large areas of forest were cleared for farming. And the population of Europe boomed. And the cycle repeated itself, with ever-more people and ever more land being cleared to feed them. So most of the land of Europe was cleared. And there were extinctions of most of the large animals of Europe. And the larger population caused crowded conditions that led to plagues that killed many of the people.
And there were wars fought that would never have been fought in the days when the population was much smaller. And there were expeditions to other continents to size control of resources. So there was slavery and colonization and genocide. And much of the bloody history of the past several centuries was written because of the horsecollar.
Now, there is another invention being claimed to be a boon for food production. The cloudbuster. It is being said that with this invention, it will be possible to bring the deserts of the world under cultivation. The people promoting this idea say this will make possible the feeding of the ever-growing population of those poor countries. And they say this would be a good thing for the people of those countries.
There are some reasons to question their assumptions, however. They could start by looking at what types of farming the increased water in the desert would make possible.
Because it would certainly not be organic farming or farming of traditional crops by traditional methods. The addition of water to desert sand does not always mean fertile soil. The sand, with water added, still needs a lot of organic material mixed in with it to be able to support more than the hardy pioneer species that recolonize areas that have been devastated by something like a forest fire, cultivation, or desert conditions that may have lasted for centuries. The less hardy species will have to wait until the soil has been prepared for them by the pioneer plants that can grow under less benevolent conditions.
The real tillers of the soil are the earthworms, which form a majority of the biomass of this planet, and whose ceaseless activity is the basis of all plant growth on earth. Unless the worm population is big enough, the newly irrigated desert land will remain a useless waste of hardy crabgrass-like species, unable to develop further until recolonization by worms has taken place.
How long would that take? It depends on the size of the area that must be recolonized. In the case of the Sahara, an area about the size of the continental United States, it could take several centuries from the time there was sufficient rainfall to support climax vegetation until there was a soil that could fully contribute to that growth. Worms would have to slowly spread from around the edges to the interior of the newly moist area until they met in the center. Then, after there was an initial worm mass in the soil, it would still take many years until the worm population had increased enough to render the soil ferrtile enough to be able to support a climax vegetation.
But since humans cannot be expected to wait that long, they would have to add artificial fertilizers to the soil instead. And those fertilizers would have to be made in factories from oil. And they are expensive. So the project would have to be large enough for the loans it would need to be made available.
And the cost of the loans and fertilizers would have to be paid in money earned from export of food grown on the formerly desert land. And since that would require loans from international banks and investments by overseas investors, those investors and banks would be the owners of the project. And that would mean the benefits of the project for the local population would end up being a lot less than the promoters think they would be.
The cloudbuster is not a quick fix for all problems. As long as the present social and economic system is in place, no matter who does what with a cloudbuster, the same people who now own the world will own whatever benefits result. And the same people who do not own the world at present will still have to pay for anything that goes wrong.
And if history is any guide, something will.