Skip to comments.Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror? (Mongol invasion scrubbed 700 million tons of carbon)
Posted on 01/25/2011 9:08:45 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Genghis Khan's Mongol invasion in the 13th and 14th centuries was so vast that it may have been the first instance in history of a single culture causing man-made climate change, according to new research out of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology, reports Mongabay.com.
Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
So how did Genghis Khan, one of history's cruelest conquerors, earn such a glowing environmental report card? The reality may be a bit difficult for today's environmentalists to stomach, but Khan did it the same way he built his empire with a high body count.
Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests.
In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere.
"It's a common misconception that the human impact on climate began with the large-scale burning of coal and oil in the industrial era," said Julia Pongratz, who headed the Carnegie Institution research project. "Actually, humans started to influence the environment thousands of years ago by changing the vegetation cover of the Earth's landscapes when we cleared forests for agriculture."
Pongratz's study, which was completed with the help of her Carnegie colleague Ken Caldeira, as well as with German colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, measured the carbon impact of a number of historical events besides just the Mongol invasion, including the Black Death in Europe, the fall of China's Ming Dynasty and the conquest of the Americas.
What all of these events share in common is the widespread return of forests after a period of massive depopulation, but the longevity of the Mongol invasion made it stand out as having the biggest impact on the world's climate.
"We found that during the short events such as the Black Death and the Ming Dynasty collapse, the forest re-growth wasn't enough to overcome the emissions from decaying material in the soil," explained Pongratz. "But during the longer-lasting ones like the Mongol invasion ... there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon."
The 700 million tons of carbon absorbed as a result of the Mongol invasions roughly equals the amount of carbon global society now produces annually from gasoline.
Though Genghis Khan's legacy as one of the world's cruelest conquerors isn't likely to change because of the unintended "green" consequences of his invasions, Pongratz hopes that her research can lead to land-use changes that someday might alter how future historians rate our environmental impact.
"Based on the knowledge we have gained from the past, we are now in a position to make land-use decisions that will diminish our impact on climate and the carbon cycle. We cannot ignore the knowledge we have gained," she said.
This environut author forgot to credit Stalin & Mao with their own climate saving efforts.
Heroes of the environmental movement
Hitler, too. *rolls eyes*
These environuts are absolutely insane.
And here we go. Save the earth: Kill lots and lots of people.
Help get the people on board for the leftist leaders’ existing plans for mass murder and genocide.
I’m sure only “bad people” in the TEA Party will be targeted in the crosshairs of the enviro-killers’ (government’s) sights, right, Lefties?
For a dose of reality, see:
Another mankind as evil carbonator, even way back then study
Posted on January 24, 2011 by Anthony Watts
Last week we were treated to the ridiculous story about Genghis Khan having an impact (or apparently not enough) with his impact on humanity. This week, a new interpretation; its the Romans and Christopher Columbus who are the ghosts of climate injustices past by daring to enable use of forest resources.
Surely Mao Zedong, the father of communist China, removed far more carbon from the atmosphere through his “great leap forward” program that killed 80 million.
"Everything that guy just said is Bull$8/T!",/i>
Genghis was a bad motor scooter.
But Attila wasn’t so bad: his wife and waitresses called him `Hon.’
Soylent Green is carbon!
Author neglects to note that in the 13th and 14th centuries, there was minimal fossil-fuel use, so the carbon taken out of the atmosphere wouldn’t have been put there by humans.
“13th and 14th centuries” also corresponds roughly to the beginning of the Little Ice Age and the Bubonic Plague epidemic that hit Europe in the early 1300s, killing tens of millions of people.
I presume the author celebrates that also.
This research is so pointless, so useless, and so irrelevent that it must have been taxpayer funded.
Clarifying, the article claims the Mongol invasion cooled the planet, which I am suggesting reinforced the cooling associated with the Maunder Minimum, the net total result of which was the Little Ice Age and Black Death.
Watermelons licking their chops trying to figure out how to replicate that today.
Rainbow Six - by Tom Clancy
This writer is a moron. This is the enviro's solution to a t.
RE: Surely Mao Zedong, the father of communist China, removed far more carbon from the atmosphere through his great leap forward program that killed 80 million.
Not sure about that number. The Great Leap Forward is one of those events in history where the number of dead people have not been accounted for with much accuracy. Some put it as low as 10 Million, some ( as in the above ) as high as an alarming 80 million.
We can never be sure how many died.
If you will actually pay attention to the conquests of Ghengis Khan, you will notice that whenever he conquered a city, he only removed the leaders and then left the people, customs, religion and lifestyles in place so that he could trade with them. The excepts were muslim cities. The muslims gave him so many problems and he could not trust them to uphold their word, so he razed their cities and killed everyone of them that he encountered.
Ghengis Khan might not have been as bad as our agenda driven teachers led us to believe.
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