Skip to comments.Was Genghis Khan history's greenest conqueror?
Posted on 01/24/2011 3:54:27 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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. Earn Points What's this?
Comments (21) Email Facebook Twitter Stumble Digg Share Unlike modern day climate change, however, the Mongol invasion actually cooled the planet, effectively scrubbing around 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
So how exactly 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.
Sick and wrong. Don’t they even bother to hide their genocidal fetish anymore?
re: #17: Excellent points. Nice to see someone who knows their history!
His grandson, Hulegu, brither of two Qa Quans, Mongke and Qublai, did better. He sacked Bagdhad in 1258, ended the Abbasid Caliphate [along with the Caliph], and exterminated the sect of the Assasins. He founded the Il-Quanate of Persia.
Hulegu was a Buddhist. His wife was a Nestorian Christian.
I really don’t know. I don’t try to understand these weirdos. For some reason, they never themselves as being on the slate for being “made redundant.”
You do now there is a Voluntary Extinction Movement?
And another guide for the freaks is the “Georgia Guidestones.” Principles number one and two are pretty interesting:
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
To put it mildly, I really hate the eco-fascist movement.
“Genghis Khan must have needed a lot of horses that produced a lot of carbon, especially running around a lot.”
I just finished a 1928 tome on Ghengis Khan and the Mongol conquests. It’s estimated that his armies were in the range of 300,000 in size total. Each warrior had a string of ponies. In the distance runs they could travel 100 miles/day as a unit by changing horses.
It’s not inconceivable that in the first few years of conquest the Mongols went through a few million ponies.
True, but GK built, from less than scratch, the state and army that Uggedai used to complete his conquests.
“He knew that the best way to deal with this asinine culture was Total, Complete Annihilation”
It wasn’t a religious genocide the Khan was after, it was about total submission. Only the cities that did not submit to his authority and agree to pay tribute were leveled and all living beings put to death. (except for the doll-baby women, craftsman and scholars who went into the Khan’s service)
Hulegu was a Buddhist. His wife was a Nestorian Christian.
OTOH, they seem to have brought the Black Death to the whole Eastern Hemisphere, which could’ve had a higher body count than all the conflicts.
Found out in the book I just read that a line of Mongols survived as a sovereign kingdom and became a Moghul empire in northern India which was not forced into submission until the 1800’s by the British. 600 years is a long run.
I really prefer Shaka Khan...
The 40M that this article claims for the Mongols is quite possibly low. However, it is relevant that even this number was something like 10% of the world’s total population at the time. An equivalent today would be something north of 600M.
BTW, the Mongols ended civilization over large areas of Asia. Much of Central Asia, Iran and Iraq had been densely populated and hosting thriving civilizations continuously for thousands of years, based on irrigation. In the case of Iraq for something like 5000 years.
Conquerors came through every century or so, destroying the irrigation systems. These were quickly rebuilt by the peasants.
The Mongols had a more direct approach. They destroyed the irrigation systems and killed all the people, quite possibly upwards of 80% of the population of Central Asia, Iran and Iraq. With nobody left to rebuild the irrigation systems, these areas collapsed and have never fully recovered.
It is amusing that western historians focus on the death and destruction of the crusades, taking place at about the same time. By comparison to the Mongol impact on Islam, the Crusaders were an itsy-bitsy flea bite.
did you know Prince wrote that song for Chaka Khan?
Is there anybody here that didn’t know widespread depopulation has been the goal all along?
Satan hates humanity
“Did you know Prince wrote that song for Chaka Khan?”
No, but thanks for sharing!!
I like Prince Khan as well!
And then there is always King Khan...
This is why the Greens like Islam.
Actually, that's exactly what they have in mind.
State-run media just wants to pretend that it isn't.
Just remember the central tenet of enviro-religion theology:
Humanity is a virus infecting the Earth Mother Goddess Gaia. Some greenies support a genocide campaign to reduce the global population down to no more than 100 million. OK, greenies, you first. Set the leadership example.
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