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.
Though they won every fight, The Mongols were taking higher then normal casualties when they attacked Central Europe. And since their fighters were trained from close to birth, they could not afford those high casualties.
Keep going, ideas from some of the more radical green groups want the planet to host no more than 10 million humans.
Horses are only 25% as efficent at converting cellouse to calories as are cows. This number of horses would have produced three times the amount of poop that an equal number of cows would have produced.
He was, IMHO, the greatest general in history. Bar none.
The first incident was the governor of Otar, in the northeast of the Khwaresm Empire. The killing of the ambassadors was the stupidity of his boss, Mohammed Ali, the Khwaresm Shah. The result was the destruction of Khwaresm, the annihilation of most of an army reported to number 500,000.
Actually, they didn’t. They used two tumans under Buri and Kadaan to destroy one Polish Army in front of Crackow, sack Crackow, annihilate [almost to a man], a second army of 40,000 at Liegnitz, and to burn down Bohemia and Moravia. And that was just a feint.
Somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 Mongols under Batu Quan and Subudei fought something like 100,000 Hungarians, and killed 70,000 of them at Mohi. They took Buda and Pest around Christmas, and by Spring they were raiding Vienna, infiltrating northern Italy, and had a tuman chasing Bela IV down the Adriatic coast. They couldn’t have done that with higher than normal casualties.
More recent scholarship has found that his armies were really much smaller.
Basically, in every country where the Mongols showed up and kicked ass, their historians explained it away by claiming to be outnumbered - hence the term "horde" becoming synomous with massive numbers.
In reality, the Mongols were pretty badly outnumbered in pretty much every battle they ever fought, and won through superior discipline and tactical skill.
The 300,000 figure was total forces spread out from China to the Caucuses in many different conflicts. My impression of he term “horde” is that they were so mobile they could appear 100 miles away a day later which made their numbers appear much larger than they actually were.
“But I would credit God rather than Subutai. He decides when to take Mongol khans out of the picture.”
The exact thing my brother said last night when we were discussing this.
He said the same thing will happen to the Chicoms at the appropriate moment.
It was the costs involved with taking the Hungarians that led to their halt of expansion into Europe. Mongols were not used to taking such casualties. The casualties were higher then they ever experienced up to that point. At least that was the claim postulated on a web site. Can try to dig it up for you if you like.
They frequently burned entire forests. Fire was a normal war tactic for them. Which helps to illustrate the stupidity of the Leftists Greenies. Mongols killed everything. Killing animals was their favorite sport.
It wasnt a religious genocide the Khan was after, it was about total submission.
Exactly. The last thing the Khan was interested in was religion.
The expansion into Europe was halted by one death, Uggedai Qa Quan’s, in Karakorum in December 1241. It took until April for the Yam messenger to arrive with the news.
Under the Yassa [Jasagh], Chinnghis Qa Quan’s code of laws, all members of the Royal family and all ranking senior generals to to gather, as soon as possible, in Mongolia, to elect a successor. Present in Hungary were Batu, Buri [Jochi’s sons], Guyuk [Uggedai’s son], Kadaan [Chagatai’s son], and Mongke [Tolui’s son], as well as Subodei. Each had brought his personal army [except Subodei] on campaign. Each was determined to serve his own interests [again, except Subodei, and in this case, Batu] at the Kuriltai. They all left for Mongolia. That's what spared Europe.
The Empire was being ruled by a woman, Uggedai’s widow, Toregine, as regent. She engineered Guyuk’s election, despite Uggedai’s preference for a grandson Siremun.
Since Guyuk and Batu had had a major falling out on the campaign in the west, Europe was spared an immediate follow up invasion because Batu had to watch his eastern border. In fact, Guyk died in 1248 on his way to attack Batu. He was succeeded by Mongke, son of Tolui, through an alliance between Batu and Mongke’s mother, Sorghetani Beki.
“The Devil’s Horsemen”
“Mongols killed everything. Killing animals was their favorite sport. “
Indeed. The royal Mongol hunts were a months long affair and used as military training. Entire divisions were fanned out in a circular perimeter hundreds of miles long and marched forward making a cacophony of noise while synchronously enclosing the circle to drive the game and prey into a preselected killing ground like a tight, steep valley.
The royal family got first dibs on the killing.
Quoting Mongol law from Lamb’s 1928 edition:
“Forbidden to cut the throats of animals slain for food; they must be bound, the chest opened and the heart pulled out by the hand of the hunter.”
In those hunts, not one single animal was supposed to escape the shrinking circle. Apparently it was a grave error to let one single animal out. Imagine that. Culling an entire large area of every single animal. So in the leftist mind, culling large areas of all animals, burning down forests that held enemies, drinking the blood of horses, etc.. are all fine as long as you kill a lot of humans also. Again, their idiotic ends, justify their insane means.
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