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.
A GGG/Gobal Warming two-fer!
But I'm sure that wouldn't be a high enough body count for the greens today.
I'm sure they advocated something on the order of...two or three hundred million.
Genghis Kahn: Population Controller.
OK, read the excerpt.
Did the price of crack or acid come down recently? Or is this bath salts at work?
More like killing off 6,800,000,000 to save Gaia.
“Was Genghis Khan history’s greenest conqueror?”
I don’t know....ask John F’in Kerry. He’s the Genjis Khan
is this a satire? I don’t think it’s supposed to be :(
The author doesn't seem to have a very clear perception of environmentalists. A high body count is no problem for them.
Genghis Khan must have needed a lot of horses that produced a lot of carbon, especially running around a lot.
No. It is NOT a satire.
They finally admitted it.
They are simply Nazis, and we are ALL Jews.
Can I be a Romanian Gypsy instead? The result will be the same but the outfits are cooler.
This theory makes Stalin a pretty good environmentalist (25 million killed). And we know that the Greens admire and respect him.
I’m hoping this qualifies as permission to create 40 million leftist martyrs for the cause.
I’d give the title to his son and successor, Uggedai Qa Quan. During his reign the Mongols finished, and secured, the conquest of Northern China, conquered everything west of the Gobi as far as the Danube [including the Bulgar state, the Pontic steppe, the Russian principalities, Kiev, and Hungary]. They razed Krakow, torched Bohemia and Moravia, raided Vienna, and were moving toward Venice. They also conquered Afghanistan, Tibet, the eastern Balkans, and made Korea a vassal state. Not bad for eight years’ work.
Each man in the Mongol Army went into a campaign with at least five, and usually eight or more horses. Then there’s the camels used to haul supply carts [ditto yaks], and the camels used by each Tuman commander’s naccara drummer.
Holy Cow that’s insane!!
Here’s what I don’t get about greenies. Who do they envision as their ultimate appreciator of their humanless green world? Some squid? A tree somewhere?
The Khan butchered millions of Muslims FYI. He knew that the best way to deal with this asinine culture was Total, Complete Annihilation...and he did much to that effect.