The global warming debate is driven by growing public unease throughout the world over our visible disregard for good husbandry practices in our industrial economy. It is expressing itself most clearly over the CO2 issue, even though this is most likely a red herring. The direct linkage to global warming is at least controversial, and I for one have a great deal of faith in the Earth’s carbon cycle and its ability to restore such imbalances.
More importantly, the ecological movement is about good husbandry. And strange as it may sound, it is not about conservation. Mankind has already transformed most of the environment to serve its needs thousands of years ago, and mankind’s task increasingly is to improve on this legacy. The only areas that we can rightly conserve are inimical to human habitation and even that often needs the fine hand of good husbandry practice.
With the true wild a policy of haven maintenance must be implemented to properly manage human exploitation. An ideal model of this is to overlay a checkerboard and designate every ninth square as a haven. Of course in practice, this must be negotiated and studied in detail to ensure proper sizing sufficient to the various needs. For example, it makes plenty more sense to preserve old growth forests as a corridor along river beds. Once stake holders understand what is at stake, it can sort itself out quickly.
Let us put this argument in reverse. Extinction is the direct result of a loss of habitat havens. Distributed havens of old growth forests sufficient to support the spotted owl ends threats to that species and as the forests recover their range naturally expands. If we learn to manage havens then our industrial scale exploitation can be recovered from.
Remember, the bison succumbed to the global shoe leather market. Had havens not existed in
It came as a complete surprise to me to learn that the areal extent of the terra preta in the Amazon basin equals that of
What I find most sobering is that tens of millions of individuals have lived theirs lives and passed leaving almost no trace of their existence. How often has this happened globally over the past 10,000 years? Societies do not build with stone unless they are highly organized so a lack of such evidence is very misleading. The so called Stone Age for example did an excellent job of leaving evidence of its existence behind, even though a better name would be the wood and bone age. I have no difficulty setting out to construct a very sufficient tool kit with those two items as the Indians in the Amazon do to this day.
When copper became available and later iron, both metals were too valuable to throw out, so the material was constantly recycled. Yet populations expanded and social complexity increased. The only evidence left would be in the form of pottery. You can also bet that even broken pottery had some commercial value and was largely recycled.
We all know that large populations existed in the Middle East and even
It has been argued that the collapse of the
It is just now in our power to restore this desert back to human agriculture and general fertility just as it is possible to restore the terra preta fields of the Amazon to agriculture. It would be nice to actually absorb that big chunk of solar energy hitting the