Ancient Ecologists

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Crux Club Books, Jul 10, 2012 - Nature - 195 pages
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Addicted to rather flawed concept of Darwinism, we tend to think even of climatic changes as slow, gradual processed. Yet the termination of the last Ice Age was fast and furious. It ended about 15,500 years ago within years, perhaps only weeks, during which the sea level surged by 150 meters, accompanied by mega tsunamis and mega storms, as we also know.
This fury left the planet denuded of trees and vegetation, and only 4,500 human survivors, according to a Persian myth, but with silted up rivers, immense bogs, and piles of dead trees, animals and human bodies, pumping out methane and carbon into the atmosphere.
Left to its own devices, the Earth would have overheated, making life almost impossible for higher life forms for millions of years to come. A prognosis some of the survivors were obviously aware of. To save themselves, and the planet, they established a university, somewhere in India, and started massive reclamation projects about a century later.
For the next 3,600 years, according to a Sumerian myth, the ancient ecologists were digging out river canals to drain the bogs, and planted continents with forests, when around 11,700 years ago the global temperature shot up, within decades, by at least 7C, terminating their endeavours, and ruing in the process much of their labours. But, when an asteroid impact cooled the planet down, around 10,200 years ago, they renewed their activities with vigor.
These ancient ecologists used to be known as the Bear Cult, and their main goddess, Artemis, is essentially an embodiment of a defense principle of nature. Mainly of the forests, which provide oxygen for all life forms and, in turn, are the home of water sources, without which life could sustain itself either.
Often, back then, this protection was pretty physical, as Artemis' name is associated with the death of individuals who represented ideas that threatened the forests, even with the extermination of entire kingdoms.
The myths this 'cult' left behind make it quite plain these people did understand the principles of global ecology and hydrology, as well as the relationship between man's mental state, human activities and the climate, on local and global levels, as they were active all over the planet.

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