Saturday, January 12, 2013

How the Major Historical World Empires Have "Ruined the Earth"

Credit: NPR
An aerial view of the Suncor oil sands extraction facility on the banks of the Athabasca River in Alberta, Canada, in 2009. Scientists say contaminants found at the bottom of lakes in Alberta are from air pollutants from the facilities responsible for producing and processing tar sans oil. By all means read the story and click on the radio link on that page from the link below.
Deep In Canadian Lakes, Signs Of Tar Sands Pollution
The photo above of Suncor's Oil Sands Operations in Alberta Canada is certainly something very well known in the News Reports these day. While there is certainly much focus on the land desecration, water contamination and potential for eventual end result of air pollution, this wasn't necessarily the first things that came to my mind when viewing the photos and reading the article. Although the article from "npr" is informative and certainly exposes the usual irresponsible behavior by some of this world's largest Industrial Corporations, but there was something else that caught my eye in the next photograph. Take a long hard look at the photo below and what outstanding feature do you see that is rarely addressed. You'll have to look real hard. If it was a rattlesnake, you'd be dead by now. Yes of course the Oil Industry and it's obsession with continuing it's monopoly of energy production is always there. Of course the consequences of pollution in the form of higher CO2s  (everyone's flavourite topic) resulting in warmer Temps seems to be the main focus, but again, even those are minuscule compared to what is present in the background inside that photo. It's that tree line in the background which covers the entire picture from left to right. I often wonder if people really do comprehend the vast amount of forest land destruction destruction that is going on and whether all vegetation disruption is truly accounted for by those who create the data and charts which illustrate the historical magnitude of the problem.
The Shell Oil Jackpine Open Pit Mine uses trucks that are 3 stories tall, weigh 1 million pounds and cost $7 million each. There is explosive growth in the oil field areas around Fort McMurrayAlberta, Canada.
Credit: NPR
I suppose it's easy to miss. It's simply a thin looking charcoal gray line, looking more like some meaningless vibrational resonance frequency on a Richter-Scale chart. Unfortunately people today have short attention spans and failing memories of what the natural world use to look like. Some younger generations have no clue as to what the natural world once looked like because it simply no longer exists in many areas as it once did. Even being shown some of the  historical pictures, it's still hard to impress upon them the grave seriousness of the problem. On my other blog I have documented what Science has actually discovered about how a healthy forest  is the ultimate climate driving mechanism with all of it's various complex weather modification components. Proof of this is the present Geo-engineering technologies which replicate what trees, shrubs and other vegetation actually accomplish. The Earth in the past has been able to put up with a lot of misuse and abuse. In the past most of the devastation took place in localized geographical locations. So changes to climate were mostly micro-climate oriented, from which recovery could be much more possible. Today however, countless localized disruptions taken together as a whole over the past century, have now influenced the Earth's climate on a macro level which now has proven to have effected the entire global weather mechanism. Suddenly, there is no easy fast fix. That's why so many stupid  "Fit-It-Pill" approaches have been suggested as a desperate quick fix. The Geniuses on this planet know full well it takes time to rebuild these natural systems back to their former glory, but economies cannot be touched for fear of riots and discontent in the streets. So real solutions to changing behavior are not really ever presented on the table other than the usual lip service for the public record to show they cared.

Let's look at some of the historical disastrous Empire building and maintenance issues problems from the past and compare them to today's Global World Power which is basically the USA/Britain alliance. Not long ago and I believe it was last year, the reports came out about just what killed off the Mayan and Aztec Empires. True the Spanish came and finished them off completely, but they were in decline before that and the reason was deforestation followed by severe drought which destroyed their agriculture. Do your own Google and you'll find several studies that came out last year. However for a short clip from NASA on this explanation, please view the video below. Seriously, you've got a minute & 22 seconds.

Credit Wiki

Bonito Pueblo
The Anasazi geological regions of the American Southwestern area called the Colorado Plateau also holds some pertinent clues as to their gradual demise and eventual downfall and collapse. There is a huge evidence for deforestation on that Colorado plateau area, though it may be difficult to believe when you visit this area today. Mostly it is a high desert scene, but at one time was forested by Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon Pine and Juniper. However none of these trees exist in many of these areas once formerly covered with such vegetation. A major clue comes not only from the timbers used in Pueblo construction, but also the now ancient abandoned Packrat Middens which are a collection of local site vegetation and objects. Many of these contain Pinyon needles and Ponderosa Pine cones along with other vegetation debris which indicates a wetter climate. Today mostly the vegetation covered is Silver Sagebrush.


Cyrene Libya
Getting back to Empire Building, the Ottoman Empire deforested tremendous amounts of land for utilizing wood to run their Empire's Steam Train Locomotives which connected the empire from extensive distances. The demise of Cedar of Lebanon & Aleppo Pine forests which were once vast are now today only a fraction of their former glory. But constant changing of Empires or world powers of Assyria, Babylon, Egyptian, Medo-Persia, Greece and finally Roman world empires all took their own toll. If I could just focus on the Roman Empire and a major part of it's reason for it's collapse. All World Powers are desperate for wealth creation in order to maintain their status as 'THE' prevailing World Power. Rome was no different and in many ways some of the things they did were similar to the present. But prior to Rome there was a small but powerful Kingdom of Carthage and a leader named Hannibal who fought against Rome early on. He used Elephants in his military campaign. While there is speculation and debate as to the actual breed of elephant, there was no doubt and evidence of a species of elephant in North Africa. Of course these are now extinct, along with other Savanna animals and the forests which once existed in Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. Again, back then North African was a whole different place. Sub-Tropical and Mediterranean Oak Savanna dominated along with coniferous forests in mountain regions, the remnants of which still exist in smaller geographical pockets. But Rome had ambitions of Empire Building for which Oak Forests made for excellent Ship Building for moving merchant goods and troops throughout the Mediterranean. Incredibly there are similarities to the ancient Roman Empire and the present Anglo-American world power. Take a look at this link and a quote below.
BBC News: "The Role of Deforestation in the Fall of Rome"
Deforestation in Warfare 
Finally, conquering generals such as Julius Caesar often found that native tribes in Gaul or Britain would simply escape them by running off into the forests and launching surprise attacks when they tried to set up camp. To solve the problem, many generals simply took the easy route and burned down the forest. Many thousands of acres were cleared this way by Caesar alone.

Operation Ranch Hand

Is it just me or does anyone else see an uncanny similarity by the Pax-Romana  Empire and the present ruling Pax Americana Empire to the Vietnam War and the use of Agent Orange ? There are numerous examples of deforestation, but one wonders when all the historical data is tallied, what exactly is considered deforestation criteria other than the usual logging estimates ? Are all the wars and the forest fires included on those lists ? At the present moment there are once again devastating wildfires in Australia. Every year the same situation exists in the southwestern United States. Are these also included as deforestation ? How about the millions of acres burned in Russia a couple years ago ? Here's a new one. Are all the irresponsible land management policies of prescribed or control burns included ? How about Brush mastication by means of grinding, chain pulling, bulldozing etc, are these also included on those lists ? Then of course there are the usual irresponsible land management practices of millions of private landowners with weekend farms or Ranchettes ?  All of these vegetation systems are mechanisms by which our planet's entire climate structure and mechanisms are based, aside from the usual Natural Laws of physics like the Coriolis effect, High & Low Pressure centers etc. If you don't believe that forests are the reason for much of Earth's cloud formation and rainfall creation, the Google for yourself ALL of the Patents of the globes major Weather Modification Companies and the innovations they have created which mimic how nature accomplishes these things, but on a more condensed or concentrated level.

The big problem today is that the present world (USA/Britain) power is probably the last the Earth will ever see. Expansion on our globe is complete and there is basically nowhere else to explore and conquer. All that the former Imperialistic Colonizing countries can now do is manipulate the present regimes in 3rd world lands they once dominated over who are still rich in natural resources. And it's these resources which will continue to keep the present world power's economy afloat, for a while longer anyway. As the links showed, the Romans depleted their Empire's dominion of it's easiest to obtain raw materials with the technologies they had available to them at the time. No doubt their various actions across their empire did create bad localized weather anomalies which were devastating on Agricultural endeavors. And it is Agriculture more than all else that will control people's lives more than any luxury goods business ventures. Hmmmm, isn't there a  Henry Kissinger 1970  quote here somewhere ? Of course, GMOs are a whole other issue in the power grab game! But now getting back to actual subject of our above post News Report of the devastating effects of the Oil Sands/Shale Industry Operations, it doesn't appear like things will get better anytime soon. Here is a quote from a recent News article on the status of Oil or Tar Sands Projects:
BBC News: "US oil production 'to jump by a quarter by 2014'
The US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer "by around 2020", an International Energy Agency (IEA) report predicted at the end of last year.
In fact, global oil production will rise, thanks to the discovery of shale oil.
 "Total oil production is about to rise," Fatih Birol, chief economist at the IEA, told the BBC.
 "We estimate total oil production to reach about 100 million barrels a day, about 20 million higher than today. 
"This growth comes from unconventional [shale] oil." 
 The discovery of shale oil means global oil production will not peak in the next 20 years, Mr Birol added. 

(Photo: Peter Essick)
A nature environmental photographer who specializes in global warming shots snapped these amazing aerials of the Athabasca Oil Sands, a crude oil mine that underlays much of the the Athabasca River in Alberta, Canada. The mine extracts tar from the sands to create synthetic oil. Don't worry though, those trees weren't a total waste. Somebody somewhere made some quick cash off the deal.
Can anyone fathom how destructive such an increase in this Tar Sands industry will have on Earth and it's ecosystems ?  Pumping oil was one thing. A hole bored into the earth in multiple locations along with the usual contaminants is certainly bad enough. But wholesale strip mining on a scale that makes old time mineral strip mines look like gopher holes by comparison. How long will it take nature's weather mechanisms for grow back and be fully functional once again ? Could any of this wholesale removal of forests had anything to do with the horrendous droughts in North America last year ? And will there truly be any improvement on those evil CO2 releases that they fight about at some of their bogus Climate Change Conferences where they usually argue about who's economy is going to out perform the others ? Does anyone believe the Nations are really serious about Climate change ? Is there as yet any historical precedent to prove they will change their Economy first at any and all costs for the sake of Earth's natural environment ? No! Too bad none of their Ideologically driven ambassadors include people with  the same opinion as Roman Poet Caecilius Statius (220 BC-166 BC) who said, 
"We plant trees not for ourselves, but for future generations."
Reading References: 

Encylopedia of Earth: "Mediterranean conifer and mixed forests"

BBC News: "The Role of Deforestation in the Fall of Rome"

University of Tennessee: "The Mysterious Disappearance of the Anasazi "


  1. Well, I do believe that "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction"...and that if these forests are disappearing, and now we have global warming...the two events DO seem linked somehow! Never made it up the hill today...spent nearly 4 hours at our daughter's yard sale and I am exhausted! Tomorrow for sure!

    1. Saw the articles you did on the Dome House. I'm looking forward to going there for a visit and hefty photo shoots. Perfect time of year.

      Booked and ready to go!

  2. Also, remember the Owens Valley. I remember camping out in a campground near Big Pine, as a kid, with my cousin, mom, and aunt. There were a LOT more trees there then! Hubby and I actually found the campground a couple of years ago. It is OBSCENE what has been done (IMHO) to the Owens Valley in the name of water.


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