Genghis Khan Environmentalist?

22 02 2011
The Khan dynasty, and the huge slaughters that came at the hand of the terrible Genghis Khan, are widely known. Khan lead the invasions of many areas throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, and it is estimated that possibly 40 million people died due to his conquests. History books have always taught that he was an incredibly cruel leader, and the high death rates of the people he slaughtered are devastating and horrible. Now, environmentalists have conducted recent studies that show Genghis Khan may have had one of the most positive effects on the environment in history, and are even praising his conquests for their positive impact on the environment, though this praise is a bit much for many people to handle.

For a long time, it was assumed that the major carbon pollution problems that have been hurting the environment started when technology advances led to the wide burning of fossil fuels for energy. Since we’ve started using fossil fuels, burned coal and oil has led to extremely heightened pollution levels, levels that have deeply concerned many environmental groups. However, a lesser known fact that environmental groups have known for a while is that fossil fuels were not the beginning of carbon pollution in our history.

For years before fossil fuels were used, the increasing use of agriculture meant serious carbon pollution for the world. As humans expanded across the world, into new territory, they began preparing the new land they found for agriculture. To do so they had to clear the current environment of forests and other natural vegetation, to prepare the land for growing crops. Countless acres of forest and plains were burned, to clear the way for the oncoming groups of people. These massive fires and burnings lead to huge carbon pollution in the world, and this pollution has been going on for hundreds of years, as humans continued to expand.

Obviously this brings into question how Genghis Khan is related. Environmentalists have noted that as humans expanded and burned forests, the carbon emissions always lowered during times of great devastation to humanity. During times of great death in the human population, more plants and vegetation was allowed to grow again, which removed some of the carbon dioxide in the air and got rid of the pollution.

Genghis Khan’s reign killed millions and millions of people. This also meant that the expansion of different groups of people was severely limited, and fewer farms and crops were planted and attended to. Forests were allowed to overgrow the existing farms and got rid of a great deal of the carbon dioxide that had previously been heavily polluting the air due to clearing the land and burning forests.

Other historical events that have lead to great human death, such as the Black Death, have also been studied to see what their impact on carbon emissions was. It was found that the impact of Genghis Khan was by far the largest impact, likely due to the fact that his reign was long and extensive. The other historical events were much shorter, and had a significantly smaller impact, so their impact on carbon emission was significantly lower.

Of course, it’s not easy for everyone to agree that the work of such a murderer was a good thing. Many are criticizing environmentalists for praising Genghis Khan’s killing sprees, and insist it is wrong to consider such extensive death a good thing. However, the findings still have a significant impact on understanding environmental implications dealing with pollution and finding solutions to current problems that the world is facing in dealing with our pollution.