Carnegie Institution Study: Genocide Reduces Global Warming

American Thinkerby Andrew Walden

A study touting Genghis Khan's environmental record is being cheered by the team which produced Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth. Genghis Khan's great accomplishment for the green cause? Killing off 40 million humans so their un-tilled fields would be overtaken by forests.

While some may find genocide morally repugnant, environmentalists had a different concern: Would reforestation be enough to overcome the greenhouse gases released by all those decaying bodies? Julia Pongratz, who headed the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology research project from the Institution's Stanford University campus offices, provides the answer in a January 20 news release:

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. 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.

In other words, the problem with the bubonic plague was that is just didn't stick around long enough. The CO2 emissions from all those putrefying corpses were just too much for the regrowing forests to overcome. But Genghis Khan and his successors cleared out their empire for centuries. Once the initial wave of putrefaction ran its course, net CO2 uptake began in earnest.

The Carnegie Institution's conclusion is seconded by the Gore team. An article posted on "Take Part, Inspiration to Action" is titled "War, Huh-Yeah, What Is It Good For? The Climate, Apparently." Its author cheers:

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