A thousand years ago we destroyed forests more than now because we cared less about nature (and it was not even defined the same)

A thousand years ago we destroyed forests more than now because we cared less about nature (and it was not even defined the same)

In a span of 850 years, between the year 500 and 1350, forests went from covering 80% of Western and Central Europe to only 50% .

In some countries, the reduction was more radical , as is the case of Germany, which went from 70% to 25% from 900 to 1900. France went from having 30 million hectares of forests to only 13 million between 800 and 1900. 1300.

Destroyers of nature

The past was, environmentally, the closest thing to Mad Max . Even some paleoclimatologists suggest that a person in the Iron Age polluted more than a person in today’s First World. However, if it does not seem so to us, it is basically for two reasons: we have idealized the past and, above all, before we were very few people in the world .

If the human beings who lived a thousand years ago were the ones who live now in numbers, the current environmental problem would be much more serious. As a percentage, then, we pollute less than before . The problem is that we reproduce at a devilish speed: just a hundred years ago we were 1,650,000,000, now we are 8,000,000,000. A thousand years ago, just 300 million. Two thousand years ago, 50 million.

We all consume more efficiently than before, but there are many more of us. We also eat a lot more, therefore, so the biggest source of sulfur for the environment is no longer coal-fired power plants but agriculture .

Our ancestors simply wasted energy and polluted the environment using very dirty energy sources such as wood. We hunted and extinguished the megafauna, being forced to develop agriculture, although a type of agriculture, that of ten thousand years ago, so inefficient and riddled with problems that it caused us to become shorter than we were due to famines and proliferation of dozens of new diseases.

According to a new study by researchers at the University of London, the colonization of the Americas in the late 15th century killed so many people that it disrupted Earth’s climate . Specifically, it was the huge swath of abandoned farmland that was reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation that removed large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO₂).

And, of course, we set fire to entire forests , we deforested them completely, we razed them, because it was the most comfortable way to hunt animals, originating types of forest that today seem Edenic to us but that, in the past, were only the fruit of the brutal hand of the being human, as you can see in the following video:

Fortunately, technology allows us to find other resources or multiply the efficiency of those we already have , thus accessing more calories, lumens, kilowatts, bits and kilometers.