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jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #16 
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Originally Posted by KYMonarchist
 I take it you all want a more thorough explanation? I remember the passages where it was explained well.


Yes, I love hearing about crackpot, insane theories!

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KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #17 
It's not crackpot or insane, Jovan. It's really quite simple.

In the 16th and 17th centuries, European diseases wiped out as much as 90% of the Amerindian population, some 90 million people. 

Many Amerindian techniques existed for managing the land, and a major one was to burn the forests for hunting and to get the kind of plants they wanted. This, according to the laws of chemistry, puts carbon in the atmosphere, lots of it, and thus warmed the globe. As the Amerindian population collapsed, the forests were no longer burned, and they expanded across the continent. (This was the so-called "virgin forest", which was actually neither virgin nor primeval.) This took carbon out of the atmosphere, and cooled the globe. Thus the great dying of the Amerindians was at the very least a contributing factor to the Little Ice Age. Other contributing factors were most likely things like the Mongol conquests, the Black Death, and other such highly deadly events.

And this theory is gaining increasing acceptance, at least in academia. It also aligns with the laws of chemistry and science. Thus, proof-positive that humans can and do affect the climate. And thus anthropogenic climate change is most certainly scientifically possible, and in fact, quite likely given the massive carbon-spewing that is the Industrial Revolution.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #18 
The trouble with 90 million people (which is pure guesstimate, no one knows how many people there were, even roughly) burning forests on a scale big enough to make a difference is that, even on a continent the size of North America, you soon enough run out of forest to burn. So this is not something that can have been stabilising the northern hemisphere climate at a warm level, as it is not a process that could operate continuously for centuries. One can speculate on whether events like this and the others you mention can make a measurable difference to climate, but I still think it unlikely that they can make a marked difference, which the Little Ice Age in contrast with the Medieval Warm Period certainly counted as.
KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #19 
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Originally Posted by Peter
The trouble with 90 million people (which is pure guesstimate, no one knows how many people there were, even roughly) burning forests on a scale big enough to make a difference is that, even on a continent the size of North America, you soon enough run out of forest to burn. So this is not something that can have been stabilising the northern hemisphere climate at a warm level, as it is not a process that could operate continuously for centuries. One can speculate on whether events like this and the others you mention can make a measurable difference to climate, but I still think it unlikely that they can make a marked difference, which the Little Ice Age in contrast with the Medieval Warm Period certainly counted as.


Even the lowest estimate for pre-Columbian Amerindian populations is 40 million, and you can read Charles C. Mann's book 1491.

And the Amerindians regularly burned the forest in millennia, this is in fact known to archaeology. 
Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #20 
How were they able to tell whether these fires were natural forest fires or deliberately set by Native Americans?
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KYMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #21 
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Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist
How were they able to tell whether these fires were natural forest fires or deliberately set by Native Americans?


Because the Amerindians were actually observed setting these forest fires regularly by the first white men they met. There's all sorts of records of this written down by Westerners.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #22 
It's all pretty tenuous. This kind of practice is not sustainable with a large population, and with a small population doesn't happen on a scale that even theoretically could make a difference. I have no plans whatsoever to read the book, and if I did I doubt it would convince me.
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