The Catastrophe That Man Built

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Jeremy Clarkson, host of the popular car show The Grand Tour, recommended Tom Phillips’s book People. A brief history of how we screwed up. ” Jeremy wrote that he just loves this book. And, by the way, there is a reason. Indeed, in this book the author talks about how a person, with all his rationality, manages to make fatal mistakes that lead to disasters.

And there were so many such disasters on human account. Here are just a few of them.

Black blizzards in the USA

Real dust storms in the southern states of the United States that lasted for decades. Who’s to blame? Person. They simply sowed huge areas of land with wheat. And when the rains stopped falling, the cultivated land dried up and turned into dust.

USSR drained the Aral Sea

We made canals and wanted to supply water for irrigation of cotton fields. The water went to the fields, but half of it was simply absorbed by the hot sand. There is desert everywhere! Guys, what are you doing ??

The sad story of statues on Easter Island

The ancient inhabitants of the island simply cut down all the trees to build the ritual statues. But new trees did not grow. The island turned into a desert, and the prosperous power of the Moai tribe fell into ruins. I wonder what the man who cut the last tree was thinking?

In 1859, landowner and pastoralist Thomas Austin brought rabbits from England to Australia. You see, he wanted to hunt so that it would be like in his homeland. But the rabbits liked the continent so much that in 40 years their population was several billion. Nobody knew what to do with them. They ate everything they saw on their way. And only after almost 140 years, scientists managed to develop a special virus that is able to fight rabbits. Thomas had a great hunt, high five!

An example of an epic biocide

The eternal leader Mao decided to destroy all flies, mosquitoes, rats and … sparrows in China. With the first three, everything is clear, but what were the sparrows guilty of ?? In general, they destroyed all the sparrows in China. And the sparrows, it turns out, ate locusts. There was no one to destroy the locusts. And the locusts calmly devoured the Chinese grain fields in huge swarms. The locust infestation is associated with a period of severe famine in China in the mid-50s. Oh, poor sparrows …

We know that people learn from mistakes. Or not? Jeremy Clarkson does not believe in humanity and believes that things will only get worse.

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September 9, 2020 |

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