Prehistoric Climate Change Deniers Started Both Global Warming and Global Cooling by Oppressing Mammoths

If you follow through on environmentalist ideology, it isn’t only modern man who is evil and must be scrubbed from the planet — it’s the entire human race. Even noble savages were a blemish before the eyes of Gaia. For example, cavemen started global warming by hunting mammoths:

Mammoths used to roam modern-day Russia and North America, but are now extinct — and there’s evidence that around 15,000 years ago, early hunters had a hand in wiping them out. A new study, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), argues that this die-off had the side effect of heating up the planet.

This one required scholars to twist their brains into entirely new contortions:

First, mammoth populations began to drop — both because of natural climate change as the planet emerged from the last ice age, and because of human hunting. Normally, mammoths would have grazed down any birch that grew, so the area stayed a grassland. But if the mammoths vanished, the birch could spread. …

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The trees would change the color of the landscape, making it much darker so it would absorb more of the Sun’s heat, in turn heating up the air. This process would have added to natural climate change, making it harder for mammoths to cope, and helping the birch spread further.

What was that about natural climate change? They were almost starting to make sense for a moment.

Bad enough our eco-insensitive ancestors started global warming by oppressing the noble mammoths when they could have eaten alfalfa sprouts and tofu instead. What’s worse is that they also started global cooling the same way:

Extinction of mammoths, camels, giant sloths and other large mammals in the New World may have cooled the global climate about 11,500 years ago, suggest paleobiologists.

The culprit? Less of the greenhouse gas, methane, emitted by the massive herbivores.

But the ultimate culprit, as always these days, is the human race:

“About 13,400 years ago, the Americas were heavily populated with large-bodied herbivores,” says the study in the current Nature Geosciences study led by biologist Felisa Smith of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. “However, by 11,500 years ago and within 1,000 years of the arrival of humans in the New World, 80% of these large-bodied mammals were extinct.” …

“We are not the first to suggest that human-mediated activities influenced the planet prior to the industrial age… Although still controversial, the megafaunal extinction is the earliest catastrophic event attributed to human activities,” conclude the Nature Geosciences study authors.

The usual conclusion can be drawn: the clueless “experts” on climate change don’t know much of anything except that they don’t like human beings. But according to our rulers, that’s no reason not to surrender our standard of living and the last of our liberties in the name of combating the imaginary menace.

If only Big Government had been there to make them leave the poor mammoths alone.

On a tip from Oiao. Hat tip: Watts Up With That? Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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