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Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror 279

Posted by samzenpus
from the taking-the-good-with-the-bad dept.
New research suggests that in addition to being one of history's cruelest conquerors, Genghis Khan may have been the greenest. It is estimated that the Mongol leader's invasions unintentionally scrubbed almost 700 million tons of carbon from the atmosphere. From the article: "Over the course of the century and a half run of the Mongol Empire, about 22 percent of the world's total land area had been conquered and an estimated 40 million people were slaughtered by the horse-driven, bow-wielding hordes. Depopulation over such a large swathe of land meant that countless numbers of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests. In other words, one effect of Genghis Khan's unrelenting invasion was widespread reforestation, and the re-growth of those forests meant that more carbon could be absorbed from the atmosphere." I guess everyone has their good points.

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Genghis Khan, History's Greenest Conqueror

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  • by somersault (912633) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:30PM (#34985816) Homepage Journal

    Someone should do something about these trees stealing all our carbon dioxides.

    • Stupid article (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:17PM (#34986540) Homepage

      The article is, of course, being stupid-- deliberately stupid, I expect, but still stupid.

      The anthropogenic greenhouse effect was not a problem in the 13th century, and the the total amount of carbon dioxide that had been emitted by the entire human race at that point was trivial. To the extend that his conquests removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it was addressing a problem that didn't exist.

      I will also point out that current carbon dioxide emission is about 30 billion tons per year. If the Mongols removed "700 million tons" of carbon from the atmosphere, then in the course of a century and a half of Mongol rule they accomplished the removal of an amount of carbon dioxide equal to about one week of modern emission.

      • by Moryath (553296)

        Well, no, but it raises an important point.

        China is the world's worst polluter [bbc.co.uk]. Maybe we should be following the Great Khan's example?

        (warning: the aforementioned is only slightly tongue-in-cheek; after all, China is home to some of the world's worst human rights abusers, a regime which runs on slave labor, zero environmental protection, and outright theft of IP from anyone stupid enough to do business with them).

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by d3ac0n (715594)

          I think it raises an even more important point than you have touched on:

          The inherent genocidal madness of the modern "environmentalist" movement.

          Think about it; This article actually tries to put a POSITIVE SPIN on GENOCIDE. I see this all the time from "greenies", who basically view all of humanity as somehow "unnatural" and a pox upon Mother Earth. They view humans as utterly expendable and particularly those humans who happen to disagree with their eco-religion. See the "No Pressure" [youtube.com] videos created b

          • I would say this article is actually a good satire of those extreme positions.

          • Re:Stupid article (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:24PM (#34987500) Homepage

            So, uh, you are taking one article that is apparently written somewhat tongue in cheek, plus one (1) video, which has been disowned by pretty much every environmental group on the planet, as evidence that "greenies" "view humans as utterly expendable."

            I think you could apply Niven's law to this. ("No cause is so noble that it won't attract its share of fuggheads"), not to mention Pournelle's corrolary ("...who will inevitably be the ones interviewed by the press.")

            • by Moryath (553296)

              I'm reminded of the old "A Modest Proposal [art-bin.com]" here.

              Overpopulation is a real concern in many nations. It continues to be a real global worry; past issues with overpopulation were solved by certain technical changes (sewers and flush toilets replaced tossing shit in the streets, automobiles replaced horse and buggy, air conditioning and pipe-delivered or electrical heating systems replaced sweltering and siestas and wood-burning stoves) that we can't rely on for the future.

              At some point, something radical has t

          • "I see this all the time from "greenies"

            You see it "all the time" because you are looking for a way to demonise your ideological enemy, expressing the opinion that the world is over populated has nothing to do with advocating genocide. The 10:10 ads was a monty python style joke, people such as yourself simply jumped on it as proof that jews^H^H^H, blacks^H^H^H, socialists^H^H^H, muslims^H^H^H^H greenies are a sub human blight on society.
            • The 10:10 ads was a monty python style joke

              no.... no it's not.
              for one thing monty python is actually funny.
              That's just deeply creepy and threatening.

          • by bunratty (545641)

            No, the article does not put try to put a positive spin on genocide. You're reading that into the article. The article says that Khan committed genocide, and as a result, forests grew and we can measure the amount of carbon dioxide that they absorbed.

            I see this type of thinking all the time. When I point out a positive about X, all people seem to read is that I said X is good. When I point out a negative about X, all people seem to read is that X is bad. Similarly, you're reading into the article the statem

        • China is the world's worst polluter

          Not per capita, it isn't.

          Killing 40 millions 'westerners' would be much more effective than 40 million Chinese.

      • by nospam007 (722110) *

        Khan? The Spanish Flu bested him on all fronts.

      • If he were around today he might kill a bunch of carbon based life forms, but he'd do it with petroleum and Twinkies.
      • Re:Stupid article (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Solandri (704621) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:40PM (#34987740)

        The anthropogenic greenhouse effect was not a problem in the 13th century, and the the total amount of carbon dioxide that had been emitted by the entire human race at that point was trivial. To the extend that his conquests removed carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it was addressing a problem that didn't exist.

        I will also point out that current carbon dioxide emission is about 30 billion tons per year. If the Mongols removed "700 million tons" of carbon from the atmosphere, then in the course of a century and a half of Mongol rule they accomplished the removal of an amount of carbon dioxide equal to about one week of modern emission.

        You're forgetting consequential effects. If he culled 40 million people from the population during the 13th century, he didn't just remove those 40 million people. He also removed all their potential descendants. Given that the estimated population of the world at the time was about 400 million, a 40 million reduction works out to about 10%.

        Since percentages aren't distorted by exponential growth, that means he's responsible for a 10% reduction in the world's current population. There are nearly 700 million fewer people alive today because of him. If we go with your 30 billion tons of CO2 globally figure, he's responsible for a 3 billion tons of CO2 annual reduction here and now.

        • Re:Stupid article (Score:4, Insightful)

          by WinstonWolfIT (1550079) on Monday January 24, 2011 @08:35PM (#34988950)

          Sorry that's a terribly unsubstantiated conclusion. The birth rate is tied directly to population density, economic and biological factors. Unkill those millions and you simply trigger an earlier birth rate decrease. The actual population would be somewhere between now and 10% more than now, closer to now than 10%.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        The article is, of course, being stupid-- deliberately stupid, I expect, but still stupid.

        Actually, it's very smart, you just have to be able to see through the obvious in-your-face shock effect to see the real message. It's something that anyone with a keen analytical mind has known for a long time now.

        The biggest, most powerful cause of pollution is overpopulation. The more people, and the higher their level of life, the worse we have to pollute the planet to sustain it. This is largely caused by our "prime directive" as an organic DNA-based life form, we are driven to push the population up t

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:30PM (#34985826)

    Glen Beck glares up at the sky. "KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!!!"

  • Kahn? (Score:5, Funny)

    by D Ninja (825055) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:31PM (#34985848)

    Genghis Kahn? Huh...I tried to look him up, but couldn't find anything out about him. Lots of information about another guy called Genghis Khan, though. But...that's probably just a coincidence.

  • yep... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:32PM (#34985852)
    I'm sure Al Gore will start up a pay-as-you-go Mongol Horde you can join if you really care about the environment any day now. Kill your neighbors, save a tree!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by I8TheWorm (645702) *

      Careful, anytime I post something negative about Al Gore I get modded into oblivion and receive eleventymillion "just because he's a hypocrite doesn't mean he's a bad guy" comments.

    • by srmalloy (263556)

      Reminds me of the old "/earth is 97% full. Please delete anyone you can" fortune...

  • The nutjobs of course.
    • by ackthpt (218170)

      The nutjobs of course.

      A certain "Austrian Corporal" tried, but his war machine was too dependent upon petroleum, right up to the end, so that eliminates him.

      How about the Black Plague? Shouldn't it be called the Green Plague?

  • by mschaffer (97223) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:34PM (#34985882)

    So, how long until environmentalists call for mass execution to reduce humanity's carbon footprint?

    • by Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:39PM (#34985946)

      They already do. Just not on the shows non-environmentalists watch, for the most part.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:43PM (#34985996)

      Perhaps these stones were placed by environmentalists?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Guidestones

    • There is a book titled "Green Power, Black Death."
    • by Black Sabbath (118110) on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:31PM (#34986758) Homepage

      We don't need anyone to call for a mass execution. People forget that most systems self-regulate. Like the bacteria in the petri dish we will - at some point - get to the edge of the dish and find there's no more resources left. At which point there will be a massive die off. There may well be some of us left over to start again. Or not. Who knows?

      And to those of you that think we can terraform Mars or something and just ship out there - I call BS. We can't do the basics on THIS planet economically. What makes it likely that we'll be able to do so on another planet where everything is X (where X>1) times harder?

      • ...doesn't actually have to disagree with your statement

      • by tmosley (996283)
        You should learn about bacterial behavior before you spout off. When bacteria run low on nutrients they form biofilms. Biofilms are basically bacterial cities where individual cells consume far less than planktonic bacteria. If kept moist, bacteria will survive in this manner for a very, very long time. If they didn't, Earth would have long ago become barren and dead.

        The real solution to limited resources is specialization and urbanization. Development of capital resources wouldn't hurt, either.
      • by fbartho (840012)

        You're right that if we can't do it here economically, it seems less plausible that we'll succeed if we go elsewhere, but what it does do is let us move out of our first petri dish into the rest of the fridge. We'll go from dish to dish, until we find a penicillin, or we find we can't leave the fridge...

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Consider that the moment you remove "must make short term profit" from equation, many major projects become very viable.

        Terraforming Mars would be extremely difficult and costly, but the potential profit to humans as a race from lessons learned doing it, are simply astronomical. This is somewhat similar to industrial revolution - the cost of inventing and implementing many early inventions, as well as building necessary infrastructure was astronomical. The profit gained by both our race and individuals has

    • by Bemopolis (698691)
      My approach is to suggest to anti-environmentalists a program to reduce population growth. It goes something like this...


      Go fuck yourself.
    • by lythander (21981)

      They already do call for depopulation. While most of the world has decried the huge unjust deprivation of China's population to procreate ad infinitum, radical environmentalists have long hailed the policy as green, and in need of spreading.

      The planet is a tool, and a resource. As it is also our primary residence, it should be kept pristine for our habitation. But it has no purpose beyond our sustinance, and without human life is meaningless (at least insofar as "meaning" is something humans provide.) P

    • by tmosley (996283)
      You have obviously never read Malthus.
  • Smooth Move (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:34PM (#34985884)

    Way to go Mother Nature Network (MNN), you have tied Genghis Khan to environmentalism. Expect to see this quoted out of context on Fox.

    • I think you can accurately say that it was a really bad comparison to draw to begin with, to help people think more environmentally.

      But how can you worry about a quote based on this being taken "out of context" when the whole of the context is in such poor taste? What honestly could Fox say that is really worse than what is being said?

      I don't think it's fair to claim Fox is doing anything "out of context" when they simply report on a really bad idea someone had.

      • What honestly could Fox say that is really worse than what is being said?

        Here [slashdot.org] you go.

        • The original article essentially stated being murdered by the millions had the cheery side of being green.

          The post you linked to only noted that people should kill themselves to be really green, which is less horrific than mass slaughter.

    • Re:Smooth Move (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Solandri (704621) on Monday January 24, 2011 @07:26PM (#34988236)

      Way to go Mother Nature Network (MNN), you have tied Genghis Khan to environmentalism.

      On the contrary, I think it's a connection which is both telling and needs to be made more public. The modern environmental movement and most people who are concerned about the environment have the same goal - preservation and conservation of the natural world. But they have very different opinions on the means to achieve those goals. Most people would prefer that preservation and conservation be achieved with as little inconvenience to our modern way of life as possible. Most hardcore environmentalists OTOH view controlling human population and consumption as the most effective means of achieving that goal. (Which is precisely what Ghengis Khan did through different means.)

      The divergence is most telling with nuclear power. The only reason CO2 emissions are a tough problem is because of energy. CO2 is a byproduct of processes we use to extract energy. That puts the CO2 at a low energy state, and getting rid of it involves putting energy back into it. But putting energy back into CO2 defeats the purpose of burning the fuel which produced it in the first place. You'd be producing CO2 to extract energy which you then use to decompose CO2.

      Nuclear doesn't have that problem. With a relatively cheap and nearly unlimited power source like nuclear, CO2 ceases to become a problem. We can build plants which do nothing but scrub CO2 from the atmosphere, pumping energy in to convert it back into oxygen and residual carbon (soot, which is a heckuva lot easier to sequester than gaseous CO2). The same thing for dangerous toxins like dioxin. They're only a problem because they're at a low energy state so natural processes (which generally don't have access to high energy levels) have a very difficult time breaking them down. With cheap energy, you can afford to run incinerators which atomize those compounds back into their constituent elements. These problems either go away or are greatly diminished with cheap energy, yet cheap energy seems to be one of the things the environmental movement vehemently opposes.

      The same goes for population. Most of the developed world is close to zero population growth or even experiencing negative growth (families on average have only 2 or fewer kids). Nearly all of the world's exploding population growth is happening in undeveloped countries [tamu.edu]. Yet nearly every time you hear an environmentalist talk about overpopulation, they point to solutions involving changing what people in industrialized nations do, not changing developing nations where nearly all the population growth is happening.

      We should be concentrating R&D on cheap energy sources for the future, not on cleaner but considerably more expensive "green" energy sources. It's only because productivity per person has vastly increased over the pre-industrialized era that we have the luxury to be spending time and effort doing things like worrying about the environment. But that increased productivity came about directly because of cheap energy. Make energy more expensive and our productivity goes down, meaning we can't afford some of our modern conveniences and/or we can't spend as much time and effort worrying about the environment. And we should be concentrating on modernizing and industrializing (and making contraceptives available to) undeveloped nations to arrest their population growth, not trying to get people in developed nations to adopt "low footprint" lifestyles similar to those in undeveloped nations.

  • by rjstanford (69735) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:35PM (#34985894) Homepage Journal

    Don't forget that battlegrounds tend to grow really well a couple of years after the bloodletting and mass burials. All those nutrients, don't'cha know.

  • by JonySuede (1908576) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:36PM (#34985920) Journal

    the CO2 in Genghis Khan time's was not a pollutant but the methane that the 40 millions rotting corpses generated was.

    • by Peeteriz (821290)

      The 40 million corpses were recycled as fertilizer in an ecologically friendly manner. The nutrients they had robbed from Mother Earth and defenseless plants have been returned to nature.

    • by demonbug (309515)

      Well, according to one estimate [census.gov] the world population in 1200 AD was about 400 million, so 40 million represents about 10% of the world's population. Assuming they otherwise would have reproduced at the same rate as other people in the world, we could say that there would be about 10% more people living today without the Mongol invasion (super simplistic, whatever). So, current population would be about 7.6 billion instead of 6.9 billion. Assuming pollution scales directly with population (it probably doesn'

    • by owlstead (636356)

      What the heck would you have done with the corpses? Shoot them into space? Store them in used gas fields? I mean, he did not kill anyone that wasn't going to die anyway, now did he?

    • by tmosley (996283)
      Not to mention all those horse farts.
  • It's a proof that the carbon craze has gone insane.
    • No, it's proof that the terrorists have won.

    • Maybe, but more likely it's just a phemomenon where every degree of separation from the original research brings a more sensational (and less accurate) headline.

      In this case, you have a Slashdot post about an MSN article citing a "mongabay" article citing a press release announcing the research. I see no evidence anybody in that chain actually looked at the research paper.

  • Umm, thanks for playing, but your concept of "green" sucks. Sustainability, permaculture, whatever green -ism you care to mention all have a concept of utility at their core, where we are in fact trying to create good outcomes for people. We want more planetary goodness because it makes for a nice place to live. There are outliers, of course, but pretty much all sustainability thinking boils down to managing our lump of rock so it is interesting and safe and pleasant.

    Killing everyone you find is not a usefu

    • by Peeteriz (821290)

      Well, I could argue that an earth with only 600 million inhabitants would be a nicer place to live in most ways.

      It would require to eliminate 90% of population, and that wouldn't be a nice process nor a nice time to live in, but afterwards.... pretty much any sustainable process that can support 6 billion bodies in a nice way can also support 600 million bodies in a much, much nicer way.

  • That would be the greenest move right?
    • by fishexe (168879)

      That would be the greenest move right?

      A strange game. The only green move is not to play.

  • by otis wildflower (4889) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:43PM (#34986000) Homepage

    to the late, great Madeline Kahn?

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:46PM (#34986046)

    ...by the same people who brought you the "hilarious" No Pressure [youtube.com] video advocating a more personal approach to elimination of the un-believing infidel swine who don't ascribe to your exact brand of environmentalism.

    Because it's just such a pleasant feeling to think of 40 million people hacked to death and then serving to fertilize our masters, the Trees.

    I, for one, welcome our new Tree Overlords!

  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday January 24, 2011 @04:46PM (#34986052)
    This sounds like an ad for (and makes about as much sense as) the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement [vhemt.org].
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      This sounds like an ad for (and makes about as much sense as) the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement [vhemt.org].

      No, this sounds like a stealthy ad for Neil Stepheson's latest project [mongoliad.com].
    • by turing_m (1030530)

      This sounds like an ad for (and makes about as much sense as) the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement [vhemt.org].

      Yes. All that VHEMT is going to achieve by their current modus operandi is to leave more non-environmentalists on the earth, by removing themselves from the gene pool. For their plans to be effective in the long term they need to reduce human numbers across the board (which would need lots of money or at least widespread buy-in by lots of people), or if they want to continue to use grassroots m

    • by l00sr (266426)

      Well, more like the IVHEMT...

  • Well, sounds like we have should have the environment in mind when we go about killing everyone else. Let's not do it for god, country or "freedom" any longer. Let's do it for the environment.

  • What a jerk. Never did like that guy.
  • So according to this logic here are some of the greenest individuals of all time -

    1 Genghis Khan 40 million
    2 Stalin - 20 million-30 Million
    3 - Adolf Hitler - ~ 15 Million
    4 Pol Pot - ~ 1.75 million
    ???

    Even Better, we can now rename the "Military Industrial Complex" as the "Carbon Sequestering De-Industrial Complex" or the "Green Clean Machine".
    Next time you hear about how much money is being spent on the MIC, tell your congressman to double it! THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!

    • In his deference, those numbers were probably off a bit. Head counts are seldom proper in time of war. Just look at the numbers of dead VC during Viet Nam. I'd imagine Genghis' conscripts were killing thousands, maybe millions every day, perhaps every second and ol GK was more than happy to hear that and keep the story going.

      It wasn't quite like Stalin's Gulag or Hitler's Concentration Camps where records of X number were killed at location Y.

      Either way I think I'd have preferred vassalage, open trade route

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:00PM (#34986250) Journal
    FTFA: [mongabay.com] "When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "

    Article on how Hitler was History's Second Greenest Conqueror for killing 11+ million people in 3... 2... 1... [wikipedia.org]

    Oh? Not awards for Hitler today? But 11 to 17 million less people means less fields needed and more forests, right? Surely with entire towns wiped out they returned to nature [google.com] and helped the environment, right?
    • Re:Hitler was GREEN (Score:4, Informative)

      by demonbug (309515) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:15PM (#34987366) Journal

      FTFA: [mongabay.com]
      "When the Mongol hordes invaded Asia, the Middle East, and Europe they left behind a massive body count, depopulating many regions. With less people, large swathes of cultivated fields eventually returned to forests, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. "

      Article on how Hitler was History's Second Greenest Conqueror for killing 11+ million people in 3... 2... 1... [wikipedia.org]

      Oh? Not awards for Hitler today? But 11 to 17 million less people means less fields needed and more forests, right? Surely with entire towns wiped out they returned to nature [google.com] and helped the environment, right?

      No, because Hitler only picked out specific members of towns for execution, generally just slightly reducing the population of lots of places but not really impacting overall land use (also, he introduced us to the Autobahn, and just look at what that has resulted in). Genghis was much more of a progressive, killing everyone equally, resulting in large swathes of uninhabited land where resisting cities used to be. Stalin gets negative points because while he did kill lots of people, he also re-populated a whole bunch of the areas that Ghengis had gone to the trouble of de-populating in the first place.

    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday January 24, 2011 @09:21PM (#34989326) Journal

      Hitler doesn't get a cookie because he used highly polluting methods of disposing with all those pesky humans, disposing high amounts of harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and lead into the environment.

      In contrast, Genghis Khan responsibly used materials that are generally harmless, and either naturally compostable (e.g. wood), or easily recyclable (i.e. iron).

  • Each of those dictators caused tens of millions of deaths ... why aren't they less "green" than Genghis Kahn? Did the article take into account the method of death used? I guess the Nazis used a lot of gas running the trains to the concentration camps, but what about Pol Pot or Stalin, who just starved tens of millions of people to death?

    A better explanation is that this is a stupid article that makes no freaking sense.

  • Somebody hurry up and say it so I can go "Godwin!"

  • I just finished the Civ 5 Mongol Scenario a few hours ago, which, as some of you know, is as accurate a simulation of the Genghis Khan conquests as a civ-based strategy game can be, which is damn more accurate than, say, any platform game I can think of.
    So, I can verify, re-enacting the whole Khan campaign, I did get the feeling of bliss after my efforts for intensive de-population and re-forestation were on their way. As I was reducing large cities to rumble and burning the population (to avoid their long

  • Granted, he killed slightly less than Khan, but now that he has Lincoln and Surak to back him up...

    • Granted, he killed slightly less than Khan, but now that he has Lincoln and Surak to back him up...

      What? Lincoln and Surak fought against Colonel Green. Hand in your geek card, now!

  • by DudemanX (44606) <dudemanx.gmail@com> on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:18PM (#34986554) Homepage

    Was this before or after he totally ravaged Oshman's Sporting Goods?

  • What a load of crap. CO2 is plant food. More CO2 makes it greener, less would obviously make it less so. Funny how the supposed Greens get this so backwards. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/08/surprise-earths-biosphere-is-booming-co2-the-cause/ [wattsupwiththat.com] Of course seeing Greens take the side of a murderous tyrant would come as no surprise at all. :)
  • All those people couldn't get in their cars fast enough to elude the invading horde?

  • by Kazymyr (190114) on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:23PM (#34986636) Journal

    Yet when I presented my "Bring Genghis Khan Back" idea at Kyoto, they threw me out of the building.

    Who's laughing now, huh?

  • Nothing illustrates the connection between being "anti-human" and being "green" more than this story. No matter what thoughtful precautions you can take to preserve Nature, the better alternative is that you never existed at all. In other words, kill yourself so that the world may remain a pleasant place for the animals. :)
    • I don't think being green has to be the same thing as being anti-human. Just respecting that the planet's resources aren't infinite and there isn't some great cosmic garbage collector who will turn the trash you dump into gold. Reducing how much waste we produce is a "green" action, yet I don't think my use of a reusable Nalgene water bottle over thousands of disposable plastic bottles is in any way anti-human. I do agree that some people take it to the extreme and would slice humanity off the planet if

    • Funny. I saw it as a Green Peace balloon-trial movement for War. Maybe even nuclear.

  • except that his armies would also release additional CO2 into the atmosphere...from you know...exerting themselves from all that killing...not to mention horses do eat grass, though they probably don't release as much CO2 and methane as a cow...I'm sure it's not 0%.
    they probably cut down plenty of trees for firewood along the way too.

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Monday January 24, 2011 @05:55PM (#34987104)
    This is funny, but it focuses on a revelation I've had about this whole "green" thing going on. By and far, it's a marketing term. It's something to slap on a product to help it sell. Maybe it didn't start that way. Maybe it has true roots and it's merely been co-opted by the marketing weasels. That's their job after all.

    But the "greenest" thing to do is to not buy the god-damned thing. Or, by an extreme extrapolation, mass genocide. My wife tries to be a "green" consumer, yet we got a giant-ass TV to replace the free big-ass CRT that a friend gave us. And we've now got this water saving thing that can half-flush. But this thing cost $30. I'm certain that spending that $30 to save a few cents on water every month isn't economical. But I'm really not sure it's even environmentally sound.

    So anyway, my argument is that we need some sort of empirical measurement for how polluting a product is. If it costs money, it's polluting if you follow the money back far enough. With that we could step away from this bullshit "green" label, and focus on the efficiency of whatever it is we're getting. To get real meaningful work out of our gizmos and services, and the lowest cost, with the least pollution. But maybe I'm just daydreaming.
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday January 24, 2011 @06:40PM (#34987738)
    Recent research shows that the Bubonic Plague was the world's greenest disease!
  • That's what I always say, if you want to save the planet, get rid of the people!

    I mean, Seven Billion? What happens when we outnumber insects?

  • by Torodung (31985) on Monday January 24, 2011 @09:18PM (#34989306) Journal

    This article seems an immodest proposal [art-bin.com], to say the least.

    This is trivializing over a century of wanton bloodshed and terror to make a point. Poorly. It's a point that has been made by science in far more peaceful and compelling terms.

    I couldn't find it funny. I tried. This is, IMHO, simply tasteless. Perhaps this will endure, as Swift above, but I doubt it.

    Right now, all I can say is thanks for your small contribution to the death of rational, purposeful discourse. Good luck.

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