Compared to the Greeks, Romans were not very innovative; they largely copied the peoples they conquered, but the Romans invent in the first century CE. Just as with those earlier civilizations, as Rome began turning Italy into an arid land, shorn of its forests, Romans began to learn conservation, and they used glass panes and oriented their homes to the Sun, to reduce fuel use. Just like the Greeks, as the forests disappeared, the day’s writers developed a romantic view of forests as places for quiet contemplation and, , wood rustling became a lucrative pastime for the Italian Peninsula’s thieves. The first technology suppression stories that I have heard of came from Rome. wrote that heard that unbreakable and flexible glass was invented and he suppressed it, as it would be more valuable than gold and would wreck the monetary system. was rumored to have rejected a column-moving machine because it would eliminate the need for strong backs and produce unemployment. The stories were probably not true, but such technology suppression “conspiracy theories” have existed for millennia.
The first civilizations, located in the Fertile Crescent, also impaired their energy supplies through unsustainable practices such as . Those civilizations all collapsed, and the death knell was always starvation, which is running out of the energy (i.e., food) needed to fuel human bodies. There was an exodus from Mesopotamia and vicinity to lands yet to be despoiled by civilization, and that is ended up on the Mediterranean's periphery. In their turn, those Mediterranean civilizations repeated the dynamic of deforestation and agriculture, and they all eventually collapsed, from to to to . In those examples, the trajectory was generally one of profligate deforestation and agriculture on newly exposed forest soils, to a decline in yields due to soil depletion and desertification, to belated attempts at conservation and attempts to boost the energy supply, to a final collapse. Conquering and plundering one's neighbors was one way to temporarily boost the energy supply, which Rome refined to a science, as it drove and to extinction. As Rome's , it had to plunder from , which further reduced its EROI. Those practices were anything but sustainable, and when each civilization collapsed, the region went moribund for centuries as ecosystems recovered to the point where they could sustain civilization again. However, those practices eventually turned verdant forests into deserts, as any . The energy provided by wood and soils was depleted by all early civilizations, and their collapses were energy crises above all else.
Forests Need for Conservation Free Short Essay Example
But the branch of the that readers might find most interesting led to humans. Humans are in the phylum, and the last common ancestor that founded the Chordata phylum is still a mystery and understandably a source of controversy. Was our ancestor a ? A ? Peter Ward made the case, as have others for a long time, that it was the sea squirt, also called a tunicate, which in its larval stage resembles a fish. The nerve cord in most bilaterally symmetric animals runs below the belly, not above it, and a sea squirt that never grew up may have been our direct ancestor. Adult tunicates are also highly adapted to extracting oxygen from water, even too much so, with only about 10% of today’s available oxygen extracted in tunicate respiration. It may mean that tunicates adapted to low oxygen conditions early on. Ward’s respiration hypothesis, which makes the case that adapting to low oxygen conditions was an evolutionary spur for animals, will repeatedly reappear in this essay, as will . Ward’s hypothesis may be proven wrong or will not have the key influence that he attributes to it, but it also has plenty going for it. The idea that fluctuating oxygen levels impacted animal evolution has been gaining support in recent years, particularly in light of recent reconstructions of oxygen levels in the eon of complex life, called and , which have yielded broadly similar results, but their variances mean that much more work needs to be performed before on the can be done, if it ever can be. Ward’s basic hypotheses is that when oxygen levels are high, ecosystems are diverse and life is an easy proposition; when oxygen levels are low, animals adapted to high oxygen levels go extinct and the survivors are adapted to low oxygen with body plan changes, and their adaptations helped them dominate after the extinctions. The has a pretty wide range of potential error, particularly in the early years, and it also tracked atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. The challenges to the validity of a model based on data with such a wide range of error are understandable. But some broad trends are unmistakable, as it is with other models, some of which are generally declining carbon dioxide levels, some huge oxygen spikes, and the generally relationship between oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, which a geochemist would expect. The high carbon dioxide level during the Cambrian, of at least 4,000 PPM (the "RCO2" in the below graphic is a ratio of the calculated CO2 levels to today's levels), is what scientists think made the times so hot. (Permission: Peter Ward, June 2014)