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The Greatest Crime In Human History?

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So overwhelming was this sudden depopulation of the Americas that it ended up affecting the global climate. Human communities across the Americas had relied upon wood for heating and construction. Forest clearance was also necessary for the cultivation of crops. The sudden elimination of millions of human beings, leading to the disappearance of entire communities, led to the rapid advancement of forests across thousands of square miles on both continents. The increased sequestration of carbon which resulted from this natural process of reforestation lowered the level of atmospheric CO2 and triggered what became known as the “Little Ice Age” of the Seventeenth Century.

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IT WOULD BE the greatest crime in human history. The ravages of Genghiz Khan’s armies; the anguish of the slave trade; Mao’s “Great leap Forward”; Stalin’s purges; Hitler’s Holocaust; the combined death tolls of World Wars One and Two: all of these nightmares would pale in comparison. The great pandemics of history: the Black Death especially, which carried-off between a third and a half of the human communities it infected; would come closer. But, only in the Western Hemisphere has humankind ever experienced anything remotely like the crime I’m about to describe.

It is estimated that the human population of the Americas in the years immediately prior to the arrival of Europeans in the late Fifteenth Century stood, conservatively, at 30 million. By the time the microbes unleashed upon the indigenous peoples of North and South America by their European carriers had done their work, that figure had plummeted to less than 5 million. Within a century, Europe’s viral exports had reduced the human population of the Americas by between 80 and 90 percent.

So overwhelming was this sudden depopulation of the Americas that it ended up affecting the global climate. Human communities across the Americas had relied upon wood for heating and construction. Forest clearance was also necessary for the cultivation of crops. The sudden elimination of millions of human beings, leading to the disappearance of entire communities, led to the rapid advancement of forests across thousands of square miles on both continents. The increased sequestration of carbon which resulted from this natural process of reforestation lowered the level of atmospheric CO2 and triggered what became known as the “Little Ice Age” of the Seventeenth Century. Some scientists are even arguing that the sudden depopulation of the Americas marks the true beginning of the Anthropocene – the current geological age, in which human-beings are themselves responsible for generating planet-wide ecological change.

To the worst criminal in human history, the terrible fate of the indigenous peoples of the Americas would likely prove cruelly instructive. A highly contagious viral infection, against which human-beings possess absolutely no defence, is clearly capable of wiping out close to 100 percent of any population it infects. Assuming the motive for the world’s worst criminal is a determination to save the biosphere’s other life forms, the catastrophic depopulation of the America’s during the Sixteenth Century offers another lesson. Eliminating 80-90 percent of humanity at speed may be the only means of sequestering sufficient carbon to arrest the effects of anthropogenic global warming. Combined with the sudden cessation of virtually all industrial pollution, the unchecked growth of forests might be just enough to save the planet.

Who could do such a thing? Well, the criminal would have to be extremely wealthy. Rich enough to hire the microbiologists sufficiently skilful to develop not only his humanity-winnowing virus, but the vaccine required to ensure that the “right” people survive it.

Some Silicon Valley billionaire with a God complex, perhaps? He might even have bought a huge chunk of New Zealand’s South Island high-country to hide in when the bodies start falling. It’s even possible that this genocidal billionaire might decide to turn New Zealand into a human ark: the place where humanity’s seed-corn can be kept safe for the moment when a terribly chastened, but indubitably wiser, “Humanity 2.0” can begin again.

How many years would it take, I wonder, before the greatest criminal act of human history – the deliberate release of a genocidal virus – came to be regarded as the singular, terrible, but absolutely necessary, act which prevented an incorrigibly rapacious human species from cooking itself, and just about every other living thing on Planet Earth, to death?


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  1. Ada says:

    It is more likely to be Green extremists working in industrial labs or academia – simply on the basis of there are greater numbers of such people who might form the necessary radicalised small groups though shared views of the de-population necessity, than there are whacko billionaires.

    I’d also note that the billionaire scenario requires the billionaire to find and hire highly intelligent people to willingly do the research, production and distribution of the virus.

    Tough question to ask in an interview “so how do you feel about killing 90% of humanity in order to save the other species?”

  2. francesca says:

    This again Chris?
    You’ve really got a thing about it, though I have to admit its not beyond the capabilities of state and private actors who could steal the bio agents


  3. David Stone says:

    It’s worth consulting Wikipedia on this. What caused the earlier part of the little ice age from 1300 to 1400?
    The little ice age and the medieval warm period that preceded it have been a problem for climate scientists. Do the ice core samples show a fall in CO2 during that time period? In the latter part South America was being massively cleared of it’s forests as Europeans established plantations.
    See this… https://www.globalresearch.ca/alexander-von-humboldt-venezuela-and-the-bolivarian-revolution/5669713
    D J S

  4. CLEANGREEN says:

    “The Greatest Crime In Human History is the Oil Companies distortion of using only ‘truck freight’ around the world”

    While Oil Companies are also undermining rail industry as lass oil is used than road freight.

    So Big Oil will actively expand the use of oil to run an inefficient road freight transport system that uses 5 to 8 times the energy to move one tonne one km by road rather than rail.

    “Because it is very good for their business” – but it is killing our planet.

    *Also the trains use steel wheels with no pollution.

    *Trucks use many tyres made from oil distillates and hydrocarbons and tyre dust pollutes the lungs and causes cancer and that black dust settles on the polar icecaps and melts the ice faster records show now.

    Big-Oil = world killers.

    • Im right says:

      Is there any thread/topic you cannot insert your single issue vote for rail (Hawkes bay in particular) in your area?. How has the NZ1st vote you cast on their promise to get it up and running panning out Cleangreen?

  5. I am reminded of the 1970s British SF series, “The Survivors”. In that scenario, the release of the virus that destroyed 90% of humanity was accidental.

    The survivors led a grim life, if I recall…

    • Siobhan says:

      Yeah, grim, but Greg was pretty darned sexy in an angry sort of way.

    • dennis dorney says:

      Frank,I dont see how the billionaires will fare any better than lesser mortals. Their money is, after all, only electronic blips in banks that will have gone bust or is hidden away in tax havens that are inaccessible. And what will they purchase since goods can no longer be produced or transported. Garden -fresh food will be no more available to them than to myself and they probably dont know which end of a bean is up. The next black death that comes along will be a great leveller.

      • John W says:

        The 0.001% also have assets. They buy land in NZ, own local businesses and can employ a band of others to protect and foster their enclave.
        Massive wealth has advantages when setting up a survival strategy.
        Tradeable assets and supplies are as better than money in a survival situation.

  6. Andrew says:

    Crime? Really?

    Considering that ‘germ theory’ was only adopted by science in the late 19th century, one can hardly designate this a crime.

    Because a crime requires intent.

    The idea that depopulation of America caused the little ice age is at best a hypothesis and at worst a joke. That era was accompanied by major volcanic eruptions and low solar activity, both of which would have dominated climate more than a few million stone age Americans.

    • Sam Sam says:

      They do however make a passable weapon of terror, and or for political sabotage.

      What the American colonists did after could be dis ribbed as denying life saving medical care. That’s kind of even more of a dick move than accidentally releasing killer germs on a populace.

      • Andrew says:

        This was in the 17th century Sam. There was no medical care.

        A that time ‘surgeons’ didn’t even wash their hands between operations. Nobody knew what caused diseases and the vast majority thought it was either God or the Devil that did it.

        • John W says:

          The Devil incarnate was the ruthless expansion of several European “kingdoms” seeking wealth by plundering communities that had resources but lacked metal technology to make firearms.

          Slaughter was not by viral infection alone.

          In NZ germ warfare included deliberately sending individuals with measles into Maori communities.

          The effect of new diseases on isolated communities was observed and known long before medical science had isolated the mechanisms.

        • Sam Sam says:

          I literally just clapped you Andrew. Want another, fine. So American colonists marched native Americans to death with no food. Got more claps where that came from. Just say the word and I’ll just give it to you.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Where in the article did Chris describe the genocide of indigenous people as a crime?

      ‘That era was accompanied by major volcanic eruptions and low solar activity,’

      Another unsubstantiated assertion? Or do you have some evidence?

      Please provide the reference if you do.

  7. Danyl Strype says:

    With respect Chris, I respect you read the scientific literature about the Little Ice Age:

    … and the Medieval Warm Period it followed:

    These were confined to the northern hemisphere, and mainly to northern Europe, they were variations in the *regional* climate, not global phenomena. Climate scientists belief they were caused by a combination of forces, including variations in the strength of the sun, and the effects of volcanic eruptions (see the links above). In other words, the chances that changes in the forest cover in South America even contributed to them, let alone caused them, are pretty low.

    Putting that aside, what you’ve basically got here is the plot of a Bond movie. Maybe it’s time to put the political blogging aside and try your luck as a Wellywood screenwriter?

    • Sam Sam says:

      Well after the mini ice age, not long after there’s a fairly radical shift in psychological tooling namely the telegraph (morse code) and steam engines for armies on the move where as before we can say that didn’t happen.

      American Indians would refer to it as the apocalyptic steal wagon of death.

    • Marc says:

      Good comments!

      It is hard to believe that the annihilation of 30 million humans in the Americas would have resulted in what Chris suggests here, even if they were burning so much wood for fires.

      Compare that to the billions we have on earth now, and it is today, where we have real issues with pollution and serious climate change.

      Perhaps Chris is already diversifying his skills, as blogging, the odd TV and radio commentary (as left leaning ‘political expert’) are not sufficient enough for him to justify his existence.

      I noted a few fiction pieces he wrote over recent months.

      But it was still a kind of ‘crime’ by the white Europeans, to spread their diseases to so many other parts of the globe, that wiped out high numbers of populations, as they had no natural resistance to the viruses, germs and bacteria.

  8. Nitrium Nitrium says:

    “The increased sequestration of carbon which resulted from this natural process of reforestation lowered the level of atmospheric CO2 and triggered what became known as the “Little Ice Age” of the Seventeenth Century.”

    I would love to read a peer reviewed article showing the science behind this frankly outrageous statement. Please provide a citation! Pretty sure even the most rabid climate scientists would describe this as at best far-fetched if not outright nonsense.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      ‘outageous’, ‘outright nonsense’.

      Nitrium, you’d better contact the team at University College London and talk with them about it.

      ‘Colonisation of the Americas at the end of the 15th Century killed so many people, it disturbed Earth’s climate.
      That’s the conclusion of scientists from University College London, UK.
      The team says the disruption that followed European settlement led to a huge swathe of abandoned agricultural land being reclaimed by fast-growing trees and other vegetation.
      This pulled down enough carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere to eventually chill the planet.
      It’s a cooling period often referred to in the history books as the “Little Ice Age” – a time when winters in Europe would see the Thames in London regularly freeze over.
      “The Great Dying of the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas led to the abandonment of enough cleared land that the resulting terrestrial carbon uptake had a detectable impact on both atmospheric CO₂ and global surface air temperatures,” Alexander Koch and colleagues write in their paper published in Quaternary Science Reviews….’


      • David Stone says:

        I know I promised to leave this debate alone Afkdt, but when I heard this suggestion on the BBC a week or so ago it seemed a bit neat as a vitally needed explanation for the fluctuations of climate including the Medieval warm period that inconveniently occurred relatively recently without otherwise suspected CO2 fluctuations. Do these periods show up in the ice core records as high and low CO2 periods or not?
        D J S

        • Afewknowthetruth says:

          ‘The drop in CO₂ at the time of the Great Dying is evident in the ice core records from Antarctica.
          Air bubbles trapped in these frozen samples show a fall in their concentration of carbon dioxide.’

          • David Stone says:

            Hi Afktt
            I looked this up… https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1029/2011GB004247‘ . Interesting. Seems that the drop was about 7ppm in the northern hemisphere over a period of about 20 years from the Greenland core samples followed by an equally rapid partial recovery, contemporary with a slower drop over 50 years of 7ppm in antarctica.See the graph and discussion.
            Surprisingly the article does not suggest what seems obvious, that the drop in co2 all occurred in the northern hemisphere very suddenly and was gradually spread into the southern hemisphere as the atmospheric circulation mixed, levelling out the CO2 during the 50yr period.
            This would suggest the anomaly occurred in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern and again perhaps was due to the cyclical cooling of the northern hemisphere causing a drop in CO2 rather than a drop in CO2 causing the cooling.
            The conclusion sights an article suggesting what Chris is quoting here from an article by Ruddiman-2003 to 2007. however it does not accept it…The rapid CO2 decrease in ∼1600 A.D. coincides with a pandemic among North American populations as a result of diseases introduced by Europeans. However, a modeling study does not support the idea and shows that the sequestration was not enough to decrease atmospheric CO2.
            Cheers D J S
            ps. the reason I was not going to enter this discussion again is that it has become tribal and polarised making it difficult to have an open reasoned discussion. I hope I can be proven wrong in this.

  9. Marc says:

    We are ‘safe’ then, as such a criminal and potential mass exterminator will be hiding amongst us, and turn NZ Inc into a modern day version of Noah’s Ark, I guess.

    Sleepy Hobbits can simply turn over and go back to sleep, all is well, as per usual, nothing to worry about. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear.

  10. Rickoshay says:

    already debunked MSM story, cant you find any original propaganda

  11. SPC says:

    There was another factor – such as the Maunder Minimum in the 17th C cooling.

    A certain irony to wealthy people seeing a CGT free nation as a refuge – a bit like Russian oligarchs in London.

  12. Alan says:

    We don’t need to create a pathogen. Changes in climate will mean that many staple food crops will become impossible to grow as the areas where they can grow are substantially diminished. Yes plants will move into areas they do not currently inhabit, but the majority of plants which can adapt are not staple food crops.

    That and water supplies becoming unsustainable points to a forced reduction in human population occurring within a short time frame. Due to the fact that the right to make money trumps (excuse the pun) every other consideration, including it seems basic survival. I am not optimistic.

    • Afewknowthetruth says:

      Agreed, except the use of the phrase ‘becoming unsustainable’.

      I put it to you that nothing in the industrialised food production-distribution system is sustainable right now; food production-distribution is sustained in the short term by the use of fossil fuels, by the use of synthetic fertilisers and by depletion of aquifers etc. whilst at the same time the industrialised food system adds to population pressure and exacerbates the overheating of the Earth.

      Although not too much of a problem at the moment (unless you live in Bangladesh or on a low-lying Pacific island etc.) sea level rise will reduce the land area available for habitation and food production over coming decades.

      • John W says:

        Industrialisation has peaked in many areas and is near peak in most areas. Decline in industialised out put will follow and crash most existing economic structures we cling to inspite of their being known as a certain path of collapse.

        Decline of available fertile soil is accelerating mainly through overuse, large scale commercial cropping, fertiliser use, irrigation and erosion.

        Soil takes millenia to form at the depths we rely on using. Yet we destroy it for short term returns often used to by technology that will destroy soil faster.

        The market economy is a destructive force manipulated by private marketeers who don’t give a hoot about the consequences.

        The only middle term strategy is to grow local, eat plant based unprocessed food and grow what is suited to local conditions using permaculture as a way of preserving existing soil and building its long term precious function.

        Cross community food sharing transportation is best catered for by planning, minimum travel using foot or animal based power, windpower or wood powered steam on rails.

      • CLEANGREEN says:

        All 100% correct AFEWKNOWTHETRUTH.

        Now will Jacinda wake up and do some-thing about climate change before people tire of the term “climate change is the nuclear moment of our generation”?

        This reminds me of that wise old term;
        “actions speak louder than words”

        ‘Lets do this’ jacinda.!!!!!!!!!

        • Nitrium Nitrium says:

          We represent 0.1% of global emissions. There is literally nothing Jacinda can do to alter global emissions – she could provide a token gesture to keep New Zealand climate screamers sated while 99.9% of global emissions care on as usual though. We all breathe the same air – what NZ does is of zero consequence.

          • John W says:

            “There is literally nothing Jacinda can do to alter global emissions ” – Nitrium

            EXCEPT lower our emission and environmental destruction.

            Set NZ’s path away from deniers and those who would argue to continue the ways things are.

            It not just climate that is posing a problem.

            There is a much bigger picture apparently not available to some.

            Willful blindness is not a leadership quality

  13. Jack Barton says:

    All the nuclear reactors would melt down. Not survivable!

    • John W says:

      Most nuclear reactors in the US are privately owned. Cooling ponds contain enough spent but highly radioactive fuel rods to present an entirely uneconomic proposition for processing or disposal. The companies have made their dough and bankruptcy is most likely to follow.

      Who will deal with the waste and potential melt downs. No agency is big enough to deal with the monster created by private ownership and profit taking from the potentially most expensive power ever generated in real costs.

      Chernobyl and accident
      Fukushima design gamble based on US models that proved a disaster and still has no remedy in sight, pouring tons of radioactive pollution into the pacific daily.

      Both of these man made disasters have raised the level of atmospheric radioactivity globally.

      Humankind’s greedy thirst for energy is definitely unsustainable and most likely terminal.

  14. Jack Barton says:

    All the nuclear reactors would melt down. Not survivable!

  15. Rich parson says:

    The Georgia guidelines.

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