Research Shows Humans Used to Live in Harmony With Nature

The trajectory that humanity is currently on, one that has resulted in a lot of damage being done to the planet, has understandably resulted in quite a few people assuming that there is pretty much no way that human beings could actually live in harmony with nature. This has resulted in quite a few people assuming that there is no way in which society could be transformed to make it so that humans have less of a negative impact on their surroundings, but new research has revealed that long before modern society human beings inhabited most of the Earth yet in spite of the fact that this is the case they were not doing any damage to the planet at all.

A group of experts that includes scientists from a wide range of fields from archaeology to ecology conducted a study that revealed that human beings have been living in such a way that they modified the world around them for about 12,000 years. Around 12,000 years ago humans made the transition from hunter gatherer societies to agriculture which meant that we started planting seeds in the ground which is essentially a change that is being made to the environment.

However, with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that until industrialization came about, much of the impact that human beings had on nature was rather positive if you think about it. Hence, the notion that human beings are inherently bad for the world and that any place that has had humans living in it is in some way tarnished forever is a notion that really needs to change because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up providing a lot of misinformation to people that might actually want to do some good in the world.

In fact, the notion that there are vast tracts of land that have somehow been untouched by the most populous species on the planet is actually quite ridiculous. This research has shown that only about 17% of the world has truly been uninhabited by humans, and these parts of the world generally tend to be inhospitable to any form of mammalian life. Basically, if there is a part of the world where humans could potentially live, chances are that we have lived there at some point or another.

This changes the concept that overpopulation is a huge problem too. Overpopulation has some serious colonial connotations to it and former colonial powers are notorious for using it as a trump card to attempt to distract from their own destruction of the environment and point the finger at third world countries who were rapidly industrializing and gaining power.

Now, this doesn’t mean that we don’t need to change things. Human society is not really operating in an altogether sustainable manner which means that if we don’t change things soon it might just be too late. However, it should also be kept in mind that we don’t need to limit our use of land to try and reverse the damage that has been caused, rather we need to try and live on it more harmoniously.


Read next: Google Earth Teams Up with NASA and Others to Form a Timelapse Feature Showing How Earth Is Being Affected by Climate Change

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