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The impact of the Colonisers

17 December 2013, 12:07

My ideal planet earth, would be one without humans. The rivers would be clean, the oceans and land teaming with a great diversity of life. Second best would be if their had never being Europeans, or if we had never become colonialists. Europeans are the one's who first outbred their own home countries, and due to their skills acquired living in the harsh European climate, managed to build vessels to take them across seas to colonise other lands.

They colonised huge chunks of the planet, and were extremely efficient at exploiting the resources of those wild and beautiful lands. Think of the Americas, the north with vast herds of Bison and millions of kilometres of uninhabited lands. These lands were populated by tiny human populations who lived more or less in harmony with nature. They were quickly overwhelmed by sheer numbers of colonisers. In the South there were vast jungles, inhabited by small bands of humans. The colonisers arrived there and climbed into the resources, felling millions of trees, clearing vast tracts for agriculture.

They virtually wiped out the bison, they did wipe out the Passenger Pigeon (which had a spectacularly large population before). Today 300 000 baby seals are clubbed for their pelts in Canada every year - the reason, to feed the desire for fancy fur coats started by Europeans. They exploit the environment massively, as they demand a huge amount materialistically.

Africa had a fairly large population, but it was too primitive to fight off the settlement of Europeans, with their modern deadly weapons. South Africa is my best example of my people's devastating impact on nature. We started mining minerals on a large scale, stripping large areas of top soil, and permanently polluting some water sources. Our agricultural practices caused massive soil erosion, that silted up most of our formally highly productive estuaries. (The Tugela was navigable by steamship up to the Ultimatum tree in our early days on the continent, its now knee deep) We shot all the Blaubok, all the Quagga's, yes, completely exterminated them. The list goes on and on - we introduced invasive exotic plants which currently cost us millions to control. We introduced exotic fish which exterminated some indigenous species, and have changed the ecologies of many of our water bodies.

The Australians also dominated their tiny indigenous population. They introduced rabbits with devastating consequences. A whole host of other nunus and plants they introduced have become an irreversible nightmare they now have to forever try to control.

In New Zealand the same story. Mauritius they exterminated the dodo. On small islands no large animal could escape extermination.

The "advances" us "clever" people have given to the planet are actually a regression in the quality of the planet we depend on for survival. One good thing really is medical advances, which make our lives have much less suffering. Another good thing is creating rules that people live in peace generally, and are not constantly killing one another. (In European dominated countries) Environmentally the European has had a devastating effect on the planet. The Chinese will probably finish off the job we started now that they are also industrialised, using knowledge they got from us.

Imagine how beautiful and wild Africa, the Americas, Australia, etc. had been if we just stayed put. We could have visited these wild and primitive places just for leasure, I would have been happy with that. (Would just need to go in armed groups to chase the indigenes away if they bothered us)

Anyway, its just history, I'm not feeling guilty for being white. Just thinking about our impact on the planet - particularly the environment and other creatures living on it. It just rather sad, because I really love angling, and it just isn't what it used to be like ....

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