Friday, January 22, 2010

Aborigines, not climate, killed megafauna - report

This shouldn't be controversial.

After all, it appears to be a repeated pattern around the world that in places like the Americas the arrival of modern human beings causes immense dislocation of the existing environment.

It would certainly appear that in the Americas the disappearance of megafauna coincided with the colonisation of the continents by people.

But here in Australia, as elsewhere, we still labour under the myth of the "noble savage" - the white middle class fantasy whereby our grief at a perceived loss of innocence and connexion with the natural world is psychologically projected onto primitive tribal peoples and cultures.

It is a process where these societies are almost magically endowed with a so-called 'spiritual' relationship with nature.

Some idiot at some point here actually said that the aboriginal people trod every inch of this vast land and yet disturbed nothing.


No, that's right, you arrive in a place that has never seen human beings before with a brain unlike anything seen in the history of the planet, armed with spears and the intelligence to plan ahead, and then also start to burn the country several times a year (instead of once every several years naturally), and that had no effect whatsoever!

This story from the site is interesting. I've taken the title of this post from it, but while the story also appeared in this morning's issue of The Australian, it did so with another heading - Humans get the rap for killing megafauna giants.

So, in The Australian, despite the usual thing these days when an opportunity is never lost to remind us that the aborigines have been in this land for 50,000 years or so (and rightly so), a story about the extinction of Australia's megafauna 40-50,000 years ago does not mention the word aborigine once!

Maybe a middle class sacred cow being saved from slaughter?
THE giant marsupials, reptiles and flightless birds - known as megafauna - that inhabited Australia more than 40,000 years ago were most likely killed off by early Australians, according to new research that shows mankind and the huge beasts co-existed only for a short period, The Australian reported.
The findings challenge the long-held theory that climate change wiped out the animals, which included giant wombats and kangaroos.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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