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NFC: Fwd: Earth Day (fwd)
I imagine this will get me some comments...
MYTH OF ECOLOGICAL AMERICAN INDIANS
On Earth Day there will be many events applauding Native
Americans for living in harmony with the environment before the
evil white man came and destroyed paradise. The school children
who participate in these Earth Day brainwashing exercises are
not going to hear anything about the incredible environmental
destruction by the native peoples of North and South America.
A recent study by Robert Whelan documents the many ways in which
pre-Columbian man absolutely ravaged his environment.
For starters, Native Americans were big forest burners, since
forests interfered with hunting; indeed, before the white man
came there was virtually no virgin forest because it had all
repeatedly been burned.
o Lewis and Clark recorded that Indians in the Rocky
Mountains would set trees on fire "as after-dinner
entertainment; the huge trees would explode like Roman
candles in the night."
o Many Buffalo jump sites have been found where Native
Americans stampeded huge herds over cliffs -- some sites
have the remains of as many as 300,000 buffalo.
o They often hunted animals into extinction, including the
woolly mammoth, saber-toothed tiger, giant sloth, giant
beaver, camel, horse, two-toed horse and dire wolf,
according to environmental writer Alston Chase.
Native religious ceremonies also contributed to extinctions --
for example, women of the Crow Tribe wore dresses decorated with
the teeth of 350 elk, and in Hawaii, natives made beautiful
capes from the feathers of as many as 80,000 birds, some of
which became extinct.
Soil erosion was common long before white settlements were
established. When the land became exhausted, Native Americans
simply moved on.
In many ways we treat the land better today than pre-Columbian
man did, and are better conservationists and stewards of the
environment. Earth Day enthusiasts should cease celebrating an
Eden that never was.
Source: Bruce Bartlett, senior fellow, National Center for
Policy Analysis, April 19, 2000.
For Whelan study http://www.iea.org.uk/wpapers/env14.pdf
For more on Biodiversity