THURSDAY, April 20, 2017

Human Development Timeline

As if biophysical reality mattered

Eric Lee, A-SOCIATED PRESS

TOPICS: PREHISTORY, FROM THE WIRES, HISTORY

TUCSON (A-P) — For a less humanocentric view of humans:

Years

Events

7 Mya Bipedal hominids spread within Africa. Sahelanthropus (7 million years ago [Mya]) evolves into Orrorin (6.1 to 5.7 Mya), Ardipithecus (5.6 to 4.4 Mya), Australopithecus (4 to 2 Mya), Kenyanthropus (3.5 to 3.2 Mya), and Paranthropus (2.7 Mya)
4 Mya Australopithecenes spread within Africa, evolving into Australopithecus prometheus, A. afarensis, A. africanus, A. deyiremeda A. anamensis, A. bahrelghazali, A. garhi, A. sediba, A. robustus, A. boisei as well as Homo sp. (3 to 2.4 Mya).
3 Mya Australopithecenes evolve into Homo naledi (2.5 Mya), Homo habilis (2.3 to 1.4 Mya), H. ergaster (1.8 to 1.3 Mya), and H. erectus (1.8 to 0.143 Mya).
1.8 Mya Homo erectus, the maker of fire, spreads within Africa and out, evolving into H. erectus yuanmouensis, H. e. lantianensis, H. e. nankinensis, H. e. pekinensis, H. e. palaeojavanicus, H. e. soloensis, H. e. tautavelensis, and H. e. georgicus who displace all other bipedal hominids to become Homo gautengensis (1.9 to 0.6 Mya), Homo rudolfensis (1.9 Mya), Homo heidelbergensis (1.3 to 0.2 Mya), Homo antecessor (1.2 to 0.8 Mya), Homo denisova (1 to 0.04 Ma), Homo neanderthalensis (0.6 to 0.03 Mya), Homo cepranensis (0.5 to 0.35 Mya), Homo rhodesiensis (0.3 to 0.125 Mya), H. sapiens (0.2 to 0.03 Mya), and H. floresiensis (0.7 to 0.012 Mya).
300,000 Homo sapiens evolve in east Africa, spreading to displace all other members of their genus they have contact with and to beget Homo sapiens idaltu (0.16 to 0.15 Mya) and Homo sapiens sapiens (0.18 to 0.02 Mya, aka humans) who, by way of becoming the last hominid standing, spread forth, multiplied, and knew dominion over the beasts of the field.
70,000 Humans survive their first near extinction event to prosperously re-inhabit former territory.
60,000 Humans, the storytelling animal (H. narrator), spread out of Africa across southern Asia making contact with Denisovans who share some genes with them.
50,000 Humans spread into Europe, contacting Neanderthals, some of whose genes are assimilated, resistance having proved useless. Of animals weighing over 40 kg (88 lbs) 21 of 37 species go extinct meaning 16 didn't. Humans today wonder why and suspect climate change. Humans also spread into Asia where 24 or 46 species of megafauna go extinct, likely for same reason as in Europe.
50,000 Humans cross Indonesia to Australia. Humans still deny Australian megafauna extinction between 46,000 and 15,000 BP, when some 60 species (17 of 18 over 40 kg) go extinct, had anything to do with them.
45,000 Some humans spread back into Africa from Eurasia.
41,000 Humans make first contact with Homo floresiensis, the second to last bipedal hominid.
24,000 Humans spread into northwestern region of North America, but are stopped for a time by ice.
13,500 Humans spread into North and South America with Clovis point/atlatl technology allowing for megafauna extinction (but don’t tell anyone).
11,950 Prior bottle gourd cultivation (container biotechnology) in southern Africa defused globally among humans to develop into food-based agriculture allowing regional population to increase three to ten fold.
11,080 Göbekli Tepe, site of earliest known massive monument building by belief-based empire among hunter-gatherer nomads.
8,450 Early empire building among Mesopotamian irrigation supported agricultural populations.
7,150 Animal based agriculture, supporting large mobile populations, develops among patriarchal Indo-Europeans of Pontic steppes region, allowing spread of cattle/horse powered culture throughout much of Asia, India, and Europe by displacing hunter-gatherers in areas plant powered agriculturalists had not already.
5,600 Minoan seafaring empire spreads in Mediterranean. Homer recorded that Crete alone once had 90 cities.
5,450 Norte Chico civilization of north-central coastal Peru area is oldest known empire building in the Americas that included as many as 30 major agriculture supported population centers.
5,250 Indus Valley Civilization developed in what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India. Larger than ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, it flourished in the basins of the Indus River and along a system of perennial, mostly monsoon-fed, rivers. Like Mesopotamians and Egyptians, they developed cities and writing. Unsustainable development with no outside force to conquer it resulted in empire-wide collapsed into large scale de-urbanization, population decrease, abandonment of many established settlements, lack of basic amenities, interpersonal violence and disappearance of those able to read.
4,636 Egyptian civilization, supported by annual flooding/fertilizing by Nile, laid foundations for empire building secondary to sustainable agriculture. Empire building requires warriors and an agricultural surplus to support them, as well as the elites who command them. Narratives as told by priests and the intelligentsia develop to normalize elite dominance, inequality, war, and empire building.
4,150 Irrigation supported rice agriculture flourishes in China, large populations develop to support empire building.
3,800 Back to Africa migration brings plant and animal agricultural practices and some genes enabling displacement of hunter-gatherers to south and west of Nile valley.
3,450 Corn/maize supported population growth allows rise of Olmecs, the first major civilization in region of Mexico, followed by other empire builders that come and go, until Aztec corn/war based empire builders are destroyed by Europe's more Borg-like invaders.
3,250 Humans spread to populate islands in Oceania.
2,900 Deforestation of vast cedar forests in Middle East begins, soil salinization and erosion end agriculture by 2,300, other than for goat grazing on what is left.
2,850 Potato based agriculture supports warrior empire building in Andean highlands.
2,703 Grain based spread of Greco-Roman empire building begins, with conquest spreading into Europe, Egypt, North Africa, and Middle East. Unsustainable agricultural practices, industrial growth, deforestation, overgrazing, soil mining of nutrients and erosion..., lead to ‘dark age’ recovery of environmental resources (e.g. reforestation, soil building).
2,272 Empire building reorganizes across India after Alexander left.
2,050 Corn based civilization arises in Columbia region of South America.
1,700 Corn based civilization, Mayan, arises in Yucatan region of Central America
1,474 Environmental recovery following Greco-Roman Empire enables the beginnings of Euro-Sino Empire.
1,414 Volcanic activity cause dust veil event with global cooling and crop failure.
1,350 Cahokia was the largest and the most influential urban settlement in the Mississippian region supported by corn/bean/squash agriculture.
1,318 Belief-based Caliphate empire-building begins spreading from Arabian Peninsula
1,300 Sea based maritime empire-building begins in Southeast Asia.
1,050 Spread of corn/bean/squash based Mesoamerican influenced empire-building in Southwest area of today's USA.
1,000 Tongan expansionism spreads across islands of South Pacific.
950 Chinese coal industry develops to make iron, but industrial growth not sustained.
850 BP Rapa Nui island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean inhabited. Population peaked after 500 years of development. Civilization developed writing but following 80+% die-off, no one left to read it. Known for 887 monumental statues. Could serve as an example ‘of what happens when culture cannot downsize to fit its environmental production.’
BP→CE ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
744 BP or
1206 CE
Horse-based agriculture fuels expansion of Mongol empire-building under the leadership of Genghis Khan who united nomadic herding tribes to spread rapidly. Without vast grasslands fueling vast herds, imagine Genghis Knan as Monte Python commanding warriors making galloping sounds.
1300 Beginning of European Little Ice Age that reduced growing season several weeks, but not population growth other than briefly due to Great Famine of 1315–1317 caused by climatic variation.
1347 Europeans experienced a 30-40% decrease in population due to plague, but population recovered quickly to continue growing into the 21st century. At just 3.5% growth, population doubles every 20 years, so losses can be quickly replaced if resources allow.
1418 European maritime expansion begins, allowing resource extraction in Africa and Asia.
1492 European expansion of resource extraction extends into the Americas. Native human populations decimated (75-90% die-off) by disease and conquest, but new food plants (e.g. maize, beans, potatoes) fuel population growth in Europe, Africa, and China.
1514 Spanish Conquistador lands on northern shore of South America, today’s Columbia, vows to destroy Tairona civilization.
1540 Coronado claims American Southwest for European expansion.
1580 The Spanish–Portuguese Empire of the Iberian Union was the first global maritime imperial entity.
1583 The British maritime power expands to establish their first empire in North America.
1606 Europeans discover new-to-them Australia followed by colonization as usual.
1642 New Zealand discovered and claimed for expanding empire.
1701 Ashanti Empire building in West Africa begins.
1712 Industrial Revolution, powered by coal, begins with first commercial steam engine used to pump water from coal mines. Growth is sustained. The fossil-fueled Euro-Sino Empire is empowered to subsume all prior empires by the mid-twentieth century other than in name only to become the first global empire.
1725 Emperor of Russia claims North Pacific for fur trade as Siberia was being depleted of fur bearing animals and ‘more’ were needed.
1784 First permanent Russian settlement in Alaska, Christian missionaries save thousands as they did for all European empire builders.
1804 Human population reaches 1 billion.
1805 Westward expansion/development begins from east coast of North America to meet and push back expansion of pre-fossil-fuel based empire builders from Russia and Spain to continue providing environmental resources to European industrial centers whose local resource base was being rapidly used up.
1830 Vast eastern forests of North America largely deforested. Shortage of clean charcoal forces use of coal to make coke, and shortage of whales is unable to fuel continued demand for lamp oil—replaced by burning fluid (alcohol and turpentine bio-fuel mix).
1850 Grasslands plowed to grow grain, beginning at west end of Eurasian steppes, followed by Great Plains of North America, the Pampas of South America, the veldt of southern Africa, and plains of Hungary and Romania as enabled by plow, railroads, cargo ships, beasts of burden and later tractors to fuel burgeoning urban populations worldwide.
1859 First oil well drilled using power from coal powered steam engine in Pennsylvania helps to replace alcohol/turpentine fuel that was unable to supply demand with kerosene.
1899 Open pit mining begins using fossil fuels to mine coal and minerals resources to provide for industrial production and growth. Later, mountain tops have to be removed to continue open pit mining.
1927 Human population reaches 2 billion.
1934 North American Dust Bowel secondary to over plowing/removal of grass of Great Plains for grain production.
1940s Ogallala Aquifer drawdown for agriculture, mining, urban use gets underway. Removal over twice recharge rate, so fossil water being mined in Great Plains. Unsustainable water mining supports about one third of world’s agricultural production. And then what?
1945 Atomic energy let out of bag. United Nations founded to promote democracy (Article 21, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948) to make the world safe for corporatocracy, since local wars good, but world wars are bad for business.
1950 The 'Great Acceleration', exponential growth that began in eighteenth century with the Industrial Revolution, resulting in a sharp increase in human population, species extinction, economic activity, resource extraction, transport, communication, and agriculture fueled by fossil fuels, becomes increasingly obvious.


1958 Annual CO2 in atmosphere measurements begin on Mauna Lowa in Hawaii. To no one's surprise, increase in level evident within a few years. Growth in denial also becomes evident.
1960 Human population reaches 3 billion.
1966 Boulding describes the economics of the coming Spaceship Earth that others (Hardin, Ehrlichs, Bartlett, Odum, Meadows...) clarify, resulting in agreement to deny biophysical reality secondary to cognitive dissonance.
1970 First Earth Day celebrated. Meanwhile, 'the pace of planetary destruction has not slowed'.
1974 Human population reaches 4 billion.
1974 CFCs discovered to destroy stratospheric ozone, but as ready substitutes were available to allow continued growth, industry was willing to allow a ban of CFCs. Environmentalists celebrated a great victory. The damaged ozone level is expected to return to normal levels by 2070.
1987 Human population reaches 5 billion.
1992 The Earth Summit is held in Rio, attended by 192 nations. Meanwhile, the pace of planetary destruction has not slowed secondary to collective denial of biophysical reality.
1999 Human population reaches 6 billion.
2006 Industrial societies lease/buy up tens of millions of acres of agricultural land in less developed areas to use for industrial agriculture to export food to themselves using land and water in places like Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Niger, India, Asia….
2009 Sea level rise of 210 mm (8.3 in) since Industrial Revolution. Rate of rise is exponential, so by century’s end, a meter rise will flood vast tracts of agricultural lands as well as displace humans and their animal mutualists. Crops cannot move to higher ‘unused’ ground.
2011 Human population reaches 7 billion.
2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, agrees to support sustainable development. Meanwhile the pace….
2014 In 1850, Glacier National Park (U.S.) had 150 glaciers. There are now 25 active glaciers remaining. Globally, snow and ice feed most rivers during dry season when irrigation water is diverted to support about one third of world’s production. Thanks to global warming there is more surface flow to exploit for irrigated crop production. If two thirds of world's agriculture is supported by fossil ground water and fossil ice, a few more to maybe a dozen decades until most glaciers melt and aquifers depleted,... And then what?
2016 On 22 April (Earth Day), 174 countries signed the Paris Agreement favoring reduced climate change. Meanwhile....
2017 Famine declared in South Sudan. Historically, famine is declared after the fact though more may follow. All headlines declare ‘Man-made Famine’ secondary to fighting and economic issues. Overpopulation is never the cause, as there are always proximal causes demanding immediate delivery of food aid. Famine is always a political problem demanding political solutions (e.g. foreign aid). Population growth rate in South Sudan currently 4.1%, meaning population doubles every 17 years as it has been…. And then what?

 


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