Quite a while back, we had a really interesting discussion in response to my post called, Agriculture: villain or boon companion?
I argued that if was intensification, not agriculture, that was the culprit. Peter Bauer argued against that, pointing to various intensifications that can have beneficial effect on the land. He used the example of a well managed forest.
In retrospect, I must admit that Peter was right. Intensification is not the culprit. Ratcheting intensification, rather, is quite another animal.
In any case, I have just published another post on the social changes in deep history that brought about ratcheting intensification and what I call the Cult of MORE. Please check it out, and if the logic does not work, don't be bashful and tell me in no uncertain terms!