Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about limits to growth, and human expansion. Here are some of my thoughts. I would love to hear yours.
Humans expanded out of Africa 60,000 years ago. Were there environmental barriers that prevented them from leaving before that time? Often they are accused of killing the megafauna, that began a decline around the same time. But what if the Megafauna acted as a barrier? What if predation from megafauna was a barrier to expansion in those regions? What if the megafauna extinction are what allowed humans to migrate out of Africa? Or could it have been glaciers that prevented expansion? What if our technological limits and understanding worked as a limit to our growth? Once we had the “idea” for shoes, for example, we were able to travel through snow and ice beyond what had limited us before. Then I think about barriers like disease, which again, through technology (anti-biotics) we were able to surpass.
Then I think about limits to growth in a cultural sense, not environmental. I think of the bible, “Be fruitful and multiply.” Which says, don’t limit your growth. Then I think of Martin Prechtel and the Mayan concept of “Original Debt” and that in their religion, creating things was very spiritually expensive, and therefore many projects were simply not undertaken because they would have required a religious cost. This is a culturally imposed barrier to growth. I often think about the infanticides in the archeological record and wonder if those were people limiting their growth. Of women breast feeding for years to avoid ovulation and more pregnancy.
Not sure where I am going with any of this. I just seem to keep coming back to the two central barriers in rewilding:
I’m trying to wrap my head around these ideas and understand what happened to us that triggered growth from both the environmental and cultural sides of things… and where to go/what to do with this information as it relates to rewilding in the current era.