When you hear the name Kahn, you don't think about the environment. Most people of my generation, sadly, picture the evil Kahn Singh. They very rarely first think of the man I'm going to talk about today.
Born Temujin, the man who was to become the leader of the Mongol Empire.....no. I'm not going to go into his history. I'm not a history teacher. Most of you know who Ghengis Kahn was. If you don't, I blame our schools.
Ok, maybe a brief refresher on who he was.
Ghengis tried to take over control of the clan when his father died. Because he was so young, he and his brothers, sister and mother were abandoned by the rest of the tribe, to survive, or not, on their own. (There was no way mighty Mongol warriors were going to follow a child!)
They, obviously, survived. Some of them, at least. Temujin killed one of his brothers in a argument over hunting. And a few years later, he was taken prisoner by former allies of his fathers. He was kept as a slave until he escaped. He then married the girl that his father had arranged for him to wed before he died, but shortly after the wedding, she was kidnapped by a rival tribe. He rescued her, and that gained him the support of her clan. Using that allegiance, he fought with the other Mongol tribes to finally join them, and became Kahn. Ghengis Kahn. (he preferred his sheep's milk shaken, not stirred.)
Let's see, did I cover everything? Well, not even close, but that's enough for this post. Too much for the post, actually, but who cares.
Now, if only I could remember what I was going to inform you about. That's the problem with you guys. You demand facts, and that sometimes distracts me from my main topic which has nothing to do with facts. At least, not the facts you'd find in your average history book. And when I get distracted, I tend to ramble. See? I'm doing it again! Gah!
One of the things most people don't consider when they think about Ghengis Kahn is, the impact he had on the environment. While it was never his intention, he was about as good for the environment as any person who ever lived.
Over the course of his reign, he led the Mongols to victory after victory against every foe, and created an empire that stretched from the Sea of Japan to the Caspian Sea.
In the course of his conquests, he and his armies killed millions of people. Villages and cities were razed to the ground. General destruction followed in the Mongols wake if the people didn't submit to Ghengis and join his forces. (to his credit, as long as you followed orders, he let you do pretty much whatever else you wanted when it came to cultural and religious beliefs)
I know what you're thinking: How does this make him a great environmentalist?
Bu killing so many people, he reduced the population of the world, significantly. As a result, Villages and towns weren't rebuilt, and fields weren't planted. The land was allowed to revert back to forrest land.
Also, with fewer people, there was less pollution produced. Fewer fires for cooking/land clearing meant less greenhouse gasses, less people to require minerals to be mined from the land, less human waste littering the country side.
As a direct result of the Mongols taking over a large part of the world, Forests regrew, carbon levels dropped and global cooling occurred.
While modern society wouldn't approve of how he did it, there is no denying he led his forces to the benefit of the planet.
Let's just hope Washington isn't reading this. We don't need them to get anymore disastrous ideas about 'saving the world'.