Here`s the last straw: "New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification" - please! What`s new about that? Thor Heyerdahl wrote about that some half a century ago, and there were those before him... Don`t modern scientists read?
Hence, The Quote of the Day (boringly longish, I`m afraid) is:
/.../ Hordes of sheep consumed all the grass, all the leaves within reach, and when famine hit them, they devoured the roots of the grass and the bark of the trees until even the last of the foliage high above their heads withered away /.../ Without trees to shelter the soil from the scorching rays of the sun, and without roots to hold humidity near the surface, every drop of rain sank deep into the arid ground and was lost long before it reached any glen or water-course. The gushing streams lost all their supplies and the last little rivulet disappeared from the surface of the land. /.../ It was common knowledge that the Middle East had been a fertile region in Sumerian and Phoenican times, and that huge forests had covered Lebanon, Cyprus, Crete, Malta, and even Greece with its countless islands, until man had destroyed everything /.../ The huge Sahara Desert was a man-made product caused by shepherds burning the jungle, and by the subsequent overgrazing of ever larger herds of goats and sheep /.../ We know today that the Sahara is still expanding southward, with an average progress from one to two miles a year, partly because of careless land utilization /.../ In the very heart of the desert /.../ ancient frescoes include crescent-shaped reed boats of the very same type as those depicted on the cliffs in Upper Egypt. The Sahara, then, had been covered by swamps and forests until man turned it into sand /.../
Thor Heyerdahl, Fatu-Hiva
My Oh My... I doubt this is likely to make scientists read... What`s the use of Science Illiterate I dunno! Sad, this surely is...