[LMB] OT: Practice for terraforming Beta Colony on Earthly deserts.

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Mon Jun 21 05:14:50 BST 2021

---- On Sun, 20 Jun 2021 20:01:28 -0700 WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote ----

There’s evidence that some of the Native American (I still hate the term but I don’t have an alternative that won’t get me in trouble.) tribes switched from farming to a nomadic lifestyle as soon as they got horses. 

Beatrice Otter:

Well, and then there's the case of the Cahokia settlement of the Mississippian peoples (one of the Native American groups pre-European contact) where they got together, built this massive city which prospered for several centuries, and then just ... declined. With no evidence of any ecological or political problems to cause it; best we can tell, they just decided they'd rather live in small farming villages than in the big city.

Part of the switch from agriculture to nomadic hunter-gatherer was driven by mass deaths from European-introduced diseases. When a large chunk of the population dies suddenly, non-industrialized agriculture becomes a *lot* harder due to a lack of labor. And then there's the fact that nomadic hunter-gatherers spend much less time and effort working than farmers do. Agriculture allows for a lot more people per acre, and it's more stable, but it's also a lot harder work. If your population drops ... sometimes transitioning away from agriculture makes better sense.

"Pouncer" <mailto:pouncer at aol.com>:

I failed to engage Matt George in a discussion of exploiting 

the Qattara Depression. But try, try again: 


The basis was never particularly fertile but with mere 19th 

century (Panama Canal level) tech, it could be changed. For 

better or worse...

Beatrice Otter:

Interesting! But the wiki page talks a lot about what they might try to do, but not *why*--hydroelectric power is mentioned, but there are cheaper and easier ways of generating power.

Beatrice Otter

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