Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Tragedy Of the First City

According to the ancient Sumerians, the world's first city was Eridu. A photograph of it's ruins is to the left.

Looking at the photograph, it is difficult to imagine that the land around Eridu was once fertile. Yet, Eridu at one time was surrounded by lush farmlands. What happened?

Ecologically unsubstainable irrigation practices turned the farmlands into the barren desert you see today. So ended the first city.

The ancients had no science to alert them to the danger of the ecological collapse they were creating for themselves by their faulty irrigation methods. That's not the case today, when science can and does alert us to the dangers we are creating for ourselves. But will we pay heed to the science in time?

2 comments:

Mystic Wing said...

Great observation. I do hope people begin to heed the warnings, but I have to say I'm not optimistic.

Paul said...

It's hard to be optimistic when you know people and history, isn't it?

I sometimes think our species is the most insane of all the great apes.