Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Mongolian Steppe (What If We Change Series by John D. Liu)

Quotes taken from John D. Liu's documentary watch here

I really love the Steppe. The Steppe makes me happy, free. It really is boundless. And when you are out on the Steppe, your spirit becomes free. And in many respects Mongolians are like Americans, and like Russians, and like Australians maybe . . . We have something in common which is this love for limitless space.

Covering 300,000 square kilometers, approximately the size of Japan, the eastern Steppes of Mongolia are the last unspoiled and continuous grassland ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere. Unsurprisingly, Mongolia's resource hungry neighbors are interested in tapping the natural wealth above and below ground.

We are still ecological illiterates. We don't know to what extent we can degrade an environment before it can't compensate anymore and collapse us.

Mongolia's tradition of viewing man as part of nature, not as something opposed to nature. Man is an inherent, organic part of nature. We never talk of taking something from nature, about conquering nature. We are part of it, we have always been part of it and this is how we survived in our harsh climate.

The Mongolians have no concept of the ownership of land. The grasslands have always been shared by all.

There are few place left on Earth that have not been destroyed or degraded. Yes there are patches of of habitats, but in the Eastern Steppes you have a whole ecosystem with its distinctive species of plants and animals. You have the huge herds of gazelles [aproximately 3 million], You still have wolves that prey on them. you have little quasac foxes, you have cranes, you have a whole spectrum of wildlife that still lives in its original state.

The biggest threats to the grasslands come from outsiders who want to exploit the resources. Intensive attempts to exploit the grasslands came in the 70 years of Communism following the Mongolian Revolution of 1921. Inefficiency and ineptitude limited the impact of attempted exploitation, but the Steppe is still littered with Soviet style industrial or agricultural projects. . . Now, commercial forces are poised to exploit the resources of the Eastern Mongolian Steppes. And these are well-funded and well-organized.

The fact is most of the destruction done in the world is due to wastefulness and poor planning. But you can develop without damaging the environment.

Basic to the Mongolians ability to pack up and move at a moment's notice are their ingenuous and cozy dwellings. White felt tents called ger in Mongolian and yurt in Russian . . . can be erected in 30 minutes. The horse is central to the Mongolian way of life. Children learn to ride before they learn to walk

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