20 billion chickens

Acting to lessen the runaway human (‘Machine World’) impact on the Natural World is the theme of this web-site. But what exactly is the Natural World and for how long have humans been imposing their impact upon it?  This article  (extract below) from the ‘Conversations’ website which features academic journalists, is entitled “Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years, says new study“:

New research now suggests that there are practically no areas that have escaped human impacts. But not only that, such impacts happened many thousands of years earlier than is usually appreciated. In fact, you’d have to travel back more than 10,000 years to find the last point when most of the Earth’s landscapes were unaffected by humans. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences and led by Nicole Boivin of the University of Oxford, catalogued changes in the abundance and diversity of plants and animals at the same time as human societies and technologies spread across the globe. …Earth is now home to over 20 billion chickens, making it the most abundant bird species by some margin. The vast majority of the mass of land animals is now made up of humans and their domesticated species of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats and chickens.

Another 100000 chickens are likely to be added to this huge total due to the largesse of billionaire Bill Gates in an attempt to alleviate the severe poverty in which at least 800 million human inhabitants live on “Spaceship Earth”. The African continent will be the focus of this charitable initiative.

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