If the opinions of a biologist (Prof Chris Field) and an Apollo astronaut (Dr Harrison Schmitt) are of interest, then it will certainly be relevant to quote the long-sighted view of an expert on human evolution and its interaction with the variable climate of the Pleistocene and Holocene epochs. His speciality is in synthesising evidence from genetics, archaeology, linguistics, geology and climate. Note the concluding sentence of this quoted paragraph:
"For most of the last 2 million years, humans have shivered in the grip of the Pleistocene ice epoch, so the brief but marked warming of our planet's surface, which opens up the gates of Eden [i.e. the Sinai route between Africa and the Levant], is known to geologists as an interglacial optimum. These short lush spells contrast with the normally cold and dry glacial conditions of the Pleistocene. We modern humans have had only two such glimpses of paradise during our time on Earth. The most recent interglacial optimum was only about 8,000 years ago, and we are lucky to be still basking in the after-effects of its autumnal glow. For perhaps a couple of thousand years the Sahara was grassland, and all kinds of game from the south spread throughout North Africa and across into the Levant. Ironically, today's pollution-driven global warming is actually helping to stave off the inevitable relapse into the cooler, drier, more unstable conditions that have characterized most of our time on Earth."
-- Professor Stephen Oppenheimer (Green College, Oxford), "Out of Eden" (Constable, London, 2003), p.51-52.
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