His reign of terror extended across Asia, the Middle East, and Eurasia, claiming the lives of over 40 million people—roughly decimating (yes, I used the term correctly) the human population, on his own.
The very mention of his name makes William Shatner’s blood run cold. He is… Genghis Khan.
Genghis founded the Mongol Empire in 1206, conquering individual tribes, slaying entire populations to the man, and patching together the world’s largest contiguous empire known to history.
According to Julia Pongratz, researcher at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology, there’s a new achievement on Genghis’ resume: most environmentally-friendly mass murderer.
According to Pongratz, Genghis’s trail of destruction resulted in the net removal of 700 million tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, equivalent to the amount of greenhouse gas released in one year by modern-day humanity.
By wiping out human settlements across 22% of the Earth’s surface, Khan’s rise to power was able to outshine other great moments in the human extinction movement, such as the Black Death, the fall of the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
Pongratz tells the UK Daily Mail that “during the longer-lasting [events] like the Mongol invasion, there was enough time for the forests to re-grow and absorb significant amounts of carbon.”
Her research suggests that Khan’s massacre of Asia may have led to the first recorded case of successful manmade global cooling. In other words, genocidal rampages across the steppes are a proven—if controversial—method of geo-engineering.
Perhaps, after all, there is truth to be found in the words of comedian Steven Crowder, when he says “go green, kill people.”