‘As soon as once more, innovation and proliferation ended with disaster’: The environmental catastrophe of crops taking up the world

The excerpt under is taken from “Elemental: How 5 Parts Modified Earth’s Previous and Will Form Our Future” (Princeton College Press, 2023) by Stephen Porder. It seems to be at how one of many largest occasions in Earth’s historical past got here to be: crops colonizing the continents.

Vegetation are so ubiquitous on land that it is laborious to think about their absence, however for nearly 90% of Earth’s historical past, there was no life on land, or on the very least no crops. Land crops emerged a bit of greater than 400 million years in the past, which in contrast with the 4-billion-year historical past of life on Earth, is relatively current. 

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