Soil as Salvation: Does a Country's Dirt Determine Its Destiny? (via @sciencenow & @PLoS)
From PLoS Study link below: Figure 1. Modelled "suitability" (probability of occurrence, Maxent) for (A) agriculture, (B) sedentary animal husbandry, (C) nomadic pastoralism, and (D) hunting and gathering.
David Malakoff @sciencenow: "Chad is dirt poor because its dirt is poor. Germany is relatively rich because its soil is rich. That’s the provocative conclusion flowing from a new study, which suggests that just two fundamental factors—soil type and climate—can largely explain why humans have prospered in some places but not in others. The finding, drawn from a computer model originally used to predict the distribution of moths, also may help explain why some regions are more prone to violence than others...
From: @PLoS: Is the Spatial Distribution of Mankind's Most Basic Economic Traits Determined by Climate and Soil Alone?
Jan Beck, Andrea Sieber, University of Basel, Switzerland: Several authors, most prominently Jared Diamond (1997, Guns, Germs and Steel), have investigated biogeographic determinants of human history and civilization. The timing of the transition to an agricultural lifestyle, associated with steep population growth and consequent societal change, has been suggested to be affected by the availability of suitable organisms for domestication. These factors were shown to quantitatively explain some of the current global inequalities of economy and political power. Here, we advance this approach one step further by looking at climate and soil as sole determining factors..."
Also see: Our Good Earth: The Future Rests on the SoIl Beneath our Feet: National Geographic September 2008 (@ngmag)
by Charles Mann and Jim Richardson (@jrichardson4754)