It has been reported that Native Americans living 10,000 years ago in the area what we now call New Mexico used fire to melt ice buried deep inside volcanic caves, in order to survive extreme drought. Yet they could not survive European colonization, first by Spanish conquistadors and second, Christian God-cult worshipers from England.
According to the news report:
Ancestral Puebloans, forerunners of today’s Pueblo peoples and the builders of Mesa Verde’s famous cliff dwellings, survived in the arid southwestern United States for over 10,000 years. A key to that survival was finding creative ways to extract water from an unforgiving environment.
As much as ancient Puebloans were creative in finding ways to survive, they were no matched for the religious zealotry and capitalist logic of endless accumulation of the modern Europeans. Native Americans were decimated within a few hundred years. Historians are now increasingly calling it the American genocide.
The logic of conflating use and exchange values still has vast implications for how we are living. In Savage Ecology, Jairus Victor Grove contends that it is better to refer to what we have been experiencing in the last 500 years not as Anthropocene but rather Eurocene. The Eurocene aptly describes the impact of European colonization and imperialism across the world with its most devastating effect seen in the Americas. Like a virulent organism, the European geopolitical way of thinking found itself spreading with extraordinary rapidity across the Atlantic to the America and then to Africa and Asia.