From a brilliant book called Reports from a Wild Country: ethics for decolonisation by Deborah Bird Rose
UNSW Press 2004
Tacitus wrote of the Roman conquest of Britain. He put some of the most damning critique into the voice of one of the natives, Calgacus:
‘Pillagers of the world, they have exhausted the land by their indiscriminate plunder, and now they ransack the sea. A rich enemy excites their cupidity; a poor one their lust for power… To robbery, butchery and rapine, they give the lying name of “government”; they create a desolation and call it peace. (Tacitus in the Agricola: 80-81)
What is new is the technological power and the calculus of progress that together promote loss of ecological sustainability, and ongoing social violence in rapidly amplifying dynamics.
Yep. Humans have been dickheads (the insult is chosen with some care) for a looooong time. Putting fossil fuels in his grubby little opposable-thumb mitts just took a shitty situation and turned it much much shittier for every living thing on t’planet.