The Prometheus Plague
Is this story correct? Modern humans deforested Europe in 2000 years, and northern India in approximately the same time, mostly for firewood.
Once Europeans reached the "new world" they denuded the great forests of North American from the Atlantic to the Mississippi in about 500 years. (True! Every tree in Missouri was RE-forested, or descended from reforestation. To this day, many of them Baja Iowegians hate trees with a passion difficult to understand.)
The human species arrives in established, stable ecosystems like a plague, lacking any native check or balance on our population.
Nor was that plague in North America exclusively Eurocentric. Modern humans came here 20,000 years ago over the Bering Land Bridge, too. We all practice slash-and-burn, not always for agriculture, but also to make hunting easier and just to plain stay warm on a cold Dakota night.
How do humans make a grassland? With, I submit, ordinary arson. Fire has been a bolt in the promethean quiver for two million years across at least four subspecies of the human plague (H. erectus, habilus, neanderthalensis and sapiens, and possibly other, older, species as well.)
I grew up in Kansas. It's like Original Sin. We moved to New York, where trees line rural roads up to the shoulders. Thought I'd gone to Heaven.
BTW, the White Rabbit is late for Easter. Just the kind of dumb movable feast joke Charles Lutwidge Dodgson would tell a kid.