Climate has crushed ancient civilizations. Often, climate-change denialists dismissively argue that “climate is always changing”. Well, it’s not mere change which is troubling, but the current trend. Like BigTobacco, BigCarbon wants us to remain addicted to their commodity, urging us to “pay no attention…” Their propaganda is using “tribal” loyalty to brainwash a portion of the human family into believing that our present energy-tech is no big deal. But the public is now increasingly feeling the problem behind that curtain of lies, in their own regions. [more, below]
The authors of this excellent book, CLIMATE CHAOS: Lessons on Survival from Our Ancestors, are deeply acquainted with the tools of climate study, and are experts in the history of significant climatic events which have caused major suffering in the past — suffering we have mostly forgotten. Humanity has survived some profound challenges, but often forgotten the lessons. Two hundred years ago New England, Europe and Asia had several years of deep cold, with 1816 called the year without a summer, when it snowed in July and August. Did your gran-pappy tell you of this? (Neither did mine.) Our authors share detailed observations of how coal soot, studied in Alpine ice cores, may have contributed to the severity of this event. And the tools and findings they reference are intriguing and impressive.
They take us on a guided tour of numerous successful civilizations which collapsed, due to changing climate issues. (In their sequel, will one of them be ours?) You can travel back in time with them to Egypt, Rome, the Maya, Cambodia, Peru. It sure beats staying home to watch the sNEWs, which ignores history at our peril. (Although it’s less detailed about the fascinating tools and methods, this longish article by a paleo-climatologist also covers much of the undeniable climate change the planet has already endured.)
Remember what the old-time farmers knew: a drought will scare you to death; but a flood will starve you to death.
As Jorge Santayana said, those who cannot remember the past are destined to repeat it.