|The frozen Thames in 1677. |
"It's clear to me that humans had no part in the little ice age of the 17th century"
Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History, Ohio State University
Future generations will most likely look at the IPCC-led global warming alarmism as a great - and expensive - mistake created by a number environmental fundamentalists masquerading as scientists.
There are clear signs that the world should be preparing for global cooling instead of warming. While all the disasters predicted by the global warming alarmists are based on flawed computer models, there is real evidence about what happens when the climate cools.
In a book recently published by Yale University Press, the distinguished professor of history Geoffrey Parker gives authoritative account of the global cooling in the 17th century:
What was the nature of the climate change that century?
Cooling. There is overwhelming evidence of an episode of global cooling that begins around 1618, just as the sunspots begin to disappear, and it lasts for almost a century. Sunspots are hot spots and the absence of hot spots clearly reduces the energy emanating from the sun. The sun is weaker, and the impact of that is greater in the northern hemisphere, which is where the majority of the human population lives. --
What caused global cooling during that century?
A combination of three factors: First was the sunspots. The second was more volcanic eruptions. And third, there were twice as many episodes of El Niño—the powerful climate system that works its way across the Pacific. Normally, the winds blow from America to Australia, so they drop the monsoon. But sometimes they go the other way, and cause enormous flooding in South America and the Caribbean, and drought in East Asia and Australia.
What were the long-term consequences of this crisis?
The first and more gruesome statistic is that it seems to have killed about a third of the human population. There clearly was a catastrophic mortality in most parts of Europe and the whole of China, which is, then as now, about a quarter of the human population. There may have been communities that escaped it, but there are also communities that just disappeared.
Second, a number of states ceased to exist—the most spectacular was Ming China. The entire dynasty, the rulers of the most populous state in the world, just disappeared, murdered by the Manchus. You saw the collapse of the Stuart monarchy in the civil wars in England, Ireland, and Scotland—there were three separate civil wars—and, of course, in the colonies in America. Spain ceased to be a great power. Russia came very, very close. Poland disappeared; it was re-created but never entirely recovered from the mid–17th century. The Ottoman empire was fatally wounded by two regicides—one in 1622 and one in 1648—and never regained its power.
The third consequence is more positive: A number of intellectuals began to think that there must be something that we can do about this. The most famous example was in England, where you had the birth of the Royal Society, dedicated to trying to find ways out of the crisis. You find the same sort of movement in other European countries, in India in the 1650s, and in Japan and China.
Read the entire interview here