President Obama overlooked a few previous climatological Cassandras at his August 3, 2015, news conference. He actually said, “We are the first generation to experience climate change, and we are the last generation able to do anything about it.”
Wouldn’t you imagine that some taxpayer-funded science “expert” would have informed him about how much climate conditions have changed since before the end of the last ice age around 15,000 years ago when much of the world’s land area was under ice or desert?
Human civilization only began to happen after things had warmed up a whole bunch. The first known large scale man-made construction happened at Gobekli Tepe in Southern Turkey about 12,000 years ago, predating Stonehenge and the earliest Egyptian pyramids by more than 7,400 years.
Gobekli Tepe construction was interrupted during a period of deep freeze called the “Younger Dryas” that ended about 11,500 years ago. Archaeological sites in the Middle East reveal that much development had been going on prior to that time — between about 13,000 and 14,000 years ago — evidenced by architectural advancements and expanding villages.
Such activities diminished and health conditions suffered after temperatures turned cold. This is evidenced by findings of human skulls with fewer teeth (often with caries), and garbage dumps holding bones of smaller animals than previously discovered.
Sea levels rose dramatically as continental ice age glaciers melted. This rise occurred at a rate of nearly 5 feet per hundred years between 14,000 years ago until the Younger Dryas ended. That’s huge compared with about 7 inches per hundred years and presently holding steady over the three most recent centuries.
And as for severe droughts, there’s nothing really new here either. The Sahara first became a desert about 5,900 years ago. This ended the Ubaid Empire and drove a major population migration to Egypt’s Nile Valley for access to water. That drought coincided with a severe cooling event. It wasn’t until the climate warmed up again around 4,500 years ago that large cities first appeared in India.
Starting about 3,300 years ago the climate cooled again until the beginning of the “Roman Warm Period” roughly 2,400 to 2,200 years ago.
Temperatures comparable to today led to thriving civilizations in the Americas, China, India, and around the Mediterranean.
That blissful period ended about 1,500 years ago as temperatures again dropped over the next 200 years until the height of the Dark Ages in Europe.
The “Medieval Warm Period” followed over the next 1,000 years beginning about 950 A.D., again bringing temperatures comparable to today … or even warmer.
This was another great time for civilization. Europe experienced an estimated 50% population growth by 1300 A.D. thanks largely to abundant food crops. Open caravan passages along high mountain routes enabled spices from the Orient, sugar from Cyprus, and Venetian glass to be traded for English wools and Scandinavian furs.
Thousands of temples were constructed in Southeast Asia thanks due to favorable weather for agriculture and labor.
As recently as 1,000 years ago Icelandic Vikings were raising cattle, sheep, and goats on Greenland’s southwestern coast. Then . . . guess what! Yup, climate changed again, and not for the better. Around 1200 A.D. Greenland temperatures began to plummet, causing settlements to be abandoned by 1350. Atlantic pack ice rapidly began to grow by around 1250, and shortened growing seasons and unreliable weather patterns, including torrential rains in Northern Europe, caused the “Great Famine” of 1315-1317.
Beginning about 1300, shifting weather conditions — warm and dry summers in some years, cold and wet in others — caused crop failures affecting expansive areas ranging from Ireland to Germany and north to Scandinavia.
Especially disastrous food shortages between 1690 and 1700 claimed millions of lives.
Making matters worse, storms and high winds in the North Sea and English Channel made fishing and shipping trade hazardous.
A “little ice age” (not a true ice age) brought frigid Northern Hemisphere weather between the 16th and 19th centuries. Advancing Alpine glaciers engulfed farms and villages by the mid-17th century.
The Thames River and New York Harbor froze over by 1780, and sea ice closed shipping harbors in Iceland where an estimated one-third of the population perished.
Towards the end of that period, Washington’s troops suffered a brutal 1777 Valley Forge winter, and Napoleon’s beat a bone-chilling retreat from Moscow in 1812.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
No . . . not just that another climate reversal won’t be humankind’s first rodeo, but also that the roughest bull rides occur when conditions turn from warm to not so much.
Since many prominent international scientists predict that a prolonged and deep cold spell will now follow the past nearly two decades of flat global temperatures, do you suppose this is the dire climate change peril President Obama has in mind?
I guess you’re right . . . probably not.
NOTE: This article can also be found at: http://www.newsmax.com/LarryBell/Ice-Age-Washington/2016/02/08/id/713309/