So when the Thames was frozen over and people went to the Frost Fairs, how did they cope? Who knows, I wasn’t alive, but on reading the article embedded in this story, I would say they took it in their stride as no-one tweeted them it was going to happen, they had no idea where the next meal was coming from and going home was about finding something en route to make a fire with (not catching up on Corry).
What is interesting are the possible causes behind The Little Ice Age that occurred between the 14th-20th centuries. The effects were astounding; agricultural practices had to adapt to the climate and loss of land (claimed by flooding due to violent storms).
One of the suggested reasons for such enormous climatic changes and subsequent weather events was the plague, with so many people dying all of a sudden the landscape busily reclaimed itself and grew to richly make natural exchanges with the atmosphere again, then when everyone got well they carved up the landscape and stopped all that. How do we know? It’s nicely written in the ice cores, tree rings, speleotherms etc etc.
Another interesting suggestion takes this step much further back. Before the land was very well populated and a virgin landscape existed, the first few who cut the soil to grow food and irrigate it, did indeed make a difference. They fed their people, but instead of staying in one place, they moved on and carved some more, they grew in numbers and so did their footprint, even more so than we do today. Since man invented the wheel, a distinct signal has been imprinted in the climate record. Later on Richard Trevithick and friends made a significant imprint with the Industrial Revolution.
The point of the story here is, to realise our lot, adapt, change, gather wood for our fire, fight off the plague, but have a Richard Trevithick moment too. You can’t re-invent the wheel, but you can support and ask your MP today to arrange for carbon to be significantly cut with immediate effect. None of us will ever be sure what the modern day alternative to the Little Ice Age will be, it’s a romantic read, with beautiful pictures telling the story, so why not be a brave soul and fight for your country?
I was delighted to be asked to attend an Environment Service at St. Bart’s Lostwithiel, and to answer questions from the local community. Here is