Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Little Ice Age


About five hundred years ago Climate Change was rife.
Very chilling temperatures dislocated life.
Skating on the local pond may have been great fun
But people went for weeks and weeks without a sign of sun.
This Climate Change continued for over two hundred years
But, in 1800, the climate warmed, or so it now appears.
What we consider 'normal' has never really been so,
Although we are so used to things it's forgiveable that it's seen so.
Below you'll read of the miseries caused by too much ice,
And let me tell you in advance, life wasn't very nice.
Now, I am not a scientist, my views just vaguely forming,
And I do believe humanity is part-cause of Global Warming,
But it seems to me, taking a long view, that a bit of extra heat
Might be a very good antidote to the perils we may meet
From another Little Ice Age, which may be on its way!
The people of the future may look back to us today
And thank us for the extra heat that's there in the atmosphere!
Maybe we're being really kind to our little twirling sphere.

From the studies of Prof. Scott Mandia

Western Europe experienced a general cooling of the climate between the years 1150 and 1460 and a very cold climate between 1560 and 1850 that brought dire consequences to its peoples. The colder weather impacted agriculture, health, economics, social strife, emigration, and even art and literature. Increased glaciation and storms also had a devastating affect on those that lived near glaciers and the sea. Due to the cooler climate, snow covered the ground deep into spring. A parasite which thrives under snow cover, devastated crops. Additionally, due to the increased number of days of snow cover, the stocks of hay for the animals ran out so livestock were fed on straw and pine branches. Many cows had to be slaughtered.The cooler climate during had a huge impact on the health of Europeans. Famine killed millions and poor nutrition decreased the stature of the Vikings in Greenland and Iceland. Cool, wet summers led to outbreaks of an illness called St. Anthony's Fire. Whole villages would suffer convulsions, hallucinations, gangrenous rotting of the extremities, and even death.
And a personal quote from the time........ "The crops that had been sown were all completely destroyed.... Most of the hens had died of cold, as had the beasts in the stables. When any poultry did survive the cold, their combs were seen to freeze and fall off. Many birds, ducks, partidges, woodcock, and blackbirds died and were found on the roads and on the thick ice and frequent snow. Oaks, ashes, and other valley trees split with cold. Two thirds of the vines died.... No grape harvest was gathered at all .... I myself did not get enough wine from my vineyard to fill a nutshell." 

(From a Mad Kane first line)

A gal who was lovely and fair
Went around with her top half all bare.
She was grabbed by police
Who said 'This stunt must cease!
You really should grow longer hair.'


1 comment:

Kay L. Davies said...

I remember reading about people dying in the middle ages and later, Brenda, but I didn't remember the part about the temperature.
Maybe global warming is just a prelude to another ice age, indeed.
I don't expect to be around for it, but I do fret about the younger generations.