NY Times: Climate Change Like Totally Doomed The Ancients

See if you can guess what is missing from the op-ed by Eric H. Cline in the Times, in all but a brief mention

Climate Change Doomed the Ancients

THIS month, a report issued by a prominent military advisory board concluded that climate change posed a serious threat to America’s national security.

The authors, 16 retired high-ranking officers, warned that droughts, rising seas and extreme weather events, among other environmental threats, were already causing global “instability and conflict.”

But Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a stalwart believer that global warming is a “hoax,” dismissed the report as a publicity stunt.

Perhaps the senator needs a history lesson, because climate change has been leading to global conflict — and even the collapse of civilizations — for more than 3,000 years. Drought and famine led to internal rebellions in some societies and the sacking of others, as people fleeing hardship at home became conquerors abroad.

One of the most vivid examples comes from around 1200 B.C. A centuries-long drought in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions, contributed to — if not caused — widespread famine, unrest and ultimately the destruction of many once prosperous cities, according to four recent studies.

Perhaps Eric needs that history lesson, since pretty much every mention of failed civilizations resulted from the Earth moving from a warm to a cool period during the Holocene. The Hittites, mentioned because they dealt with a long period of drought, were dealing with a cooling climate.

While sea levels may not have been rising then, as they are now, changes in the water temperature may have been to blame for making life virtually unlivable in parts of the region.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science found that the surface temperatures of the Mediterranean Sea cooled rapidly during this time, severely reducing precipitation over the coasts.

Wait, cooling waters were causing problems?

We still do not know the specific details of the collapse at the end of the Late Bronze Age or how the cascade of events came to change society so drastically. But it is clear that climate change was one of the primary drivers, or stressors, leading to the societal breakdown.

The era that followed is known as the first Dark Ages, during which the thriving economy and cultures of the late second millennium B.C. suddenly ceased to exist. It took decades, and even hundreds of years in some areas, for the people in these regions to rebuild.

Last time I checked, the Dark Ages were a period of cooling.

But there is one important difference. The Late Bronze Age civilizations collapsed at the hands of Mother Nature. It remains to be seen if we will cause the collapse of our own.

Wait, what? Mother Nature? Why can’t MN be the cause now? And, it sure seems that civilization flourished during the warm periods and had lots of problems during the cool ones.

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19 Responses to “NY Times: Climate Change Like Totally Doomed The Ancients”

  1. J Curran says:

    What else is missing? No mention of carbon, carbon dioxide, or fossils fuels.

  2. Blick says:

    Some when about this time the volcanic island of Thera exploded and caused devastation in the eastern Med. The ash in the atmosphere would have caused some cooling. However, the writer failed to mention all the industrial carbon dioxide produced by the Bronze Age industrialization, lumber cutting, mining and smelting. The Global warming caused by this industrialization should have offset any minor cooling of a volcanic explosion. Maybe it was over population and deforestation that caused the warming/cooling disaster.

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  5. That was a distressing article to read, mostly because the author also wrote “1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed,” which looks to be a good examination of the problem of why catastrophe struck at the end of the Bronze Age. It looks as if he’s drawn all the wrong implications for the modern era from his work. Then again, if Al Gore can pontificate on climate change, why not a Classicist?

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  8. jl says:

    “Because climate change has been leading to global conflict, even the collapse of civilizations, for over 3 thousand years.” So there was “climate change” that caused bad stuff back before we were driving those evil cars and SUVs? The NYT is too stupid to realize that they just validated what realists have been saying for a long time-that these things are completely natural.

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  10. Jeffery says:

    The current rapid warming absolutely, positively could be from Mother Nature! But it’s not is the point. The current rapidly warming Earth is from our adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

    j, The NYT times did not validate your denier mythology as you think. What climate realists understand is that dramatic changes in the climate do not occur by magic, but rather by physical processes. The current climate change is occurring because of greenhouse gases.

  11. What climate realists understand is that dramatic changes in the climate do not occur by magic, but rather by physical processes.

    Right. We agree on that. It’s just that those “physical processes” aren’t the minimal effects of a trace gas that’s mostly plant food, but the Sun and its interaction with cosmic rays, which inturn affect cloud cover, which in turn governs the heating and cooling of the earth, which is the real engine of climate.

    Like you said: physical proceses.

  12. Jeffery says:

    PF,

    Data do not support the hypothesis that:

    1) an increasing solar magnetic field
    2) is deflecting GCR’s
    3) reducing cloud cover (since GCR’s are hypothesized to “seed” clouds)
    4) leading to warming.

    For Svensmark’s hypothesis to be valid you should be able to show that the solar magnetic field has increased the last 50 yrs or so. You should be able to show that GCR’s have been waning. You should be able to show that GCR’s seed low level clouds.

  13. Jl says:

    “Dramatic changes in the climate occur by physical processes.” No more dramatic now than in the past, so you still have nothing. Now, if your’re talking about the astrologers being drama queens, I’ll agree with you on that. “The current climate change is because of greenhouse gasses.” Still no proof this is any different than what the NYT author was referring to happened in the past. In other words, what’s happened for 4 billion years is happening now. What a surprise.

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  15. Jeffery says:

    PF,

    The data do not support Svensmark’s hypothesis that the solar magnetic field deflects galactic cosmic rays, reducing low clouds, causing the Earth to warm.

  16. john says:

    Inhofe only believes in what is in the Bible. But there was one remarkable admission from the former Chair of the Senate Environment Committee:
    “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”
    AS Krauthammer, a conservative once said ” Krauthammer (6/08): ”The real reason conservatives don’t believe in climate science”). As the NY Times explained about a 2008 denial conference, “The one thing all the attendees seem to share is a deep dislike for mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gases.” If you can’t abide the cure, you’re much more likely to deny the disease.

  17. david7134 says:

    Jeff, John,
    As usual, you are both wrong and you are not using scientific methods. Now, tell me why we have ice ages and we can work from there as to why we may be warming, but you can’t do that.

    As to the Dark Ages, that had some aspect of Thira, but the biggest reason was the invasion of the Sea Peoples. This had nothing to do with climate. If you quit being Euro centric then you will find that China, India and other aspects of the world were just fine at this time.

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  19. Better_Be_Gumballs says:

    So, let’s put an article together mentioning all the past civilizations that ended or had major difficulties during past natural climate changes. We’ll recognize that those periods were marked by a change in the climate, but not mention the direction of that change. But then blame man for today’s weather. We’ll then predict all manner of bad and nasty things that will happen this time around, while ignoring that they didn’t occur during the past events.

    sold.

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