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Thread: Rise and fall of civilizations due to climate change.

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    Rise and fall of civilizations due to climate change.

    Here is a map of temperature in Europe for last 2,000 years.


    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencete...trial-age.html



    This map shows that height of Roman Empire happened in a very warm period. The decline of empire though, and worst part of Dark Ages coincided with cold/little Ice Age period.

    Next, Medieval Warm period stands behind Europe coming out of Dark Ages, Italian cities flourishing again, big cathedrals being build, Viking expansions.

    Around 1300 cold comes again, coupled with plagues devastating populations till around 15 hundreds and the Renaissance when became somewhat warmer.

    I suppose the last few hundred years are not that warm (except 20th century) to justify recent population and civilization growth, but after year 1500 extraordinary things happened in Europe. Europeans conquered most of the world and could compensate for bad crops (due to cold weather) with food supply from colonies, not mentioning other economic benefits.
    This extra wealth was also behind more money spent in England on science and new technologies, which kick started technological revolution. In 20 century, technology became perpetum mobile, in self sustained cycle of improvement. Better technology = more food = more people = creating more technology = growing more food = even more people, etc, etc. The positive feedback effect.

    In conclusion, I can see that warmer climate was the most responsible force behind food production, therefore population density, which correlates nicely with times of prosperity in Europe. Likewise cold climatic events were responsible for decline in food production, famine, plagues causing decline in population density and poverty.

    I know we love to blame moral decline, extensive greed, inequality, paganism, witches, devil, or some weird cycles causing fall of empires or civilizations. The truth is more prosaic. In the past good weather equaled plenty of food, good life and prosperity, and vice versa. It didn't matter if king was a despot or gay, or if people prayed every day or not.


    PS. It would be nice to find wet/dry cycle map to complement the temps map, although I don't think it exists yet.
    Sometimes things like on map below could have happened in the past. Let's say, causing more food production in the north and increasing populations (more warriors) when south could face dry few decades and economic ruin. Could have been behind Germanic and Slavic expansions.
    Last edited by LeBrok; 05-10-13 at 23:20.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    I hope it is ok with Angela to repost her thoughts from other thread, but her post inspired me to open this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It is and has been called the "Dark Ages" for a number of reasons. The following quotes are from a book that I highly recommend...The Fall Of Rome and The End of Civilization, by Bryan Ward-Perkins, Oxford University Press.
    l
    There is "a mass of archaeological evidence now available, which shows a startling decline in western standards of living during the fifth to seventh centuries. This was a change that affected everyone, from peasant to kings, even the bodies of saints resting in their churches. It was no mere transformation-it was decline on a scale that can reasonably be described as the end of a civilization." p.87

    Painstaking research has revealed a [pre fall] sophisticated world, in which a north-Italian peasant of the Roman period might eat off tableware from the area near Naples, drink wine in an amphora from North Africa, and sleep under a tiled roof...this level of sophistication is not seen again until perhaps the fourteenth century, some 800 years later...I am keen to emphasize that in Roman times good-quality articles were available even to humble consumers, and that production and distribution were complex and sophisticated." p. 100

    "It may initially be hard to believe, but post-Roman Britain in fact sank to a level of economic complexity well below that of the pre-Roman Iron Age...it took three centuries to begin to recover." p. 118

    In the Aegean world, which in contrast to the West, had survived for a few centuries, the economy was expanding in both size and complexity through the fifth and into the sixth century, only to suffer the same fate as the west with the Slavic and Avar invasions. p. 129

    Agricultural production also suffered..."Almost without exception, archaeological surveys in the West have found far fewer rural sites of the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries AD than of the early empire." p. 138

    Literacy almost totally declined..."What is striking about the Roman period, and to my mind unparalleled until quite recent times, is the evidence of writing being casually used, in an entirely ephemeral and everyday manner, which was none the less sophisticated. The best evidence of this comes from Pompeii." p. 153 Such widespread literacy did not again become common for centuries. (Indeed, looking at the graffiti everywhere in Pompeii, huckstering for candidates for local office, advertising brothels or the latest theater performance, or labeling some merchant a thief is one of the most interesting aspects of a visit there...that and the sophistication of the facilities for bathing, lol.

    I could go on and on about the constant warfare that decimated flourishing cities and reduced them to hovels full of rubble, but I'm sure everyone is aware of what happened to these cities all over the empire. The tourists love the ruins...find them very romantic. Or the total disruption to the road systems...only the incredible engineering skill and quality that went into building them has allowed some of them to survive. Or the rise of lawlessness that made travel of any kind so perilous. None of this should be news.

    Then, we could always add in the natural disasters, like the weather and the plague.

    I don't know how this period could be described as anything but dark.

    This is by no means, in my opinion, a process that is unique to this time or these groups of people. This seems to be the recurring pattern of human affairs. People struggle to build a civilization of some complexity and comfort, the peripheral barbarians destroy it, and then the process has to start all over again. The history of the Chinese civilizations, the tell layers in the Middle East, all reveal the same story. It's just that in this most recent example, we have a more detailed record of what happened.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Climate might have affect how well of a nation is. But you have to look at so many other factors too climate if it causes anything is just one factor. Did the climate in Europe for the last 2,000 years I doubt has changed that much at all so probably did not cause huge affects. I am sure you can explain how Rome became weaker and eventually fell and climate has nothing to do with it. I think the dark ages began because the Roman empire which ruled western Europe if you don't count most of Germany which is more central Europe. The Gauls, CeltIberians, Iberians, and Britons had become Romans they depended on Roman government which had fell. The Germanic tribes from what I know is very little or non were in the Roman empire so they did not depend on Rome. The Europeans who were apart of Rome stood no chance against Germanic armies pretty much every spot in western Europe was ruled by Germanic people in the early middle ages. And the culture of the Germanic tribes had changed a lot before they ever meet Rome. They became mainly Christian that's a huge change and they were not tribes anymore they made huge Kingdoms like the Franks, Anglo Saxons, Lombards, etc. Europe in a way was starting over so much had changed and the middle ages in my opinion is when the foundation of modern European culture was born. For former Roman areas of Europe they probably looked back at Rome as the good old days and were actually probably better off than they were in Germanic kingdoms. I don't know that much specific stuff but I from what I have seen live in western Europe during the early middle ages was terrible. It was people later in the 1300's who looked back at Rome and Greece and hated the early middle ages and eventully called it the dark ages. It gets really annoying by how in love so many historians are with Greece and Rome. And so many don't realize there were many more tribes and nations in Europe besides Greeks and Romans but their the only ones you learn about in history class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    Climate might have affect how well of a nation is. But you have to look at so many other factors too climate if it causes anything is just one factor.
    Sure there are other factors in demise of civilizations but nothing as big as food production. Take away food and people die, and civilization with them.

    The best straight forward examples are from Americas, when long lasting droughts ended few civilizations, and favorite ritual dance was the Rainmaker.

    Didn't you notice that this map of warm and cool cycles collaborated my observation.

    Did the climate in Europe for the last 2,000 years I doubt has changed that much at all so probably did not cause huge affects
    I guess you didn't bother researching common folk lives, only concentrating on you warrior fixation. I hope you still remember that during medieval time there were Viking settlements in Greenland, and when climate cooled down they were completely wiped out. I would say it was a huge change, wouldn't you?
    You would also noticed that the biggest famine in europe happened during little ice age.

    European famines of the Middle Ages[edit]

    Famine in the Medieval European context meant that people died of starvation on a massive scale. As brutal as they were, famines were familiar occurrences in Medieval Europe. As an example, localized famines occurred in France during the fourteenth century in 1304, 1305, 1310, 1315–1317 (the Great Famine), 1330–1334, 1349–1351, 1358–1360, 1371, 1374–1375 and 1390. In England, years of famine included 1315–1317, 1321, 1351, and 1369.
    For most people there was often not enough to eat and life expectancy was relatively short since many children died. According to records of the royal family of the Kingdom of England, among the best cared for in society, the average life expectancy in 1276 was 35.28 years. Between 1301 and 1325 during the Great Famine it was 29.84, while between 1348 and 1375, during the Black Death and subsequent plagues, it went down to only 17.33.
    Climate and population[edit]

    During the Medieval Warm Period (the period prior to 1300) the population of Europe had exploded, reaching levels that were not matched again in some places until the nineteenth century. However, the yield ratios of wheat (the number of seeds one could eat per seed planted) had been dropping since 1280 and food prices had been climbing. In good weather the ratio could be as high as 7:1, while during bad years as low as 2:1 – that is, for every seed planted, two seeds were harvested, one for next year's seed, and one for food. By comparison, modern farming has ratios of 30:1 or more.[2] See Agricultural productivity.
    The onset of the Great Famine coincided with the end of the Medieval Warm Period. Between 1310 and 1330 northern Europe saw some of the worst and most sustained periods of bad weather in the entire Middle Ages, characterized by severe winters and rainy and cold summers.
    Changing weather patterns, the ineffectiveness of medieval governments in dealing with crises and a population level at a historical high made it a time when there was little margin for error.
    And if the big famine wasn't enough, god has sent Black Death shortly after:
    The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, killing an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1348–50 CE.[1][2][3] Although there were several competing theories as to the etiology of the Black Death, recent analysis of DNA from victims in northern and southern Europe indicates that the pathogen responsible was the Yersinia pestis bacterium, probably causing several forms of plague.[4][5]
    The Black Death is thought to have started in China or central Asia.[6] It then travelled along the Silk Road and reached the Crimea by 1346. From there, it was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships. Spreading throughout the Mediterranean and Europe, the Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe's total population.[7] All in all, the plague reduced the world population from an estimated 450 million down to 350–375 million in the 14th century.
    The aftermath of the plague created a series of religious, social, and economic upheavals, which had profound effects on the course of European history. It took 150 years for Europe's population to recover. The plague reoccurred occasionally in Europe until the 19th century.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death



    So, imagine that during one year 30 million Americans die, mostly children, and the rest are skinny like sticks. Couple of decades later 150 million Americans die with Black Death.
    Don't you think it would be devastating for the country, economy and your civilization?

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    The climate correlation might merely show the natural fragility of civilizations in general due to their higher dependency, specialization and complexity. It is not surprising to see effects of climate changes on civilizations, since climate is the most relevant part of the environment. Complexity represents risk, and from a probability point of view it is always a matter of time until risk strikes. If the trigger of collapse is climate it does not contradict cycle theory at all because it assumes exactly such external triggers. But vulnerability to external triggers still comes from the internal structure. One more thing is that advanced civilizations usually can not escape to better climates as opposed to more primitive peoples.

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    Small climate change can be responsible for introducing new life forms into environment. For example a temperature or moisture change could enable mosquitoes or other insects to pass some natural barrier and bring new diseases into populations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    Climate might have affect how well of a nation is. But you have to look at so many other factors too climate if it causes anything is just one factor. Did the climate in Europe for the last 2,000 years I doubt has changed that much at all so probably did not cause huge affects.. I am sure you can explain how Rome became weaker and eventually fell and climate has nothing to do with it. I think the dark ages began because the Roman empire which ruled western Europe if you don't count most of Germany which is more central Europe. The Gauls, CeltIberians, Iberians, and Britons had become Romans they depended on Roman government which had fell. The Germanic tribes from what I know is very little or non were in the Roman empire so they did not depend on Rome. The Europeans who were apart of Rome stood no chance against Germanic armies pretty much every spot in western Europe was ruled by Germanic people in the early middle ages. And the culture of the Germanic tribes had changed a lot before they ever meet Rome. They became mainly Christian that's a huge change and they were not tribes anymore they made huge Kingdoms like the Franks, Anglo Saxons, Lombards, etc. Europe in a way was starting over so much had changed and the middle ages in my opinion is when the foundation of modern European culture was born. For former Roman areas of Europe they probably looked back at Rome as the good old days and were actually probably better off than they were in Germanic kingdoms. I don't know that much specific stuff but I from what I have seen live in western Europe during the early middle ages was terrible. It was people later in the 1300's who looked back at Rome and Greece and hated the early middle ages and eventully called it the dark ages. It gets really annoying by how in love so many historians are with Greece and Rome. And so many don't realize there were many more tribes and nations in Europe besides Greeks and Romans but their the only ones you learn about in history class.
    The climate in Europe has had an effect in the last two thousand years F.H. You can see the rise and drop in LeBroks maps for one thing. Or another way to think on it is, the fact the Subatlantic [ last phase of the Holocene period [2,500 and still going now] ] has had several swings that have effected fauna and thus human evolution, a domino effect if you like.
    But here is an interesting thing you might like. The Subatlantic period [ opens around the middle of the Roman Warm Period]. As a consequence the winter temperatures in Europe rose. Now the cooling period that followed happens to coincide with the Germanic Migration period. So, the cooler drier climate may have been another contributing factor for the Huns move West and thus trigger the migration of the Germanic tribes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    The climate in Europe has had an effect in the last two thousand years F.H. You can see the rise and drop in LeBroks maps for one thing. Or another way to think on it is, the fact the Subatlantic [ last phase of the Holocene period [2,500 and still going now] ] has had several swings that have effected fauna and thus human evolution, a domino effect if you like.
    But here is an interesting thing you might like. The Subatlantic period [ opens around the middle of the Roman Warm Period]. As a consequence the winter temperatures in Europe rose. Now the cooling period that followed happens to coincide with the Germanic Migration period. So, the cooler drier climate may have been another contributing factor for the Huns move West and thus trigger the migration of the Germanic tribes.
    You cant just look at climate then at major world events and try to connect them. You have to consider all of the other factors deifntley for Hunnic migration and Germanic migrations. You know that the Huns were Turks and during this time Turks were conquering Indo Iranian tribes of central Asia like Scythians the major migrations started in eastern and central asia not Europe. So the climate of Europe definitely does not explain why Turks including Huns were migrating and raiding so many people. I don't think the Huns were the only factor to major Germanic migrations starting around 400ad. Before Rome conquered the Gaul's, CeltIberians, Iberians, and Britons Germanic tribes were already making huge migrations. They were beating up on the Gaul's and taking their land according to Ceasar and there was a major migration of the Teutons and Cimbri and they had a huge war against Rome were they were didn't technically win because Rome stopped them from attacking Rome. But they beat Rome pretty badly in most of the battlers. And they raided areas as far west as Iberia.

    The Roman empire is what stopped Germanic migrations and conquering's in western Europe and they constantly were attacking Rome. The east Germanic speaking tribes Goths and Vandals conquered nearly all of non Roman Europe and of course mixed a ton culturally and by the ad's were probably mainly non Germanic in blood. So there were huge Germanic migrations before the Huns!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Sure there are other factors in demise of civilizations but nothing as big as food production. Take away food and people die, and civilization with them.

    The best straight forward examples are from Americas, when long lasting droughts ended few civilizations, and favorite ritual dance was the Rainmaker.

    Didn't you notice that this map of warm and cool cycles collaborated my observation.


    I guess you didn't bother researching common folk lives, only concentrating on you warrior fixation. I hope you still remember that during medieval time there were Viking settlements in Greenland, and when climate cooled down they were completely wiped out. I would say it was a huge change, wouldn't you?
    You would also noticed that the biggest famine in europe happened during little ice age.



    And if the big famine wasn't enough, god has sent Black Death shortly after:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Death



    So, imagine that during one year 30 million Americans die, mostly children, and the rest are skinny like sticks. Couple of decades later 150 million Americans die with Black Death.
    Don't you think it would be devastating for the country, economy and your civilization?
    I understand that climate effects food production and survival of a civilization. I doubt it effected the Germanic or Hunnic migrations the Huns who were Turks major migrations started in central and eastern Asia so nothing to do with climate in Europe. I think your have to consider a lot more factors with the reason Rome fell apart. Of course famines and tons of deaths because people did not have enough food in medieval Europe was effected by climate but it did not effect civilizations as much as you say. You cant just say climate is everything it effects stuff but there are a lot more things to consider.

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    ..... .....
    Last edited by hope; 06-10-13 at 12:39.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    @LeBrok,
    No problem :)

    Historians have been discussing and researching about the effects of climate change on the decline of civilizations, including the Roman civilization, for a long time.

    There's actually a pretty new 2012 paper put out by a symposium of historians, archaeologists, and climatologists that gathered data from Nile flooding events, water levels at the Dead Sea, and ice core and tree ring data, among other things, from 100 B.C. to 700 A.D. This was correlated with known cycles of bad harvests during those periods, archaeological data of farming and settlements, and historical accounts of encounters with barbarian tribes. The consensus was that climate change was one of the most important factors in the fall of the Roman Empire.

    It's called Climate Change During and After the Roman Empire, and can be found here:
    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~p...limate2012.pdf

    The paper proposes that as the result of an El Nino effect, as well as increased volcanic activity, among other things, the Empire was subject to prolonged periods of cool, dry weather that had a huge impact on agriculture. It began in the late third century A.D., (250-290 A.D.), occurred again in the late fourth century, with a forty year drought that was the worst in perhaps 2,000 years, and then occurred intermittently in the fifth and sixth centuries.

    Within the empire itself, there were food shortages, and water shortages, but the effect was mitigated to some degree by irrigation systems, aqueducts, and programs for storage of crops. The hardest hit were the small subsistence farmers of central and eastern Europe, and the pastoralists of Central Asia and the steppes. These pastoralists faced with the loss of pastures and water for their herds, started moving west, initiating the migration of peoples toward the west and the perceived better conditions within the Empire.

    These barbarian bands, and later larger groupings that became the tribes familiar to us from history, did not initially want to destroy the Empire; they wanted to join it, either because they were fleeing the Huns (although the picture is mixed...it was a question of flee, or submit to overlordship) or because they wished to be settled on lands within the Empire and get contracts for military service.

    In his book How Rome Fell, Adrian Goldsworthy gives particularly detailed descriptions of the encounters between the tribes massing at the border and the Roman commanders. In 376, a large mass of Tervingi appeared at the Danube border requesting food, land for settlement, and contracts for service in the army. Perhaps the Romans didn't have enough to supply them, or perhaps it was mismanagement, but the tribesmen were unhappy, conflict broke out and it eventually led to the Roman defeat at Adrianopole in 378 A.D. This wasn't the end of the empire; it rallied. However, it was the beginning of the end.

    The eastern empire held out for longer, because, as the paper pointed out, the weather patterns were such that it was affected later. Their day would come as well; the crop failures, the disease brought on by malnutrition, left them to weak to resist the new invasions by the Avars and the Slavs.

    I've wondered whether the Plague of Justinian also had its source in Central Asia, and was brought to the west by the pastoralists. It's certainly true of the Black Death of the Middle Ages, about which someone posted. There's a great book about that called The Great Mortality, which recounts what happened during the siege of the Genovese trading post of Caffa. The Tartars began to fall ill. As their numbers dwindled, they decided to toss over the walls the decomposed heads of soldiers who had died of the plague. The Tartar army disappeared, but the Plague soon spread all over western Christendom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired View Post
    I understand that climate effects food production and survival of a civilization. I doubt it effected the Germanic or Hunnic migrations the Huns who were Turks major migrations started in central and eastern Asia so nothing to do with climate in Europe. I think your have to consider a lot more factors with the reason Rome fell apart. Of course famines and tons of deaths because people did not have enough food in medieval Europe was effected by climate but it did not effect civilizations as much as you say. You cant just say climate is everything it effects stuff but there are a lot more things to consider.
    Go to page 22 (190 in paper) unfortunately pdf doesn't allow me to copy the text.
    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~p...limate2012.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    @LeBrok,
    No problem :)

    Historians have been discussing and researching about the effects of climate change on the decline of civilizations, including the Roman civilization, for a long time.
    This was a great read Angela, awesome comprehensive work about climatic effects on populations, thanks for the link.
    It is nice to have my observations vindicated. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    The climate correlation might merely show the natural fragility of civilizations in general due to their higher dependency, specialization and complexity. It is not surprising to see effects of climate changes on civilizations, since climate is the most relevant part of the environment. Complexity represents risk, and from a probability point of view it is always a matter of time until risk strikes. If the trigger of collapse is climate it does not contradict cycle theory at all because it assumes exactly such external triggers. But vulnerability to external triggers still comes from the internal structure. One more thing is that advanced civilizations usually can not escape to better climates as opposed to more primitive peoples.
    It was very true, if itcomes the cycles of civilizations, till second half of last millenium. This last Little Ice Age didn't stop European Civilization and its momentum. Traditionally, cold and dry weather of 15th to 18th century, should have been disastrous for Europe and brought collapse equivalent of Dark Ages. Instead though, european population was steadily growing, new technologies invented, sciences embraced, cities grew larger, public education started, industrial forces unleashed.
    By 20 century, first time in history of humankind, overproduction of food happened. In past only rich people were fat. Today even people on social assistance are fat.
    I think, at some point in Renaissance Europe picked up unstoppable momentum, with new technologies and population density. Now when climate changes (especially for colder) we can lose half of our food production and still we won't have famine. If it gets worse we have ability bringing food from other continents, or grow food in greenhouses.
    At this moment, if something destroys western civilization it won't be shortage of food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    It was very true, if itcomes the cycles of civilizations, till second half of last millenium. This last Little Ice Age didn't stop European Civilization and its momentum. Traditionally, cold and dry weather of 15th to 18th century, should have been disastrous for Europe and brought collapse equivalent of Dark Ages. Instead though, european population was steadily growing, new technologies invented, sciences embraced, cities grew larger, public education started, industrial forces unleashed.
    By 20 century, first time in history of humankind, overproduction of food happened. In past only rich people were fat. Today even people on social assistance are fat.
    I think, at some point in Renaissance Europe picked up unstoppable momentum, with new technologies and population density. Now when climate changes (especially for colder) we can lose half of our food production and still we won't have famine. If it gets worse we have ability bringing food from other continents, or grow food in greenhouses.
    At this moment, if something destroys western civilization it won't be shortage of food.
    Agree, which shows that climate change might lose its criticality. Yet I doubt that any momentum is unstoppable. We can import what we need just because today we depend much more on oil. One gallon oil compares to 100 slaves. A sudden shortage of oil could be much more damaging than a shortage of food was for past civilizations. Even if we would not disappear, we would undergo painful changes. It looks like one risk has been just replaced by another one. Potential successor civilizations might have much more problems to encipher our knowledge as digital media are more fragile and cryptic than paper and stone. I don't see that robustness and sustainability is increasing. Innovations are usually not used to secure the future but instead to be exploited for short-term benefit. That being said I think the boom-collapse cycles of civilizations can not be completely considered as such, because most civilizations usually leave important traces. Rome and Greece collapsed, yet their written and spoken legacy was very important for enlightment and renaissance. So the collapses could be called changes instead. Probably it depends on the degree of suffering whether one calls it collapse or change. On a narrow scope a collapse looks like a collapse, but on a wider scale it looks like evolution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Go to page 22 (190 in paper) unfortunately pdf doesn't allow me to copy the text.
    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~p...limate2012.pdf
    Excellent link LeBrok. Quite a lot of interesting points throughout, however I did especially like the page you high-lighted :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    Agree, which shows that climate change might lose its criticality. Yet I doubt that any momentum is unstoppable. We can import what we need just because today we depend much more on oil. One gallon oil compares to 100 slaves. A sudden shortage of oil could be much more damaging than a shortage of food was for past civilizations.
    Obviously we can never be sure if a big enough disaster won't destroy our civilization. Having said that, I will argue that our civilization is really a robust one, when compared to ones from our past. Past civilizations were very localized, with limited energy supplies (just wood) and limited transportation capacities.
    Western civilization showed already robustness few hundred years ago when it progressed in good shape through little Ice Age. This cooling was probably strong enough to ruin Roman Civilization again.
    Today we can get energy, not only from wood, but coal, oil, gas, sea methane, wind, solar. If we somehow lose access to oil, we could make gasoline from coal or drive cars on propane only. More expensive and would cause some economic hicaps, but doable. We have enough fossil fuels to go good 500 years with today's consumption. I believe that in 50 years we'll use more renewables than fossil fuels. Fusion reactors should be operational at this time too.
    This robustness comes from unparalleled number of human minds working together inventing and discovering, in one global civilization recent times. Super density of population equals super achievements.


    That being said I think the boom-collapse cycles of civilizations can not be completely considered as such, because most civilizations usually leave important traces. Rome and Greece collapsed, yet their written and spoken legacy was very important for enlightment and renaissance. So the collapses could be called changes instead.
    As I said in other thread, even Dark Ages, according to definition, can be called a civilization, though a very poor one.
    But what if there was no collapse, and Europe would have accumulated enough knowledge to go to industrial age in 600AD and Internet age by 1000AD? The collapse and Dark Ages were more like a terrible disturbance in our civilization's progress, than necessity of evolution of humankind, or something alike.
    Is this, believe in necessity of collapse, resembling something we could call a Phoenix syndrome? We have to collapse/die/suffer, so we can be reborn and better in next reincarnation. It is a very spiritual approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    As I said in other thread, even Dark Ages, according to definition, can be called a civilization, though a very poor one.
    But what if there was no collapse, and Europe would have accumulated enough knowledge to go to industrial age in 600AD and Internet age by 1000AD? The collapse and Dark Ages were more like a terrible disturbance in our civilization's progress, than necessity of evolution of humankind, or something alike.
    Similar to what I said I think. It depends on the point of view whether something looks like collapse or change.

    Is this, believe in necessity of collapse, resembling something we could call a Phoenix syndrome? We have to collapse/die/suffer, so we can be reborn and better in next reincarnation. It is a very spiritual approach.
    No, I'm not an apocalyptic nut. But if I look at the past how evolution not only of civilization but also biology happened, it is hard to deny that almost every species that ever existed died out. It is an assumtion of mine that emergence of civilizations follows the same principle of evolutional trial-and-error. If you claim our western civilization is exceptional, then it is possible, but it remains to be proven.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElHorsto View Post
    If you claim our western civilization is exceptional, then it is possible, but it remains to be proven.
    I guess this is what I'm arguing here. I believe we crossed some sort of threshold, that our civilization has enough robustness and momentum to easier go through cataclysms. At least the ones that were destructive and known from our history, like climate cooling, extensive draughts or plagues. If something happened it would need to be something from combination of new technologies and our basic human nature or lack of understanding all consequences. Like birth controls causing lack of kids; like Fusion technology ripping earth apart, etc. Who knows how close we were from Nuclear Holocaust during Cold War?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    Small climate change can be responsible for introducing new life forms into environment. For example a temperature or moisture change could enable mosquitoes or other insects to pass some natural barrier and bring new diseases into populations.
    You are right climate change also cause different issues of health, diseases, food production and consumption, environmental changes, clothing change and many more things.
    All these factors play an important role in the life of people and such the whole civilizations turned changed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon Pagliuca View Post
    You are right climate change also cause different issues of health, diseases, food production and consumption, environmental changes, clothing change and many more things.
    All these factors play an important role in the life of people and such the whole civilizations turned changed.

    Is that the case for specific regions or for the whole civilization in general? because I think this is a little exaggerated^^ I'm not saying this won't be the case one day, I just don't like unnecessary panicing too much;)

    I'd like to add a resource to this thread, think this is interesting for some of you...some stats and facts abour the climate change:

    http://www.statista.com/topics/1148/...limate-change/

    best regards!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greyd View Post
    Is that the case for specific regions or for the whole civilization in general? because I think this is a little exaggerated^^ I'm not saying this won't be the case one day, I just don't like unnecessary panicing too much;)

    I'd like to add a resource to this thread, think this is interesting for some of you...some stats and facts abour the climate change:

    http://www.statista.com/topics/1148/...limate-change/

    best regards!
    I'm not worry about CO2 level. When you look closer through history of man, you will noticed that cooling and draughts where the cause of civilizations collapse, while climate warming was behind expansion of population and rise of civilizations. Generally speaking cooling was bad and warming was good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    It was very true, if it comes the cycles of civilizations, till second half of last millenium. This last Little Ice Age didn't stop European Civilization and its momentum. Traditionally, cold and dry weather of 15th to 18th century, should have been disastrous for Europe and brought collapse equivalent of Dark Ages. Instead though, european population was steadily growing, new technologies invented, sciences embraced, cities grew larger, public education started, industrial forces unleashed.
    And with help of a big dose of Lactose Persistent genes, especially spreading like wildfire through northern parts of Europe in last 3 thousand of years. When crops failed, cows milk became the salvation for northern and central european farmers and their families. One cow can easily give 10 liters of milk a day. That's two per head for family of 5. As long as everyone is LP can receive 1,500 calories a day from full bodied milk, plus all the nutrients needed to sustain life. All needed is a cow and grass, or dry grass in winter, for this miracle to happen.

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    Why can't i post threads?

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    Agriculture emerged between 10 and 13000 years ago




    "The Younger Dryas stadial, also referred to as the Big Freeze, was a 1,300 (± 70) year period of cold climatic conditions and drought which occurred between approximately 12,800 and 11,500 years BP (between 10,800 and 9500 BC)."
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas


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