Sunday, August 19, 2012

Holocene Ends With Western Civilization

The coming Ice Age catches our declining era completely unawares. This final blow by climate to a waning empire has been dealt many times in human history. It happened to the Sumerians, the Aztecs, The Greeks, The Romans and many others.

The historical evidence shows that things were already lurching to one side. Things were already falling apart. Then suddenly the climate changed and that was the death stroke. They lacked the strength to adapt or change rapidly and their civilization was swept into the rubbish bin forever. You hear of the invasions by their enemies, the sacking of Rome ... but many of these things happen because nature abhors a vaccuum. Their enemies rushed in to take what was unguarded, the former empire being too weak to even organize much in the way of opposition.

This is why Marcus Aurelius devoted his life to securing the border of Rome. He knew if he could get the periphery under control and push back the barbarians this would buy time for them to reform and think of solutions to their problems. He spent his remaining years in vain to this end.


ray said...

not a chance these pricks are getting off with some mere ice age

Texas Arcane said...

One of the "problems" that Marcus Aurelius had to deal with was vastly declining agricultural outputs. Roman soils were exhausted from lack of fallow years and longer winters were destroying harvests again and again at both ends. (Kind of like right now)

Even if Aurelius had succeeded in his campaigns to secure the borders again he would have come home to a lot of hungry mouths and not much food. Since a lot of the hungry mouths were immigrants who didn't feel much obligation to law and order, there were terrible riots in Rome over food frequently.

FrankNorman said...

Over historical time the climate has changed back and forth - it was cold in the late first millenium, then came the Medieval Warm Period, then the Little Ice Age.
Why should anyone think it would stop as it is now?

Maybe if world leaders were smart, they would have their countries keep burning fossil-fuels flat out to keep that nice greenhouse-effect thing going and hold back the ice? ;-D
(Though I've seen it argued that extra CO2 in the air will not really make things warmer.)

If things got really cold, sea levels would also drop. This would affect shipping.
Any predictions on how much climate change you expect, and how soon?