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Dr Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations

The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations - Brian M. Fagan A fascinating look at the Medieval Warming period that includes not only Europe, but just about every part of the world. Fagan presents various examples of how the warming period (which was not a consistent warmth, but a period of cyclical warmth resulting from, among a few things, El Nino/La Nina changes.) The resulting analysis is convincing if not a bit repetative, since most of the areas he describes (Mexico, Peru/Chile, Africa, India & China) all suffer from droughts while Europe and Northern North America flourish (or at least benefit, as in the case of the Norsemen and Inuits who ended up trading with one another).

Mixed in with his clearly presented info on climatology is historical information, all backed by Fagan's years and years of research. He does not limit his focus to just weather or just archeology. He blends many factors together to form his final argument.

Which is essentially that we are fucked if all we do is worry about temperature and not drought.

One thing that did nothing for me was Fagan's attempt, at the start of every chapter, to set the scene. Ultimately, each piece is awash in vagaries and simply sets up a general idea of key features of the civilization/tribe/culture that is about to be discussed. I guess it's an attempt to "liven things up" that I didn't need but others might appreciate. Since I only read 1-2 non-fiction books a year, I was more interested in the analyses.

Edited: to fix misspelling of author's last name.