Connections: How the Medieval Warm Period Led to Planes, Trains and Automobiles
October 3, 2019 - CFACT posted a fascinating video at CFACT.org which delves extensively into the medieval warm period and what happened when the little ice age brought it to an end. This history of past warmth and pre-industrial climate change is decidedly inconvenient for global warming campaigners. Now they'd like it expunged.
In 1978, the BBC released Connections, a ten part documentary in which presenter James Burke would take a historical development and trace the series of innovations that followed to reveal the connections that created the modern world.
Burkes' walk through history made ripping good television.
In 1979, Connections aired on PBS and became the then highest rated documentary in public television history. Episode one, "The Trigger Effect," takes us from the invention of the plow to the modern world, with a interesting look at what it was like in New York City when all that modernity was suddenly stripped away by the blackout of 1965.
Episode six, "Thunder in the Skies," starts in the medieval manners of Saxon England, where the warm climate permitted the planting of vineyards, and noble and peasant alike clustered around common open fires at night.
One of the reasons that these tiny communities went on existing at all, Burke explains, was because they had plenty to eat, because the weather was warmer then it is now, so the growing season was longer. It didn't last, thanks to something extraordinary that happened outside. And the incredible thing is, it started here, in the frozen North. Another one of those totally unforeseeable events that causes things to change... there was suddenly white Christmastime, where there hadn't been before... it got too damn cold to stay alive in winter, unless something serious was done pretty quick.
What did Europeans use to adapt to their cooling climate?
The first major change the chimney caused, Burke explains, was the separation of the classes. The lords and ladies left the bedding down here in the great hall to the dogs, and the servants and passing strangers, and cleared off to live in their own private apartments. And the upper and lower classes never came that close again.
From the chimney, Burke sends us off to the Connections races. Europeans needed to trap the heat from their improved indoor fires, so they adopted glass windows to shut out the new cold. Glass-making depleted the firewood and turned society to coal. People learned that coal could be purified to coke which led to purer iron, then steam engines, railroads, combustion engines and ultimately jets.
It's an interesting journey, but we'd like to call your particular attention to the early portion of the episode which presents all that gripping history about medieval warmth and the tragic cold that followed.
James Taylor posted a piece to CFACT.org on the Orwellian efforts of global warming campaigners, such as Michael Mann and Katharine Hayhoe, to remove the long-documented medieval warm period from our temperature history, and ultimately from our increasingly short-lived memories. As James explains:
The existence of substantial historical climate variations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age were scientifically well-documented and not in dispute before climate activism politicized the issue. Alarmist scientists were on record searching for justifications to eliminate these inconvenient climate variations that blew gaping holes in their alarmist theories. Now, conveniently, alarmists like Mann and Hayhoe claim the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age, and other well-documented warm and cold periods simply did not exist.
"Who control the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past." Climate science should not be an exercise in Orwellian dystopia.
In Connections, James Burke attributes medieval climate change to sunspots and volcanoes. Eleven years later, in 1989, he produced a two-part series called After the Warming, in which he gets on board with greenhouse gas-based computer models and uses them to issue a series of disastrous predictions, all of which have already proven false.
That's a sad and interesting story CFACT will share another day.