-- Rachel Carson
Throughout history, man has repeatedly reached a point in the development of his society where he has determined that he influences nature. And time after time, nature humiliates him.
During periods of climate stability, man has learned to adjust to the climate and flourish. Those that have had the genius to coordinate their efforts to maximize the potential offered by a stable climate have often risen to great heights culturally. And those who lead their societies to these momentous achievements have been rewarded with tremendous power and wealth. It begins with a breakthrough understanding of the seasons and the climate associated with those seasons. Over time, patterns are recognized and eventually predicted. Astronomers learn that when the sun rises at a certain point it is the beginning of spring or summer or fall or winter. This information is invaluable for determining when to plant, when to harvest, when to prepare for winter. Regular spring rains are prepared for and farmers learn to contain excess water to use for irrigation between rains. As these regular patterns come to be relied upon, they become vital to the success of the society.
Often favorable weather is attributed to proper behavior and unfavorable weather as punishment for improper behavior. But when the climate significantly changes, these same leaders are looked to for guidance to protect the status quo. Having taken credit for favorable weather, they are now blamed for unfavorable weather. Seeking to maintain their power and control, they turn the blame around. They blame the people for bringing on bad weather with bad behavior. And they often resort to extraordinary measures to "appease the gods" to retain control.
|Pueblo Bonita in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, Ancient Anasazi Capital|
In the articles that follow, I will reach back in time and take a closer look at some of the cultures of the past that have gone through climate change and present what I think is credible evidence that the arrogance of Man can significantly contribute to his downfall!
Continue to Part 2
-- Courtney Miller