American Elephants

There Really Was a Little Ice Age, and It Was Very, Very Cold. by The Elephant's Child
January 2, 2010, 10:28 pm
Filed under: Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Have you ever heard of The Great Frost? In France they called it Le Grande Hiver. On the 6th of January in 1709 people across Europe awoke to find that the temperature had plummeted.  The temperature stayed down for three long weeks, there was a brief thaw, and then the temperature went down again, and stayed there.

From Scandinavia  to Italy, everything turned to ice.  Lakes and rivers froze, the sea froze.  The soil froze to a depth of a meter or more.  Livestock died in their barns from the cold.  Chickens’ combs froze and fell off.  Trees exploded. Travelers froze to death on the roads.

The painting above, by Gabriele Bella (1733-99) is of a portion of a lagoon in Venice, frozen over, with Venetians unsure of how to cope with this remarkable event.

Three months of deadly cold  meant a year of famine and food riots.  In Switzerland hungry wolves came right into the villages.  The Baltic froze so completely that people could walk across the ice as late as April.  In the Mediterranean, sailors died from the cold aboard English men-of-war.

In France,  bread froze so hard it took an axe to cut it.  According to a canon from Beaune in Burgundy, “travelers died in the countryside, livestock in the stables, wild animals in the woods.  Nearly all the birds died, wine froze in barrels and public fires were lit to warm the poor.”

In the spring the cold was replaced by worsening food shortages.  Authorities forced the rich to provide soup kitchens.  By the summer, there were reports of starving people in the fields “eating grass like sheep.”  More than a million died from cold or starvation.

Then there was “eighteen-hundred and froze-to-death.” That was the “year without summer” in America, or 1816.  Severe summer climate abnormalities destroyed crops in Northern Europe, Eastern Canada and the Northeast United States.  It is attributed to low solar activity combined with the a series of volcanic eruptions from 1812 to 1814, capped by a huge eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia. There was widespread famine in China.

In America farmers, wiped out in New England, struck out for the richer soils of the Midwest.  The “Year Without a Summer” accounted for much of the settlement of the Upper Midwest — which was then the Northwest Territory — but the effects of the cold were far more widespread than that.

If you remember Dr. Michael Mann’s “hockey-stick” graph that has caused so much trouble, you will remember that it was given that name because the record of temperatures moved along in a pretty steady state like the handle of a hockey stick before suddenly shooting up in drastic warming in the 20th century.  I say “trouble” because the UN’s IPCC based much of its assessment of the climate on that particular graph.  And that is part of what proved to be so fraudulent in the climate scandal called “ClimateGate.”

The hockey-stick graph had already been completely discredited when mathematician Stephen McIntyre demonstrated that the math didn’t work; but until the exposure of the ClimateGate emails and code fraud no one was admitting that it was hooey.  The culprits at Hadley CRU were trying to eliminate the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age from history, and profiting professionally and monetarily at the expense of science, their peers, the world’s governments and the world’s taxpayers.  Governments have a lot invested in the income that might be incoming from cap-and-trade schemes and fees and taxes.  They will not give up easily.

Science students who spend all their time in the lab, may be unaware of Viking settlements in Greenland — beginning  around 972 AD — or be unfamiliar with the Norse Eddas or Chaucer or the writings of  someone like William Derham, the Rector of Upminster— a short ride north-east of London — who had been checking his thermometer and barometer three times a day since 1687.  Others in Europe  recorded their observations.  Ships captains documented the weather in their logs on a daily basis, and those logs are proving to be an amazing resource for scientists who are looking for more detail of the history of climate.

Al Gore might take note that cold is far, far worse than hot weather.


7 Comments so far
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It seems that whatever has recently happened to discredit the IPCC document there has been NO drastic change in the thought process of the Global Warming Media crowd. So how will we finally get back to our sences on this issue? I do not hear the thunderous denouncments that should be forthcoming? I guess LIES, LIES & discredited data are still not believed. How idiotic are these people? Hopefully the non third world countries are understanding what has happened? It is nothing but a UN hijacking of the affluent nations to subsidize third world nations. The UN is a farce.


Comment by Bill

There are some in the media who accepted the word of the IPCC as gospel, but are able to recognize fraud as fraud. University of Bristol has released a new study showing that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic CO2 has not increased for 160 years. Another questions environmental claims of species extinction.

In one sense,the internet is changing everything. Politicians have a huge investment in global warming as a vehicle to bring them more taxes, more power, and more campaign funds. In the developing countries, too often aid (such as aid to forestall warming)goes into the pockets and Swiss bank accounts of the politicians. But you can’t as easily hide the truth with the internet to expose it.

The environmental movement is HUGE, powerful and well-funded. A formidable foe. “Saving the planet” puts one on a higher plane than ordinary mortals. Check in regularly at and The IPCC was founded as a political organization to prove that global warming was a result of human action. It will take time, but I think we’ve reached a tipping point.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

An sobering recount of the effects of The Little Ice Age upon the Human Condition. Too bad that the New Scientist folks still cannot come to grips with the fact that CO2 is not a pollutant and does nort cause “global warming.” Read their editorial on the Copenhagen climate meeting here:

How can they write of such extreme temperatures and then encourage political conferences on man-made global warming is an unexplainable dilemma? One obvious speculation is that New Scientist = Political Junk Science.


Comment by gadfly

Yes, New Scientist is firmly in the warmist camp. Their story on the Little Ice Age seemed to check out, though. People don’t seem to understand that cold is far more threatening than warming. I wrote earlier about “the Killing Time” in Scotland — the years around 1695 when 3 failed harvests led to mass starvation. It continued for 7 years, and it was thought that tens of thousands of people died.

And all the fuss and hoopla now is about one degree of warming, something nobody would even notice if Al Gore wasn’t out threatening the end of the world. Britain is suffering from this cold spell. They have jumped so firmly on the global warming bandwagon that wind farms have been built in areas where they can never be effective, but the subsidies encouraged speculators. California, our state closest to financial ruin, is the state that has invested most heavily in “fighting global warming.”Santa Barbara city council was going to paint a line across the city to indicate how high the rising ocean might reach. Fortunately they backed off.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

If you really deny that global climate change is happening, why don’t you purchase some ocean-front property?


Comment by Heartwould

Goodness, I don’t deny that climate change is happening. The climate is always warming and cooling. The only place where it is assumed to be a crisis that it has warmed nearly one whole degree over the last century, is in computer programs that “attempt” to model the climate of the world. And we simply don’t know enough to develop a satisfactory model. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere that is supposed to be causing the warming is 380 parts per million — that is .038% or 38/1000 of 1%. And oddly enough, the warming even preceded the increases in CO2, so the CO2 couldn’t have caused the problem.

Ocean front property would be nice, but I can’t afford it. Al Gore can, and did.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

I would LOVE to buy some ocean-front property, Heartwould, but I can’t afford it because it’s so very expensive as it is in very high demand. If the propaganda and fantasies you believe were true, it would be very, very inexpensive, and Al Gore certainly wouldn’t have bought any.


Comment by American Elephant

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