Horrifying account of the Little Ice Age – Segment 4

A must-see video.

“When I talk to people about the Grand Solar Minimum (GSM) I usually point them to the BBC documentary called “Little Ice Age Big Chill”,” says reader Norman Grant Smith. “I tell them that the documentary will show them exactly what happened during the last GSM, and this is exactly what will happen in the GSM that is starting right now.”

“This video is an amazing history lesson. And it’s also kind of a horror story as well. People eating their children. Thousands and thousands of “witches” being burned for “causing the clouds rain storms, snow storms, crop failures, plagues etc. That kind of thing. It’s a must-see for all of us.”

This is a l-o-o-o-o-n-g video, so I’ve taken notes (below) in 15-minute segments.

Here are notes from the 45-minute to the 57-minute mark.

In France, the weather was colder than it had ever been. Two bad harvests in a row and the cold had combined to put the French peasants in a situation where they knew they were not going to be able to make it through the next year. It became a major factor in the French Revolution, the uprising that set France on the road toward democracy.

The Little Ice Age was also felt with devastating force in Ireland. For 200 years, Irish peasants had been growing the potato. But by 1840, they had whittled it down to just one kind of potato – the lumper – the most user-friendly potato of them all. The lumper was very easy to cultivate and to propagate. But, it was also a very low-quality potato, watery, and susceptible to disease.

Six million Irish depended on the lumper as their only source of food. But when a mysterious blight descended on the potato crop, the nation’s life blood descended into an inedible mass of black goo.

The Irish potato famine lasted for five years. Starving children gnawed on weeds. Weakened by malnutrition, thousands died of cholera and typhus. Emaciated mothers cradled dead babies as they begged for money to buy coffins.

It is estimated, and the estimate is probably conservative, that 1.5 million Irish peasants died during the Irish potato famine, known as “The Great Death.”

If there was any good news to be had from the Little Ice Age, it may have helped produce one of the world’s finest instruments, the Stradivarius violin. The trees that Stradivari used have been dated to the Maunder Minimum. During warmer years, trees grow fast, adding thick rings. During cool years, growth is slow and rings are thin.

According to Dr Lloyd Burkle, a paleooceanographer at Columbia University, the cold of that period may have contributed to the denser wood that the Italian luthier (maker of stringed instruments) was able obtain.

And then there’s the question of alcoholic beverages. If not for the Little Ice Age, American party animals might be drinking wine instead of hard liquor and beer. When the Little Ice Age assailed the vineyards, it killed the grape vines that had thrived so well during the Medieval Warm Period.

“It was the northern Europeans who were deprived of grapes,” says food and wine expert Joseph H. Coulombe. Even though the canals froze in Venice, the production of wines in southern Europe was not seriously cut. Northern Europeans thus had no choice but to make their alcohol from the depleted supplies of their cereal crops.

When emigration to America began, the immigrants came almost exclusively from northern Europe, with virtually no immigration from the Mediterranean Basin. The English came, the Dutch, the Swedes, the Poles, the Irish, the Germans, the Scots, who by now had been drinking hard liquor and beer for many generations, and that’s the culture they brought with them.

I stopped taking notes at the 57-minute mark. See more tomorrow.

Thanks to Norman Grant Smith for this video

12 thoughts on “Horrifying account of the Little Ice Age – Segment 4”

  1. About the hard stuff, everyone forgets, that it “clarified water”. Helped make it potable. Wine was used at first, like in the church’s now, a little was added to the water, let it sit awhile. Less hard stuff was added. But it did the job. The idea of holy waters.

  2. Mexico, May 10, 2018 The Popocatépetl dawns with snow … and a large fumarole
    According to the Cenapred, the fumarole reached 800 meters high; on the eve the volcano emitted 70 exhalations of low intensity.
    This Thursday, the Popocatépetl volcano dawned snow-covered and with a fumarole of water vapor of 800 meters of height, which goes to the east-southeast, informed the general director of the National Center of Prevention of Disasters (Cenapred), Carlos Valdes.
    Through his Twitter account @ CarlosValdes1, he specified that: “The Popocatépetl dawns snowed and with a fumarole of water vapor that reaches 800 mts wax and heads east southeast”.
    The eve, the colossus emitted 70 exhalations of low intensity accompanied by water vapor and gas. In addition, a volcanotectonic earthquake with a magnitude of 2.3 was recorded, in addition to 181 minutes of low amplitude tremor.

  3. While discussing the Irish potato famine, you might have mentioned that the Brits had the resources to feed the Irish poor. On the advice of their bureaucrats, they simply chose not to. It was a clear case of ethnic cleansing, probably on a par with the holocaust.

  4. Another really interesting fact that is not directly mentioned is that the European population of the American colonies were largely refugees. This is generally not mentioned in history classes, but somewhere around 80% of the colonial population at the time of the American Revolution were either bond servants or the descendant of bond servants. The actual bond servants had either sold their freedom temporarily in order to get to the “New World” and a chance to survive or were occasionally shanghaied off the the streets and discovered they were involuntary bond servants being shipped to the Americas. This immigration took pressure off resources in Europe. In effect, the nature of the European colonization of the Americas was very largely a product of the LIA.

  5. It is pretty typical during bankrupt from scams “currency minimums” which strangely habe correlated with Kondratiev/mini-iceage cycles/failed crop cycles. Vikings set out on longboats, Turks and Khans on horseback and idealists in boats to Asia/New Worlds. Europe is still haunted from the loss of Doggerland. Keep an eye open when it grows cold…it inevitably calls a warriors’ spirit from eons ago…

  6. Something doesn’t make historic sense here. The Irish Potato Famine was from 1845 to 1849 a period that was in neither the Maunder or Dalton minimum periods. The fact that Ireland had particularly cool moist weather that year doesn’t correlate with a GSM. It was in the period following the Dalton Minimum.

    • The Little Ice Age can be thought of as a pattern of weather that has momentum (all climate is, is weather over time). Long periods with lower solar input don’t reverse and become cold immediately since a great deal of energy is stored in the oceans. Similarly, warming patterns require time for the oceans to warm up before the full effect reaches the continental areas. The LIA ended according to many sources at around 1850. In California, Mary Hill places the end of the Matthes glacial advance, corresponds to the LIA, at 1900.

  7. The BIG thing to remember with LIA was not just that it got so cold but in the run-up to the long freeze the weather became extremely erratic, with very wide swings — extended periods of unseasonably extremely wet or snow, to long very dry cool times. This caused the huge stress on societies as food (and in drought water) became scarce.
    If such condition were to happen over the next 5 to 15 years how well would the modern world cope?
    IMHO ‘not at all’ is the only foreseeable answer, reliant as we are on ‘just in time ordering’ with the minium kept in storage.

  8. Hi Lorraine that’s because as per Ian Campbell’s comment above the Irish Famine was greatly exacerbated by British civil servants refusing to aid the Irish people in any meaningful way (Robert Peel excepted but even that can be argued). Through the Act of Union 1800 they dissolved the Kingdom of Ireland and removed our local government who could have shut down sea ports and directed food towards famine relief. Instead Ireland continued to export massive quantities of food and the people were made to starve at the end of British soldier’s bayonets.

    Also I find it hard to believe the BBC were not consulted / involved with this production as it is rife with other inaccuracies towards Ireland. The Lumper potato far from being low quality was actually a highly nutritious meal and the labourer’s daily diet was 6kg of potatoes and 2L of butter milk. Visitors to the island at the time described the local people as being generally healthy and happy. No one is arguing the danger of being so over reliant on one food source but let’s dispel the myth of stupid Irish barely surviving on watery potatoes and one bit of blight knocking them over. Ireland was a net exporter of food all through the famine and the ordinary people were made starve to death. Only the wealthy and well off could afford the ticket to America.

    And after we gloss over the Irish Holocaust we quickly move onto a happy story just to take the images of starving Irish out of your mind and stop you thinking about it too much. Don’t worry about the millions of forced Irish deaths, they weren’t in vain, it gave us the Stradivarius violin after all.

    Just as a closing thought could the Irish a
    of 1845 being so dependent on a single food source be looked at any differently to the 90% of today’s population with their complete dependence on a fragile just-in-time food delivery system?

  9. *Just as a closing thought could the Irish of 1845 being so dependent on a single food source be looked at any differently to the 90% of today’s population with their complete dependence on a fragile just-in-time food delivery system?

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