Not Much Global Warming On Bodmin Moor
By Paul Homewood
Brits will be familiar with Tony Robinson of Time Team fame. Tony never lets an opportunity pass to get a dig in about climate change and warn us about the perils therein associated. So it was a surprise last night, when Tony and the Team were up on Bodmin Moor, that the words never passed his lips. (The programme, by the way, was recorded in 2007).
For those not familiar with the English countryside, I should explain that Bodmin Moor is similar to Dartmoor, just down the road, except it does not possess a prison. Rising to 1300 feet, the moor can be a cold,damp, forbidding place even in summer. Most parts are uninhabited, except for a few sheep and wild horses, and the vegetation is largely limited to heather and moorland grass.
Tony and his chums, though, were digging up the remains of a bronze age settlement, which suggested a village of up to 2000 inhabitants. There was also plenty of evidence of lush forests of oak and elder.
So, naturally, Tony questioned how our ancestors from 3000 years ago could not simply survive, but actually thrive in such inhospitable conditions. Well, actually I am afraid to say he did not.The reason of course is not difficult to find.
Back in the Bronze Age temperatures were warmer than now, a time known as the Minoan Warming Period. Even during the MWP, which was probably cooler, land was cultivated up to 1000 feet on Dartmoor, much higher than is possible nowadays. Bodmin Moor, apart from the Tors, is mostly below such a height, and would have been capable of farming back in the Bronze Age and even before in Neolithic times, when other archaeological remains found on the moor have been dated. This is, of course, why many of the trees at that time were cut down.
Of course, if Tony had mentioned all of this, viewers might have questioned some of the claims about unprecedented warming, tipping points and sundry climatic disasters.
So, on balance, he evidently decided to keep his mouth shut.