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Geoffrey Parker’s Account Of The Little Ice Age – Part II

February 11, 2016

By Paul Homewood  




We looked yesterday at the Geoffrey Parker’s account of climatic changes up to the 1640s. As we will see, things weren’t about to get any better soon.  





  1. Christopher Booker permalink
    February 11, 2016 1:07 pm

    Paul, I’m delighted that you have at last got round to reading Geoffrey Parker’s wonderful book (!) and that you are rightly recommending it to your readers. If anyone is interested in reading a historian’s view of the book, this is the rave review I gave it in the Spectator a couple of years ago.

    • February 11, 2016 1:38 pm

      Your review was a bit of a stroll down “memory lane.” In high school English, history and Problems of Democracy, it was touched upon. However, it was in Humanities my freshman year at WVU when we read Samuel Peyps, Hobbes and so many others at some length. It would have been so good to have this climate context for their writings, to bring greater understanding.

      I remember that Samuel Pepys was on the list of English authors for the high school Senior Theme in 1962. My English class was allowed to choose rather than being assigned and I chose “Charles L. Dodgson” (aka Lewis Carroll) from that list and had a lot of fun with him.

  2. February 11, 2016 1:37 pm

    Paul, I began to read HH Lamb’s book on Climate History and The Modern World. Decided early on that I needed to “digitise” the content since its easy (for me at least) to get lost among a long list of dates and events.

    I can also recommend Alastair Dawson’s book “So Foul and Fair a Day”. One conclusion I reach is that the 20th Century was abnormally quiescent, but used by our CC friends as the bench mark of normalcy.

  3. February 11, 2016 1:45 pm

    PS – CC in Europe 16th to 19th Centuries needs to include an understanding of Iceland volcanic eruptions. These represent by far the largest known natural hazard to Europe. The 1783 eruption of Laki…

    The system erupted over an eight-month period between 1783 and 1784 from the Laki fissure and the adjoining Grímsvötn volcano, pouring out an estimated 14 km3 (3.4 cu mi) of basalt lava and clouds of poisonous hydrofluoric acid and sulfur dioxide compounds that killed over 50% of Iceland’s livestock population, leading to a famine which then killed approximately 25% of the island’s human population.[4]

  4. Don B permalink
    February 11, 2016 3:33 pm

    A chilling section of the book is about the famines in China which led to cannibalism. Official Chinese documents detailed the events.

  5. David Richardson permalink
    February 11, 2016 8:35 pm

    I am sure all this stuff is just made up and it was lovely warm and benign like in the 20th century – A man called Michael Mann told me so. /sarc off

    • rifleman1853 permalink
      February 18, 2016 12:57 am

      David Richardson – wicked!!

  6. Stonyground permalink
    February 12, 2016 10:09 am

    I have read a different book on the subject of the Little Ice Age:

    I found the book very informative but I was baffled somewhat by the final chapter which was all about the terrible dangers of man made climate change. I couldn’t work out how Fagan could still believe in such things after having done the research needed to write the rest of the book.

  7. February 15, 2016 11:55 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  8. rifleman1853 permalink
    February 18, 2016 1:08 am

    Paul – many thanks for posting the info on this book. I’m currently in rehab after heart bypass surgery, and this is just the sort of thing I’ve been looking for, to give my brain something to get its teeth into, whilst I’m not up to doing much physical stuff.

    I was also interested in the point made by Christopher Booker in his review:

    “What Geoffrey Parker has now added to our perception of that time, however, is the very significant part played in those events, overlooked by Trevor-Roper, by the climate itself.”

    Having had an active interest in that period of our history in England, I’m also intrigued that no other book I’ve read has ever spotted the link between the climate and human behaviour in that period, either. Yet, once pointed out, it stares you in the face, doesn’t it?

    With best regards,


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