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The Climate Crisis in The 1640s

October 26, 2021

By Paul Homewood


I mentioned the fact the other day that 500,000 died during the winter of 1642/3 in Japan, due to a winter of unusual severity.

This is an astonishing figure by any measure:



But the climate crisis in that period was not confined to Japan only. The following paragraph from Global Crisis gives a flavour of what was a widespread crisis in much of Asia:


Geoffrey Parker – Global Crisis

  1. Alexander Gwynn permalink
    October 26, 2021 10:21 am

    Thanks for your ongoing posts…much appreciated & an antidote to the current ‘climate change’ hysteria.RegardsA Gwynn Sent from Mail for Windows From: NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THATSent: 26 October 2021 10:12To: alecgwynn@gmail.comSubject: [New post] The Climate Crisis in The 1640s Paul Homewood posted: "By Paul Homewood   I mentioned the fact the other day that 500,000 died during the winter of 1642/3 in Japan, due to a winter of unusual severity. This is an astonishing figure by any measure:   But the climate crisis in that period "

  2. AC Osborn permalink
    October 26, 2021 10:24 am

    You are not allowed to reference anything before 1970, that is when the climate world began.
    Only they can talk about pre-industrialisation, because that was eutopia

    • Up2snuff permalink
      October 26, 2021 2:30 pm

      ACO, I do hope that was a slip of the pen .. er …. keyboard … a typo .. in the last word of your post. 🙂

  3. Phoenix44 permalink
    October 26, 2021 10:32 am

    Not just remarkable but a warning. Without reliable energy you have to put by sufficient food to see you through 3-4 months of trying to survive in many places. Not so long ago villages and communities even in Europe were entirely cut-off once the snow started and had no “local” produce to collect or harvest. It was the ability to preserve meat that enabled people to survive, not some expensive organic vegan diet. If winter lasted beyond the pig you had slaughtered in autumn, you died. If your pigs had been wiped out by disease, good luck. We didn’t use to celebrate mid-wibter because it was pretty but because it meant we were halfway to surviving.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      October 26, 2021 11:08 am

      The English breakfast of bacon and eggs is a reflection of this subsistence lifestyle. Everybody could keep a few chickens for a supply of eggs and a pig which could be fed on anything from waste food (not that would be much) to acorns.

      Keeping of pigs and chickens was common in France, there are still many of the small buildings they used to house both, about 2 metres square 2-3 metres tall with two floors. Pigs at the bottom chickens on the top. Known colloquially as “petit toit”

    • Gerry, England permalink
      October 26, 2021 1:40 pm

      The Winter solstice also signifies the start of the next agrarian year which in those times was something to celebrate – as it should be now. The Summer solstice would not actually be something to celebrate as it signified the shortening of the day.

  4. Andrew Mark Harding permalink
    October 26, 2021 10:49 am

    That WAS a climate crisis as opposed to the current politically motivated, imaginary climate crisis!

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    October 26, 2021 11:09 am

    Considering the low global population at that time the relative loss of so many lives because of a real weather-related emergency, the likes of Greta Attenburg haven’t a clue.

  6. October 26, 2021 11:09 am

    500,000 died during the winter of 1642/3 in Japan

    That would be around the onset of the Maunder Minimum (c. 1645).

    • October 26, 2021 6:20 pm

      The piece you linked ends with:

      “The physical mechanism that explains how a drastic change in solar activity affects Earth’s climate is unknown, and a single episode, however suggestive, does not prove that lower sunspot numbers produce cooling. However, if real, the phenomenon may indicate that the Sun can influence the climate on Earth with even slight fluctuations.”

      I’d bet that some nut editor knee-jerk added it to the article.

  7. Brian Blagden permalink
    October 26, 2021 12:03 pm

    I came across this 2020 paper in the International Journal of Climatology (link below) that may be of interest (sorry if all ready seen). It indicates that Scotland previously had “protracted extreme droughts, in excess of 40 months duration” e.g. 1854–1859 (53 months), 1780–1784 (47 months) and 1765–1769 (47 months), Other “notable extreme droughts” include 1812–1815 (27 months) and 1785–1787 (26 months). The item recognises that all of these droughts were far worse than their modern counterparts.

    Climate crisis…what climate crisis!?

    • Jim Le Maistre permalink
      October 27, 2021 4:47 pm

      1854 – volcano ,Shiveluch, Kamchatka.1780 Tseax, BC, Canada, as strong as Pompeii., 1765 – Macturin, Borneo. 1812 – Tambora began erupting in the Philippines. it continued for 3 more years. 1785 – Mt Laki, Iceland.
      Volcanoes have more to do with Climate Change than anything humans can or ever will do on Planet Earth. Even the Sub-Oceanic Volcanoes have the potential of moving Jet Streams and increasing the volitivity and the intensity of ‘storm systems’
      However, if we do not look . . . we can not see.

  8. T Walker permalink
    October 26, 2021 1:22 pm

    Yes Geoffrey Parker’s book is a very sobering read. An amazing chunk of research of the kind that I sometimes wish I was capable of. Dream on………

    A long read at one go, but amazing reference and bibliography.

    There is a good reason it was The Sunday Times history book of the year.

    I remember starting on the Preface and laughing out loud at the opening words.

    “This is a Big Book. Hollowed out it would serve as a mausoleum for Ronnie Corbett”

    Much better people than I have thoroughly recommend this book, including Mr. Homewood.

    As others above have said it makes you realise what a real climate crisis would look like.

  9. Bob Schweizer permalink
    October 26, 2021 1:50 pm

    After reading the October 13th post ‘Adapt or Die, says the Environmental Agency’ I wrote to them quoting some of the graphs from the Met Office. After some prevarication on their part, I have finally received their explanation, as follows:

    Dear Mr Schweizer

    Ref Complaint NAT/CCS/14383

    I am responding on behalf of the Environment Agency to your emails of 13th and 14th October, regarding our Chair Emma Howard Boyd’s BBC interview on our recent adaptation report.

    Your emails queried if our Chair’s comments were supported by climate science. Having checked these, we feel that her comments do reflect the science but this is a complex and nuanced subject that is not easily reduced to media sound bites.

    You suggest that there does not appear to be an increasing trend of wetter winters and drier summers. The Met Office’s State of the UK Climate 2021 shows that the most recent decade (2011–2020) has been on average 4% wetter than 1981–2010 and 9% wetter than 1961–1990 for the UK overall . You are right that the rainfall record does not so far suggest that summers have been getting drier, but neither the BBC interview nor our report have made this claim.

    You asked what basis there is for the statement on “violent weather”. This statement about the need to prepare for more violent weather is based on our understanding of how the UK climate will change in the future. We use the latest UK climate change projections (UKCP18), developed as part of the Met Office Hadley Centre Climate Change Programme, which tell us that winters will get wetter and summers drier. In addition, rainfall intensity is expected to increase in both summer and winter.

    You suggest that our projections of water levels in the Thames seem too high. The quoted figures are for sea level rise and taken from UKCP18. This will vary locally, but is generally greater in the south of England than other parts of the UK (due to the movement of land as well as the sea). For both precipitation and sea level rise the figures quoted are based on a climate scenario approximately equivalent to a 2 degree centigrade rise in global mean temperature by 2100.

    For further information about how England’s climate is changing and the sources and assumptions used in our analysis, see pages 16-18 and 49-52 of our adaptation report. We use the same headline climate information that is also published in the Climate Change Committee’s Independent Assessment of UK climate risk summary for England.

    Yours faithfully,

    Liz Parkes
    Deputy Director Climate Change and Business Services

    I appreciate and find this response interesting, but whether it is based on viable interpretation I must leave our readers to decide.

    • Jim Le Maistre permalink
      October 27, 2021 10:51 pm

      Mr. Schweizer,

      The references that Liz parks makes are to 10 year periods. This type of reference is really of little import when periods of ‘Climate Change’ over the last 4,000 years have averaged 500 years. Climate Change is a long and drawn out affair that makes 10 years really quite meaningless. Those of us that have studied the long history of climate change on earth really get this.

      The Tower of London was built at the peak of the ‘Middle Ages Warming period’. The Docks were built 4′ above water. You can look at paintings at the Peak of the ‘Little Ice Age’ circa 1750 – the docks are – 4′ above water. you can look at The Tower of London today – you guessed it – 4′ above water. Peak warming to peak cooling . . . No change !
      Facts trump supposition and projections all day long.

      • Bob Schweizer permalink
        October 28, 2021 10:33 am

        Thank you, Jim.

  10. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    October 26, 2021 4:34 pm

    Global weather patterns in Europe, Asia and the Americas from 1640 – 1645 were dramatically effected by the largest ever recorded Volcano in South America. Mount Huaynaputina Peru Erupted on February 19th 1640. The Explosion is said to have shot 35 km into the atmosphere and destroyed cities 75 km away. The villages of Tasata and Calicanto were buried beneath more than 10 feet of molten lava. Ash fall was reported 250 -500 km away, throughout southern Peru and in what is now northern Chile and western Bolivia.

    Russia claimed that it saw the worst famine and exceptionally cold winters. France and Germany reported delay in wine harvesting and production. In China, peach trees bloomed late, and in Japan, Lake Suwa had one of its earliest freezing dates in 500 years.

    Cold Climate Change throughout history can almost always be attributed to large volcanic eruptions over 6 on the Volcanic Eruption Index (VEI). For further reference see Tambora 1815 which brought 10 years of global cooling and 1816 – ‘The Year without summer’.

    • October 27, 2021 12:40 pm

      In 1991 I remember waking up coughing as the air conditioning unit was bringing in dust.
      When I went outside it was like I had been transported to the moon. Everything had been covered in a grey dust. Mount Pinatubo had erupted causing the whole of Manila to be covered. As I travelled that day to Angeles City and beyond. I saw people fleeing the mud flows and drove across the river bed where the bridge had been destroyed.
      This is from Wikipedia
      “The effects of the 1991 eruption were felt worldwide. It ejected roughly 10 billion tonnes (1.1×1010 short tons) or 10 km3 (2.4 cu mi) of magma, and 20 million tonnes (22 million short tons) of SO
      2, bringing vast quantities of minerals and toxic metals to the surface environment. It injected more particulate into the stratosphere than any eruption since Krakatoa in 1883. Over the following months, the aerosols formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) in the years 1991–1993,[8] and ozone depletion temporarily saw a substantial increase.

  11. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    October 27, 2021 2:42 pm

    And, ladies and gentlemen, Pinatubo was a VEI 5. VEI 6 is 10 times greater. VEI 7 is 10 times Greater again. With all the melting glaciation from from all over the northern hemisphere pouring into the Oceans, 16 million, billion tons just since 1985, the tectonic plates are moving towards the continents. Pressure is building on the Earth’s mantle at the 5 ocean Gyers. increases in quake activity is prevalent all around the world at ‘Hot Spots’. Especially around the ‘Ring of Fire’. Someday soon one of these Volcanic ‘Monsters’, a VEI 6 or greater will erupt. Then humanity will get a first hand lesson from Nature of what ‘Climate Change’ really means. Until then our political leaders will continue to play with CO2 to show they are trying to avert catastrophe. When all along in the absence of Volcanism on our little blue planet Nature does what it always has between these cataclysmic and monstrous events – return to ‘The Norm of Warm’.

  12. Jim Le Maistre permalink
    October 29, 2021 6:36 pm

    PS . . . 1640 was 110 years before the second coldest year in the last 10,000 years – 1750.
    1750 is the year Environmentalists use as the start point for their research.

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