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Friday April 26th 2019Tim Candler9

 

    The Medieval Climate Anomaly began around 950 and went on until around 1250. It was a warming trend. And excellent for agricultural production in Europe. A good harvest of Wheat was around 1:7. That is one grain of Wheat for seed stock, seven grains of Wheat for consumption. A poor harvest of Wheat was around 1:2, which meant widespread hunger and hardship. A Wheat farmer today expects around 1:30. Then in 1300 something happened to the climate it started to cool and around 1315  intense weather patterns produced a series of very wet, cold summers. Hay could not be cured, Wheat failed to mature. This was famine for Europe and out of the 1315 to 1317 famine came the story of Hansel and Gretel which some have suggested was inspired  by accounts of cannibalism which may or may not have occurred during the struggle to survive. By 1318 weather patterns returned to something like normal and in the following years Europe entered a period of climate known as the Little Ice Age, cold winters, cooler summers. 

 

Past

      The 1315-1317 famine was by no means the first famine or the last famine experienced in the Middle Ages but the lasting effects of the famine went on for years. Seed stock had been consumed, draft animals had been slaughtered, and it took many years to recover these seed stocks and raise livestock. But not only did the famine reduce the population by between 15 and 25%, it also had an effect upon the health of the population, made us more susceptible to sickness. Nor did the Black Death of 1350 help the situation. Much worse for the way of life in the Middle Ages, central authorities had no capacity, or desire, or foresight sufficient to manage so large and dramatic a series of crises. On several occasions during the famine The King of England, while progressing through his realm had to go without several meals, this for a royal personage was an outrage of gigantic proportions. During the famine the King of France chose to carry out his plan to invade the Netherlands, his army got bogged down by rain, mud and cold, he had to burn his baggage train and retreat. During the famine it was our fault we'd upset God, we'd failed to obey the logic of the Idea. It was slowly in the following two centuries that the Idea was challenged and by the 1960's we had stuff like the Measles Vaccine.

 

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