Notable weather events often catastrophic, 2010 years

Whenever the all-pervasive climate-alarmism hysteria gets on my nerves, I browse through the appended chronologies (especially the one by James Marusek), to learn about historical weather events, so as to get my bearings. Do a find-in-page in that for a few key items to put things into perspective: such as hailstones, Nile, Constantinople, plague, storm, drought, rain, flood, harvest, snow, frozen over, mother, etc., etc….

Weather events may be bad but their consequences can be mitigated

We live in good times and, objectively, don’t have much to complain about – why the urge to return to “the good, old days”?  That the old days were good is largely a figment of our imagination or, rather, a fiction by those who for many reasons wish us to believe that things were much better then.  Yet, as far as the consequences of adverse weather events on humans go, those were more often far more deadly even just a century ago, before SUVs, modern telecommunication, modern agricultural practices, and modern forms of energy uses other than through human or animal muscles for most of history, than they are now, and that is even though the size of the world population increased about six-fold in that span of time.  In terms of fatalities due to extreme weather events, that is a an extraordinary reduction in the deadliness of weather events by about 98 percent, by a factor of about 50.

Global Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events, 1900–2010

Global Death and Death Rates Due to Extreme Weather Events, 1900–2010 [Ref. 1]

We have something to celebrate: human ingenuity, the human drive that served well to make our lives enormously better now than they were in the good, old days, when humanity had trouble clinging to its precarious existence, always in danger of being eradicated, but succeeding in making humanity not only prevail but thrive, luxuriate and even wallow in its successes.

Bad weather events can be deadly without bringing human ingenuity to bear

It seems that the intensity with which many people yearn to return to when things were done through muscle power borders often on the fanatical,  oblivious to that, when wishing things were again like they were then, they wish that lives would again be short and brutish.  Let’s see what that was like:

»536 A.D. In Northumberland England, the River Tweed overflowed. People and cattle drowned. (47, 72, 92)
In the years 536 and 537 A.D., there was a persistent dry mist on the Mediterranean Sea. This caused rotten cold summers and snowy cold winters. [Suggesting a good-sized volcanic eruption —WHS] (171)

537 A.D. A dearth struck Scotland and Wales. (57, 72, 91)
In 537 A.D. during the period between 26 April and 24 May, a severe drought struck many regions of China. This drought was accompanied by a frost and caused a famine. Regions affected were: (153)
— Shansi (now Shanxi province) in northern China at Taiyuan, Hsin, Hsi, Chin-ch’êng, Lin-fên, and Chi.
— Shensi (now Shaanxi province) in central China at Sian.
— Kansu (now Gansu province) in northwest China at T’ien-shui.
— Honan (now Henan province) in central China at Shan.

410 A.D. In Rome, Italy, there was a famine followed by a plague. (57, 72, 91)
Under the Emperor Honorius (who reigned from 395 to 414), so great was the scarcity and dearth of victuals in Rome, Italy, that in the open marketplace, this voice was heard – set a price on man’s flesh. St. Jerome alluding to this plague, says: the rage of the starved with hunger broke forth into abominable excess, so as people mutually devoured the members of each other. Nay, even the tender mother spared not the flesh of her sucking child, but received him again into her bowels whom she had brought forth a little before. (72)
538 A.D. The land of Italy lay uncultivated last year, hence a great famine. Such as dwelt in the region of Emilia in northern Italy left their seats and goods, and went into the region of Picenum in east-central Italy and even there no less than 50,000 died of famine. Then the starved throwing off all humanity killed and ate one another. Delicate mothers eat their tender babes. Two women killed 17 men and ate them. A woman in Milan in northern Italy ate her dead son. People kneeling down on their knees and hands to eat grass and herbs, fell down with weakness and died. Nor was there any to bury them. Others eat dogs, mice, cats and the vilest animals. The Tuscans [from Tuscany in north-central Italy] were also starved, but bread made of earthnuts was a help to them. Far greater still were the numbers of starved beyond the Ionian borders. When they had nothing to eat, they became extenuated and pale, their flesh withered away and became black. The disease spread as among great herds of cattle. Their bile was redundant, there was no juice left in their bodies. Their skin was hardened, and became dried like leather, and clave to the bones. Their livid color became black. Men looked like charcoal wood, their countenance was senseless and stern. They died everywhere, partly from hunger and partly from too great satiety. Having been burnt up within, after the natural heat was extinguished. For having been starved, if they had any opportunity to feed freely, being not able to digest their food, they died so much sooner. The famine was so great in the region of Liguria in the coastal region of northwestern Italy that many mothers ate their own dearest children. The west coast region of Campania in southern Italy also suffered. Nor did Picenum’s being a seacoast save it. In the following year, 539, the grain sprang up by themselves, without the labor of farmers and oxen. They shook in the wind because there was no one left to reap them. (72)

In 538 in Italy there was a great famine. (57, 72, 91)…. « [Ref. 2]

When was the last time you experienced what was common-place in the good, old days?  Who would be silly enough to want to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs?


1.) ‘Wealth and Safety: The Amazing Decline in Deaths from Extreme Weather in an Era of Global Warming, 1900–2010’, (2010) Reason Foundation, By Indur M. Goklany, Project Director: Julian Morris; Executive Summary, p. 6

2.) An expansive  chronology (1,411 pages , including references to citations of sources of the accounts of events listed, and searches take a while, about 30 seconds):
‘A Chronological Listing of Early Weather Events’ (2010),  7th Edition,
by James A. Marusek, ranging from 1 A.D. to 1901 A.D.

3.) A more concise chronology: ‘A Chronology of Notable Weather Events’ (2011), by Douglas V. Hoyt, ranging from 243 A.D. to 2009 A.D.

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