Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations

Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations In And Early , One Of The Most Powerful El Ni Os Ever Recorded Disrupted Weather Patterns All Over The World Europe Suffered Through A Record Freeze As The American West Was Hit With Massive Floods And Snowstorms In The Western Pacific, Meanwhile, Some Island Nations Literally Went Bone Dry And Had To Have Water Flown In On Transport PlanesSuch Effects Are Not New Climatologists Now Know The El Ni O And Other Climate Anomalies Have Been Disrupting Weather Patterns Throughout History But Until Recently, No One Had Asked How This New Understanding Of The Global Weather System Related To Archaeology And History Droughts, Floods, Heat And Cold Put Stress On Cultures And Force Them To Adapt What Determines Whether They Adapt Successfully How Do These Climate Stresses Affect A People S Faith In The Foundations Of Their Society And The Legitimacy Of Their Rulers How Vulnerable Is Our Own Society To Climate Change In This Dazzlingly Original New Book, Archaeologist Brian Fagan Shows That Short Term Climate Shifts Have Been A Major And Hitherto Unrecognized Force In History El Ni O Driven Droughts Have Brought On The Collapse Of Dynasties In Egypt El Ni O Monsoon Failures Have Caused Historic Famines In India And El Ni O Floods Have Destroyed Whole Civilizations In Peru Other Short Term Climate Changes May Have Caused The Mysterious Abandonment Of The Anasazi Dwellings In The American Southwest And The Collapse Of The Ancient Maya Empire, As Well As Changed The Course Of European HistoryThis Beautifully Written, Groundbreaking Book Opens A New Door On Our Understanding Of Historical Events

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❮Epub❯ ➝ Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations Author Brian M. Fagan – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Paperback
  • 304 pages
  • Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations
  • Brian M. Fagan
  • English
  • 09 March 2019
  • 9780465011216

10 thoughts on “Floods, Famines, and Emperors : El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations

  1. says:

    I came across this book while browsing in our home library Well, accurately, sitting on a dining room chair staring at a loaded bookcase, glassy eyed and drooling When I first encountered the woman who is now my wife, one of her most attractive characteristics was that she was a big time reader And how I really hit the mother lode there She came with a dowry of many, many volumes Sorry, no goats And I might as well have worn a sign, Will Put Out For Books She knew the way to my heart, and has continued to fill my bibliophilic needs It s been over fourteen years and many, many books shared, but I sometimes despair, because I can look at any of our ubiquitous bookcases and find dozens of books I would love to read, but I know I will never be able to read them all Like catalogs, they keep arriving far faster than I can get to them But that overwhelmed feeling is also mixed with one of being five years old and living in a candy store So many treats Which one will I try next Floods, Famines and Emperors is one I plucked from a shelf.When I read the sub head El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations I knew pretty much what to expect From The Golden Bough I knew that in primitive societies and some not so primitive the leader is associated with divinity and tolerated as long as he can demonstrate some sort of apparent control over the elements, most importantly, if he can keep his people fed Droughts, floods and unpredictable weather make it hard out there for a king Having also read Jared Diamond s excellent Collapse How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, I had a head start on this work, having learned that there are several elements involved in the sustainability of a civilization, climate being one So what was new in Fagan s book First, he offers much specificity on weather patterns While I found it tough to keep track of all the details, they are pretty clearly explained My tiny brain simply cannot incorporate all the input Second, he goes into some detail about exactly what we know or suspect happened in particular societies that drove them to destruction It is in these details that we appreciate the value of this work In addition to a weather pattern primer, Fagan serves up case studies, describing extant geographic and meteorological conditions and societal structures, then showing exactly how certain changes in relatively short term climate could affect the society s ability to survive I found it particularly interesting that societal collapse was never the result of a single event, but occurred when problems and challenges accumulated beyond the ability or willingness of leadership to adapt to new circumstances One of the worst approaches to coping with changing situations is rigidity Think Republicans chanting Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts as the solution to all societal challenges They would have fit right in with the now disappeared Moche civilization of northwestern Peru Jared Diamond approached the demise of societies in a broader way almost a decade later Fagen is interested in looking at the specifics of how El Nino has affected societies It is a very interesting and informative read, particularly if you have not yet read Diamond s book.

  2. says:

    The premise of this book seemed interesting how extreme weather patterns influenced the rise and fall of civilizations through history Climate change is in the news almost daily these days, and I ve watched the people on the Weather Channel explain El Nino before so I thought Hey, this might be interesting Unfortunately, I was wrong I will not say the book was bad, but it was very boring With a capital B boring I struggled to read it initially, had to stop for a couple months before finally making myself go back and finish it I even tried to skim the weather sections so as to get to the parts about history, but even those sections were snoozers All the minute details of weather patterns and their discovery through history made me go brain dead Guess I m just a big picture guy when it comes to climate change So, if you love reading about weather or you have a horrid case of insomnia, give this book a try.

  3. says:

    Interesting take on the effects of weather and climate on the fate of civilizations.

  4. says:

    I went back and read this book looking for some unbiased opinions about the climate debate Fagan was really being cautious with science that was new in 1998 than giving any credence to global warming being something out of man s control It was very interesting to see just how poignant an event in the South Pacific can be to the rest of the world I came away, not believing any about the human cause of climate change, but believing that mother nature is biding its time as we accumulate a mass of problems that will lead to what Fagan calls a knockout punch We are focused so much on carbon emissions, that we don t seem to notice the overpopulation, the misuse of land, the deforestation, bad economics, etc These are the things that will make it difficult to survive an ENSO event I originally bought this book after reading a textbook written by Fagan for an archaeology class I took He is a gifted writer and presents the facts in a straightforward fashion He is also not afraid to call out people who embellish the facts This was really a well rounded, well written book.

  5. says:

    Fagan has completed a very difficult task written a book accessible to the general public and to the scholar While the scholar may agonize over some of his attempts at popular writing, he she will still welcome Fagan s history of climatic change Much of environmental history is about peeling away layers and investigating how we understand our planet in a given place and time Fagan handles this task well For the person with an everyday interest in what is happening to the climate around us, this book introduces both the history and the science of climatology in an easy to understand and engaging fashion Fagan ends this book in a way that leaves us thinking about our tomorrow and the price humans have paid to adapt to the global environment He finishes by paraphrasing Otto von Bismark, we need to hear the footsteps of history and learn from them.

  6. says:

    The author had divided his book into three parts Part One is an explanation of the El Nino La Nina i.e South Pacific Oscillation phenomena and of a lesser known in the general population North Atlantic Oscillation These phenomena are part of the constantly changing climate on this planet Part Two discusses ancient populations and the effects these phenomena had on them and how the ancients dealt with them Part Three is a treatment of the modern history the the phenomena from just before the Little Ice Age to present There are a few black and white maps which could have been presented better but are an attempt to help illustrate the phenomena.

  7. says:

    This books is excellent at detailing the increase in El Nino events and their relationship to failed monsoon seasons It is well documented and uses evidence from a 500 year period This still can not tell us if the duration pattern of closer El Nino s is driven by Global Warming or a naturally occurring pattern It does however foreshadow times of strife when the planet will have increased food shortages due to the correlation between El Nino events and the failed monsoon seasons A great read for environmentally minded individuals.

  8. says:

    The first part covers the new understandings about climate.The second part covers the civilizations that have suffered upheavals and or decline because of climatic change.The third part takes on the issue of man made climate change.Some of the historical inferences are debatable Were the Intermediate periods in Egyptian history primarily or partially caused by climatic conditions

  9. says:

    Some interesting insights on the complexity of weather patterns but certainly not enough for a book length As a result, too much petty discussions and descriptions of relatively irrelevant events from random points in time.

  10. says:

    One of the first books to detail the potential horrors of climate change for civilization.

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