The Little Ice Age and The French Revolution

What does the little ice age and the French revolution have that makes the two related? Well, I’ve been reading a lot about the French Revolution lately. I’ve always been interested in it because the story of Robespierre and the Jacobins and the fall of the Ancien Régime is compelling. Just yesterday I picked up a tidbit of history I didn’t know. In addition to the books I consult I’ve been listening to the French Revolution segment of Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (find it on iTunes). In episode 3.8 Duncan describes how up until 1788 the French Nobility class were the main agitators for overturning the Ancien Régime, but that all changed after the Winter of 1787-1788. This was where the weather began to play a significant role in the revolution.

Beginning in about 1550 and lasting until around 1850 something called the “Little Ice Age” afflicted the weather of the Northern hemisphere and Europe in particular. This was a period of colder temperatures than had previously existed from about 1100 up until 1550. That earlier period has come to be called the Medieval Warm Period when the temperatures in France and the rest of Europe were similar to today.

The winter of 1787-1788 was the coldest on record. It destroyed the 1788 harvest and sent bread prices through the roof. This being France, most people, especially the middle classes, lived heavily on bread. What was called the Third Estate in France consisted of the bourgeoisie middle class and they saw their incomes drop considerably because of the new high prices for bread. Thus, the revolution heated up with a whole new group of complainants.

So what does all that have to do with the current man-made climate change hoax? To support Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick graph showing near stable temperatures over the period from 1,000 A.D. to the mid 20th Century, followed by a sudden and dramatic increase in Northern Hemisphere temperatures, it was necessary to hide the facts of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Because of these two climate phenomena, having of course nothing whatsoever to do with human activities, the handle on the hockey stick graph should not be in a secular straight line.

From the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing has ever been made. — Immanuel Kant

It would rather show higher temperatures for a 300-year period followed by much lower temperatures for the next 300-year period, all before the 20th Century. This is what supports the charge that the Hockey Stick graph is fraudulent. I just had no idea that it also played a role in the French Revolution.

Just recently we have learned that the alarmists in charge of the temperature record have been making retroactive changes to the data to support their global warming theory.

So, Is Global Warming Alarmism a Complete Fraud?, John Hinderaker says, “There is no other branch of science in which such after-the-fact changes in data to fit a politicized theory would be greeted with anything but contempt. Why are such shenanigans tolerated here? Presumably many billions of dollars in government funding have something to do with it.”

I’ve read elsewhere that government grants for the study of human-caused climate change reaches $7-$8 Billion per year. That’s a lot of money that will buy a lot climate-change hokum.

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