New science field: “paleoblameatology”

Christophorus Columbus, portrait by Sebastiano...

Christopher Columbus, responsible for the "little Ice Age" Image via Wikipedia

Some days you just have to shake your head and say to yourself that there’s irrational fixation on CO2 that has deep roots in the psyche when we see things like this. The 10:10 video was proof enough, but now we have “paleoblameatology” entering the picture to explain the Little Ice Age.

Meet Christopher Columbus, who had his day this week, but who has gone in the same week from being lauded explorer to destroyer of Europe’s climate by being a catalyst. From Stanford via Science News, of all places.

It boggles the mind.

Here’s the “logic”:

By the end of the 15th century, between 40 million and 80 million people are thought to have been living in the Americas. Many of them burned trees to make room for crops, leaving behind charcoal deposits that have been found in the soils of Mexico, Nicaragua and other countries.

About 500 years ago, this charcoal accumulation plummeted as the people themselves disappeared. Smallpox, diphtheria and other diseases from Europe ultimately wiped out as much as 90 percent of the indigenous population.

Trees returned, reforesting an area at least the size of California, Nevle estimated. This new growth could have soaked up between 2 billion and 17 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the air.

Ice cores from Antarctica contain air bubbles that show a drop in carbon dioxide around this time. These bubbles suggest that levels of the greenhouse gas decreased by 6 to 10 parts per million between 1525 and the early 1600s.

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6 to 10 parts per million drop in CO2 triggered the LIA? Seriously? Wow that’s some powerful climate sensitivity. Even the IPCC doesn’t think CO2 is that powerful. Let’s see, since then we added how much? The drop in question is shown below in yellow highlight:

The graph above has this citation in Wikipedia: Law Dome ice cores show lower levels of CO2 mixing ratios during 1550-1800 AD, leading investigators Etheridge and Steele to conjecture “probably as a result of colder global climate”.[46] I suppose Nevle never considered that the oceans might absorb that CO2, perhaps in response to cooling induced by lower solar activity and increased aerosols due to volcanoes.

As for the 6-10 PPM drop induced by Columbus setting off the LIA, maybe such extreme climate sensitivity works in only one direction? /sarc

Mike Smith over at Meteorological Musings sums up this absurdity pretty well:

Mr. Nevle inadvertently makes the case to continue to pump CO2 into the atmosphere. The effects of a Little Ice Age today would be catastrophic given the much larger population of the world. With the shorter growing seasons many millions would starve.  The effects of another ice age, little or otherwise, would make global warming seem like a picnic.

h/t to Dr. Ryan Maue

126 thoughts on “New science field: “paleoblameatology”

  1. So it was the trees that grew….and not burning them down….that did it.

    Well…..at least we know now that dropping CO2 levels by 10ppm…is a lot worse than raising it a hundred /snark

  2. I saw this on /. and thought it was ridiculous. It reads like someone is trying to discredit climate science by giving them blatant stupidity to support.

  3. O.o I had actually not expected something this completely baseless. So now we have today’s man-made! warming, the 70s man-made! cooling, as I understand 2 or so man-made! cooling/warming episodes (I see a late 1800s date murkily in in my head) before that… and now we’re rewriting history with several ppm of man-made! ice age. Several.

    Truly, this boggles the mind.

  4. The life of the mind in the Age of the Feuilleton might be compared to a degenerate plant which was squandering its strength in excessive vegetative growth, and the subsequent corrections to pruning the plant back to the roots. The young people who now proposed to devote themselves to intellectual studies no longer took the term to mean attending a university and taking a nibble of this or that from the dainties offered by celebrated and loquacious professors who without authority offered them the crumbs of what had once been higher education.
    Hesse, Herman: “Magister Ludi”

  5. I’m still waiting for an alarmist to tell me what they would say to the friends and family of someone who dies this winter because they cannot afford to heat their home.

    Not one of them has had the guts to even respond.

    The implication here is that the “precautionary” principle would suggest we pump as much CO2 into the atmosphere.

    To put it in context, I was looking at what happened in the Maunder minimum:

    1. The English Civil war which had quietened down, flared up and the end of monarchy as a political concept in Europe owes itself to the outcome.

    2. 1690s there was serious famine (I’ve yet to link this to climate — I expect it is likely it will be linked)

    3. The Darien scheme failed – even though the area was selected from those who had been before as being suitable. Again, I wonder whether this was climate related.

    4. Because of 1,2 & 3 Scotland was virtually bankrupt and forced to enter Union with England on very unfavourable terms which have been a bone of contention ever since.

    Some of the most traumatic events in UK history occurred during the Maunder minimum. If as I anticipate, they are climate related, and if as some suggest we are going into another Maunder minimum … hold onto your heads!**

    **Charles I was beheaded. … a fate that could be awaiting Charles III …. given his love of greenhouse warming nonsense.

  6. Richard Nevle perhaps should learn some basic physical chemistry (along with his geochemistry). He could start with calculating the increased solubility of CO2 in seawater at lower temperatures. He may then have an answer to the dip in ice core values.

    While he is doing that he could also look at the effect of diffusion of CO2 from ice bubbles below the fern that takes centuries, and which misleads the unwary suffering from confirmation bias.

  7. What a crock!
    I guess he never heard of the Maunder minimum. That was the time when folk thought that Galileo was suffering from vision problems, since he claimed there were spots on the sun. Beginning in 1650, said spots disappeared. And it got COLD. As in, the North Sea froze over. One could (if one had the stamina) skate from Denmark to Sweden. Can’t do that anymore.
    Science News has gone the way of Scientific American.
    They have left science, and taken up advocacy.
    What a waste!

  8. So, did CO2 lag temperature, or was it opposite?

    According to Petit et. al. and Fischer et.al. (Science) it (CO2) lags temperature with, say, 800 to 1000 years…….so, if a human did it, it must have been early Vikings…..

  9. 40 million and 80 million people ?
    the current population of the Americas is 913 million … are they really trying to tell us that tribal Americans had populations that equaled 5-10% of todays population 500 years ago ? not bloody likely … don’t forget, no horses before Christopher showed up …

  10. This is their solution to the embarassment of the LIA that they have been trying to get rid of. This is how modern science seems to operate. Deny the existence of the LIA and the MWP, etc. Then when it can’t be ignored, come up with a human-CO2 cause for these inconvenient events. I heard on “Quirks and Quarks” a science radio thing on CBC an interview with Saul Perlmutter – Nobel P winner in physics in 2009(?) who discovered that the U is expanding at an accelerating rate. He and colleagues have invoked “Dark Energy” as the driver. Read the drivel of the first few paragraphs and tell me I’ve missed the point.

    http://bing.search.sympatico.ca/?q=Saul%20Perlmutter&mkt=en-ca&setLang=en-CA

    Give me a break! They invoked dark matter to shore up Newtonian/Einsteinian gravity theory and now they have to invoke “Dark Energy” to overcome the effect created by the massive Dark Matter, which would be slowing the expansion down – all this in close to empty space. Science from all disciplines has decided that the science is largely settled and just a few patches and tweaks are all we need as a substitute for falsification.

  11. There seems to be no end of the silliness that “climate science” has become. It is worse than the counting bumps on people’s head thing years ago.

  12. Gosh,

    If you consider that besides Columbus, there was Vasco da Gama, Pedro ALvares Cabral, and Magalhães, just to name a few Portuguese that also opened new paths to the whole World, I would just say:

    it was much worse than we thought!

    Ecotretas

  13. On the bright side, this is one of those rare things the moonbat brigade can’t pin on George W. Bush.

    Further proof that every cloud has a silver lining!

  14. Stanford University is considered as an excellent american university … I believe that I will reconsider my opinion !

  15. The power of miniscule variations of the proportions of CO2 in our atmosphere knows no bounds. Clearly, the single most powerful substance on the planet. At least in the fertile imaginations of CAGW scaremongers! Obviously, it is only a matter of time before the entire history of life, the universe and everything can all be explained by variations in this molecule.

  16. When we went into an glacial age 2 million years ago with no people to burn down tree how the heck did we get out?

  17. Paleolobotomy. Honestly, you just can’t make this stuff up. It just seems so trite and vacuous. I had to read it several times to absorb the rarified substance of it all.

  18. kwik says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

    “According to Petit et. al. and Fischer et.al. (Science) it (CO2) lags temperature with, say, 800 to 1000 years…….so, if a human did it, it must have been early Vikings…..”

    Do we know if the Vikings brought some diseases from Europe that killed indigenous population.? The Greenland settlements must have had some contacts looking for wood and other stuff.

    One thing is true, the effects of another ice age, little or otherwise, would make global warming seem like a picnic.

  19. IIRC , the LIA began in the fourteenth century – more than one hundred fifty years before Colombus set sail for the New World .

  20. I am losing my faith in science, scientists, universities..

    I think all university education should be self funded.. No loans, no help.. Nowt.

  21. Why don’t you read the report a bit more carefully? You claim:

    “I suppose Nevle never considered that the oceans might absorb that CO2, perhaps in response to cooling induced by lower solar activity and increased aerosols due to volcanoes.”

    The report says:

    “Natural processes may have also played a role in cooling off Europe: a decrease in solar activity, an increase in volcanic activity or colder oceans capable of absorbing more carbon dioxide”

    And why don’t you do a little bit of maths? You can calculate the forcing easily using the well known formulae from Myhre et al (1998). A 10ppm drop from approximately 280ppm would give you a forcing of about -0.2W/m². This is not huge but is certainly not negligible.

    I don’t really understand what your problem is with this basically plausible mechanism for depopulation to influence the climate.

  22. From 11 years ago:
    “New Study Shows Reforestation of Agricultural Land Played an Important Role in Reducing Greenhouse Gases over Last Century”, By Sharon Keeler UNH News Bureau November 9, 2000.

    Today’s news: ‘We have a massive reforestation event that’s sequestering carbon… coincident with the European arrival”.

    Both studies claim that CO2 was sucked from the atmosphere by rapidly growing forests. In one case this caused a Little Ice Age.

    From climatology, we know that there was unprecedented warming in the late 20th century. According to the UNH study, that was when we also were growing a huge CO2 sink in the reforestation process in the late 20th century.

    Am I missing something, here? Did reforestation cause the Little Ice Age, and the unprecedented warming in the late 20th century?

  23. There is absolutely no physical evidence for this. At most the native population of the new world was around 20 million souls in 1492. In Alabama people have harvested old growth logs from the bottom of rivers that were much older than the date of the date of Columbus

    What has happened to Stanford to fall so far?

  24. Sorry, Anthony, I couldn’t even get beyond the first sentance/pargraph.

    I larfed so ard it urt.

    Seriously, are they serious? What was it Shakespeare said about strutting your stuff on stage telling a tale like an geochemical idiot?

  25. Addendum

    Also, the reforesting, if it happened, would have been more than offset by the dramatic increase in population brought about by the industrial revolution.

  26. Evidently, Christopher Columbus was truly a great man. He pioneered he concept of using genocide to enrich himself and save the world from ‘global warming’, more than 500 years before Hansen and Gore rediscovered the same plan.

  27. Scottish Sceptic says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I’m still waiting for an alarmist to tell me what they would say to the friends and family of someone who dies this winter because they cannot afford to heat their home.

    You missed the point –
    The precautionary principle is like this:
    Since Man is causing Global Warming the best way to prevent it is by reducing humanity size.
    What a better way than to let nature do it for you, may it by warming or cooling.

  28. For Dave Springer: I’m sure that the Lefties will conveniently find (or divine) a geneological link from Columbus to W.

  29. all over california it was ‘diss columbus day’ on all public radio stations.
    although columbus never actually hit the north american continent (america was not named columbia for a reason) the casino indians were bewailing the smallpox blankets he distributed to them out here in california.
    and nobody but nobody was about to set them straight. guilt is gilt, here – never look a guilt.horse in the mouth, you know.
    california has an activist on every corner – living off the fat of the land, you know.
    there probably aren’t a lot of 3 letter acronyms left for new ngos or non.profits….lol
    well, there is ‘lol’…
    i guess it doesn’t hurt enough yet because the population of the publicly funded is not diminishing a bit as far as i can tell.

  30. Does he not think that the plants that replaced the trees sequestered carbon? Pathetic, shameful and embarassing. These people have never spent a day outside in their lives or they may have learned the basic workings of nature that might prevent saying such assinine things.

  31. You guys don’t understand …we could now easily compute how many millions have to die to restore carbon balance to the value in 1800, then pass the number to Franny Armstrong so she can put no pressure on them.

  32. And here we are afraid of CO2 doubling…? If 6-10 ppm can do that much, we’re fried already, just haven’t noticed yet…

  33. Well, that is a relief. If it starts to get too hot, all we need to do is burn all the trees and let them grow back to cool things off. Phew.

  34. And he works at Stanford? I am surprised of his ignorance of history and when the LIA started and stopped. At best they can claim it exacerbated the LIA. Since the effects of the European colonization of the Americas could not be fully felt when it started. indeed, most of the continents were unspoiled and untraveled by the Europeans until the LIA was almost over!

  35. Shhhhhhh… don’t y’all know that Chris is “OUT”. He caused all these problems and is to be hated, loathed, despised, excoriated, and damned henseforth and forevermore. Lord love a duck! Get with the program guys! Big Al discovered America! Don’t ya know nuttin? (GoreSarkOn’nOffOver’nOutComeonBack)

    PS: When the UN General Assembly, Security Council, and Noble Peas Prize Committee vote to rename the Western Hemisphere after Fat Albert y’all need to get down to yer tennie shoes, shorts, and tie-dyed dirty t-shirts and howl like a bunch of card carrying Commies on May Day; if ya don’t he might feel hurt.

  36. In my opinion, the party ended in Europe in 1280, coincident with the onset of the Wolf sunspot minimum (although Atlantic pack ice and Greenland glaciers began advancing around 1250 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age#Dating )

    The weather didn’t get really godawful for a few decades, but I consider 1280 to be the end of the Medieval Warm Period.

    By 1315, the weather in Europe really did go to hell:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_of_1315-1317

    without much help from Chris Columbus, european colonizers, or too darn many trees sucking up too darn much CO2.

  37. stevo
    October 14, 2011 at 10:04 am
    ###
    because its little more then propaganda and not science …

    A guy ran a red light and I t-boned him going 50MPH. The damage I did could have been due to the 5MPH tail wind. The fact that I was full throttle might have also played a role…

    yay right …

  38. I am surprised to see the level of skepticism being raised against this idea.
    R Pielke Srn have long advocated a MUCH greater role for land use changes in altering climate.
    I think the claim is that cutting down trees when agriculture is practiced alters transevaporation rates and albedo as well as altering the altering the carbon sequestration/release rates.

    Mature forest have a small neutral role in carbon release and sequestration.
    felling/burning forest releases large amounts of CO2, a positive addition to the atmospheric ratio in the carbon cycle..
    Growing annual crops forms a neutral annual shuffle of carbon in the cycle larger than a mature forest.
    The regrowth of a forest sequesters more carbon than it releases so is a negative, removal of CO2 from the atmospheric portion in the carbon cycle.

    However there are many other elements to The R Pielke arguments for the significance of land use which would seem to connect with this hypothesis.

    http://icecap.us/docs/change/Land%20Use%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf

  39. kBob says: October 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I may be wrong here but didn’t the LIA start a couple hundred years before Columbus’ birth?

    That will be adjusted in the next paper … due out in … 18 days?

  40. If the cause of the drop in CO2 was the forests growing back, wouldn’t the burning of the forests caused an equal rise in CO2 in the first place? I see a small rise in CO2, but it is small compared to the following drop.

  41. Columbus after finding new worlds apparantly invented a time machine and travelled 200+ years back. After travelling back in time he also managed to create another invention that can suck up the atmospheres CO2. What an amazing person he was and just think what he could have done today with computer models.

  42. For all the claims of looming catastrophe from AGW, it has indeed caused one very dramatic loss to human culture. I speak, of course, of the complete death of satire, which has long been a vital component of the human experience. But now, not even the most talented of comedians, can create anything sufficiently ridiculous to be easily distinguishable from the kind of manure the alarmists spread in complete seriousness

  43. @-mathman2 says: October 14, 2011 at 9:15 am
    “What a crock!
    I guess he never heard of the Maunder minimum.”

    The difference between the solar activity at its peak in the 1950s and during the maunder minimum is around HALF the size of energy change of a 10ppm drop in CO2 from 280ppm.

    If the LIA was due to the Maunder minimum changes in solar output climate sensitivity would have to be at least double the present estimate.

    @- Jeremy says: October 14, 2011 at 9:44 am
    “…Obviously, it is only a matter of time before the entire history of life, the universe and everything can all be explained by variations in this molecule.”

    Well Carbon is the basis for organic chemistry and therefore all Life…
    CO2 has an atomic weight of more than 42 though….

    @- mkelly says: October 14, 2011 at 9:46 am
    “When we went into an glacial age 2 million years ago with no people to burn down tree how the heck did we get out?”

    Milankovitch cycles.
    Or was the question rhetorical…?

  44. izen says:
    October 14, 2011 at 11:17 am
    “I am surprised to see the level of skepticism being raised against this idea.
    R Pielke Srn have long advocated a MUCH greater role for land use changes in altering climate.
    I think the claim is that cutting down trees when agriculture is practiced alters transevaporation rates and albedo as well as altering the altering the carbon sequestration/release rates.

    Mature forest have a small neutral role in carbon release and sequestration.”

    First, you apparently didn’t get the memo that trees sequester much more carbon than was believed. See the post just below the present one! ■Plant trees, not carbon laws

    Now for the logic lesson. The most ridiculous theory imaginable can accidentally jibe with an excellent one like that of Roger Sr. on land use changes. We don’t fault that land use changes can affect climate significantly – it’s the land use changes caused by Columbus and the 6 ppm CO2 reduction that resulted that is patently stupid. You know, your heroes can be wrong now and again – you aren’t obliged to buy everything.

  45. Eyal Porat says:
    Since Man is causing Global Warming the best way to prevent it is by reducing humanity size.
    What a better way than to let nature do it for you, may it by warming or cooling.

    I think the warmists have realized a warmer climate will actually support more humanity. That’s precisely their problem!

  46. The majority of the natives of the Americas were hunter/gatherers. They did not farm. They did not have the tools to clear large tracts of land. The population density was miniscule. The Lia started before Columbus. The Europeans did not all arrive on the same day. A ship of Columbus’s time carried about 60 people max. He did not arrive in the Queen Mary. Columbus did not go to North America. Any more needed……….

  47. Half of the so called pristine Amazon rainforest grew in the last thousand years when an ancient Amazonian civilisation abandoned the lands. They are now discovering the civilisation as sections fo the rainforest is being cleared. It covers an area 3 to 4 times the area of Spain.

  48. It’s pretty simple. The CO2-AGW line needs CO2 levels to be flat until we started burning coal etc. There’s a dip before that time though. Ergo, it must have been caused by humans. As all CO2 levels are directly related to humans.

    From there you just need a villain. Come on down, Columbus!

  49. From http://worldhistorysite.com/population.html
    William McGaughey, proprietor of this website, is program chair of the 2011 annual conference of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations

    Total World Population in Selected Years:
    Year Population
    (in millions)

    1500 AD 425
    Percentages of World Population by Area and Date:
    date China India Other Europe Africa other
    Asia

    1500 23 25 18 19 11 4

    Other is N&S America so 425MM * 0.04 = 17 MM

    And if 90% died, who killed of Custer in 1876?

    Also wondering why there is no drop / rise due to the Black Death (1340 – 1771): which killed 75 million people worldwide?

  50. The introduction of the European earthworm did more to change the North American biosphere than any event since the ice age.
    The change in the bio-productivity of the forests and great plains will be greater 25%.

  51. I stopped subscribing to Science News after they published a scare story by an amateurish ‘science reporter’ on the imminent disappearance of the Maldives under the rising seas.

    /Mr Lynn

  52. stevo says:
    “A 10ppm drop from approximately 280ppm would give you a forcing of about -0.2W/m². This is not huge but is certainly not negligible.”

    “I don’t really understand what your problem is with this basically plausible mechanism for depopulation to influence the climate.”

    izen says:
    “I am surprised to see the level of skepticism being raised against this idea.”

    Guys, ……really?
    1) Even at the ridiculously high IPCC sensitivity of 3C for 2XCO2 it is not plausible for 10 ppm CO2 drop to have significantly affected temperatures; you’re talking about something on the order of a tenth of a degree Celsius at most.
    2) It’s not necessarily the idea that land use changes or depopulation could affect the climate so much as the magnitude of the change that is being suggested that I (we?) am skeptical of being anywhere near reality. (Similar to CAGW hypothesis itself.)
    3) The shear foolishness involved with this obsession with CO2 and climate as if the literally hundreds of other variables are dominated by CO2.
    4) The waste of resources involved in this “study” that doesn’t really gain us any knowledge at all, but is merely a “published” notch on someone’s belt.

  53. @Disko Troop

    That might be true of NA but South America’s Aztec and Mayan civilizations were surely not hunter gatherers.. I’ve read of significant farming cultures into NA too in Jared Diamond’s book.

    We’ve managed to be skeptical of everything in the original article it seems.

  54. izen says:
    “CO2 has an atomic weight of more than 42 though….”

    But Climate Science has come up with a new molecule for the answer to life, the universe, and everything: It’s the CON.

  55. Didn’t the cooling actually begin in the mid 14th century? One-hundred anf fity years too early for Columbus, but…nice try.

  56. Indeed.

    Columbus was a menace. His first transatlantic voyage (3 August 1492 – 4 March 1493) took effect immediately.

    Winter of 1493 / 1494 A.D. In the year 1493, the port of Genoa, Italy was frozen. – on December 25 and 26.

    The winter of 1493-94 was remarkable for the severity of the cold, which was very severe in the south [Southern Europe]. The lagoon and all the canals of Venice, Italy were frozen; so that pedestrians, wagons and horses could travel over the ice.

    The Rhône River froze in 1493 in southern France.”

    in: A 
Chronological 
Listing 
of 
Early
 Weather 
Events
    by James
 A.
 Marusek

  57. Now if I were R Gates I might say that since a 4% drop in CO2 can cause a LIA then surely a 40% increase in CO2 will cause a BHA (Big Hot Age).

  58. Quick, tell all the people in Brazil to let the rain forest start growing back! It will take all the CO2 out of the air and cool us back off! We don’t need that corn being grown for ethanol (or food for people)! /sarc

  59. Well, that settles it. I’m gonna burn down that dang Amazon rain forest, just in case! Precautionary Principle, ya know.

    You’re welcome!

  60. I happen to think that a little research will show that at about the beginning of the LIA, European governments increased taxes.
    That’s what causes global cooling you know, taxes. Just ask the highly intelligent and visionary Australian Government led by Julia Gillard.

  61. According to written history, the beginning of the LIA (Little Ice Age) happened long before the advent of the “Maunder Minimum”.

    History tells me that communications (Oceanic exchange) between Iceland and Greenland began to become increasingly difficult during the 1390ties – until by the year 1415 the growth of pack ice in Greenland’s costal waters rendered any further contact between the two countries (Ice-land and Green-land) impossible. –

    My guess is therefore that there probably was an appearance of maybe 3 or more weak solar cycles (SC) a bit like SC 23 and SC 24 before the Maunder Minimum reared its ugly head.

    Chris Col & Co = 1492

    But – maybe Leif. S can look it up and compare solar history with Icelandic history and thus either confirm, or chuck my “guess” about the SCs prior to the Maunder Minimum into the bin (trash can).

  62. Natural processes may have also played a role in cooling off Europe: a decrease in solar activity, an increase in volcanic activity or colder oceans capable of absorbing more carbon dioxide. These phenomena better explain regional climate patterns during the Little Ice Age, says Michael Mann, a climate researcher at Pennsylvania State University in State College.
    Never thought I would see the day when so many people here agree with Mann.

  63. Ecotretas says:
    October 14, 2011 at 10:01 am
    “Might he be suggesting a plus billion human slaughter, so that some Global Cooling comes our way?”

    I fear that you’re right. Another fake reason for population control to make people believe it’s necessary… Scary. This AGW-religion is getting more and more macabre. Sacrificing people to appease Gaia…

  64. Poor Columbus, he must be turning over in his grave, No wait…some of his remains are in Spain and some are in the Dominican Republic. Only it isn’t Columbus…its Colom or Collom, I can’t remember which Let me use Colom. Colom was given the title of Admiral of the Oceans, After his first voyage, he came a second time, bringing a group rumored to be about 1000 souls to live and prosper on the North coast of what we now call Hispaniola. Only problem is, the third time he came around, they were all dead. Either killed off by disease, weather or indiginous peoples, these settlers were all gone. Few
    signs remains of their venture. Colom remained and became governor of the new world. Then politics did him in and he was sent back in shackles.

    A huge mausoleum dedicated to his memory was built in Santo Domingo,only problem is locals think it brings bad luck to those that linger near it. It was blessed by the pope. The UN had a hand in building it. It is shaped like a giant sarcophagus. Creepy. In the center of it hangs a container which contains the remains.

  65. I found a paper that Nevle co-authored on the subject. You can download it here:http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00045608.2010.502432#preview

    The paper actually says: The LIA was not caused by the Columbian encounter
    per se, but the evidence suggests that it was probably
    amplified measurably by the ecological effects of the
    demographic collapse.

    I note that in the Science News article he is not quoted as saying that Columbus was responsible for the LIA. Has anyone any evidence of him actually saying that?

  66. Is there some sort of toxic chemical that is sprayed on ivy to retard its growth, or to kill harmful rodents, insects or fungal pests that live therein? I’m at a loss to conceive any other explanation for the rampant and impenetrable stupidity running amok in the ivy-covered halls of academia. I hope that it’s only climate science faculty and students who have been damaged by this powerful insecticide or whatever it is. Tell me there are still university departments that are capable of finding truth.

  67. Isn’t it interesting that in every story about the past told by a Warmista there is a Golden Age of perfect climate in which mankind lived harmoniously with nature until some Europeans arrived and ended the Golden Age?

  68. I suppose Nevle never considered that the oceans might absorb that CO2, perhaps in response to cooling induced by lower solar activity and increased aerosols due to volcanoes.
    ———-
    A fair point if it turns out it was not considered.

    However what I find interesting is the phase difference between cooling and CO2 concentrations. There does not seem to be one. There is no sign of the 800 year difference that is often quoted.

  69. “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – that’s all.”

  70. I hate how Climate Scientists try to mislead people.

    This is a fairly deliberate, cherry-picking example and the authors should not be given a pass for not knowing how the math works – they do. It is deliberate.

    Here is CO2 (from the same dataset used in this study) versus Temperature over the last 12,000 years (from Hadcrut3 and the Epica Dome C ice cores – global estimate).

    The CO2 numbers and the Temperature numbers are on the same scale and are, thus, fully comparable. Is it correlated. Only if you are blind or cherry-pick.

  71. Rob,

    @Disko Troop

    That might be true of NA but South America’s Aztec and Mayan civilizations were surely not hunter gatherers.. I’ve read of significant farming cultures into NA too in Jared Diamond’s book.

    There’s a very good book on the subject by professor David Henige called Numbers from Nowhere. He makes a devastating academic argument that we have no real idea how many precontact Indians were in the Americas (estimates have varied by about two orders of magnitude, with the early, low estimates probably being the most accurate) or how many were killed off by diseases and other causes, and that professors who advance such claims are far beyond merely sloppy in their research. They ignore all contradictory evidence, take quotes out of context, have no grasp of the inumeracy of earlier Westerners (whose accounts often including bizarrely unlikely events like a dozen soldiers killing tens of millions of people in hand to hand combat in a single afternoon, or one small army that killed over a billion Africans in a single battle).

    Most of the arguments offered for a population collapse are either circular:
    1) We guess the pre-contact population was X. The population was only Y by the first reliable census, so the mortality rate was 1 – y/x.
    2) Given the accepted mortality rate (cites references that trace back to point 1) and given the first reliable census figures, we calculate the pre-contact population was X.

    Others are based on the same methods used to count Orc’s in Middle Earth, by guessing the population of a typical village, then guessing how many villages there were, all without actual confirmation of any step in the process.

    And often the rest is extrapolation from the devastating epidemics that hit central Mexico numerous times in the 1500’s, and probably kept recurring through the 1800’s. A Mexican epidemiologist has definitely ruled out small pox and other European diseases as the cause, and what’s even more interesting (in the context of this thread) is that he traced the plagues’ link to climate through tree-ring analysis. Discover Magazine link. All the outbreaks occured when rainfalls returned after prolonged droughts (and the 1500’s were Mexico’s worst droughts in 500 years). His chief suspect is an indigenous hemoragic fever spread by rodents, already known to the Aztecs. Needless to say, if it was such a localized hemoragic fever then it wasn’t wiping out Indian populations everywhere else.

  72. Wikipedia’s article on the Little Ice Age is a political masterpiece. The author casts certain speculations about, mixed with vaguely related facts, while making them look like ordered information. In spite of many disclaimers and admissions of uncertainty, by means of a factoid-flickering technique akin to subliminal advertising, the reader who looks at the Wikipedia article on the Little Ice Age will be successfully exposed to certain notions.

    Could population growth and agriculture during the putative Medieval Warming have caused catastrophes which, in turn, triggered Global Cooling in the 1300s? Of course, Wiki doesn’t come even close to declaring it. It just mentions some guy who thinks Black Death and subsequent reforestation may have caused cooling.

    Once you’ve nibbled at that bait, you might just be open to a human role in the alteration of medieval ocean currents. So the article dwells a little on ocean circulation, and speaks of “some concern” that the alteration will happen again as a result of the present warming – without conceding that it happened before!

    It’s all couched in terms like “may be”, “some concern that”, “still very poor understanding”. The technique is to dwell on certain things in a grave but non-committal way, while omitting or shortening discussion of ascertainable facts. The nonsense about reforestation causing cooling is all but debunked at the end of the paragraph that gives it such serious prominence. In Rugby League terms, that’s a bit like an inconsequential apology after a very consequential head-high tackle.

    The article gives space to solar influences, but does a good job of trivialising them by immediately talking of “heightened volcanic activity” and listing a few volcanoes that blew during the five or more centuries of cooling. The article mentions that a volcano has only a two year effect – but will you notice that bit? We know the rule by now: don’t mention the sun any more than you have to.

    And because a picture is worth a thousand fibs when it’s a graph, you even get a bendy hockeystick, where the Medieval Warming gets a bit more prominence than it gets on Mann’s hockeystick. The most important thing is a dramatic streak thrusting upwards toward 2000, in case you thought that some fiddly little warming before 1300 was comparable to the present climate catastrophe.

  73. Dave Wendt says:
    October 14, 2011 at 11:36 am
    For all the claims of looming catastrophe from AGW, it has indeed caused one very dramatic loss to human culture. I speak, of course, of the complete death of satire, which has long been a vital component of the human experience. But now, not even the most talented of comedians, can create anything sufficiently ridiculous to be easily distinguishable from the kind of manure the alarmists spread in complete seriousness>>>

    In related news, the governments of the entire European Economic Union have filed a joint law suit at the United Nations World Court seaking damages against Spain for funding Columbus’ exploratory voyages. Based on Nevle’s research, the legal firm of Wee Screwum and Howe alleges that the resulting Little Ice Age that Columbus triggered caused millions of deaths in Europe that Spain is dirfectly responsible for. In a tersely worded response, the government of Spain announced that they would defend themselves agressively and will be relying on star witnesses from the United Nations IPCC to demonstrate that the Little Ice Age never existed.

    Legal experts are in agreement that Wee Screwum and Howe’s strategy to go straight to the World Court may have been a strategic error. “They should have filed in Brussels” said notorious litigator Taiken YurKash. “By filing in the World Court, they’ve opened the door to the introduction of IPCC witnesses to the case. “There is no way that the UN World Court is going to rule against one of its own bodies, in this case the IPCC.”

    But not all legal experts agree. “This opens the door for the First Nations people of the Americas to join the suit,” explains senior litigator R. U. Still, of the well known firm Beeting Yur Whyf and Why. “The World Court is very sympathetic to the rights of native peoples to build their traditional gambling casinos and avoid taxes on the money they earn. They will be equally eager to right a wrong and award damages to the First Nations for both smallpox and the Little Ice Age which clearly decimated their population. Spain was very reckless by funding Columbus, and worse, they remain proud of it to this day. Now they’re going to have to pay for their folly.”

    World markets plummeted as investors pulled their money out of Spain, pushing that country to the edge of financial collapse. Emergency meetings are being held in Brussels to attempt a negotiated settlement. President Obama is expected to join the meeting, and rumours are that he will table several trillion in incentives to pursuade the various players to stand down. When asked where the money would come from, President Obama replied, “we can’t allow our futures to be mortgaged by all this paleoblameatology. We all need to get along for the benefit of future generations. For that reason, I’m borrowing a few trillion from China. That’s a lot of money I know, and future generations will have to pay it back, but its better than mortgaging our future”.

  74. 80 Million people living in the “Americas”? Pure balderdash.

    Believe it or not, tech wonks like me were still required to take some Liberal Arts electives, even back in the “stone age” (i.e., the 1970’s). So one of mine was “Human Anthropology and Agrarian History”.

    Marvelous course! Remember the first day when the professor surveyed the class to find out “How many Native Americans” were living in the continental United states when Jamestown was founded?”

    Answers varied from 10,000,000 to 50,000,000.

    The professor said, “I say there were less than 1 million, TOTAL including much of South America and Canada. This is based on their agricultural styles, and what the land afforded them for subsistence. The goal of this course will be to MAKE THAT CLEAR..”

    That he did. By the end of the course I think the debate was reduced to 500,000, 1 Million, or one and 1/2 million. But he made his point. (Dare I say this was in an era when professors DID NOT HAVE TO TOW SOMEONES AGENDA LINE TO KEEP THEIR JOBS?

    He made the point by teaching the differences between 10th Century Agriculture, 15th Cenury,
    17th, 18, and 19th Century agriculture and 20th century. And then juxtaposing the “life style” of various groups versus their involvement in stationary agriculture versus nomadic life styles.

    Stunning the conclusion! Strict limits on what population levels were sustainable.

    Since that course I have come to the conclusion that if indeed there were such numbers (50 Million, etc.) of pre-white man tribes in the “New World”, one would have to ask: WHERE ARE THEIR BONES?

    The answer is, well located, well documented, and in small enough quantities to affirm what the good Dr. taught in his 100 level Anthro course.

  75. Are all previous papers on the subject superseded by Richard Nevle’s ? How about this,

    http://www.carbonplanet.com/downloads/Climate_effects_of_afforestation.pdf

    “Simulations showed that tropical forests cool
    the planet because of high carbon storage,
    high tropical cloudiness and increased
    cloudiness associated increased
    evapotranspiration, tropical forests. For midlatitude
    forests, albedo-induced warming
    largely offsets carbon-induced cooling, with
    warming near the forest and cooling far from
    the forests. High latitude forests have a strong
    warming influence, largely due to the
    presence of dark forest canopies in regions
    that would otherwise be snow covered. The
    study concluded that on a global mean basis,
    albedo-based warming influences of forests
    approximately cancel their carbon-based
    cooling influences. The findings of this
    modelling exercise in tropical and high latitude
    regions are supported by earlier research2.”

  76. @Max Hugoson,

    Thanks for that. My reaction when I first read the 40-80 million was “Huh??” but I lacked anything other than gut instinct to say it was wrong, and didn’t follow through to check any sources.

  77. @DD More
    October 14, 2011 at 12:38 pm
    queries why no mention of Black Death.

    Because that was the theory earlier in the week

  78. Ice core gas sampling is a notoriously poor method for estimating CO2 in the atmosphere due to contamination from the exhaled breath of the research scientist to local atmospheric contamination.

  79. @- Max Hugoson says: October 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    “80 Million people living in the “Americas”? Pure balderdash.
    …The professor said, “I say there were less than 1 million, TOTAL including much of South America and Canada. This is based on their agricultural styles, and what the land afforded them for subsistence.
    …He made the point by teaching the differences between 10th Century Agriculture, 15th Cenury, 17th, 18, and 19th Century agriculture and 20th century. And then juxtaposing the “life style” of various groups versus their involvement in stationary agriculture versus nomadic life styles.”

    Your professor was right, the way to estimate population is to see how many calories they can extract from the land.
    But he may not have been fully informed about the difference in 10th, 15th and 20th Century agriculture in the Amazonian region, or the ‘lifestyle’ evidence for past stationary agriculture rather than nomadic hunter-gatherers.

    Try doing a search on Tera Petra, there is abundant and growing(!) evidence for agroforestry and agriculture with raised field systems which is capable of sustaining much larger populations that the nomadic tribes in independent villages.

    http://www.fao.org/docrep/t0646e/T0646E0j.htm

    http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cerickso/baures/Mann2.html

    “Today it is becoming increasingly clear that the Amerindians’ adaptation to the ecosystems of the Amazon and Orinoco regions was much more complex than can be deduced from an analysis of their farming techniques. According to Denevan, at the time of their contact with Europeans there were at least five to six million people living in the Amazon region. There were perhaps two million more in other parts of ecological Amazonia. “

  80. Scottish Skeptic: you write–

    “1. The English Civil war which had quietened down, flared up and the end of monarchy as a political concept in Europe owes itself to the outcome.”

    Please refresh my memory. Who was the King of the Swiss Federation at that time?

  81. Oh come on people… Where is the sense of humour? I’ll bet this was not posted here to be seriously commented on and debunked. It is obviously the front runner for the most ridiculous story of the year on so many levels. A masterpiece. I nearly fell off my chair…..

  82. On second thought… Another reason for posting this (other than the exquisite humour content) could be to give it as wide an audience as possible. Should be mandatory reading for all…. With friends like Nevle the alarmists need no enemies…

  83. I’ve always said that there’s too many exhaling liberals, never expected them to confirm it for me…

  84. Gary Pearse is right–the climsci people would only grudgingly admit the Little Ice Age existed IF they could pin the blame on humans/CO2! Until they could, they just stood there with fingers in their ears yelling “La la la la la la la la la” anytime anybody even mentioned it.

    To me their conclusions are preposterous. (Are we to believe humans have cause the last several dozen Ice Ages? And here I thought we’ve evolved in suficient numbers just since Columbus (they got lots of ‘splanin to do).)

  85. So the white man caused the temperature to drop by several degrees, simply by moving to the Americas. Guess he has earned the right to warm it by several degrees before being asked to pay any recompense.

  86. Hmm… no mention of all the forests in the UK and Europe that were chopped down to build all the sailing ships that sailed the Spanish Main.
    /sarc

  87. I’m not sure what more can be said on the sheer nonsense of this, but considering that the descent into the Little Ice Age (misnamed though it may be) began somewhere around 1250 AD, roughly 200 years BEFORE Columbus was even born, let alone began voyaging, I can’t believe anyone could take this seriously. I also can’t believe that anyone even remotely ecologically minded could suggest that slash-and-burn farming was somehow better than allowing forests to grow. And then there’s the whole absurdity of 6 to 10 ppm of CO2 being in the least bit significant.

  88. Once again, an over-inflated estimate of the effect of CO2 on the climate. MODTRAN shows a raw LWIR energy flow of 289.163 W/m² seen looking down through clear tropical air at an altitude of 99 km with a CO2 concentration of 280 PPM. Increasing the CO2 concentration to 396 PPM seems to only reduce the raw energy outflow to 287.561 W/m², a 0.55% reduction.

  89. Amazing the power of Columbus, to remove sunspots for a period of 75 years. Or was it the trees regrowing that removed them?

  90. OK, so let me get this straight:

    Columbus arrives and is the “catalyst” for an accidental massive genocide of the local population. ( I’ve heard variants on that theory before, but the “evidence” is I’ve seen is basically ” we know (based on anecdotes and bad descriptions) this happened to tribe X over here, now extrapolate across the americas”. ( I’m not doubting that Europeans had a terrible and gruesome influence, I’m arguing about how much actually happened, and how it happened.)

    So massive vegetal growth happens that sequesters carbon because agriculture vanishes. ok, I guess if theory A is true that might happen in some places. (Though, one wonders about the effect of uncontrolled forest/grass fires and how they might affect things.) Is this a valid hypothesis on a continental scale? ( Beats me, and with very serious & detail work on pollen counts (to determine what plant were growing) in stratified mud and ground profiles to show things, it’s beats other people too. I’ve seen studies like that in New England and it’s very cool :you can trace, pre european periods , massive cutting of local forests, local agriculture, forest regrowth succession… but it’s local and requires certain circumstances)

    Temperature crashes. (Due to above carbon squestration.) ok, fine. Again, LOTS of other things are happening all around the world and solar system, might this have an effect and can we quantify this at all?

    But then I wonder: Suddenly europeans flood the continent, cut forests down in quantities and speed not seen ever before, build ships, cities and all sorts of other activities that will sequester that wood for decades to centuries, start a LOT of intensive agriculture on a scale never seen on this continent , in the certain regions STOP agriculture and then allow huge forests to regrow ( all of New England AND other parts of N.A.) which sequesters carbon and then burn massive amounts of carbon fuel, un-squestering megatonnes of coal and oil…

    Is it just me or would untangling those effects, even if you could estimate them correctly, be akin to correctly sorting leaves in a forest by color, age and species, while digging them up from under the snow in winter and wearing a blindfold and mittens?

    Aren’t these people ashamed of themselves?

  91. By my calculation the drop of 6-10 ppm CO2 cause a cooling of 2 degrees C. That is quite a powerful effect. The desire in some quarters is to reduce the CO2 level from its present 390 to 280. That is at least 11 times the downward change wrought by Columbus and his diseased ilk. If we are successful, we can expect a temperature drop of 22 degrees, right? Isn’t that how it works? Linear and all that, just like on the upside?

  92. Wasn’t it the warmist that embraced and got the warm fuzzies all over Genghis Kahn or Atilla the Hun a while back for doing the same, and now they are being hypocritical of Columbus.

  93. …continued from above.

    Financial markets are expected to stabilize Monday and Spain’s currency to recover after a bizarre new twist in what has become known as the “LIA Lawsuit”. The Editor-In-Chief of “Science News”, one Tom Siegfried http://www.sciencenews.org/view/page/id/72079/title/Science_News_Staff_Bios#siegfried , resigned today in protest of the publication of Dr Nevle’s article blaming Christopher Columbus for the LIA.

    In his letter of resignation, Siegfried affirmed that the article was factual, properly reviewed, and conatined no major or minor errors at all. “But the author didn’t consult with climate modelers.” said Siegfried, “and I feel I have no choice but to resign for allowing this travesty to be published. According to the computer models, there never was an LIA, and so Columbus couldn’t have caused it.”

    “The EEU case against Spain is a shambles,” said litigation expert Ban D. Wagon. “With Siegfried’s resignation, it is clear that the LIA never existed. Spain now has the entire UN IPCC backing it and all the EEU countries and their First Nations supporters have to go on is a single discredited report that should never have been published.” Ban D Wagon went on to note, “there are some naive thinkers out there who believe the facts will prevail. But this is the World Court and the United Nations. Facts are irrelevant here. The only evidence is computer models which are superior to facts in so many ways.”

    A spokesperson for the EEU law firm Wee Screwum and Howe declined to take questions, but did issue this brief statement:

    “The retraction of this article and the resignation of Siegfried have no bearing on our case. We’ve been developing our own computer models and will be presenting them in court. We’ve noted that the amount of money involved here is in the trillions, and have been approached by a number of well known climate modelers who are now on board as paid consultants. We are confident that they will produce the results we need to prove our case, and we are paying them very well to do so.”

    A call to the offices of Kevin “travesty Trenberth”, centre of the now nearly forgotten but similar resignation scandal of Wolfgang Wagner of “Remote Sensing” fame was answered by an assistant who wasn’t certain of Trenberth’s whereabouts.

    “He took off all of a sudden,” she said. “He said something about getting a better job, somewhere in Europe I think. He was on the phone to Michael or someone and said he needed the tree ring data showing the LIA started in 1492 and got really ticked off, screaming something about not deleting it for real…and then he left”.

    This case promises still more twists and turns, and this reporter will be paying close attention to making them all up.

  94. RE: Robertvdl says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:52 am

    “….Do we know if the Vikings brought some diseases from Europe that killed indigenous population.? The Greenland settlements must have had some contacts looking for wood and other stuff….”

    One interesting theory I read points out that Indian populations met with English fishermen and French trappers for over a hundred years without catching any European plagues. (As you mention, there is a possibility they had contact with Vikings earlier, as well.) It was, according to this theory, only when Indians were introduced to pork that the terrible pandemics occured. The theory suggested the first Spaniards drove herds of pigs with them as they searched for cities of gold and fountains of youth, and the like, and those explorers describe grand “kingdoms” in areas where later explorers found, only decades later, merely a few scattered tribes.

    Maybe it was some version of the Swine ‘Flu.

  95. Robertvdl says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:52 am
    kwik says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

    “According to Petit et. al. and Fischer et.al. (Science) it (CO2) lags temperature with, say, 800 to 1000 years…….so, if a human did it, it must have been early Vikings…..”

    Do we know if the Vikings brought some diseases from Europe that killed indigenous population.? The Greenland settlements must have had some contacts looking for wood and other stuff.

    One thing is true, the effects of another ice age, little or otherwise, would make global warming seem like a picnic

    See Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” for an interesting take on the question. Based on his analysis, I would say the answer to your question is “no”. The Viking’s settlements had population densities very much the same as the Native Americans. As a result, they did not have the population density necessary to breed the numerous fatal and near-fatal disease strains that the metropolitan areas of the early 1500’s managed to do.

    And for JeffC, Diamond estimates that 80-90% of the native population fell victim to small pox, etc as a result of interaction with Europeans. And the interaction wasn’t necessarily upfront and personal; most populations had already been devastated by the time they saw their first “white eyes”. The diseases travelled much faster that the settlers did.

  96. AGW claimed the right to rewrite history for the MWA– claiming their right to rewrite history for soil carbon and nitrogen is down right greedy! I
    I sure would like to see the calculations demonstrating more carbon is fixed in a forest than is stored in a tall grass prairie with a 1 to 3 year fire return cycle and tens of millions of 1000lb plus herbivores defecating, urinating and trampling. (What we have now is a poor excuse for a true tall grass prairie and its soils C/N reservoirs are not compatible) These prairies were “cultivated” by the use of fire by Native Americans to prevent afforestation. The soils of Illinois were described by the first Europeans as “coal black.” Soil nitrogen was so high it formed nitrogen salt crusts. Corn stalks in the late 19th century in the midwest often had visible crystals of potassium nitrate and the reason why farmers of this time slept with one eye open- a single spark would make corn go up like a fuse late in the season. You can’t get these high N levels without high C levels. In fact corn was grown for 40 years in the midwest with no fertilizer and it was not until the 1920s that N levels were sufficiently reduced to grow wheat. There were perhaps hundreds of millions of burrowing animals ex.prairie dogs tilling more soil and deeper than perhaps anything we do today. What ants did is humbling. The massive changes made by Native American burning changed waterlogging which slowed soil organic decomposition and altered evapotranspiration. Fire changed pH as did the change of vegetation from trees to grasses. Over a hundred million acres of prairie is thought to have burned every year prior to the 19th century. Im with Pielke Sr and Ed Krug– land alteration can have dramatic local effects. I’m also willing to bet that most of the US prior to the 19th century would fail to meet current EPA air quality standards for soot, particulates, NOx,NOy, soot, ground level ozone etc. Those warm hazy days of early autumn (Indian summer) were the result of smoke!

  97. D.J. Hawkins,

    Diamond’s claim that smallpox killed 90% of Native Americans doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. The death rate from smallpox in un-innoculated patients is about 13%, based on historical records, and no group has ever had a natural immunity. Variola major can have a mortality rate as high was 30%, and from Athens during the Peloponesian wars up through the 1950’s smallpox never had a 90% fatality rate among patients, much less whole societies.

    Diamond implies that Europeans were somehow used to the disease, but they suffered continual epidemics until the cowpox vaccinations were widely adopted. The only way for any European to acquire an immunity to smallpox is to catch smallpox, which carries the same fatality rate as for anyone else in the world, and often more because European doctors would use bizarre treatments like mercury and antimony.

    In 1721 Boston had a major epidemic brought in on a ship from the West Indies, probably carried by African slaves (smallpox was endemic in Africa). 50% of the city caught the disease, so obviously it was virgin soil, the same as any Native American group. Nobody had been innoculated the patients suffered the usual 13% mortality rate. So for the entire city, the mortality rate was only 6.5%. That’s typical for a smallpox outbreak in a new area.

    So if the same disease is striking both the Western hemisphere and the Old World, with the same mortality rates, how can it wipe out the population of one hemisphere while the other thrives? Even in the 1700’s smallpox killed about 400,000 Europeans a year, yet their population expanded.

    Other problems with Diamond’s claim are that the same conditions occured in Australia and other areas where smallpox arrived with the Europeans, yet smallpox never became endemic among Aboriginals. It also didn’t wipe out the Pacific Islanders or anyone else we encountered when we were keeping accurate records, and the lack of accurate record keeping is the only reason Diamond could even make such claims.

  98. What this article makes clear is the category to which the religion of CAGW belongs – it is animism. People groups in past millenia and also currently who have no knowledge of understanding of science, adopted belief structures in which all natural events had to be caused by sentient person-like entities, or gods / spirits. Thus probably for most of human history “climate science” has involved understanding which offended god or spirit is responsible for adverse weather leading to crop failure or poor hunting / fishing etc. Norse religion and mythology added a new twist to this, the concept of Ragnarok and the overthrow of the gods by men, based on contempt for the gods and belief in the greater strength of man. Norse mythology underlies the western mindset at a subconscious level – Hitler tried briefly to adopt Norse religion in Germany.

    The superstitious animistic belief system exhibited in this paper and by mainstream climate science is characterised by humans taking the place of gods, such that people with this mindset are simply incapable of considering any agency for climate change other than human agency, linked to the Loki-like mischievous CO2 who betrays the gods bringing about their defeat to man.

    Very interesting from an anthropological point of view to see the stone age culture and mindset of fundamentslist animism, and inability to comprehend any physical agency apart from a deified humanity, now firmly and permanently established as the culture of climate science.

    Perhaps this is what Ravett was trying to describe with his concept of “post-normal” science. Except he should have called it “pre-normal”.

    Welcome back to the palaeolithic!

  99. Max Hugoson says:
    October 14, 2011 at 9:56 pm
    80 Million people living in the “Americas”? Pure balderdash.
    [….]
    The professor said, “I say there were less than 1 million, TOTAL including much of South America and Canada. This is based on their agricultural styles, and what the land afforded them for subsistence. [….]

    The area of the New World is approximately 42.2 million square kilometers or 16.3 million square miles. The typical population densities cited for various cultures worldwide varies by greatly by orders of magnitude. This is especially true when progressing from Paleolithic cultures to Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age , and Modern cultures. Nonetheless, hunter-gatherer and Neolithic farming cultures share similar constraints upon sustainable population densities when compared to their Old World counterparts. Your professor’s conclusions about the Pre-Columbian Amerindian population being no greater than about 500,000 to 1,500,000 people implies a population density in the New World no greater than 0.012 to 0.036 people per square kilometer. Such a number is less than the population densities described for the Plains Amerindian tribes inhabiting the North American Great Plains cold regions a their nadir. Such implied population densities are often lower than the population densities cited for many Early Paleolithic cultures when Modern Humans were in their earliest beginnings in the Old World. In other words, such implied population densities are so absurdly low, they make no reasonable sense.

    The population densities of MesoAmerica’s city states alone make such low New World population estimates entirely unreasonable. The valley of today’s Mexico City are described as increasing from a Paleolithic populaiton of about 5,000 people to a 1590CE population of more than 300,000 to more than 1,000,000 people alone.

    The Mississippian Culture’s numerous city states and towns in North America had urban populations equal to the European cities and towns such as Paris, London, and their rural communities in the same time period. The Cahokia Mounds community is described as having a population of 12,000 to 40,000 people. Combined with other smaller communities in present day Illinois, the population density of the Mississippian Culture in Illinois would have been no less than 3 people per square kilomter on average, and it was very likely to have been twice or more. Indeed, hunter gatherer cultures in Europe and North Africa are often described as having population densities of at least 1 or 2 people per square kilometer to as many as 20 or 35 people per square kilometer.

    The Woodland Culture spanned an area of Eastern North America of well more than 3 million square kilometers. If it can be assumed for the sake of illustration that an average population density of 1 person per square kilometer was reasonable for this culture, it alone would have harbored a population of around 3 million people. Even if we assume the population density was only one half that rate, there still would have been a population of 1.5 million people, in addition to the Meso-American populations numbering one or more million people. This still leaves us the entire population of South America to be reckoned with,k including the large populations in the Inca empire, its precedent civilizations, and the emerging information about the larger than previously reported Amazonian culture/s.

    Assuming a New World average population density of one person per square kilometer, the New World population would have been on the order of 42 million people. Assuming a population density of 0.3 people would still give us a New World population of 14 million people. Ignoring the fact of extensive agriculture in the New World Amerindian cultures and civilizations, even hunter-gatherer cultures could sometimes attain population densities of 10 people per square kilometer, which would result in a New World population of 420 million people, that we know exceeds observed population levels by huge degrees. Consequently, it is easy to surmise the actual demographic pattern was a number of limited regions in which Neolithic farming cultures sustained relatively higher population densities well beyond 1 or 10 people per square kilometer, while pedestrian hunter-gatherer cultures achieved population densities of 1 or much less than one person per kilometer over wide regions of the New World. The over all average population density for the New World in Pre-Columbian time periods remain elusive, but the evidence suggests quite strongly any numbers less than 10 million people is so extraordinarily low by comparison to the Old World as to require equally extraordinary explanations for such a radical departure from previous experience with Old World Neolithic and prior hunter-gatherer cultures.

    It appears your professor was no better at using common sense than some of the professors asserting Pre-Columbian Amerindian polulations of 100 million or more people.

  100. D. Patterson says:
    October 16, 2011 at 8:51 am

    “The Mississippian Culture’s numerous city states and towns in North America had urban populations equal to the European cities and towns such as Paris, London, and their rural communities in the same time period. The Cahokia Mounds community is described as having a population of 12,000 to 40,000 people. Combined with other smaller communities in present day Illinois, the population density of the Mississippian Culture in Illinois would have been no less than 3 people per square kilomter on average, and it was very likely to have been twice or more. Indeed, hunter gatherer cultures in Europe and North Africa are often described as having population densities of at least 1 or 2 people per square kilometer to as many as 20 or 35 people per square kilometer.”

    I am normally loathe to quote Wikipedia as a source for anything, but I’ll offer this section of their Illinois page on a purely FWIW basis

    “Native Americans lived along the waterways of the Illinois area for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The Koster Site has been excavated and demonstrated 7,000 years of continuous habitation. Cahokia, the largest regional chiefdom and urban center of the Pre-Columbian Mississippian culture, was located near present-day Collinsville, Illinois. They built more than 100 mounds and a woodhenge in a planned design expressing the culture’s cosmology. The civilization vanished in the 15th century for unknown reasons, but historians and archeologists have speculated that the people depleted the area of resources. Many indigenous tribes engaged in constant warfare. According to Suzanne Austin Alchon, “At one site in the central Illinois River valley, one-third of all adults died as a result of violent injuries.”[19]
    The next major power in the region was the Illinois Confederation or Illini, a political alliance among several tribes. There were about 25,000 Illinois Indians in 1700, but systematic attacks and warfare by the Iroquois reduced their numbers by 90%.[20] Gradually, members of the Potawatomi, Miami, Sauk, and other tribes came in from the east and north.[21] In the American Revolution, the Illinois and Potawatomi supported the American colonists’ cause.”

    It would appear that there is at least one school of thought that suggests “The Mississippian Culture” was gone before any Europeans had a chance to get at them and despite all the hippie stereotypes regarding NAs, they were entirely capable of obliterating each other on their own recognizance. Given the broad variety of numbers bandied about in regard to Pre-Columbian populations it looks to me that anybody’s SWAG is just about as reliable as any other, which is of course not at all.

  101. D. Patterson, your argument calculating likely numbers works exactly the same when you subsititue “Orcs” and “Middle Earth”, which is the problem with it. By the same methods, it is equally true that North America had the same number of Indians in 1492 as it did before the first Indian crossed the land bridge from Asia, because the land’s carrying capacity was the same. So there were obviously tens of millions of Indians here before the first one even arrived.

    For example, Kentucky has an area of 140,000 square kilometers , somewhat larger than England, and had a native population of, well, zero. Early on, back in the days of Daniel Boone, the tribes in Ohio united to form an invasion force to take it back their hunting grounds, and that force numbered less than 200 when it crossed the Ohio River unopposed. Had they succeeded, and established residence, they would’ve had a population density of 0.0015 persons per square kilometer. And this is in the Eastern US, where the land can support very high population densities.

    It can be hard for a Eurocentric Westerner to grasp the staggeringly low density of people that were here, but image trying to invade England with 200 soldiers. For another comparison, the US Army fought Sitting Bull for over a decade. When he brought all the tribes together, from an area larger than France, he had a couple thousand people. After wiping out Custer (268 US cavalry dead, for an area about the size of France), the US Army pursed him across an area almost the size of Western Europe, yet his band numbered only about 200, including women and children.

    In all the Indian wars out West, which spanned a hundred years, the US military only suffered about 2,000 casualties. That’s 20 a year, or less than 2 per year per state the size of European countries, and that’s reflective of the population density centuries after any claims of virgin soil epidemics could be remotely plausible. In Europe, Napoleon would throw away 2,000 soldiers as a feint on the left to hide a bigger feint on the right to hide the forces rushing into the center to hold until the main force got there in a battle on a random October day.

    Just because a room is empty doesn’t mean that somebody must’ve murdered however many are listed as its maximum occupancy rating.

  102. Um… It must also be Bush’s fault. You know, like everything else. This poor man must have amazing superpowers to disrupt creation backwards and forwards in time.

    I mean, come on, guys, you know that’s the next move in paleoblameatology.

  103. So the trees were burned, causing the Medieval Warm Period, then the people died and the trees regrew, causing the LIA?

    How did the climate ever change without us?

  104. most of disaster caused by human being..
    in developing country there are a lot of people who don’t really realize about climate change etc.

    start changes from our self is the best way.
    # only my opinion

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