Guest essay by Fred F. Mueller
While many people will agree that some of the stories recorded in the Old Testament might not be taken too literally, this book nevertheless deserves a lot of respect for the fact that is represents the collective wisdom and historical records of a nomad populace that roamed vast swathes of Egypt, Mesopotamia and adjacent regions before finally settling in what is now known as Israel.
These tribes were highly intelligent and had a remarkably good understanding of many basic rules governing their daily life. Given the hygienic knowledge and standards of these times, rules determining how to prepare kosher food certainly had the beneficial additional effect of preventing the spread of diseases such as trichinosis or salmonella infections.
The old Jews had a basic but efficient set of laws called the Ten Commandments and, by observing the Shabbat, also practiced a very early form of work hour limitation. And, over a time period probably spanning back thousands of years into the fogs of unrecorded early human history, they kept the collective memory of key weather events and natural disasters such as Noah’s flood or the (probably volcanic) annihilation of Gomorrah. A very remarkable exploit of the Old Testament is the description of the Ten Plagues affecting Egypt. One can view them as a line-up of the worst natural incidents these people ever had lived and recorded over a period of probably several thousand years. Which now brings me to the decisive point: the list does not include freezing temperatures and deep snow.
Hail, but neither snow nor subzero temperatures
While the Ten Plagues included hail storms, the records clearly limit their impact to the destruction of crops and the battering to death of cattle and humans alike. Such events are extremely violent but also very ephemeral. The Bible makes no mention of bitter cold or of lasting snowfall. Given the high intelligence and excellent observation skills of the ancient Jews, one might feel enticed to suggest that during hundreds if not thousands of years, weather events of this type simply did not occur in their habitat.
Which now brings me to the decisive point: while the proponents of the theory of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) insist that the temperatures of the planet are set to rise in an accelerating mode that we won’t be able to control least we adopt drastic climate protecting measures a.s.a.p., we just learn that in the Sinai desert, a region to the south-west of Israel, four hikers have died in a blizzard. They lost their way and sadly froze to death in deep snow at temperatures well below the freezing point. Pictures in the internet show camels knee-deep in snowdrifts.
If one pieces together this information and biblical records, one might feel entitled to draw the conclusion that such a weather event hasn’t been observed in the region for several thousand years. Not exactly an indication of runaway temperatures, at least not a rush to the northern regions of the mercury scale. And this wasn’t a singular event. Over a prolonged time period and a wide area, the Middle East might have been experiencing its worst cold snap in several hundred if not thousand years.
This certainly does not harmonize with stories about runaway temperatures sizzling our planet. If the Bible is right, the CAGW theory seems to have hit some serious snag. Maybe it would be a good suggestion to tell these people to go back to the drawing boards and proceed to an in-depth makeover of their simulation software…
[Note: some commenters questioned why this essay was posted, I simply saw it as an interesting discussion of recorded historical events, something that scholars worldwide look to document. The Roman Warm Period is well known and also much studied, and it coincides with many writings in the Bible. Wikipedia says:
Theophrastus (371 – c. 287 BC) wrote that date trees could grow in Greece if planted, but could not set fruit there. This is the same situation as today, and suggests that southern Aegean mean summer temperatures in the fourth and fifth centuries BC were within a degree of modern temperatures. This and other literary fragments from the time confirm that the Greek climate during that period was basically the same as it was around 2000 AD. Dendrochronological evidence from wood found at the Parthenon shows variability of climate in the fifth century BC resembling the modern pattern of variation. Tree rings from Italy in the late third century BC indicate a period of mild conditions in the area at the time that Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants.
The phrase “Roman Warm Period” appears in a 1995 doctoral thesis. It was popularized by an article published in Nature in 1999.
Anyone reading anything more into this posting, or thinking that I’m endorsing the idea that the bible “disproves global warming” should think again. – Anthony]