Friday, August 17, 2012

Conversely: The Year Without a Summer

The summer here in the Midwest has been noteworthy.  Heat.  Drought.  No crops.  Fires.  Hardships abound.  Some compare it to the Dust Bowl.

Is this news?  Yes.  Is it new?  No.

"Everything old is new again."

There will always be years of drought.  And, happily, years and seasons of great weather, abundance, and contentment.

The year of 1816 is note-worthy.  It is also known as "The Year Without a Summer", and "Poverty Year", and "Eighteen Hundred and Frozen to Death".  Look it up!

According to Wikipedia, the year's weather was due to "an historic low in solar activity", as well as "a succession of major volcanic eruptions" .  There was a string of volcano eruptions that winter, and the eruption of Mount Timbora  (Indonesia) was the largest eruption known in over 1300 years.  (Note: we now have modern technology to monitor and gauge earthquakes and volcanoes throughout the world, in a matter minutes.  Fascinating, isn't it?)

Canada, northeast United States, and parts of Europe were particularly affected by this seasonal anomaly.  Cold weather.  No crops.  Malnutrition.  Epidemic.  Even the Chinese were affected in this year of "No Summer".   Again: Cold weather.  No crops.  Malnutrition.  Epidemic.

So the point I am making is that, yes - this summer has been brutal.  Is it the most brutal in all time of the earth?  I hardly think so.  I'd  venture to guess that Africa probably holds a few sad records of its own.  And, probably WAYyy worse than what we Americans have experienced.  I think we are in shock.  We Americans rarely have harsh natural disasters which affect hundreds/thousands/millions.  We have a grasp of hardship, but...I don't believe Americans have a grasp of the painful reality some areas of the world experience due to their weather and climate changes.  We claim we do, but we don't.       

When I read about The Year Without a Summer, it made me think of the quote: Everything old is new again.  Horrid summer conditions occur.  Sad winter conditions occur.  Sometimes, in both seasons, the conditions are deadly, either immediate, or by means of lack of human needs.  My point this afternoon's not new.  We shall weather this (no pun intended) summer and carry on.

As the World Turns...(literally!) 

1 comment:

Gill said...

Well said, mom!

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