Indrukwekkend filmepos over invloed van klimaat op menselijke beschaving

  • maandag 26 januari 2015
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  • Onder de titel, ‘Klima macht Geschichte’, zond de ZDF op 11 en 18 januari een prachtige documentaire in twee delen uit.

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    Onder de titel, ‘German Television Shocks … Outstanding Documentary On Historical Sudden Climate Changes Driven By Natural Factors, wijdde Pierre Gosselin daaraan een uitvoerige beschouwing.
    Als het om klimaatverandering gaat, worden we door de media voortdurend getorpedeerd met apocalyptische verhalen dat de mens verantwoordelijk is voor die verschrikkelijke opwarming van de aarde (die maar steeds niet wil komen). Deze documentaire vertelt een gans ander verhaal. Zij toont de allesoverheersende natuurkrachten die klimaatverandering veroorzaken. En dat kan heel plotseling gebeuren.
    De veranderingen die in het verleden hebben plaatsgevonden hebben een een beslissende invloed gehad op de opkomst en ondergang van menselijke beschavingen. Deze ontwikkelingen staan in schril contrast met de naïeve opvatting dat het klimaat min of meer stabiel was voor de industriële revolutie. Deel 1 behandelt de periode vanaf de laatste grote ijstijd tot het Romeins Rijk, ongeveer 2000 jaar geleden. Deel 2 behandelt het ‘warmteoptimum’ van de Romeinse periode tot de dag van vandaag.
    Ik pik een aantal krenten uit de beschouwing van Pierre Gosselin.
    At the 3.30 mark we see a planet deep into an ice age, with northern Europe covered in ice and sea level over 100 meters below today’s levels. The species best suited to take the cold during this period was the meat-eating Neanderthal.
    At the 6:20 mark the documentary points out that the climate changes dramatically, and that the main driver of the ice ages is the sun, principally the Milankovitch cycles. But also the ocean currents play an important.
    Some 17,000 years ago, the earth’s position relative to the sun led to a thawing, with warm and moist conditions taking hold, allowing civilization to eventually prosper, especially though the development of agriculture, which allowed humans to specialize. …
    But at about this time, a major catastrophic event was developing in North America. A huge sea on the continent created by melting ice sheets broke through a barrier of ice and flowed like a tidal wave into the Atlantic at about 6200 BC (19:35)…(see graphic at 20:05 mark). This event disrupted the North Atlantic current and caused yet again another major climate disruption. Europe plunged into any icy phase and the Middle East cooled and entered a protracted period of drought – causing Middle Eastern and North African societies to collapse and unleashing a wave of “climate refugees” to Europe and Asia.
    At the 24.30 mark we see that at about 6000 BC the Sahara was green and human life flourished, as evidenced by paintings uncovered by archeologists. The Sahara, the documentary says, was a savannah rich with wildlife. ….
    All of that came to an end, however, because of “sudden” natural climate change about 7000 years ago – caused by a tilting back of the earth, the documentary says.
    At the 28:00 mark archeologists studying human remains dated the green Sahara downfall at 3500 BC. Drought and expanding deserts were not restricted to the Sahara, but they also expanded across the globe, the documentary tells us at the 28:40 mark (see yellow areas on the graphic at the 28:57 mark)…The documentary says it was “caused by a slight shift in the earth’s axis”. As a result once again history witnessed huge exoduses of “climate refugees”, especially to the Nile River region, where the technology of irrigation was eventually developed (30:30) and the great Egyptian civilization was born. Not only Egypt prospered during the Bronze Age (3000 – 2000 BC), but so did many other civilizations (33:40 mark).
    So prosperous were the warm times of the Bronze Age that many societies worshipped the sun (34:45).
    But the prosperity of the Bronze Age also crashed at about 1200 BC (35:25) as marauding armies pillaged and plundered wave after wave. What was the cause of the Bronze Age collapse and all the war? At the 36:15 mark the documentary looks at some scientific theories, showing that it may have all been sparked by a climate change.
    That means that at 1200 BC, there was no longer any heavy precipitation in the Mediterranean region. A period of drought took hold over the entire region.”
    Likely a climate anomaly was to blame. The world’s climate reached the coldest temperature since the end of the ice age. Precipitation dropped off massively.”
    The cold period after the Bronze Age persisted for hundreds of years. The documentary tells how the cold eventually dissipated at about 350 BC, giving way to warm temperatures and more precipitation (41:00) and thus transforming the Middle East and North Africa into “a paradise of crops” – all culminating with the Roman Empire … “The climate was optimal“. It was warm – even warmer than today.

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