Great Famine

The Great Famine of 1315-1317 only lasted two years, was no where close to the change in climate that we are looking in the face right now, and it wiped out 10-25% of the population.

To provide some measure of relief, the future was mortgaged by slaughtering the draft animals, eating the seed grain, abandoning children to fend for themselves (see “Hansel and Gretel”) and, among old people, voluntarily refusing food for the younger generation to survive.

One of the things that frightens me most about climate change is that small changes can have drastic affects and institutions can unravel much more quickly than anyone imagines. My fear is that by the time things get bad enough that we need to try things like geoengineering our institutions will have fallen apart and we’ll be incapable of launching such efforts.