Amidst the latest brouhaha and persecution of ‘climate change deniers’ there’s one good reason I can’t get at all excited about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, (man-made global warming), and ‘green energy’. The fact is that the Northern Hemisphere is still in the last hurrah of the last ice age.
Some 10,500 years ago, (the blink of an eye in cosmic and geological time), most of the people on Earth lived in Africa because everywhere else was too damn cold. In fact, the last ice age hasn’t yet really ended, so any time in the next few hundred or few thousand years Europe, North America, and Northern Asia could be again covered by sheets of ice miles thick.
Much of the geology of these continents was structured by ice ~the Great Lakes in North America were formed 20,000 years ago as a result of the last period of glaciation. Where I live now was covered by a sheet of ice three miles thick only 10,000 years ago ~ and the ice reached as far south in England as where London is now. As I said 10,000 years is but the blink of an eye in terms of geology and the life-cycle of our sun and the planets.
Agriculture has only existed in England for 6,000 years, because before that it was too cold, so Mesolithic Man lived by hunting. Up until 6,200 years ago, so much of the seas’ waters were locked up in ice on the land that you could walk from what is now Germany to England, without getting your feet wet ~ over a stretch of dry land called Doggerland. Where the English Channel is now used to be part of what is now called the River Rhine.
Ice Ages have come and gone over the last 2.4 billion years, starting with Snowball Earth and the Lower Huronian Ice Age. It is thought that Ice Ages are caused by changes in the Earth’s orbit and the amount by which our planet tilts. Typically, a period of extreme glaciation could happen about every 100,000 years or so, (but can last for up to 200 or 300 million years.) The last one has only being running, (on and off), for around 100 million years. The Earth is now in an interglacial period, so we have a lot more worries over freezing to death than we have over global warming.
May I suggest that you don’t worry too much about global warming, but make certain you know how to cope with a hell of a lot of snow and ice.