From the years 1300 until the 1850’s people living in Western Europe battled a terrifying and seemingly insurmountable foe, the Little Ice Age. Examining how people of this time not only survived but thrived during an era of cataclysmic climate change can offer us positive perspectives and productive mechanisms going forward in our own battle with climate in modern times. Explored are massive famines and epidemic disease, volcanic eruptions and their after-effects, specific historical events such as the Black Plague and the Irish Potato famine and how all of these devastating events overlap to create a vivid picture of human fortitude. This article uncovers the tools and ingenuity Western Europeans employed to overcome a rapidly changing climate and how those tools are properly utilized to battle devastating climatic events. In exploring both scientific theory, including anthropological works such as Anthony Wallace’s Revitalization Movement, and the modern church’s position on climate change, this article hopes to address the current circumstance of global climate change and provide a potential way forward for modern humans in light of scientific reason and theological discussion about our unavoidable role in the environment.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Copyright (c) 2020 Sara E Cook