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Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations
Floods Famines and Emperors El Nino and the Fate of Civilizations Author:Brian M. Fagan, Brian Fagan In 1997 and early 1998, one of the most powerful El Ni"os ever recorded disrupted weather patterns the world over. Europe suffered a record freeze, as the American West was hit by massive floods and snowstorms, while droughts resulted in enormous forest fires in Southeast Asia, and famine in East Africa. In Floods, Famines, and Emperors, Bri... more »an Fagan shows that these events were neither isolated nor new. El Nio has been disrupting weather patterns on and off for some five millennia--perhaps much longer-- sometimes with catastrophic effects on civilizations. Integrating climate science, archaeology, history, and the superb writing of a natural storyteller, Fagan shows how the systemic interaction of climate, land, and people have shaped culture since the dawn of time: El Ni"o droughts have brought on the collapse of dynasties in ancient Egypt; El Ni"o monsoon failures have caused historic famines in India, while El Ni"o floods have destroyed entire civilizations in Peru, and changed the course of European exploration. The material that comprises Floods, Famines, and Emperor is only now beginning to be discussed in scientific symposia. But Fagan has not written a dry, academic text. This book is a lucid, fascinating, and thoroughly readable account of climate and culture for history buffs, archaeology enthusiasts, the growing legions of weather watchers, and science readers of all kinds.« less
Super detailed book on climate and history. Weather has had catastrophic effects on human civilizations from earliest times. Our struggles with greenhouse gases may be of different origin, but the effects of changes to oceans, atmosphere, rainfall will be just as significant. The book is a lively and easy read with none of the polemic we have come to expect from "green" people. Highly recommended.