Little Ice Age and Protestantism


We can track the cultural devolution in Europe from its high in the Thirteenth century to it’s initial crack up in the Sixteenth and serious break up in the Eighteenth century. We see the plague in the fourteenth century and the continued heresies of the Cathars, then Wycliffe, etc. We can see the rise of Nominalism which caused much harm to the Scholastic synthesis. We observe the revolt followed by the many wars and revolutions and the complete breakdown of philosophy with the Enlightenment. We can see all of these but it is difficult to determine all of the causes.

I was pondering the Little Ice Age and the calamities it caused. This period lasted from the Fourteenth through the Nineteenth centuries. I wonder how much this had to do with the Protestant revolt and the later wars and the Enlightenment? I wonder too that now that we are warming up a bit and hopefully will warm up even more if we won’t see a great cultural and economic upturn world wide?



Interesting question…

Is it possible the little ice age created the conditions needed for a true “revolt” against the church in the form of protestantism? Interesting idea, and very plausible.

However, i seriously doubt the reverse is also true. An increase in temperature like the ones predicted by Global Warming can have as many, if not more devastating effects on the environment than the little ice age. Crop Cycles will be thrown off. Increased number of illness carrying insects. etc. There is a nice happy median that the planet has been in for a while, any disruption will cause chaos.

However, that being said, in theory, we technically are still in an ice age. Geologically, the norm is for there to be an absence of polar ice. but thats a different story for a different day.


You sound like Hegel. He taught that philosophy is best done in the mediterranean and Germany because those places have the most favorable climates. People in the north are too cold to worry about philosophy, whereas people in the south are too hot.


I did not know this. Can you point me to some study so I can get smarter. I suppose a warming could be as chaotic as a cooling, but as I sit here in this cold snowy winter I would welcome some warming.



An ice age is a period of long-term reduction in the temperature of Earth’s climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers (“glaciation”). Glaciologically, ice age is often used to mean a period of ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres; by this definition we are still in an ice age (because the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets still exist). More colloquially, when speaking of the last few million years, ice age is used to refer to colder periods with extensive ice sheets over the North American and Eurasian continents: in this sense, the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. This article will use the term ice age in the former, glaciological, sense; and use the term glacial periods for colder periods during ice ages and interglacial for the warmer periods.

Many glacial periods have occurred during the last few million years, initially at 40,000-year frequency but more recently at 100,000-year frequencies. These are the best studied. There have been four major ice ages in the further past.

Normally I hate using wiki as a scientific source, but its a good place to start. Also, something else, the age from rough 500 MYA to the end of the dinosaurs, most of this time was ice free at the poles.



I would gather that the master scientist Al Gore does not know this.



That’s possible (but I doubt it), that doesn’t mean a world without polar ice is good for us. It will indeed require further study.

If we are looking forward to a world where the Midwest USA is a desert, and Florida is under salt water we may very well get the chance to find out.

A world of disasters may very well be the geological norm.




I’d gladly settle for a couple of palm trees in my front yard.



I assume that this is a joke.


I think the plague had something to do with the Reformation. Some people though that it was God’s punishment for the imperfections of the Church. That is why European denial of it having reached North America (in pre-Columbian times) has been so strong. This is a superstitious link of misfortune to sin.

As for global warming-- it certainly has a lot to do with man’s activities on the Earth and ecological irresponsibility. And, personally, if we can do anything to slow this change, we should do it. New Orleans, The Netherlands, even NYC under water??? As well as a lot of other places. A lot of valuable real estate under water, people having to be relocated. MANY adjustments-- would rather adapt now than have to make those changes later. This is a rational link of misfortune to sin.


I’ve always thought that we should rebuild New Orleans further inland. I think we are wasting alot of money rebuilding in the same spot.



Just want to make a quick comment. While the geological norm may be ice free. That doesn’t mean it is good for us, sorry if I implied that. What is the geological norm for us, unfortunately isn’t what that earth has in mind for a norm and yes, it would be disastrous if it returned to this. No if ands or buts about it. I think Al Gore has been sucking on too much CO out of someones tail pipe, but the premise is correct. An significant increase (or decrease) would be disastrous over all.


For sure. NO as it used to be is just not practical. :frowning: We need to stop such tragedise form happening.



Why would you think it to be a joke? I have a Protestant friend who says that if the reform had gone no further than Luther we would have been much better off than we are. I don’t believe that he’s correct but even if we took his assumption we could easily see a trajectory that runs deeper than Luther which eventually overwhelmed the greatest Western civilization in history. Perhaps one of the common threads, along with Nominalism and Secularism, is the little ice age.

Perhaps global warming will bring more blessings than even I had imagined.






Since you do not believe that mankind’s activities have anything to do with global warming, you will not accept my answer to that question.

However, maybe economic reasoning might help you accept what needs to be done.
Reduce dependency on foreign energy!!!
Use solar power.
Use wind power.
Use energy from biomawss waste!!

To bring it back on topic, I believe that the horrors of the Bubonic Plague had more to do with the Reformation than the Little Ice Age.


Of course. We do as much of that as we can. In fact, I’d love to see us be able to never buy another drop of oil from the Middle East. But you are correct in saying that I don’t believe in Algore’s bogus science, even when it is couched in politically correct terms. If a tragedy is coming in the proportions predicted there isn’t anything we can do about it. When you get past 30 or so you begin to realize that every generation has it’s scare tactics. There’s usually about 5% truth and 95% attempts to get money for research in each one.



I didn’t see your comment about the plague…

There is much reason to believe that the Little Ice Age had something to do with the coming of the plague. But perhaps not.



There is some linkage between all three, but the strongest is plague and Prot. Reformation


Exactly. I also think that it is abundantly clear that the Catholic Church is the cause of World War II and Hurricane Katrina. Hitler was baptised Catholic and Katrina hit a historically Catholic city, New Orleans. The linkage of these events is indisputable.


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