(It was a long hot summer. Some Things Never Change… – DD)
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(Climate Science) – European witch hunts of the 15th to 17th centuries targeted witches that were thought to be responsible for epidemics and crop failures related to declining temperatures of the Little Ice Age. A belief that evil humans were negatively affecting the climate and weather patterns was the “consensus” opinion of that time. How eerily similar is that notion to the current oft-repeated mantra that Man’s actions are controlling the climate and leading to catastrophic consequences?
The first extensive European witch hunts coincided with plunging temperatures as the continent transitioned away from the beneficial warmth of the Medieval Warm Period (850 to 1250 AD). Increasing cold that began in the 13th century ushered in nearly five centuries of advancing mountain glaciers and prolonged periods of rainy or cool weather. This time of naturally-driven climate change was accompanied by crop failure, hunger, rising prices, epidemics and mass depopulation.
Large systematic witch hunts began in the 1430s and were advanced later in the century by an Alsatian Dominican friar and papal Inquisitor named Heinrich Kramer. At Kramer’s urging, Pope Innocence VIII issued an encyclical enshrining the persecution and eradication of weather-changing witches through this papal edict. The worst of the Inquisition’s abuses and later systemic witch hunts were, in part, empowered by this decree.
The summer of 1560 brought a return of coldness and wetness that led to severe…