Daily Archives: December 17, 2020

Mapping a New World

Leventhal Map & Education Center

Dec 17, 2020

Mapping a New World: Places of Conflict and Colonization in 17th Century New England. A National Endowment of the Humanities-Funded Landmarks of American History and Culture Program.
Please visit this website for more information:

9/11: An Architect’s Guide – Part 3: The Twin Towers and Extreme Heat (12/17/20 Webinar – R Gage)


Streamed live 6 hours ago
9/11: An Architect’s Guide | Part 3: The Twin Towers and Extreme Heat
Course Number: AE911-AAG-L3
Live three-part webinar series. Each part is about 1 1/2 hours long.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting research and providing education about the complete destruction of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers, our courses give architects the technical knowledge and analytical framework with which to evaluate the most likely cause of those building failures.

Course Description:
Never before has a steel-framed high-rise collapsed from fire. Why, then, did three such buildings collapse on September 11, 2001?

In Part 3 of “9/11: An Architect’s Guide,” Richard Gage, AIA, provides an overview of the most important evidence related to the extreme heat observed both before and after the Twin Towers’ destruction.

As documented extensively in the report issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), molten metal was seen pouring out of the South Tower during the seven minutes leading up to its collapse. Molten metal was also observed in the debris of both buildings, while various other evidence of extreme heat and incendiary chemical reactions have been documented since.

In 2005, NIST concluded that the Twin Towers’ destruction resulted from the combined effects of the airplane impact damage and ensuing fires, both of which are phenomena that fail to account for the extreme heat observed before and after the Twin Towers’ destruction.

Does NIST’s explanation for these unprecedented structural failures explain all of the evidence? Together, we will study the collapses and evaluate which of the two leading hypotheses — fire-induced failure or controlled demolition — is more consistent with the evidence. Participants will be encouraged to decide for themselves if a new investigation is warranted.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:
1. Describe the characteristics of building fires and the aspects of high-rise design that contribute to make fire-induced failure in steel-framed high-rise buildings a rare occurrence.
2. Recognize the distinct features associated with fire-induced failure and the distinct features associated with the procedure of controlled demolition.
3. Describe step-by-step the series of structural failures that the National Institute of Standards and Technology found to be the most likely cause of the collapse of World Trade Center Twin Towers.
4. Analyze the physical evidence and the dynamics of the collapse of the Twin Towers according to how consistent it is with the competing hypotheses of fire-induced failure and controlled demolition.

Visit http://AE911Truth.org/Continuing-Ed.html for more information.

Biden names key climate officials in departure from Trump

PBS NewsHour
Dec 17, 2020

President-elect Biden has said that tackling climate change, the environment and green energy are top priorities for his administration. And so far, his team appears to be a mix of some familiar faces and some not-so-familiar faces. John Yang spoke with Amy Harder, an energy and climate reporter for Axios, to learn more.


Bernie Sanders

Streamed live 3 hours ago


Former U.S. Cybersecurity Chief Slams False Claims of Voter Fraud | NowThis

NowThis News

Dec 17, 2020

‘It’s an affront to democracy’ — Former election security chief Chris Krebs slammed Republicans for continuing to spread false claims about the election.

Pathways to Planetary Health – John Fullerton in Conversation with Jonathan F. P. Rose


Streamed live 8 hours ago

What are China’s plans for future space exploration?


Dec 17, 2020

#Chang‘e 5 returned to Earth early Thursday morning, bringing with it the first samples to be collected from the #moon in 44 years.
So what were its main missions and breakthroughs? What are China’s plans for future space
exploration? And how could better international cooperation in space be encouraged?

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change, & Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

How to account for decades of worldwide war, revolution, and human suffering in the seventeenth century? A master historian uncovers the disturbing answer.

Revolutions, droughts, famines, invasions, wars, regicides – the calamities of the mid-seventeenth century were not only unprecedented, they were agonisingly widespread. A global crisis extended from England to Japan, and from the Russian Empire to sub-Saharan Africa. North and South America, too, suffered turbulence. The distinguished historian Geoffrey Parker examines first-hand accounts of men and women throughout the world describing what they saw and suffered during a sequence of political, economic and social crises that stretched from 1618 to the 1680s. Parker also deploys scientific evidence concerning climate conditions of the period, and his use of ‘natural’ as well as ‘human’ archives transforms our understanding of the World Crisis. Changes in the prevailing weather patterns during the 1640s and 1650s – longer and harsher winters, and cooler and wetter summers – disrupted growing seasons, causing dearth, malnutrition, and disease, along with more deaths and fewer births. Some contemporaries estimated that one-third of the world died, and much of the surviving historical evidence supports their pessimism.

Parker’s demonstration of the link between climate change and worldwide catastrophe 350 years ago stands as an extraordinary historical achievement. And the contemporary implications of his study are equally important: are we at all prepared today for the catastrophes that climate change could bring tomorrow?

Reviews “Mr. Parker tells [the story] with verve. . . . [his] novel interpretation, emphasizing climate instead of individual agency, helps to explain socio-economic change and revolution in ways that future historians will inevitably have to take into account.”—Wall Street Journal

“The author sets out to examine a century in which weather patterns radically altered and political, social and economic crises seemed to engulf every part of the world. What relationship does a changing climate bear to global stability? There could scarcely be a more timely question to ask. Parker deploys a dazzling breadth of scholarship in answering it.”—Dan Jones, Times

“In his monumental new book . . . Parker’s approach is systematic and painstaking . . . giv[ing] us a rich and emotionally intense sense of how it felt to live through chaotic times.”—Lisa Jardine, Financial Times

Global Crisis is a magnum opus that will remain a touchstone in three areas for at least a generation: the history of the entire globe, the role of climate in history, and the identification of a major historical crisis in the seventeenth century. . . . Wide-ranging, monumental works of history are rare; this is one of them.”—Theodore K. Rabb, Times Literary Supplement

“In this vast, superbly researched and utterly engrossing book, Parker shows how climate change pushed the world towards chaos. . . . Parker’s book is not merely powerful and convincing, it is a monument to scholarly dedication.”—Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

“[A] milestone in our understanding of early modern history.”—Theodore K. Rabb, Times Literary Supplement

“[A] staggeringly researched, rivetingly written and intellectually dazzling book. . . . I expect it to be read and debated for decades to come.”—Sunday Times

“A work of formidable erudition and scope from a renowned British authority on early modern history.”—Financial Times

“My big book of the year has been Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis on the disastrous war-torn 17th century. It fills in gaps, gives different perspectives—not least on Scotland during the Civil War—and opens new areas of history to explore.”—Catriona Graham, The Guardian

“Enormous research efforts have gone into the writing of this book, an incisive analysis of historical and climatological events during the seventeenth century. . . This is a fascinating book that every politician and bureaucrat should read to see in past mistakes things that must be avoided.”
—Madra Sivaraman, Environmental Studies

“This is an extraordinary and seminal book. . . . Harnessing an enormously impressive range of sources from across the planet, this macro-study of the period has to be recognized as a tremendous achievement. . . . This is a truly pathbreaking work, which really is essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the history of the seventeenth century.”—Conor Kostick, Journal of Historical Geography

“One of the books I found most informative and most perversely enjoyable this year is Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century. It deserves, and rewards, careful reading.”—Jane Smiley, Harper’s

“The clarity with which Parker, a British historian, has assembled a wealth of material makes this long book difficult to put down. The entire world of the 1660s seems only a heartbeat away.”—Patricia Anderson, Australian

“A must read that shows how climate change 350 years ago can serve as a harbinger of the possible human consequences of today’s rapidly changing climate. Essential. All levels/libraries.”—Choice

“[A] brilliant and mulifaceted approach to the global 17th century.”Robert E. Scully, S.J., America Magazine

“Parker’s book captures this century of upheaval in a political, economic, and cultural history of dozens of early modern states. Parker combed archives in six European countries, as well as India.”Debroah R. Coen, Foreign Affairs

“This is a colossal book, literally and metaphorically. Reading it reminded me of the exhilaration of first reading Braudel’s Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II. Parker’s book has the same combination of rich detail, global reach and a simple but powerful argument that can change how we see an entire period. Like Braudel’s, Parker’s writing is deft, vivid and rich enough to carry the reader along on the book’s grand tour of the chilly, conflict-ridden world of the ‘General Crisis.'”—David Christian, Journal of Military History

“Parker’s great book challenges all future political and military historians to integrate the study of tree rings and glacier cores into their work. And it challenges his readers to think hard about whether humanity in the 21st century will be any less vulnerable than it was in the 17th to sudden disruptions of the environment on which we depend for our subsistence fully as much as did our ancestors of 400 years ago.”—David Frum, Atlantic

“Parker’s book amounts to a heady challenge for all historians of the early modern world, none of whom have put as much stock in climate variables, and few of whom can write about the big picture with the authority that he brings.”—J.R. McNeill, Public Books

“Not only a powerful case for the role of climate change in inducing crises in human history by also a blistering attack against the prevailing ‘culture of denial’ . . . plenty of food for thought for generalists and specialist alike.”—Markus Vink, Journal of Modern History

“Parker’s book proffers fundamental theoretical constructs and manifold historical facts that demonstrate painstaking scholarship. . . . A fundamental work that might become a classic interdisciplinary investigation of the boundaries of history, demography, and sociology.”—Yuri Ivonin, Sixteenth Century Journal

“This colossal study accomplishes something the epics of Gilgamesh and Noah never could; It convincingly links a truly global climate disaster to an epidemic of wars and rebellions that shook the whole world.”—American Historical Review

“[An] enormous but engaging global study of the Little Ice Age of the mid-seventeenth century . . . [Parker does] astoundingly extensive research.”—Alison Collis Greene, Religious Studies Review

“The bibliography contains works in Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Polish, Rumanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, as well as what I take to be Malay and Yiddish. This Stakhanovite approach to research sets a regrettable standard against which nearly every living historian would be judged wanting.”—J.R. McNeill, Historically Speaking

Sunday Times History Book of the Year 2013

Selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 in the History, Geography, & Area Studies Category

Received an Honorable Mention for the 2013 American Publishers Awards for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE), in the European & World History category

Winner of the Society for Military History 2014 Distinguished Book Award for the best book-length publication in English on non-United States military history

Winner of a 2014 British Academy Medal

“Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis is at once a revelation and a provocation. By examining a period of unusual climatic perturbation Parker helps us better understand our own era of climate change. Few indeed are the works of history that are so urgently relevant to the present and the future.”—Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement

“Geoffrey Parker has deployed the human archive for climate change during the seventeenth century in a masterly synthesis of history and paleoclimatology that helps us redefine the impact of the Little Ice Age on humanity. The Global Crisis is a beautifully written, masterly work of multidisciplinary history, which draws on an amazing range of sources. Parker’s work opens up exciting new avenues for historical inquiry and has direct relevance to today’s debates over climate change and humanity.”—Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, and author of The Little Ice Age

“Geoffrey Parker’s Global Crisis is an extraordinarily ambitious attempt to write world history “from the bottom up”. Based on long decades of work, and eschewing the facile solution of just drawing on secondary literature, Parker once more shows his grasp of varied archives and texts for which he is celebrated. He draws them together around a complex yet powerful thesis linking climate, military power and political change in the seventeenth century. Learned and argumentative, yet written with subtlety, wit and panache, his book will set the bar for the next generation of students and scholars who want to write history on this scale.”—Sanjay Subrahmanyam, University of California at Los Angeles

“Parker has given us the most profound and global account of the pivotal seventeenth century, from its revolutions and rebellions to scientific and constitutional breakthroughs. As we enter a new era of global climate change, this gripping book provides a wondrous portrait of a similar age and a stern warning.”—Jack A. Goldstone, author of Why Europe? The Rise of the West in World History 1500-1850

“A world-altering force [that] has been emerging, one larger, more devastating, and more definitive than the any other ‘turn’ in recent historiography: ‘I speak of climate change—or climate collapse—and all of its related global transformations.'”—Julia Adeney Thomas, American Historical Review

About the Author

The winner of the 2012 Heineken Prize for History, Geoffrey Parker is Andreas Dorpalen Professor of History and Associate of the Mershon Center at The Ohio State University. He lives in Columbus, OH.

Product details

  • Publisher : Yale University Press; Illustrated edition (October 21, 2014)
  • Language: : English
  • Paperback : 904 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0300208634
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0300208634
  • Item Weight : 3.14 pounds
  • Dimensions : 5.44 x 1.91 x 9.77 inches

Global Warming or a New Ice Age: Documentary Film

The Film Archives

Global cooling was a conjecture during the 1970s of imminent cooling of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere along with a posited commencement of glaciation.

This hypothesis had little support in the scientific community, but gained temporary popular attention due to a combination of a slight downward trend of temperatures from the 1940s to the early 1970s and press reports that did not accurately reflect the scientific understanding of ice age cycles. In contrast to the global cooling conjecture, the current scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth has not durably cooled, but undergone global warming throughout the twentieth century.

Concerns about nuclear winter arose in the early 1980s from several reports. Similar speculations have appeared over effects due to catastrophes such as asteroid impacts and massive volcanic eruptions. A prediction that massive oil well fires in Kuwait would cause significant effects on climate was quite incorrect.

The idea of a global cooling as the result of global warming was already proposed in the 1990s. In 2003, the Office of Net Assessment at the United States Department of Defense was commissioned to produce a study on the likely and potential effects of a modern climate change, especially of a shutdown of thermohaline circulation. The study, conducted under ONA head Andrew Marshall, modelled its prospective climate change on the 8.2 kiloyear event, precisely because it was the middle alternative between the Younger Dryas and the Little Ice Age. The study caused controversy in the media when it was made public in 2004. However, scientists acknowledge that “abrupt climate change initiated by Greenland ice sheet melting is not a realistic scenario for the 21st century”.

Currently, the concern that cooler temperatures would continue, and perhaps at a faster rate, has been observed to be incorrect by the IPCC. More has to be learned about climate, but the growing records have shown that the cooling concerns of 1975 have not been borne out.

As for the prospects of the end of the current interglacial (again, valid only in the absence of human perturbations): it isn’t true that interglacials have previously only lasted about 10,000 years; and Milankovitch-type calculations indicate that the present interglacial would probably continue for tens of thousands of years naturally. Other estimates (Loutre and Berger, based on orbital calculations) put the unperturbed length of the present interglacial at 50,000 years. Berger (EGU 2005 presentation) believes that the present CO2 perturbation will last long enough to suppress the next glacial cycle entirely.

As the NAS report indicates, scientific knowledge regarding climate change was more uncertain than it is today. At the time that Rasool and Schneider wrote their 1971 paper, climatologists had not yet recognized the significance of greenhouse gases other than water vapor and carbon dioxide, such as methane, nitrous oxide, and chlorofluorocarbons. Early in that decade, carbon dioxide was the only widely studied human-influenced greenhouse gas. The attention drawn to atmospheric gases in the 1970s stimulated many discoveries in future decades. As the temperature pattern changed, global cooling was of waning interest by 1979.

Roundtable Discussion: Africa’s Renewable Energy Agenda

Exigency Ghana

Streamed live on Dec 15, 2020

Roundtable Discussion: Africa’s Renewable Energy Agenda Joseph Essandoh-Yeddu (Energy Commission) Dorothy A.Y. Amo-Asante (USAID Ghana) Safianou Nassamou (Nyankonton Solar Energy Products Ltd) Facilitator: Simon Bawakyillenuo (University of Ghana)