Boomers are a funny lot. Their grasp of history seems to begin in the 1950s and end in the 80s. The apex of history, of course, was the middle 60s.

The founders of climate alarmism are all boomers. So it’s no surprise that they seem to imagine that the climate of the middle 20th century was the optimum for not just human civilisation but life itself.

The second generation of climate botherers being boomers’ children, the millennials, their grasp of history is even more facile.

As we saw last Australian summer, climate alarmists kept spouting off about “unprecedented” fires, when a five-minute perusal of old newspapers easily proved them wrong. Their claims of “unprecedented warming” are every bit as ignorant.

Not so long ago, I was watching a television climate “expert” talking, as they all do, about “unprecedented warming.” As proof of this he stood, arms outstretched, in one of the vineyards springing up across southern Britain. Look, everyone, the temperatures have risen so much that it is now possible to have vineyards and a wine industry in Britain! This is — that word again — unprecedented, he assured us.

I was underwhelmed, scepticism directing my mind to consider the many and various items of documented evidence that demolish his claim as surely and thoroughly as did Phylloxera vitifoliae ravaged the Old World’s vineyards.

Early mediaeval monk the Venerable Bede’s The Ecclesiastical History of the English People is a book well worth reading. Not least for putting many modern conceits into historical context.

In his opening chapter, Bede sets the scene for his magnum opus with a listing of Anglo-Saxon England’s agricultural products. Along with his description of eel farming we find

[England] also produces vines in some places, and has plenty of land and waterfowls of several sorts; it is remarkable also for rivers abounding in fish, and plentiful springs.

Seems that the news of vineyards in Anglo-Saxon England, circa 731AD, had reached Bede even way north in Northumbria. Is this another example of yet one more period of “unprecedented warming”?

The Domesday Book records vineyards in 45 places in Britain in 1085. Monastic records from the 16th century indicate that monks kept vineyards for wine making as far north as Yorkshire and the Scottish border.

It would appear the mercury still has some way to go before temperatures reach the “unprecedented warming” of the Middle Ages.

Then, of course, the Little Ice Age hit.

It would appear from the climate record that the chilly period from around 1600 to 1800 was an anomalous stretch in the two thousand year history of England. This was the period time when grapes could not be grown, the Thames froze and English tastes switched by necessity from wine to beer. Is it possible that climate “experts” are so ignorant of the historical climate record they have never come across these freely available historical references? Or is that they have found it convenient not to look and would prefer their audiences did not either?

Here I have looked at vineyards in southern Britain as a bogus proxy for “unprecedented warming”. But I suspect one could take any of the modern proxies and find that few stand up to scrutiny against the documented historical record. It is passing strange that a literate society, which has made two thousand years of documentation no harder to access than the effort involved in clicking a mouse, chooses not only to ignore such an invaluable storehouse of knowledge but to energetically manufacture an entirely illusory past. Sadly, like some pre-literate society mired in superstition and ignorance, we now appear to place more value on living memory, anecdote, manufactured history and the lies of snake oil “scientists” than the evidence so readily available.

Well, as Bede himself noted, the people of Britain are “ever desirous to hear some new thing, and never holding firm to any sure belief”.

That over-zealousness for novelty still infects the West – science no less than any other endeavour.

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