The rise, fall, and migration of civilization due to climate change.

This documentary, in the form of a Google Map, traces the rise, fall and migration of civilization due to climate change. While climate change and migration are currently hot issues due the global warming debate, they have been around since the beginning of mankind. I did my best to find as many ancient examples as possible. Examples include the emergence of complex societies, the Hominin evolution, Anasazi society, Akkadian civilization, Easter Island civilization, the Han dynasty, the Shan dynasty, the Mayan civilization, the Nose Greenland civilization, the Mongol Invasion, the Harappa civilization, and a lot of more modern migrations. The intent of this map is to counter all the political rhetoric concerning climate change with historical proof that climate change has occurred many times throughout the existence of mankind.

The research behind this list links white papers by such universities as,  and reports generated by such organizations such as CARE and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. As you will see some of the climate changes were reasons to go to war, others mass migrations, and still others were short-term employment to survive after an extreme weather event that collapsed the local economy. On the other hand, many resulted in the complete collapse of a society. Some involved human participation in causing the climate change either by over-population, over-development or deforestation. Others involved elevated land as a result of plate tectonics.

Chaco Canyon, Pueblo Benito.
©Google and MyReadingMapped
Climate-driven collapse of the
Anasazi Society.
Why societies collapse.

"When the drought came in 1117 it was a couple of decades before the end. Pueblo Benito was a big, six storey, unwalled plaza, until about 20 years before the end, when a high wall went up around the plaza. And when you see a rich place without a wall, you can safely infer that the rich place was on good terms with its poor neighbours, and when you see a wall going up around the rich place, you can infer that there was now trouble with the neighbours. So probably what was happening was that towards the end, in the drought, as the landscape is filled up, the people out on the periphery were no longer satisfied because the people in the religious and political centre were no longer delivering the goods. The prayers to the gods were not bringing rain, there was stuff to redistribute and they began making trouble. Chaco Canyon was eventually abandoned. The Anasazi had committed themselves irreversibly to a complex society, and once that society collapsed, they couldn't rebuild it because again they deforested their environment.

In the Anasazi case we have the interaction of environmental impact and climate change."

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