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Ice ages past and present

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  • Ice ages past and present

    Ok - i have a great interest in the glacial periods of the last mllion yrs or so
    what do you think would happen politically if the next glacial period/ice age started to make an appearance in the next 50 yrs. In the current political clime, what would nations do? which countries would they invade and does this have any connotations to the last glacial period (ie do you belive in an ancient civilization or civilizations pre 20000ka?)

    Im off for a bit for an operation on my knee but will partake in this thread as soon as i can
    have fun all

    Be Seeing You etc
    One up for the angry Teep

  • #2
    What would nations do?

    If the USA is in the hands of Bush III the government's answer would be "we told you global warming wasn't true" and start burning fossil fuels like crazy, giving tax deductions on environmentally unfriendly cars, etc. all in the name of helping global re-warming.

    I wish I was just kidding...

    To answer your other question:
    I don't believe in ancient civilizations before the last glaciation.
    No conexions nor implications for any previous ice age.

    And not much of invading or anything else... an Ice Age does not happen overnight.
    If it's unstoppable there will be many years for people to move south.
    That will lead to many socio cultural changes as Russians, Europeans, Canadians and US citizens move to other countries.
    But no catastrophic scenarios, IMO.
    Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-known scientific phrase
    James Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)


    • #3
      An ice age would be a lot like a global flood - things would get worse the more the usable land shrinks and the ice creeps southward. People are rather tightly packed as it is - halving the available world to them would not be pretty. Unstable governments would collapse fairly early on as their people ditch - I think much of the far East would be in this situation, and the already-crowded nations south of there would likely face riots and starvations on catastrophic scales as they get overwhelmed. The stronger countries, America for instance, would probably take the step of merging with their neighbors to gain habitable land space - whether peacefully or "annexing" would depend on local politics - and you'd see a handful of large continental conglomerate nations form out of the mess, one with N. America and maybe even a bunch of S. America, one with Europe (the Union is already starting that process) and everything else around the Mediteranean. It'd be bad for a while, mass relocations being messy affairs in any event, lots of death and destruction, but the general ideas of countries principles would still hold out, I think. Or at least be re-established after any political thuggery. Inevitably, there may even be enough land to stabilize in, as the ice age would also shrink the oceans considerably, although I'm unaware as to how much shallow areas there are to be uncovered - perhaps not much.

      This is all assuming no sort of future-tech as well - given fusion power or some other such cheap energy source, it's not hard to see massive cities surviving the ice easily, either doming or tunneling to preserve their heat. Thus in turn keeping the nations alive in the area.

      You'd also see a new frontier of sorts develop. Many cities and communities might try to survive in the ice, and those few that do become outposts of a sort, in a new desert, without any country or government. I'd think the Russian states and their surrounding area in particular would take to this - those people seem to survive and adapt to everything.

      As the Cap'n said, this would be spread out over a long while though. Ice ages are never instant. And no, I doubt any (serious) civilization existed before the last ice age.

      EDIT - I've been reading too much of the Mars series of books lately, so I'm not sure how much of this is pure BSing or cribbed ideas compared to actual rational thought. But hey, I gave it a whirl.
      Last edited by Radhil; 04-21-2004, 12:21 PM.
      Radhil Trebors
      Persona Under Construction