Does Weather and Climate Impact Social Economic Development?
In the last few hundred years we have seen several "Industrial Revolutions". Are they in any way impacted by the regional climate and weather. Does Cold or Hot Weather Create or Limit Job Opportunities in Developing Countries?
In the past weather and climate have been factors in social economic development.
For the Ancient Egyptians it was a case of having to organize to make the best of conditions along the Nile. If you didn't make the best of conditions or conditions were not right and continued not to be right for a long time then you had mass starvation. There is the biblical story about seven good years of bountiful harvest followed by seven bad years of drought. Enjoying the good years and preparing for the not so good years is key to understanding Ancient Egypt.
The Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century began in England because there was a problem to solve. A previous agricultural revolution had resulted in a great many people forced to leave farm districts and to seek a living in the large towns and cities. What to do with them? Well there was Watt and his steam engine and there was the Spinning Jenny.
Horrible exploitation of factory workers followed. It was predicted by Marx in 1840 that there was going to be a peasant uprising in England based on the price of grain in the market place and other key factors. The grain to make bread is more easily and cheaply grown in places such as Italy. Heavy tariffs were in place against grain grown outside England to make the grain grown in England more competitive for local consumption. This had a lot to do with weather conditions and the need to grow grain locally in case of war. This revolution didn't happen. Legislation was introduced and there was a general desire among those in power to ease tensions.
It was said that bad smells in spring and summer were at one stage killing hundreds if not thousands of Londoners. The Thames was being used as a dumping site for human waste and there were times when Parliament could not sit because of the stench from the river.
In parts of London people were drinking contaminated water, getting sick and dying from it. Cholera was one reason but this was before the microscope. The bad smells were the clue. A massive project was begun to build a modern sewage system. The more scientific reasons why people were getting sick were discovered during the construction of this system.
Even so, threat to lives from what was at one time unknown killers in the water resulted in the further social and economic development of London into the modern city we know it to be today. But let us not forget climate and weather's roll in this story. More deaths in spring and summer than in winter.
The winter of 2013-2014 will go down in history. Will the nation be changed forever because of this historic frozen winter? read more
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