From Winamop.comEl Niño's Ancient Warningby Len Bourret (Copyright 2007)
Message from the Time Portal: in a place beyond you now, but tucked away behind you, in your past.Star Date: 2001, in medieval ancient time, and in (what we considered to be) our "New" Millennium.Pope Gregory VIII and Janus (the God of "beginnings and endings") rule the world.During the period between 1582, when the first countries adopted the Gregorian calendar, and 1923, when the last European country adopted it, it was often necessary to indicate the date of some event in both the Julian calendar and in the Gregorian calendar, for example, "10/21 February 1751/52", where the dual year accounts for some countries already beginning their numbered year on 1 January while others were still using some other date. Even before 1582, the year sometimes had to be double dated because of the different beginnings of the year in various countries. Woolley, writing in his biography of John Dee (1527-1608/9), notes that immediately after 1582 English letter writers "customarily" used "two dates" on their letters, one OS and one NS.
Only Spain and her territories, Portugal, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and most of Italy began to implement the new calendar on Friday, 15 October 1582, following Julian Thursday, 4 October 1582. It was a time of ill will, a great deal of fighting ensued, and there was the smell of evil in the air. Time itself seemed to losing in its fight against adversity. Saint Teresa of Ávila died on the night from 4 October to 15 October 1582, that is, exactly when Spain and the Catholic world switched to the Gregorian calendar, a critical time in history, when all of the good seemed to die with her. There was endless war, and rumors of war.
France adopted the new calendar on Monday, 20 December 1582, following Sunday, 9 December 1582.
The Protestant Dutch provinces of Holland and Zeeland also adopted it in December of that year.
Most non-Catholic countries initially objected to adopting a Catholic invention. Although Scotland adopted the Gregorian calendar in the year 1600, England and thereby the rest of the British Empire (including the eastern part of what is now the United States) did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752; by which time it was necessary to correct by eleven days (Wednesday, 2 September 1752 being followed by Thursday, 14 September 1752) to account for 29 February 1700 (Julian). A few years later, when the son of the Earl of Macclesfield (who had been influential in passing the calendar law) ran for a seat in Parliament in Oxfordshire as a Whig in 1754, dissatisfaction with the calendar reforms was one of a number of issues raised by his Tory opponents. When in 1755, after William Hogarth created a painting (and an engraved print from the painting) loosely based on these elections (in which the campaign slogan "Give us our Eleven Days" appears), this resulted in Hogarth's painting being later misunderstood, giving rise to many apocryphal stories of widespread riots because of the calendar change. There was a great division, among the peoples of the world, which led to much fighting and bloodshed. Bigotry, discrimination, inequality, prejudice, and unfairness was rampant. Arrogance and avarice--an insatiable greed for wealth--was the order of the day. There was a disappropriate number of the wealthy (2-5%). The majority of the people were poor (95-98%) and, due to rigid stratification on the part of the upper class, there was no middle class. There was no sharing of the wealth, and most of the poor were forced to live way below the poverty line. Homeless and starving people, many women and children, roamed the streets. There were no programs and services for the poor, and precious human beings were dying--with absolutely no caring, or concern, from the wealthy. The upper class showed complete disdain for the poor--and blatantly took the position the disabled, the old, and sickly unemployed did not deserve to live. No matter how dire the circumstances, if you were poor, you were required to work. No exceptions for the old, or for the young. If plagues or starvation did not take the poor unfortunates, the unbearably hot deserts and the frigidity of cold climates did. Without a word, their pathetic bodies were simply carried away, without benefit of a decent burial--and they were not given any dignity or respect. The poor were treated as indentured slaves, and the rich were their cruel masters.It was a time of deepening drought in Australia, stronger typhoons in Asia, and floods in Latin America. And,British climate scientists began to predict that a resurgent El Niño climate trend, combined with higher levels of greenhouse gases could touch off a fresh round of ecological disasters and make the world's hottest years on record. Even moderate, El Niño warming events were enough to push the global temperatures over the top. The warmest year on record, in 1998, was a time when the average global temperature was 1.2°F higher than the long-term average of 57°F. Though such a change appears small, incremental differences can, for example, add to the ferocity of storms by evaporating more steam off the ocean. And, climate scientistssay that there is a 60% chance that the average global temperature, in the future, will match or break the record. And, this allegation supported by Britain's Meteorological Office is proven by consequencesof the high temperatures that were being felt worldwide.El Niño, which is now underway in the Pacific Ocean and is expected to last until May, occurs irregularly. But when it does, winters in Southeast Asia tend to become milder, summers in Australia get drier, and Pacific storms can be more intense. And, rising temperatures were already wreaking an agricultural havoc.Australia, in 2002, was struggling through its worst drought on record and, in the world's future, the impact on farmers would prove to devastating. The country registered its smallest wheat harvest in a decade, food prices were rising, and severe water restrictions were put on thousands of farmers at risk, starving, andat the point of bankruptcy's loaded gun.In other cases, El Niño's effects were more ambiguous. Rains linked to the phenomenon led to bumper crops in Argentina in 1998, but floods elsewhere in Latin America devastated subsistence farmers.El Niño also did some good. It tended to take the punch out of the Atlantic hurricane seasons by generating crosswinds that ripped storms apart good news for orange growers, for example.But, the short-term effects of global warming, on crop production, were very uneven. And, climate systems researchers began to issue warnings about making definitive predictions regarding any one season's weather.Clearly, the cumulative effect of El Niño, and global warming, were taking the Earth's temperatures to record heights.El Niño was an independent variable, and the underlying trends in the warming of the Earth, almost certainly, were a result of the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.Another more immediate effect of the rising temperatures was political.Australia was under fire for refusing to link the country's drought to global warming. Britain underlined the gap between the government's rhetoric and action.Environmental groups are saying, as of this star date, that new danger warnings are adding weight to the dire need for controlling greenhouse gases. But, will world governments unite to heed the warnings?2001 has been Britain's warmest year since 1659, and government economists are estimating the effects of climate change. Already, some economists are saying that the effects will eventually cost nations 5% to 20% of their yearly, gross domestic products.Figures for 2001 are not yet complete, but temperatures are high enough to rank among the top 10 hottest years on record. What will the world's future hold? Only time knows the answer. But, it is certain that ourdangerous deeds with the climate are now amassing.As of this star date, we need to put the energy and priority into climate change, and put an end to wars. To make amends to restore peace, and mark an end to all wars. As a Stone Man, I stand here naked, and itmakes me think.
I stand here, and wonder. Were we successful? As reporters from human being's past, we cannot answer the question that I am posing to you. But you, the readers at future's time portal can answer our question. We can only surmise that your world, like ours, will be swept away in a sea of change.
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