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How Weather Has Shaped Human History

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, December 15, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0745
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Dust storm approaching Stratford, Texas, 1935

Droughts, blizzards, hurricanes, dust storms, typhoons, and floods. Dramatic weather might seem to be a new phenomenon, but weather and climate change have been shaping human history for thousands of years. Caroline Winterer, a professor of history at Stanford University, shares a series of weather-driven turning points that were strong enough to force migration, end wars, and create famines. From the ancient world, when melting glaciers drove human migrations, to droughts that helped to spread the plague, to Napoleon’s disastrous invasion of Russia, to the dustbowl that compelled many Americans to flee further West, to the lasting consequences of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, climate’s inexorable power has changed who we are and where we can live. 

We may think we can conquer weather, but weather is actually in control. Winterer takes a look back at epochal climatic turning points to share insights into the aftermath of past climate change, and how it might affect us going forward.

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