Monday, October 06, 2008


                         Glacier, by Seth Cowdery
"During several of the summer months of the year 1783, when the effect of the sun's rays to heat the earth in these northern regions should have been greater, there existed a constant fog over all Europe, and a great part of North America. This fog was of a permanent nature; it was dry, and the rays of the sun seemed to have little effect towards dissipating it, as they easily do a moist fog, arising from water. They were indeed rendered so faint in passing through it, that when collected in the focus of a burning glass they would scarce kindle brown paper. Of course, their summer effect in heating the Earth was exceedingly diminished. Hence the surface was early frozen. Hence the first snows remained on it unmelted, and received continual additions. Hence the air was more chilled, and the winds more severely cold. Hence perhaps the winter of 1783-4 was more severe than any that had happened for many years..."

~ Benjamin Franklin, 1784

The eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki starting in June of 1783 caused widespread havoc in Iceland and severe effects throughout the world. A large cloud of toxic fluorine and sulfur dioxide gases killed most of the livestock in Iceland and thousands of people there and in Europe. A reference to "The Mist Hardships" (translated from the Icelandic word Móðuharðindin) was brought up by Icelandic blogger Kristín in reference to the current Icelandic Fiscal Crisis, and like that calamity of the 18th century, it appears that the fallout of the world's financial crisis will also be widespread. A crisis of confidence, more specifically a crisis of liquidity, seems to be spreading all over the world. Because it is smaller, it is easier to see this develop in Iceland, but the situation exists throughout all markets.

We may be in for a cold winter.

By Professor Batty


Blogger Móðir, kona, meyja said...

thank you for the reference, batty

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