Over two millennia of European tree ring data reveals how climate change affected civilizations. - 4 Feb 2011  
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Led by paleoclimatologist Ulf Büntgen, researchers at Switzerland's Federal Research Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape studied over 9,000 samples of tree ring data to create a 2,500-year history of European climate fluctuations.

Comparing these to major historical events, the scientists determined a link between climate and society. They found, for instance, that the abundant crops nourished by wet and warm summers helped support prosperity during Roman and later in European Medieval times, and that the fall of the Western Roman Empire occurred during a period of drought and increased climate variability, which would have adversely affected food supplies.

In another example, combined cold and wetter summers around 1300 coincided with plague and famine that led to the loss of nearly half of Europe's population within the next 50 years. The researchers concluded that climate change events which positively or negatively affected agricultural production amplified political, social and economic situations in the past, and may have implications for our modern era.

Dr. Büntgen and colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape, we appreciate your comprehensive analysis that shows the connection between physical and social events. May such revealing comparisons remind us to strive ever more urgently for lives of balance and harmony with nature. As during an October 2009 videoconference in Indonesia, Supreme Master Ching Hai has often discussed the importance of the moral aspect that determines a civilization's sustainability.

Supreme Master Ching Hai : If we have the spiritual eye, we will find that past civilizations, both on Earth and other planets, sometimes developed too quickly in the technological sense. But the spiritual development, their store of love, was low or empty.

We see the pattern is that no society can last long if they refuse to sustain the lives of their own members and fellow beings; I mean, including all the beings, like animals and trees. Or, if they destroy the environment they live in, then that society cannot live long.

The real problem is our meat consumption, the tendency of mass killing that we have made a part of our lives

It is not normal. We cannot earn a living or sustain a living by death.

Now, if we, the human race, develop as a vegan society, and better yet, a spiritual vegan society, there will be no limit to our material development. Because then, we will have the wisdom and the love to propel us on a balanced, straight course for the future, bright future, for our planet and our children.
http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/01/fall-of-rome-recorded-in-trees.html?rss=1 , http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/01/does_climate_change_explain_th.html, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/science_technology