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Old 07-14-2016, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,754 posts, read 3,862,067 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
So if the Chinese were able to make great technological strides in the face of harsh winters, then I see no reason why Western Europe was not able to do the same. As far as I know, civilization in Western Europe was essentially non-existent until the Romans conquered it and brought "civilization" with them.

My semi-educated guess is that civilization developed in Egypt and Mesopotamia first because they were located in extremely fertile river valleys, making large-scale agriculture much easier. You cannot become a scholar if you spend most of your days hunting down wild boars with a spear. Since those lands were fertile, agriculture probably developed there first, which meant that technological innovation would not be far behind.
2,500 years ago Western and northern Europe were very cold. Colder even than it is today. The Romans came to western Europe during the so-called Roman Warm Period 250BC - 400AD.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Warm_Period

Western Europe couldn't form civilizations because the carrying capacity of the land was not conducive to big populations of peoples. If you have land that supports 20 people for every 100 square miles, you can't even form significant villages let alone cities.

With that said, in the modern times, with everything being equal the standard of living is usually higher in northern climates.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Lizard Lick, NC
6,143 posts, read 2,856,688 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I'm not a historian or an anthropologist. But advanced civilization existed in China more than 3,500 years ago and Northern China is probably as cold as many parts of Europe (I've never been to China so I'll defer to people more familiar with that country than I am). So if the Chinese were able to make great technological strides in the face of harsh winters, then I see no reason why Western Europe was not able to do the same. As far as I know, civilization in Western Europe was essentially non-existent until the Romans conquered it and brought "civilization" with them.

My semi-educated guess is that civilization developed in Egypt and Mesopotamia first because they were located in extremely fertile river valleys, making large-scale agriculture much easier. You cannot become a scholar if you spend most of your days hunting down wild boars with a spear. Since those lands were fertile, agriculture probably developed there first, which meant that technological innovation would not be far behind.
Northern China is extremely cold, comparable to the upper midwest including Minnesota and colder in some parts, if you want a comparison. In all my history classes Mesopotamia and ancient civilizations were mentioned. The big reason they developed we were taught was just what you said, they were in fertile river Vallies. The fact these places didn't get cold and had long growing seasons of course was a boon to them.
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,286,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantz View Post
Western Europe couldn't form civilizations because the carrying capacity of the land was not conducive to big populations of peoples. If you have land that supports 20 people for every 100 square miles, you can't even form significant villages let alone cities.
Western Europe didn't have cities because they lacked advanced agricultural methods that would permit the development of large societies.

Quote:
Following the conquest of the Britons, a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged as the Romans introduced improved agriculture, urban planning, industrial production, and architecture.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_.../Roman_Britain

So while the Romans were busy building aqueducts and bridges, and well after the Egyptians had built the pyramids, and also well after India had developed an advanced society, and well after the Chinese were building sewer systems, the inhabitants of the British Isles were living in these.

http://resources.woodlands-junior.ke...aily/house.jpg

Very advanced.

It wasn't even until the Roman occupation of Britain that cities began to exist on the British Isles. Londonium was founded by the Romans, which we now call present-day London.

Climate, and its supposed effect on cognitive ability, has nothing to do with how different societies developed. If cold weather enhanced cognition, then it stands to reason that the Celts would have developed an alphabet and large-scale agriculture independently. They also would have been building roads, aqueducts, bridges, great colosseums, sewers, etc. Instead these things developed first in the warmer regions of the world.

Last edited by BajanYankee; 07-14-2016 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,286,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muslim12 View Post
Northern China is extremely cold, comparable to the upper midwest including Minnesota and colder in some parts, if you want a comparison. In all my history classes Mesopotamia and ancient civilizations were mentioned. The big reason they developed we were taught was just what you said, they were in fertile river Vallies. The fact these places didn't get cold and had long growing seasons of course was a boon to them.
You can only imagine an alternate history where technological innovation has a southward drift rather than a northwestern one (the Sahara Desert created a bit of an obstacle there...it also makes you wonder how the world would have turned out had the Carthaginians been more supportive of Hannibal's campaign and wiped the Roman city-state off the map). We see what a developed civilization the Phoenicians created. After their society was annihilated, all of that accumulated knowledge passed north instead of south through the Romans. That historical circumstance had much more to do with Europe's rise than any innovation resulting from a harsh climate. Northern Europeans had been living in a harsh climate for centuries before Roman occupation and had little to show for it. Julius Caesar made very clear in his writings his low opinion of the Celts and Germanic tribes.

Quote:
Romans thought Germanic and Celtic tribespeople were barbaric and inferior, owning them as slaves in Rome and depicting them as savages in art. Julius Caesar wrote that the Gauls were primitive, warlike, and immoral, justifying their conquest and enslavement. These are the very things Europeans would use to justify the domination of Africa and the Americas thousands of years later. Rome enriched itself and financed the construction of impressive buildings with the wealth and slave labor reaped from the conquered. Western European culture was almost entirely destroyed and replaced with Roman culture.
https://ericgerlach.com/tag/greek-thought/
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,272 posts, read 26,286,355 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muslim12 View Post
Northern China is extremely cold, comparable to the upper midwest including Minnesota and colder in some parts, if you want a comparison. In all my history classes Mesopotamia and ancient civilizations were mentioned. The big reason they developed we were taught was just what you said, they were in fertile river Vallies. The fact these places didn't get cold and had long growing seasons of course was a boon to them.
One more thing Diamond outlines is his book is the importance of domesticated animals.

Quote:
Why didn’t ancient hunter/gatherers everywhere domesticate locally available wild species? – e.g., why didn’t Aboriginal Australians domesticate kangaroos, and why didn’t California Indians domesticate the oak trees on whose acorns they subsisted? A century of research by botanists and zoologists has established that only certain plant and animal species lend themselves to domestication, and has identified the specific problems preventing the domestication of kangaroos, oak trees, and most other species. This issue presented one of the crucial problems for me in writing Guns, Germs, and Steel. It’s not enough to observe that kangaroos weren’t domesticated, and to conclude from that observation that kangaroos couldn’t be domesticated; that reasoning would be circular. Hence I devoted two of the longest chapters of Guns, Germs, and Steel to assembling many independent lines of evidence showing that the explanation for the non-origins of domestication in most regions of the world, and the non-domestication of most wild species, lay with the wild plant and animal species themselves, not with the people of those regions.
Guns, germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

One of the major advantages Spanish conquistadors had over Native Americans (aside from diseases) was the horse. Even today, there are few things as intimidating as a mounted cop galloping through a crowd on horseback. So you could only imagine how frightening it must have been for the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. This advantage was 100% the product of luck.
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Old 07-17-2016, 12:08 AM
 
8,840 posts, read 4,740,485 times
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Can't stand winter. It's cold, slushy, wet, can't do anything, a pain to drive in, and feeling like on eggshells driving in the snow.

I don't think I can deal with a dry heat over 100 for 4 month's a year and a wet humid heat over 85 as well.


I feel be a lot easier to balance life out in the heat then in the cold.
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Old 07-17-2016, 07:32 AM
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I grew up in Florida and can not stand hot weather. So, give me an extreme winter any day of the week.
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Jacksonville, FL
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Personally, I like weather variety. Fortunately, I get that here in Connecticut. Some days are hot and humid, some days are chilly and cloudy and rainy.
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,975 posts, read 12,504,449 times
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I like it when it's comfortably warm in areas with hot climates. It's just the warm weather is short lived,then right back to hot. I don't think the majority of people want the hot climate states. It's not just the endless heat. The cultures in these hot regions, are not all that appealing to everyone.
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Old 07-19-2016, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Downtown Phoenix, AZ
18,927 posts, read 6,902,685 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kmanshouse View Post
Sure, it's all preferences, and I completely understand all sides of this. What I don't understand, is how it can be so dominant in one direction.

The poster that talked about wearing dress clothes for work, etc. in that heat nailed one of my thoughts. I can't imagine wearing a business suit (like I do from time to time now) when it's 90+ and humid out. How miserable. At least when it's cold you can wear a coat and hat and 95% of the time be perfectly fine.

Honestly, much of the issue I have is with people from the north that think of how awesome it would be to move to Phoenix or Miami, etc. Anyone seriously considering that move needs to spend 2-3 weeks in those places in the summer first.

Cold is more escapable to me than the heat. The argument of going from one A/C place to another applies to heated buildings as well. But outside, you can protect yourself with more clothes. In the heat, you can only strip down so far.

Living in Chicagoland, there are about 3-4 months of cold that are bad. The other 8-9 months are either okay, or downright nice. That said, I think partway better would be ideal. Maybe a place like Nashville, or Virginia, D.C., etc. You'd still get the 4 seasons but take some bite out of the winters.
I was from Upstate NY (Rochester specifically), and moved to Phoenix, and have no regrets. Our summers aren't that bad once you acclimate, I even worked construction here during the summer, and I'll still take a Phoenix summer over a Rochester winter any day any time
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