If there has been any single naturally occurring event that has been overlooked, it was the eruption of Mt. Tambora in 1815.  As Prof. Wood claims, the eruption had countless ecological, social, and economic impacts; however, the famous eruption seemed to be outcompeted by “more alluring” events, including Napoleon’s defeat, as well as the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The mixture of the enormous Tambora eruption and little global attention resulted in a catalyst for change.  While the eruption of Mt. Tambora itself was not necessarily revolutionary, the series of events following the explosion altered the stability and function of many societies.  Although the inhabitant of Mt. Sumbawa felt the wrath of the volcano first hand, those living on the island were only a mere fraction of those effected by this eruption.  Prof. Wood repeated time after time that “teleconnection”, how one event impacts other events around the globe, was the major theme surrounding the eruption of Tambora.  A classic example Wood gave was the increased human vulnerability to disease, specifically cholera.  Because of the change in global atmospheric behavior caused by the eruption, deadly cholera was spread to regions of the globe that had not yet been exposed to the disease, resulting in a large death toll accompanied with global-wide grief.  Despite the horrors caused by the outbreak of cholera, this pandemic had a silver lining that is tele connected back to the eruption of Tambora.  As a result of the eruption which caused cholera, the modern sewage systems were developed to combat the unsanitary environment many people were living in, a huge step forward in terms of scientific innovation.

Another, but less obvious example pertaining to the teleconnection evident in the eruption of Mt. Tambora includes the invention of the bicycle.  While it seems that the invention of a two-wheeled vehicle and the eruption of a volcano on a remote island could not be alike in the slightest, Prof. Wood noted that these two events were in fact tele connected: Following the explosion, the growing seasons worldwide were shortened drastically, leading to a global famine.  As result of this famine, people became desperate for food, killing and eating anything in order to survive, including horses.  Lacking the ability to travel by means of now non-existent horses, the invention of the bicycle rose from the ashes: an efficient means of transportation capable of replacing the horse.  Although puzzling at first, the rise of the two wheeled vehicle emerged because of the eruption.  And of course, the development of the modern weather map came to be because of the unorthodox weather patterns caused by the eruption.  While the weather map itself was not necessarily a ground breaking invention, it led to the development of climate science, drawing attention to a rapidly growing field of study.

The eruption of Tambora itself was not a revolution by any means, however, the mountain’s explosion acted as the catalyst for many other events which would occur around the globe. The seemingly unknown eruption of 1815 led to a drastic change in the scientific, social, and ecological makeup of the world.  Prof. Wood emphasized the idea of teleconnection, a theme that embodied Tambora.  Tambora was not revolutionary; The reaction Tambora catalyzed was revolutionary.