At this time In nature, our world is engaged in fighting one of the most important battles it has seen, the battle to save our planet from the dangers we as a society have been inflicting upon ourselves for centuries. While the level of this danger is constantly debated, the most fatal mistake we can make is to not adequately prepare for the worst. Although Tambora was a natural event, and no preparation could be done, the societal changes in much of Europe after the event were not significant and disaster struck.
In his presentation, Gillen D’Arcy Wood spoke of how the social ramifications of the Tambora eruption were so large they could be classified as revolutionary. The extent of its effects reached societal, economic and cultural levels. This eruption affected global temperatures, more specifically cooled them, which in turn helped lead to harvest failures which devastated societies, including many European ones whose land could not sustain crops. The French Revolution was caused by peasant revolts which stemmed from this climatic period, as crop production dropped to extreme levels.
It is when we step back and stop looking events as individual occurrences that we can fully appreciate the interconnectedness of so much of the world. Effects in certain realms of study are linked to phenomena in others and studying with an interdisciplinary approach in mind can help us reach new conclusions. Just as how the eruption of tambora affected so many people on the other side of the world. Focusing on the global, overarching effects that this eruption had, like a Revolution, we can find clues in the climate change our world is facing which can help us fight it better. We can prevent errors of the past with a developed understanding of the present and with this, environmental catastrophes like that seen with the Tambora eruption will no longer be an imminent threat to the survival of our planet. Unlike Tambora, we are aware of potential risks of our future and it would be foolish not to address them globally.
Before this presentation, I was not aware of the Tambora eruption and nowhere nearly aware of the environmental effects it had on our planet. But what a liberal arts education has taught me is to view things with an open mind, and I am fortunate enough to be in an environment where I can question what surrounds me to a receptive environment. People learned from Tambora and instituted programs to help deal with the aftermath. We are learning today, and hopefully we will be able to use this knowledge to continue to make a difference. While we learn, we can connect dots and view incidences as not independent but all connected. I hope the future brings wide spread knowledge of how our every interaction with the climate can have significant long term effects on people around the world.