Societal responses to climate changes of the past comprise the keys to understanding societal resilience in the future. On October 21-22, 2017, Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center is sponsoring a faculty seminar on abrupt climate change and societal collapse.
The two day event, “Collapse! What Collapse?”, will focus on how societies in the millennia and centuries before anthropogenic global warming responded to abrupt climate changes. Six major societal collapse episodes ranging from the megadrought four thousand years ago to the Little Ice Age of the 16th-19th centuries will be analyzed. Paleoclimate, archaeology, and history specialists from Yale and eleven other universities will provide a variety of challenging perspectives on this highly topical subject. How have societies in the past adapted to abrupt climate change, and with what success?