Flagship FAZ’s Damning Book Review: Today’s Climate Hysteria Resembles Witch Hunts Of The Dark Ages

Perhaps some leading opinion-shapers in Germany have become aghast at the hysterical and hyper-irrational reaction coming from “climate scientists” in the wake of typhoon Yolanda, a single, destructive storm supposedly brewed by the misdeeds of darker forces, e.g. the 90 top carbon emitters of the world.

Despite the progress science and technology we’ve seen since the European Dark Ages centuries ago, the very same kind of madness seen back then seems to have found fertile ground in the minds of today’s leading figures – at least that’s what one leading book reviewer seems to be telling us.

A book review authored by Claudius Seidl appearing in Germany’s influential political daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday, carries the title: Witch hunting and climate change – The winter of the world. The book: The Victims of the Franconian Witchhunts.

The FAZ describes how a trove of 17th century records from the Franconian town of Bamberg survived and allowed a detailed reconstruction of the horrifying madness that terrorized one of Europe’s most idyllic settings, a region that had yet to escape old archaic structures and where the Renaissance had yet to arrive.

FAZ book reviewer Claudia Seidl writes:

In the 17th century in the middle of Germany, witches burned. The story of the bishop who initiated the witch hunt is of amazing relevance today.”

The accused had little chance of escaping the death sentence

The madness created an atmosphere of intense fear that pitted citizen against citizen, neighbor against neighbor. Not denouncing others meant the risk of being denounced by others.

The woman, who was viewed as a well-liked neighbor suddenly found herself accused of fornification with Satan, of having cooked children into a witch’s potion, and of having flown through the night sky on a broom as a storm blew. … Whoever stood accused had little chance of escaping the death sentence.”

As a result, in the early 17th century hundreds of “witches” met their fate at a fiery stake.

Witchhunts always occurred in times of extreme weather

Although the causes of the widespread madness are still debated today, one fact is clear:

The ‘witches’ were always accused of freezing the wine and wheat. They conjured up frosts and destructive hail, cold rains and storms that were so terrifying that no one could recall anything like it before.”

Today’s scientists are embarrassed to talk about it

During these dark times of madness and paranoia, the climate had changed almost instantly from the relatively pleasant conditions of the Medieval Warm Period to the deadly harshness of the Little Ice Age. Seidl writes:

The relationship between climate change and witch-hunting is evident. In all accusations, bad weather explained by magic – but when today’s scientists mention this relationship, they do so shamefacedly, discreetly, as if the whole matter is highly embarrassing. This is so because also with us, where we are studying and measuring climate change … we have gotten used to blaming the severity of storms and rains and the size of hail on global warming.”

Seidl asks today if in these more rational times we are “unable to exorcize these questions of faith and irrationality“.

Horrifying that people prefer subjugating themselves to madness rather than questioning it

Seidl concludes, writing, “it is horrifying when madness reigns how people prefer to subjugating themselves to it rather than questioning its basis.”

And he reminds us: “It was also the wealth of those burned that filled the coffers of the Church to the brim.”


9 responses to “Flagship FAZ’s Damning Book Review: Today’s Climate Hysteria Resembles Witch Hunts Of The Dark Ages”

  1. Bernd Felsche

    Sally Baliunas spoke about this several years ago. Here’s a YouTube video of her talk.

    She mentions irradication of the people causing the “new storminess” of the LIA, with an estimate of executions numbering around 50,000. After a hail storm and severe Arctic chill in 1626, Bamberg executed 600, Würzburg 900, Mainz 900 and in Westphalia 2000. Just in the one year; people accused of “cooking weather with Satan” as a response to frost.

  2. G Mitchell

    This is not a book review. It is in Faz’s Feature / Debate section.

    1. stan stendera

      Go away G. Mitchell, just carry your lies elsewhere!

  3. M E Wood

    This attribution of frost, drought and floods to a group which does not conform to the normal society was common in the Roman Period. Though in the Dark Ages of the 4th to 7th centuries not much is known.
    I have been reading recently Arnobius of Sicca ‘Against the Heathen’. He died about 330AD in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian and was scornful of the attempts of pagan authorities to blame Christians because Christians did not sacrifice to the Gods who were therefore, according to temple authorities and traders of temple goods, causing bad weather like storms in the Mediterranean to disrupt the trade in food which was the mainstay of the Roman Empire. He is worth reading for his confrontational style and description of Roman society.
    Diocletian was Emperor from 284 AD. a former army general from Dalamatia and a firm believer in the pagan Gods of his ancestors ( and also in ruinous taxation)

  4. Jimbo

    Climate change and witches can be found in the peer reviewed literature.

    Bohringer – pp 335-351 – 1999
    Climatic Change and Witch-Hunting: The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Mentalities
    …During the late 14th and 15th centuries the traditional conception of witchcraft was transformed into the idea of a great conspiracy of witches, to explain “unnatural” climatic phenomena……Scapegoat reactions may be observed by the early 1560s…..extended witch-hunts took place at the various peaks of the Little Ice Age because a part of society held the witches directly responsibile for the high frequency of climatic anomalies and the impacts thereof……

    Christian Pfister et. al. – 1999
    Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and its Social Dimension: A Synthesis
    …Peasant communities which were suffering large collective damage from the effects of climatic change pressed authorities for the organization of witch-hunts. Seemingly most witches were burnt as scapegoats of climatic change.

    Christian Pfister – 2012
    Climatic Extremes, Recurrent Crises and Witch Hunts
    Strategies of European Societies in Coping with Exogenous Shocks in the Late Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth Centuries
    Finally, by confirming the thesis advanced by Wolfgang Behringer relating extensive witch hunts during that period to climatic change and recurrent subsistence crises, this article makes a plea for bridging the gap separating studies of climate from those of culture.
    doi: 10.1177/097194580701000202


    Climatic Variability in Sixteenth-Century Europe and Its Social Dimension
    Pfister, Christian; Brázdil, Rudolf; Glaser, Rüdiger (Eds.)
    Book – 1999, VI, 351 p.
    …Moreover, the impact of climate change on grain prices and wine production is assessed. Finally, it is convincingly argued that witches at that time were burnt as scapegoats for climatic change.

  5. Walter H. Schneider

    Generally true: <<>>

    The Church, the State, the corporations, the NGOs….what is the difference? The only thing that matters is that who is in power gets the spoils — and the more spoils, the more power they garner.

    “The story of which it is to be reported here, has a lot to do with us contemporaries – not even today, after almost four hundred years, but precisely for this reason: the whole big picture can be seen only when you look at it from a distance, and then when the horrible things happened, no one, not even the brightest and best, would be or would have been able, to see through the origin and the causes of madness that had taken people.” — translation of the opening paragraph of the article in the FAZ

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