The Year Without a Summer caused snow in the summer, clouds, too much rain, frost late in the spring and early in the fall. Crops failed. It happened in the US as well as Europe. It could happen again. Bear with me, please.
Percy Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft (soon to be Shelley), and Lord Byron, Dr. Polidori and others were staying in and were held hostage, housebound, by the rainy weather. They loved the outdoors and nature. Being of a privileged class, they could indulge themselves at their whims. They amused themselves this one night by telling ghost stories and were spurred by a challenge to each write one. A rainy evening was the genesis of Frankenstein, The Vampyre, and Dracula (taken from The Vampyre. We owe much of our rich literary history to The Year Without a Summer.
Are you confused? I hate history and most of what I know is directly linked with literature. Having over 33 classes (over 100 hours) in literature, I managed to learn some history. That is how 1066 and 1588 are so firmly ensconced in my brain.
The Year Without a Summer was directly connected to the the eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia in 1815. Check it out. They tell it better than I.
Read about the coldest decade on earth in the last 500 years. A possible earthquake elsewhere, evidence of which is borne out by scientific studies, along with the 1815 eruption of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia caused the summer of 1816 to prove disastrous for the Northern Hemisphere and earned the decade the distinction of being the coldest decade for the last 500 years.
If you think that global warming is a hoax or if you think the government will take care of us, think again. The government, working with more efficiency than we have ever seen, cannot stop another summer like 1816. Only a 3 degree drop in temperature almost destroyed us. The loss of one summer's crops would leave us with the same famines, crop failure, epidemics, and malnutrition experienced in 1816. As nations, we may have more stored, but we have even more people and services to lose.
Can you control your oil usage? Yes. But, will you? Can you quit wasting food? Yes, but will you? That is all rhetorical. Neither of those two steps you might take can prevent calamity in your house. Moving on. But, can you prevent a volcanic eruption? No. Can you prevent or even mitigate low solar activity? No. You cannot prevent another event like two powerful volcanic eruptions coupled with low solar activity, the likes of which we have not since seen, much less coupled. However, food storage, preparations for other essentials, and a little self-sufficiency can mitigate the effects on you and your family.
I don't mean to be an alarmist, but a post elsewhere started me thinking about Shelley, Byron, Claire, Dr. Polidori, and Mary Wollstonecraft. Of course, stream of consciousness took me back to class and discussions, most of which I remembered well, but until just now did not connect all the dots between my English studies and preparing for a food catastrophe. See? Grad school prepared me for this discussion. LOL. Plus, the American Romantic poets and the American Transcendentalists are my favorites in literature.
Those of you are complaining about rain spoiling your eventual harvest can at least find food elsewhere. There were no grocery stores in 1816. I realize that not all of us can prepare for every event in our lives, but think harder about what you can do.
Prices, Mormons, food riots, 1991
Prices for oats rose by five times the price the year before. Joseph Smith left New York and the Book of Mormon was written. Food riots broke out in England. The 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatuba in the Philipines had a similar effect in the Northwestern US.
If you are an artist or scientist or into animal husbandry, check out this article from Wikipedia. You will be surprised how our lives were changed.
We are taught to prepare for floods, armed invasion, peak oil, collapse of social order, others seizing our food, GMO seeds, medical crises in stressful situations, putting up food, and bugging out. All these things may be just the thing you need in a year like 1816. But, have you ever heard of or read much about The Year Without a Summer? Can you see how a year's worth of food might be the least you should have on hand?