How did our ancestors face climate change? Their response to the problem was not to attempt to stop climate change but was experimental and technological in finding ways to cope with it.
Global warming is among the most urgent problems facing the world today. Yet many commentators, and even some scientists, discuss it with reference only to the changing climate of the last century or so.
John Grainger takes a longer view and draws on the archaeological evidence to show how our ancestors faced up to the ending of the last Ice Age, arguably a more dramatic climate change crisis than the present one. Ranging from the Paleolithic down to the development of agriculture in the Neolithic, the author shows how human ingenuity and resourcefulness allowed them to adapt to the changing conditions in a variety of ways as the ice sheets retreated and water levels rose. Different strategies, from big game hunting on the ice, nomadic hunter gathering, sedentary foraging and finally farming, were developed in various regions in response to local conditions as early man colonized the changing world. The human response to climate change was not to try to stop it, but to embrace technology and innovation to cope with it.