There is an interesting quotation in a recent Cherokee Tribune article about a temporary exhibit at the museum in the White Marble Courthouse in Canton titled, “Unearthing the Past: Archaeology in Cherokee County.”
Lisa Tressler, archivist for the Cherokee County Historical Society, said “Native Americans called Cherokee County home for 13,000 years.”
Geologists specializing in glaciers, and other scientists, generally recognize several major changes at the earth’s surface 13,000 years ago, apparently caused by global warming of the climate. Until then, the earth’s northern polar ice cap extended as far south as central Illinois, burying the Chicago area beneath thousands of feet of ice.
The melting freed Canada and the northern U.S. from an icy hell. And most of North America — including Cherokee County — was warmed enough for forests to flourish, providing hunter-gatherers with ample food supplies. And with the warmer climate, early peoples invented agriculture, meaning a third source of food — enough grain to last through the winters, for instance. And to be able to settle down in one place, to establish farms and large towns.
So the next time we hear global warming described as a threat to mankind or the ecology, perhaps we should wonder how conditions for life of all kinds would be today without it — especially Chicago.
And if mankind should stumble on a way to control the atmosphere’s temperature, would it be reversible in case it chilled too much? And who would we trust to manipulate the thermostat? Maybe we should leave well enough alone.