The Year Without Summer review – volcanic tales of changed climate

japan experience
Experience with disasters helps Japan Inc adapt to coronavirus outbreak. Image credit: In the case of an earthquake, companies can calculate when the tide will turn and estimate at what pace they should restore production © Reuters Full story:


Grocery stores can be anchors of resilience during disasters

As COVID-19 unfolds across the world, we are reminded of how global our food supply chain has become (e.g., fruit from Central and South America, seafood from Asia, and cheese from Europe). We can also see the complexity of food supply chains in other kinds of crisis situations as well.

Like many people, if you hear of an impending blizzard or hurricane, you probably scramble to your local supermarket. The scene is familiar — jam-packed aisles, empty shelves and long checkout lines.

Additionally, after catastrophic events, a surge of nonprofit and government trucks hand out food while grocery stores struggle to open or keep up with demand as communities recover from the devastation…


The Year Without Summer review – volcanic tales of changed climate

The eruption in 1815 of Mount Tambora, in present-day Indonesia, remains the most violent volcanic explosion in recorded history. It was also the most deadly, killing an estimated 90,000 people across the region, most by starvation. Over the year that followed its effects would be felt across the globe. Floods engulfed Europe; north-eastern America suffered droughts and wildfires. Snow fell in August. As harvests failed, bringing hunger and disease, 1816 became known as the “year without summer”.

Glasfurd’s novel traces six unconnected stories through this turbulent time. Some are drawn from the historical record: Mary Shelley’s storm-lashed summer in Switzerland notoriously fed the gothic imaginings that led to Frankenstein, while a big painting commission finally gave the artist John Constable the financial security to marry. Others are more loosely adapted or invented: a ship’s doctor dispatched to Tambora, a soldier returning from war to an England racked by unemployment and political unrest, a rebellious Suffolk farm labourer resisting starvation wages, a Wesleyan preacher facing famine in Vermont…


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