Evidence of Climate Change – The Bicycle

1918 was a busy year for world war, a global pandemic, a new technology, and climate change.

  • World War 1: The first world war that began in 1914 ended in November 1918.
  • Pandemic: The Spanish Flu had nothing to do with Spain. No one had immunity to that H1N1 virus that killed over 50 million people worldwide. Learn more from the encyclopedia Britannica.
  • Technology: In 1817, the bicycle was invented. Why is this significant? Because of the next bullet point.
  • Climate Change: The invention of the first bike in 1817 is a result of the lack of horses. Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted in 1815. It was a massive eruption and the ash cloud dispersal had a worldwide effect. There was a global change in temperature. A lot of horses died because of starvation. Source
Baron Karl von Drais invents the “laufmaschine” (running machine)

In April 1815, the most powerful volcanic eruption of the 19th century killed approximately 100,000 people. Though it would not be apparent for more than a century, the eruption of Mount Tambora contributed to one of the worst weather-related disasters of the 19th century.

The following year, 1816, became known as the Year Without a Summer. While the winter of 1815 and 1816 was fairly ordinary, the spring of 1816 turned odd. Temperatures did not rise as expected, and very cold temperatures persisted in some places well into the summer months. Source

Mount Tambora erupted in 1815. The cloud of ash and sulfur dioxide caused the Year Without Summer in 1816, a year so cold that crops failed around the world, causing massive famine. Horses were slaughtered as there was no food for them, let alone the people. Source

“Many volcanologists regard the Mount Tambora eruption as the largest and most destructive volcanic event in recorded history, expelling as much as 150 cubic km (roughly 36 cubic miles) of ash, pumice, and other rock, and aerosols—including an estimated 60 megatons of sulfur—into the atmosphere. As that material mixed with atmospheric gases, it prevented substantial amounts of sunlight from reaching Earth’s surface, eventually reducing the average global temperature by as much as 3 °C (5.4 °F). The immediate effects were most profound on Sumbawa and the surrounding islands. Some 80,000 people perished from disease and famine since crops could not grow. In 1816, parts of the world as far away as western Europe and eastern North America experienced sporadic periods of heavy snow and killing frost through June, July, and August. Such cold weather events led to crop failures and starvation in those regions, and the year 1816 was called the “year without a summer.” Source

Two Takeaways

First and foremost natural disasters can change and have changed the global climates far beyond all the activities of billions of humans alive today on the earth.

  • Mount Tambora remains an active volcano in which seismic activity has increased in recent years. The present Mount Tambora caldera measures 3.7 miles in diameter. Such a mammoth crater sounds huge.
  • The Taal Volcano in the Philippines where I once stood on its rim has a caldera 9.3 miles (15km) wide by 12.5 miles (20 km) long. Rockwall County, Texas where I live could be dropped entirely into this volcano’s mouth.
  • The Yellowstone volcano caldera measures 43 by 28 miles (70 by 45 kilometers). If, when, this volcano erupts, it will change the United States of America beyond description.

Volcanoes are natural. Krakatoa, Tambora, Kilauea, and Yellowstone cannot be controlled by mankind and the damage they can do to our global atmosphere is beyond human imagination.

Second, mankind is adaptable. We are marvelously adaptable. The bicycle is but one example of our adaptability.


Small-thinking progressives, like Chicken Little, imagine the sky is falling. They also imagine they have the intelligence and capacity to actually alter the weather. Well, on this last point, I have to agree somewhat.

A new NOAA [the Nationaal Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] study published today in the journal Science Advances about four decades of tropical cyclones reveals the surprising result that reducing particulate air pollution in Europe and North America has contributed to an increase in the number of tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic basin and a decrease in the number of these storms in the Southern Hemisphere. The study also found that the growth of particulate pollution in Asia has contributed to fewer tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific basin. 

NOAA Study: Reducing human-caused air pollution in North America & Europe brings surprise result: more hurricanes


Climate change is real but it’s not the problem imagined by the climate alarmists.

When you next see a bicycle, remember how a world war and a volcanic eruption caused a huge shortage of horses and mules. Remember also how one man invented a solution to the shortage of horses.

John White
Rockwall, Texas

Published by John White

A lifetime (over 50 years) of experiences with automation and control systems ranging from aerospace navigation, radar, and ordinance delivery systems to the world's first robotic drilling machine for the oil patch, to process-control systems, energy management systems and general problem-solving. At present, my focus is on self-funding HVAC retrofit projects and indoor air quality with a view to preventing infections from airborne pathogens.

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