Missing the forest for the trees

I blame Bush

I blame Bush

5,000-year-old tree stumps; oaks and pines, uncovered by fierce storms in England.

Folklore has it that Cantre’r Gwaelod, or the Sunken Hundred, a once-fertile land and township, was lost beneath the waves in a mythical age.

The land is said to have extended 20 miles west of the present Cardigan Bay, but disaster struck and Cantre’r Gwaelod was lost to floods when Mererid, the priestess of a fairy well, apparently neglected her duties and allowed the well to overflow.

Hmm – oak trees and pines; neither salt-tolerant, lived twenty miles from the sea before the land was subsumed by rising waters. Back a few hundred years ago, the settled science blamed this on an angry Priestess Mereid of the Fairy Well – today, Al Gore and John Kerry blame it on an angry Goddess Gaia. Oh, haven’t we moved on!

Denise Savageau could not be reached for comment.

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5 responses to “Missing the forest for the trees

  1. 100 million people were living on a peninsula South of present day Pakistan in that same time period.
    Fortunately the were able to relocate using high speed rail and electric cars recharged with solar panels to get to the vegan food stamp distribution center.

  2. Al Dente

    I know this is Walts job, but I have an Olympic update: The US brought in Michael Phelps to grab some last-minute gold.
    http://vinescope.com/michael-phelps-at-the-winter-olympics-1406.html

  3. Yos

    Rising waters, likely; the last ices sheets began their melt, what, about 12kYBP? so perhaps the tapering off to the new water line was about then.

    Another major factor is that Earf’s crust doesn’t always stay put. Some parts rise slowly, others settle lower due to forces from below. Kood be that Cantre’r Gwaelod sank. There may be clues in the sediments around the site.

    Hell, there might just be an old well with faerie footprints about it. ‘Bout as likely as AGW.

  4. Fred2

    Ever seen Mont St. Michel? Northern France a hill with a monastery on it sitting out in a tidal bay?

    In Roman times, that is historical memory, that was hill in the middle of an ancient oak forest. Some massive Atlantic storms broke the natural dunes at the mouth of the bay and in rolled the sea. (St Micheals Mount , opposite side of the Channel in Cornwall , similar thing in fact you can find the stumps in the mud in places…)

    Ever heard of Ys. A “legendary” city in western Brittany that was drowned…I say legendary only because the legend is overblown. I’d bet money there was a town and the sea did get it, and then scoured the site clean into a deeper bay. The tides & storms around there are brutal.

    After all, there is at least one Roman road that literally vanishes into the sea in Brittany, and Romans didn’t mess around doing stuff like that. Roman roads went places. Stone roads went important places.

    The Middle ages, large areas of northern germany, south west Denmark and NE Netherlands have had several “drowning” incidents, where massive storms pushed water yards deep in VAST areas of the coastal zone, and when the waters retreated there was much less land. Heligoland Island, now a teeny village and airport, was also, within semi-legend i.e. Roman period, a much larger island that influenced local coastal polities.

    And that’s just a small selection of European examples.

    This is one of reasons I hate modern education, a good historical liberal arts education grounding should make stuff like this, if not common knowledge, at least not esoteric details known only to keeners and specialists . But I’ll guess that the history they learn now has nothing of this.