The Rear View Mirror: 2000 Years of People and Climate Change in the Southwest
Debates about climate change tend to lack a historical context. As we look back on the archaeological record of human and climate history in the Southwest, two conclusions are obvious: climate change will happen, and it will have consequences for our way of life. In the past 2000 years, there were at least seven changes in regional climate that required or allowed changes in Southwestern ways of life. Depending on your values and sense of sustainability, these changes were both positive and negative. Although we can debate the future of climate change, the past provides valuable perspectives on how it is inevitable and how we can shape our social and economic system toward resilience.
Eric Blinman is the Director of the Office of Archaeological Studies, Museum of New Mexico, NM Department of Cultural Affairs. His degrees are in anthropology from the University of California and from Washington State University. Since 1979 he has specialized in Southwestern Archaeology, with research interests in past environments, pottery technology, social history, textiles, and archaeomagnetism. In 1988 he began working in the Office of Archaeological Studies. For more information on the Office of Archaeological Studies, go to nmarchaeology.org.
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