Historians, writes Dagomar Degroot
, rarely feature in discussions about global warming. With his new book, The Frigid Golden Age: Climate Change, the Little Ice Age, and the Dutch Republic, 1560-1720
(Cambridge University Press, 2018), Degroot seeks to remedy this significant omission. The book asks what past cooling, in the form of the Little Ice Age---a variable but overall cold climatic regime that affected much of the world and endured from the thirteenth to the nineteenth centuries---can teach us about future warming. Focused on the Dutch Republic from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, The Frigid Golden Age
examines how and why this particular society prospered during a time of climatic upheaval. What was it about the Dutch Republic that allowed its citizens to thrive during the coldest decades of the Little Ice Age? Through detailed analysis of the commerce, military and culture of the Republic, The Frigid Golden Age
examines the resilience and adaptability of a society in the face of climate change, and what it might teach us about our own predicament.