Rice Lake Merlot 2037 VQA
For the sake of argument, let's accept that medieval times were as warm in England as they are today, and even that global temperatures were similar (that's a much bigger leap, but no mind). What would that imply for our attribution of current climate changes to human causes? ....... Nothing. Nowt. Zero. Zip.
Why? Well, warm periods have occured in the past, and if not the medieval period, then probably the last interglacial (120,000 years ago), certainly the Pliocene (3 million years ago), without question the (Eocene 50 million years), and in particular the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (55 million years ago), and so on. Current theories of climate change do not rely on whether today's temperatures are 'unprecedented'. Instead they examine the physical causes of climate change and match up what we know about their physical effects and time history and see which of the multiple drivers or combination can best explain the observations. For the last few decades, that is quite clearly the rise in greenhouse gases, punctuated by the occasional volcano and mitigated slightly by the concomittant rise in particulate pollution.
Meanwhile, in the backwoods of Upper Canada, viticulture is getting a toehold in some unconventional places, driven by the relentless mechanics of climate change. Even here in the Kawarthas, which lays entirely on the wrong side of the Oak Ridge Moraine, and thus is deprived of the balming influence of Lake Ontario, a few hardy horticulturalists are experimenting with vinifera grapes with some success. With a little effort, one can envisage in 20 or 30 years tidy rows of Reisling grapes crawling up and the down the drumlins, boutique ice wine shops on Queen Street, Lakefield, and perhaps in a few sheltered locations, Pinot Noir crowding out the ticky-tack cottages on Chemong Lake or Stoney. Land speculation for prime terroir in Peterborough County is only a matter of time. Oil company executives will be unloading soon-to-be worthless stock; next we'll see Hollywood-types will be cruising the back concessions in Hummers, scouting out winery sites. It's a boom waiting to happen, the next big thing. Really.
I have a few acres of gravelly south-facing slopes, perfect for low-yield, high quality produce. Call me. I mean it.