Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Climate Change and Beer

When it comes to climate change I am not a skeptic. Nor am I a denier. I am an I call bullshitter. I thought it might be wise to just go ahead it get that out of the way right up front. No sense beating around the bush. Not that climate change isn't a thing. It actually is. It just isn't a new thing. As a species we have actually documented dramatic climate change going way back. I mean way back. I am pretty much an expert on this stuff. I took ancient history in high school. I have read the Bible many times. I have watched Cecil B. Demille. Yule Brenner made one heck of a Pharaoh by the way. Climate change pretty much drove the nation of Israel to go hang with Yule Brenner. They left home in the first place because of an insanely long drought. After hanging around in Egypt at least long enough for Charlton Heston to grow up, then wandering around the desert long enough for the Golden Calf generation to die out, they finally came back to the old neighborhood. You know, the land flowing with milk and honey.

Now, of course, much of that cool place is as dead as the Dead Sea. Climate change baby, it pretty much bites.

As a student of those times I can state with some certainty climate was a real pain in the camel hump for those ancient peoples hanging out in the fertile crescent. It ain't looking all that fertile nowadays either. Life in those times seemed to consistent of periods of drought and really bad floods. People were always starving or drowning. It's a wonder people were able to invent civilization in such a place. I assume it got better from time to time. Good enough that Alexander the great went to all the trouble to leave the grapes of Greece and go conquer it.

Which brings us to what is arguably the greatest thing ever to come out of that entire area. Beer.

According to archeologists, historians, and people like me who read a bunch of stuff, the earliest reference to beer is a 3900 year old Sumerian poem. I haven't read it but it honors the Sumerian Goddess Ninkasi and also contains a recipe for beer. This beer was made from barley and bread. Hey, you work with what you got. So we know beer is at least 3900 old. What no one knew, though, was how beer was invented in the first place. Until now.

Beer wasn't actually invented. Not like Bell invented the telephone. It was really more or less discovered. By accident. Remember how I mentioned how that entire area was nothing but a series of droughts and floods? It was during one of those drought periods a Sumerian man by the name of Nim-Becile lived. He was more fortunate than his neighbors in that he had plenty of barley, wheat, a little salt, and loads of honey. Fearing someone would steal his stash he hid it in a dry hole in the ground. Unfortunately the hole was only dry because of the massive drought. Perhaps he should have thought of that. Though Nim-Becile played a key role in discovering beer he wasn't actually the one who discovered it. That honor fell to a man named Shasham-Libat. It was shortly after the next flood receded that Shasham-Libat was wondering around looking for his house when he fell into a hole. Nim-Becile's hole. And the rest is, as they say, history. Imbibing of a cold brew is known as a Libation to this very day.

The art of brewing beer would reach it's peak many years later in ancient Egypt under the steady hand of Imanhoptech. Which also might explain why the Jewish people decided to go to Egypt instead of someplace where Yule Brenner, who was a real bad ass, wasn't.

I hope we have cleared this entire climate change business up for you. It isn't a new thing and it isn't necessarily bad either.

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