JEG 2008

Jaarboek voor Ecologische Geschiedenis



Adriaan M.J. de Kraker & Henny van der Windt (Guest editors)

Klimaat en atmosfeer in beweging




Adriaan M. J. de Kraker

Stormachtig weer in de Lage Landen tussen 1400 en 1625. Reconstructie van stormen langs de zuidoostelijke Noordzeekust, de wijze waarop hun invloed wordt bepaald en veranderingen in het stormpatroon


[Stormy weather in de Low Countries, 1400 to 1625. Reconstructing storms on the south eastern coast of the North Sea, assessing their impact and changes in storm patterns]

Summary This paper shows how storms prior to the period of instrumental weather observation can be reconstructed. From this reconstruction it is possible to distinguish storm patterns. Knowledge of historic storms and storm patterns is vital because storms may cause damage and often coincides with heavy rainfall and flooding. In the framework of present climate warming an analysis of storms from 1400 to 1625 has been made. Grading the storms into eight categories six periods of increasing storminess could be established. Enhanced storm frequency relates to a strong NAO-signal. In view of continuous warming and more rainfall, it may be expected that storm frequency will also increase along with increasing damage. Although this renders research of past storms as example for the future more important, too many research opportunities in the Low Countries remain unused.


Gaston R. Demarée & Robert Muir-Wood

De ‘Grote Storm van december 1703’ in de Lage Landen – een stormachtige periode in de Spaanse



[The ‘Great Storm of December 1703’ in the Low Countries, a stormy period during the Spanish SuccessioThe Great Storm of 7/8 December 1703 (new style) can be viewed as one of the most severe storms in the Low Countries of the last five hundreds years. The effects of this storm in England are well known, because of the war situation of that moment. The remarkable thing about that storm is that it was nearly completely forgotten in the southernmost coastal areas of the Low Countries as it was not accompanied by a storm surge (what did occur so in the coastal area from the Channel to Northern Germany and Jutland and also during the storm of 1717). The authors provide in this paper an analysis of the storm in which attention is given to the origin, the force of the storm and its further development. Next to it, contemporaneous descriptions on the passage of the storm in the Low Countries are given focusing on the damage occurred.


Joop Oude Lohuis

De rol van wetenschappelijke gegevens in het klimaatdebat, de discussie over de ‘hockeystick’ als grafische weergave van een historische reconstructie van het klimaat


[The role of scientific data in the climate debate, the discussion on the ‘hockeystick’ as a graphical representation of a historical climate reconstruction]

Summary Scientific data play a substantial role in the societal and political discussions on climate policy. An important example are the data with regard to the so-called ‘hockeystick’, a graphical representation of a reconstruction of the climate developments during the last millennium. Such reconstructions are far from easy and are always surrounded with uncertainties. However, these kinds of reconstructions are the basis for predictions of the global effects of climate change in the future. For that reason, science should be as transparent as possible in its efforts to calculate the risks and to formulate its societal recommendations. In this article the focus is on the history of the climate problem, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Dutch climate policy. The actual societal discussions on the climate issues and the interactions with scientific developments will be illustrated by the ‘hockeystick’.


Ed Buijsman

Het chemische neerslagonderzoek in Nederland, een kleine geschiedenis


[Chemical deposition research in the Netherlands, a short history]

Precipitation: rain, snow, hail − ultimately, all of it is water. As early as in the 17th century, however, some researchers expected to discover more than just water. Throughout the centuries and for various reasons, scientists would be preoccupied with the chemical composition of precipitation. Research in the Netherlands was mostly based on previous experiences in other countries. Dutch researchers played a modest role in this field, apart from a period around 1985, when they worked on acid rain at an international level. At that time, they did contribute to the solution of the many methodological problems that surrounded this area of research. This article provides a brief summary of Dutch research work, starting at the time of Van Leeuwenhoek, in 1702, up to the 1990s.



Hein-Anton van der Heijden

Zandzakken, notenbomen en een taart. Nederlandse sociale bewegingen en mondiale klimaatverandering


[Sandbags, walnut trees and a cake. Dutch social movements and global climate change]

Dutch environmental and conservation groups have contributed significantly to politicising climate change. Analogous to the diversity of the movement – from mobilising organisations like Friends of the Earth, via conservation groups at the provincial level, to radical groups like the Greenwash Guerilla’s – a plurality of problem definitions, solution strategies and action models has emerged. Apart from lobbying, the action repertoire varies from building a sandbags dike around the site of the 2000 Climate Summit in The Hague, via the planting of walnut trees in order to raise consciousness about the relationship between deforestation and climate change, to throwing a cake to the American delegation leader at the Climate Summit in The Hague. However, due to the specific Dutch political opportunity structure, problem definitions and solution strategies are not that radical: ecological modernisation and cooperation with government and business.


Jos Dekker

De dynamische opstelling van het Landbouwschap ten aanzien van het milieu 1948-1972


[The dynamic position regarding the environment of the Agricultural Board 1948-1972]

The Dutch Society for Agriculture and the Agricultural Board have dealt with poblems of nature, landscape and the environment between 1948 and 1972 more than expected. Their position regarding the environment developed in a complex and dynamic way. There was a regular consultation with the Contact Committee for the Conservation of Nature and Landscape. The cooperation had a pragmatic character. Although there were options for further co-operation, co-operation remained limited. This was the result of the structurally different developments of agriculture and nature protection. The agricultural neocorporatism model was another factor, because it was closed for outsiders like conservationists.