Wednesday, May 22, 2019

In Search of Madoc - 6


Thomas Spottswood Hinde (April 19, 1785 – February 9, 1846) was an American newspaper editor, opponent of slavery, author, historian, real estate investor, Methodist minister and a founder of the city of Mount Carmel, Illinois.  A letter from Hinde appeared in The American Pioneer, A Monthly Periodical, Devoted to the Objects of the Logan Historical Society; Or, to Collecting and Publishing Sketches Relative to the Early Settlement and Successive Improvement of the Country, Volume I, 1842.  

FALLS OF THE OHIO

In the letter, Hinde shares an account of breastplates with "the Welsh coat-of-arms" recovered near the falls of the Ohio, supposed evidence of early travels by Prince Madoc or other Welsh explorers in America.

Mount Carmel, Illinois, May 30, 1842.

Mr. J. S. Williams,

Dear Sir — Your letter of the 17th, to major Armstrong, was placed in my hands some days ago. The brief remarks and hints given you are correct. I have a vast quantity of western matter, collected in notes gathered from various sources, mostly from persons who knew the facts. These notes reach back to remote periods. It is a fact that the Welsh, under Owen ap Zuinch, in the 12th century, found their way to the Mississippi, and as far up the Ohio as the falls of that river at Louisville, where they were cut off by the Indians; others ascended the Missouri, were either captured, or settled with and sunk into Indian habits.

Proof: In 1799, six soldiers' skeletons were dug up near Jeffersonville; each skeleton had a breast-plate of brass, cast, with the Welsh coat of arms, the mermaid and harp, with a Latin inscription, in substance "virtuous deeds meet their just reward."

One of these plates was left by captain Jonathan Taylor, with the late Mr. Hubbard Taylor, of Clarke county, Kentucky, and when called for by me, in 1814, for the late doctor John P. Campbell, of Chillicothe, Ohio, who was preparing notes of the antiquities of the West, by a letter from Hubbard Taylor, Jr., (a relation of mine,) now living, I was informed that the breast-plate had been taken to Virginia, by a gentleman of that state, I supposed as a matter of curiosity.

Proof 2d: The late William Mcintosh, who first settled near this, and had been for fifty or sixty years prior to his death, in 1831 or 2, a western Indian trader, was in fort Kaskaskia, prior to its being taken by general George Rogers Clarke, in 1778, and heard, as he informed me himself, a Welshman and an Indian from far up the Missouri, speaking and conversing in the Welsh language.

It was stated by Gilbert Imlay, in his History of the West, that it was captain Abraham Choplin, of Union county, Kentucky, that heard this conversation in Welsh. Doctor Campbell visited Choplin, and found it was not him; afterwards the fact was stated by Mcintosh, from whom I obtained other facts as to western matters.

Some hunter, many years ago, informed me of a tomb-stone being found in the southern part of Indiana, with initials of a name, and 1186 engraved on it

The Mohawk Indians had a tradition among them, respecting the Welsh, and of their having been cut off by the Indians, at the falls of the Ohio. The late colonel Joseph Hamilton Daviess, who had for many years sought for information on this subject, mentions this fact, and of the Welshmen's bones being found buried on Com Island; so that Southey, the king's laureat, had some foundation for his Welsh poem.

As to Logan, the Mingo Indian chief, the facts, as stated by me, were not only obtained from Mr. Jacob W. Davis, of Bartholomew county, Indiana, then residing (1831) near Columbus, but from various other sources, during the last thirty or forty years. I never like to rest any statement of mine on mere report. I sifted every statement to the bottom. 1 had become wearied with hearing contradictory statements; anecdotes related of Wayne's officers or soldiers, I have frequently heard applied to those of the last tear, by young men who knew no better. As to Mr. D., I know not whether he is living.

As to Tecumseh, or Tecumsekeh, the Shawnee chief, in 1821, in Ohio county, Kentucky, I fell in with the reverend Benjamin Kelly, a Baptist preacher, who was taken prisoner, with colonel Daniel Boone, while making salt, at the Blue-licks of Kentucky, in 1779 ; the Indians took them to a salt spring, six or eight miles south east of Chillicothe, (now Ross county,) and set them to work making salt from a secret spring, cut through a rock, and fitted in to hide it with a round flat stone.

The Indians having attacked a fort, in Greenbrier county, Virginia, were defeated; on coming to this spring, the salt makers joined them to go home, (at Oldtown, three miles from Xenia.) Boone, thinking that this defeated army intended attacking Boonsborough, on their way he deserted, somewhere near Washington, in Fayette county, and got to Boonsborough the second day! What a race! nobody can do it now. This fact corrects the history of Kentucky. Kelly was five years in Blackfish's family, with Lal-luze-stee-ka, the prophet, and Tekumtha, (as the Shakers in 1807 wrote their names,) sons of Blackfish.

I published Mr. Kelly's statement, in a Cincinnati paper, in 1824 or 5, and it went the rounds of the papers; also a story of Tecumseh, related to me by captain Thomas Bryan, who fell in with Blackfish and his family, in 1788, while surveying, on Ohio Brushcreek, and saved them (by killing two elks and a bear) from starvation. On this occasion, Blackfish put up a prayer and thanksgiving in his camp, which melted Bryan's men into tenderness and to tears!

Reverend Henry Frost got hold of Dr. John P. Campbell's manuscripts, "Western Antiquities," and published them in Philadelphia. General Samuel Finley arrested the sale of the work, for the doctor's widow. I had furnished Dr. Campbell with the most important facts, but Mr. Frost gave me no credit in his book. Doctor Camp bell died about 1816.

My notes are scattered through eight or ten or more volumes, and as I am about arranging them under the head of " Western Researches," at the request of my friends of the cities, when so arranged I can then draw off for you what may best suit your excellent work, "The Pioneer," which I think does great credit to the West.

But I regret that in this age of improvement, writers delight in hunting up hard dictionary phrases, to express their ideas. The standard of plain language is our president's messages. I knew an editor, somewhere in Ohio, who was thought to be a great man. He had a strange title for his paper, and his sheets of editorial matter were filled with new coined words. I was frequently asked their meaning, and could not tell; even a learned judge of your supreme court asked the meaning of the title to his paper, which I could not at that time explain; but afterwards I found in his office a dictionary of jaw-crackers, of new coined words, Greek, Latin, and phrases not used by English readers,— and the mystery was solved!

I never saw the book before, nor since. A popular work must come down to plain English, so that all may know what we mean. Believing this to be the course you are aiming at, permit me, my dear sir, to say, that I wish you a successful operation on say, that I wish you a successful operation on your plan. Yours, very respectfully, 

Thomas S. Hinde

Saturday, May 18, 2019

In Search of Madoc - 5


Fort Mountain, Georgia is an unusual place.  The mountain, and the famous stone “wall” near its summit, are protected by a state park that I visited a couple of years ago.  



The rugged section of Georgia east of Chatsworth has a spooky feeling to it.  At least it did the afternoon I was there. 

To be honest, the 900-foot-long wall did not quite live up to my expectations.  After reading so many myths and legends about the place I had concocted a mental image of something that did not exist.  Instead of a formidable wall of hewn stone, what I found was a meandering line of boulders.  

Sometimes it helps not to know too much before reaching a destination. 

Here are the transcriptions of two plaques at the park:

The Moon-Eyed People

While some legends equate the moon-eyed people with the descendants of Prince Madoc, Cherokee legends tell of the moon-eyed people that inhabited the Southern Highlands before they arrived. These people are said to have been unable to see during certain phases of the moon. During one of these phases, the Creek people annihilated the race. Some believe these moon-eyed people built the fortifications on this mountain.

Other versions of the Cherokee legend tell about people with fair skin, blond hair, and blue eyes that occupied the mountain areas until Cherokee invaders finally dispersed them. Some tales said the moon-eyed people could see in the dark, but were nearly blind in daylight. Other legends describe them as albinos.

Delaware Indian legend tells of their migration eastward from the far west and meeting a race of very tall, robust, light-skinned people they called the Allegewi, until they prevailed with the support of the Iroquois, who were also moving eastward. Some surviving Allegewi went to Cherokee territory and stayed with them for a time and are remembered as Tlvni Kula, "moon eyed" people, who were tall, fair-skinned, with light hair and grey eyes, and carried strange weapons and tools.

Prince Madoc of Wales

Welsh and Cherokee legends coincide here on Fort Mountain. Welsh legends tell of Prince Madoc, who sailed first to Mobile Bay in 1170 AD. After a brief exploration, Madoc returned to Wales, only to sail again for the New World with numerous settlers in a fleet of ships. They never returned to Wales. In the New World, they built stone forts, including this one on Fort Mountain, and warred with the local Cheyenne before deciding to move west sometime around 1186 AD. Madoc's travels, first told in print about 1584, had been told in Welsh songs and stories since the twelfth century.

In 1782, ninety-year-old Cherokee chief Oconostota told John Seiver of Tennessee about the Welsh who had once "¨.crossed the Great Water and landed first near the mouth of the Alabama River near Mobile¨." Oconostota told that these whites had built the fortifications in this country. Other American legends tell of encounters with indians who possessed pale eyes, red hair, beards, and spoke Welsh.

Legend attributes three stone forts to Prince Madoc's people. One near DeSoto Falls, Alabama, is said to be nearly identical to the setting, layout, and method of construction of Dolwyddelen Castle, the birthplace of Madoc. From Alabama, Madoc moved to this site and hastily constructed these fortifications. Retreating from Fort Mountain, these Welsh settlers built minor fortifications in the Chattanooga area before moving to the Duck River near Manchester, Tennessee, and building the fortifications now known as the Old Stone Fort.

Erected 1968 by Georgia Department of State Parks.

[One report I read indicated the markers were taken down in 2015.  One can only guess the rationale employed by Professional Killjoys, if in fact the plaques are gone.]

An online brochure for the park contains this explanation:

Mystery of Fort Mountain 

High atop Fort Mountain are the rocky ruins of an ancient “stone wall” with prehistoric origin steeped in legend. Generations of archaeologists and historians have unsuccessfully sought to unravel the riddle of this wall, one of several stone assemblages scattered throughout the Southeast. More than 150 years after its discovery, answers still evade us as to who built the wall, when and for what purpose. 

Theories abound, and one of the more realistic explanations is that the wall was built around 500 A.D. by a tribe of Native Americans for ceremonial or religious purposes. Others assert the wall was built by wandering bands of Welsh explorers during the 14th century as fortification against Indians. Welsh Prince Madoc has been credited with building several stone petroglyphs in the Southeast after supposedly sailing into Alabama.

Another theory, based on Cherokee legend, is that the wall was built by the “Moon Eyes,” a race of light-skinned people who could see in the dark because of their larger or paler eyes. Or perhaps Spanish conquistadors, possibly Hernando de Soto, built the wall as a defense against Indian attacks. Since no artifacts have been found to support these theories, no one knows who built the “wall of stones” zigzagging across the southern face of the Cohutta mountain range’s most prominent peak. 

This part of the southern Appalachian Mountains rises above the Piedmont Plain and offers 80-mile views, making it an ideal location for ceremonial practices or defensive needs. The stone wall runs east and west for 855 feet, and its height varies from two to six feet. Archaeologists believe it was much higher before exploration and plunder by previous scientists and treasure hunters. Adding to the mystery are 30 “pits” built into the wall. Were these gun emplacements or symbolic to some ceremonial practice of earlier inhabitants? Will the secrets contained within these stones forever remain a mystery?

Monday, May 13, 2019

The Death Song of the Cherokee Indian

Romantic poet and lyricist Anne Hunter (1742-1821) was the daughter of the military surgeon Robert Home. She married the famous London surgeon John Hunter and they had four children, two of whom died in infancy. Their home was a center of literary and intellectual life, and they often hosted gatherings for leading public figures, including members of the Bluestockings group.





Her lyric, The Death Song of the Cherokee Indian, was published in a 1784 songbook.  Hunter explained:

"The idea of this ballad was suggested several years ago by hearing a gentleman, who had resided several years in America amongst the tribe or nation called the Cherokees, sing a wild air, which he assured me it was customary for those people to chaunt with a barbarous jargon, implying contempt for their enemies in the moments of torture or death.  I have endeavoured to give something of the characteristic spirit and sentiment of those brave savages. We look upon the fierce and stubborn courage of the dying indian with a mixture of respect, pity, and horror; and it is to those sensations excited in the mind of the reader, that the Death Song must owe its effect." 

 Tune: MORALITY, The Sacred Harp, page 136.

 The sun sets at night and the stars shun the day,
 But glory remains when the light fades away.
 Begin, ye tormentors, your threats are in vain,
 For the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

 Remember the arrows he shot from his bow;
 Remember your chiefs by his hatchet laid low;
 Why so slow? do you wait till I shrink from my pain?
 No! the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

 Remember the wood where in ambush we lay,
 And the scalps which we bore from your nation away;
 Now the flame rises fast, you exult in my pain,
 But the son of Alknomook shall never complain.

 I'll go to the land where my father is gone;
 His ghost shall rejoice in the fame of his son;
 Death comes like a friend to relieve me from pain;
 And thy son, O Alknomook, has scorn'd to complain.


Friday, May 10, 2019

In Search of Madoc - 4


In 1872, The American Historical Record reprinted an article that first appeared in Gentleman’s Magazine in March 1740, containing an account of Rev. Morgan Jones’ fortuitous encounter with English-speaking Doeg Indians in 1660.


The following paper is copied from the "Gentleman's Magazine" for March, 1740 and added explanatory footnotes:

ENGLAND'S TITLE TO AMERICA.

That the vast Continent of America was first discovered by Britons above three hundred years before the Spaniards had any footing there; and that the descendants of that first colony of Britons who then seated themselves there, are still a distinct people, and retain their original language, is a matter of fact, which may be indisputably proved by the concurrent account of several writers and travellers. I shall first quote a letter of Mr. Morgan Jones, Chaplain to the Plantations of South Carolina, sent to Dr. Thomas Lloyd of Pennsylvania,1  by whom it was transmitted to Charles Lloyd of Dol-y-fran in Montgomeryshire, Esq. and afterwards communicated to Dr. Robert Plot,2 by the hands of Mr. Edward Lloyd, M. M. keeper of the Ashmolaan Museum in Oxford. It is as follows:

"These presents may certify all persons whatsoever, that in the Year 1660,1 being an Inhabitant in Virginia, and Chaplain to Major General Bennet of Nanseman [Namemond] County, the said Major Bennet and Sir William Berkeley3 sent two ships to Port Royal, now called South Carolina, which is sixty leagues to the Southward of Cape Fair, | Fear] and I was sent therewith to be their Minister. Upon the eighth of April we set out from Virginia, and arriv'd at the harbour's mouth of Port Royal4 the nineteenth of the same month, where we waited for the rest of the fleet that was to sail from Barbadoes and Bermuda with one M. West,5 who was to be Deputy Governor of the said place. As soon as the Fleet came in, the small Vessels that were with us, sailed up the River to a Place called the Oyster Point.

There I continued about eight months; all of which time being almost starved for want of provisions, I and five more travell'd thro' the wilderness, till we came to the Tuscarora Country.6 There the Tuscarora Indians7 took us prisoners because we told them we were bound for Roanoake. That night they carried us into their town and shut us up close by ourselves, to our no small dread. The next day they entered into a consultation about us; which after it was over, their interpreter told us, that we must prepare ourselves to die the next morning. 

Whereupon being very much dejected, and speaking to this effect in the British tongue, "Have I escaped so many dangers, and must I now be knocked on the head like a dog?" Then presently an Indian came to me, which afterwards appeared to be a war captain belonging to the Sachem of the Doegs (whose original I find must needs be from the Old Britons) and took me up by the middle and told me in the British tongue, I should not die: and thereupon went to the Emperor of Tuscarora, and agreed for my ransom and the men that were with me. 

They then welcomed us to their town, and entertained us very civilly and cordially four months; during which time, I had the opportunity of conversing with them familiarly in the British language; and did preach to them three times a week in the same Language; and they would usually confer with me about anything that was difficult therein; and at our departure they abundantly supply'd us with whatsoever was necessary to our support and well-being. Pontigo River, not far from Cape Atros. This is a brief recital of my travels among the Doeg Indians.

"Morgan Jones the son of John Jones, of Basaly, near New Port, in the County of Monmouth. "New York, March, 1685-6. "P. S. I am ready to conduct any Welshman or others to the Country."
I shall next make some remarks on the above letter.It appears by this narrative, that the author, Mr. Morgan Jones, was probably unacquainted with the history of his own country. He was surpriz'd (and well he might) to hear the Doeg Indians talk the British language; and concludes (and indeed very justly) that they must be descended from the Old Britons;' but when and how, our author seems to be at a loss. But the Welsh history (first wrote by Caradoc, Abbot of Llancarvan, and since published by Dr. Powell) sets the whole matter in a clear light, and unravels the mystery.8 For it informs us, that in the year 1170, Madoc of Owen Gwynneth (to avoid the calamities and distractions of a civil war at home) took a resolution to go in quest of some remote country to live in peace,9 and so having directed his course due west he landed in some place of that vast continent of America. 

There being charmed with the fertility of the soil (after having built some slight fortifications for the security of his people) he returns home to North Wales, leaving one hundred and twenty men behind. There reciting his successful Voyage, and describing the fruitful" and pleasant land he found out, he prevailed with many of his countrymen, both men and women, to return with him to enjoy that tranquility in a remote country, which they could not in their own.

The brave adventurers put out to sea in ten barges, laden with all manner of necessaries, and by God's providence landed safely in the same harbour they arrived at before. It is very probable it was about Mexico,10 since there Prince Madoc was bury'd, as his Epitaph since found there, does make evident beyond all contradiction.  Madoc wyf mwydic ei wedd Fawn geuan Owen Gwynedd; Ny fynnwn dir fy awydd oedd Na aa mawr endy Moroedd  11

It is indeed the common opinion, that in the course of a few generations, Madoc and his men incorporated with the natives and made one people with them; whence proceed the various British words that the Europeans found among the Mexico Indians such as Fengwyn, Groeso, Gwenddwr, Bara, Tad, Mam, Buwch, Cligiar, Llwynoc, Coch-y-dwr, with many more recited in Sir Thomas Herbert's Travels, p. 222.

But by this narrative it is evident, that they keep as yet a distinct people, at least in the year 1660, when our author was amongst them. For Mr. Jones says, he not only conversed with them about the ordinary affairs of life, but preached to them three times a week in the British tongue; and that they usually consulted him when any thing appeared difficult in the same Language, which evidently demonstrates, that they still preserve their original language, and are still a colony or people unmixed.

Now if a premier discovery confers a right (as it seems it is a maxim in politics) then the Crown of England has an indisputable right to the sovereignty of those countrys in America; for the Spaniards had no footing there 'till the year 1492, 322 years since the first discovery by Prince Madoc. Some Statesmen indeed would fain have persuaded Q. Elizabeth to insist on this title (as is mentioned by Dr. Heylin, p. 190, Ed. 3, of his Geography.) But they had only an obscure tradition then, that was thought that would not bear proof. But this narrative sets off the whole matter beyond dispute; wherein our author writes with such simplicity and unaffected style, and without any studied 
Eloquence as 'tis plain he had nothing in view but to state the naked truth. And since this is a matter of fact, so well attested, backed with such a variety of incidents, let not the proud Dons any more assume the glory of this noble discovery; but let our most puissant Monarch of Great Britain claim his most just rights.
Britons strike home.

Theophilus Evans, Vicar of St. David's in Brecon.



1 Thomas Lloyd came to America with William Penn and was deputy-governor of that Province after the Proprietor returned to England. He was a native of Dol-y-fran, Montgomeryshire, Wales, where he was born in 1649. He was a minister among the Friends or Quakers. He suffered persecution because of that ministry, and was much reviled by the "miserable apostate," George Keith —[editor.]

2 Robert Plot was an English naturalist and antiquary, and flourished during the last half of the seventeenth century. He became Professor of Chemistry at Oxford, in 1684, and historiographer-royal, in 1688. He published histories of Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, and died in 1696.—[editor.]

3 Sir William Berkeley was governor of Virginia from 1641 to 1677. He was unpopular with the planters who were imbued with republicanism, and had to contend with civil war fur a time, brought about by what is known as Bacon's Rebellion.—[editor. ]

4 There, upon Beaufort Island, in Port Royal Sound, some Huguenots or French Protestants chose a spot for their home, built a fort, and named it Carolina, in honor of their king. That was in the year 1562. The settlement was not permanent. Another settlement there, was attempted by the English in 1670. but the plan was abandoned.—[editor. J

5 Joseph West was an associate of William Sayle in leading emigrants in three ships to make a settlement at Beaufort. There Sayle died in 1671, when the spot was abandoned, and the settlers went to Oyster Point, at the junction of Ashley and Cooper Rivers, where the city of Charleston now stands. —[editor.]

6 The Tuscaroras inhabiting the region of the Cape Fear River.in North Carolina, were related, in language, to the Five Nations in New York. They were broken up by the European settlers in North Carolina, in 1712, and going Northward joined their kindred in New York, in 1714, when the Confederacy became known as the Six Nations.-[editor. J

7 The Tuscaroras were a lighter color than the rest of the Indians, and were sometimes mentioned as “White Indians." A hundred years or more ago there were remains of Welsh words heard among some of our Indians; and the Mandrans in the far West, are so light colored that they are supposed to have inherited some of the blood of Madoc and his men. —[editor. ]

8 In the abbeys of Conway and Strat Flur, are old Welsh annals which were used by Humphrey I.lwoyd (Lloydt in his translation and continuation of Caradoe’s "History of Wales." That continuation extends from the year A. D. 1157 to 1270.—[editor. I

9 In the preserved works of several Welsh bards who sang before the time of Columbus, this emigration of Prince Madoc is mentioned. Hakluyt had an account of it from the bard Guttun Owen, who mentioned the fact that Northmen had found a continent to the westward. As they had visited America more than one hundred and fifty years before Madoc's emigration, he was doubtless well acquainted with the fact that such a continent existed.—[editor.]

10  The general impression has been that Madoc landed on the coast of the Carolinas if anywhere in America. The whole story is sometimes regarded as a myth, but if the account given by Mr. Jones be true (and his veracity has never been impeached, nor has it been verified), it certainty gives an air at truth to the narrative. It was in North Carolina that Jones found the British speaking Indians, and preached intelligently to them. He makes no mention, however, of any information which he obtained from them respecting the origin of that language among them. He gave other accounts of his travels among them, but only the letter above quoted has been preserved. – [editor.]

11 In the "Gentleman's Magazine" for April 1749. appeared the following: "Since our last, we have found the following translation of the British Epitaph iSee page 105) on Pnnce Madoc. It is printed in Herbert's Travels, who saw the monument:
"Madoc Ap Owen was I called, Strong, tall and comely, not enthralled with homebred pleasure, but for fame Through land and sea I sought the same."
Sir Thomas Herbert above mentioned did not travel in America but in the East, and his work published on his return in 1634, gives an account of his “Travels in Africa and the Greater Asia,” and he could not have seen the monument if it was in Mexico, as the vicar of St. David's observes.
Some scholar in the " Gloucester (England) Journal thus translated it,  at the same time:
"Madoc my name, oft soaked in billows dire, Owen, the Prince of North Wales was my sire, My sole ambition was to scour the main Despising native honors, wealth and fame."
Another translation was given by one who is described as "a young lady, who is excellently accomplished in all the amiable Beauties of mind, person and conversation—the Graces, the Muses, and the Virtues are her own"—as follows:
"Here lies the mighty Owen's Heir
In glorious deeds as well as birth:
I scom'd of Lands the menial care
And sought through seas a foreign Earth."
Our classical readers may be gratified by a perusal of a Latin translation of the Epitaph which appeared in the Gentleman s Magazine, Volume x, page 519.
That the Welsh Prince Madoc, son of Owen King of Wales, went with a colony from that country to America, and left there traces of his language, seems probable. All accounts of him afterwards are doubtless fables and conjectures.— [editor.]

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Stop Me If You've Heard This Before...

Alarmists are nothing new, per this 1989 article:


Archive - Associated Press

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked

PETER JAMES SPIELMANN

June 29, 1989

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.



Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.

As the warming melts polar icecaps, ocean levels will rise by up to three feet, enough to cover the Maldives and other flat island nations, Brown told The Associated Press in an interview on Wednesday.

Coastal regions will be inundated; one-sixth of Bangladesh could be flooded, displacing a fourth of its 90 million people. A fifth of Egypt’s arable land in the Nile Delta would be flooded, cutting off its food supply, according to a joint UNEP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study.

″Ecological refugees will become a major concern, and what’s worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn’t have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?″ he said.

UNEP estimates it would cost the United States at least $100 billion to protect its east coast alone.
Shifting climate patterns would bring back 1930s Dust Bowl conditions to Canadian and U.S. wheatlands, while the Soviet Union could reap bumper crops if it adapts its agriculture in time, according to a study by UNEP and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Excess carbon dioxide is pouring into the atmosphere because of humanity’s use of fossil fuels and burning of rain forests, the study says. The atmosphere is retaining more heat than it radiates, much like a greenhouse.

The most conservative scientific estimate that the Earth’s temperature will rise 1 to 7 degrees in the next 30 years, said Brown.

The difference may seem slight, he said, but the planet is only 9 degrees warmer now than during the 8,000-year Ice Age that ended 10,000 years ago.

Brown said if the warming trend continues, ″the question is will we be able to reverse the process in time? We say that within the next 10 years, given the present loads that the atmosphere has to bear, we have an opportunity to start the stabilizing process.″

He said even the most conservative scientists ″already tell us there’s nothing we can do now to stop a ... change″ of about 3 degrees.

″Anything beyond that, and we have to start thinking about the significant rise of the sea levels ... we can expect more ferocious storms, hurricanes, wind shear, dust erosion.″
He said there is time to act, but there is no time to waste.

UNEP is working toward forming a scientific plan of action by the end of 1990, and the adoption of a global climate treaty by 1992. In May, delegates from 103 nations met in Nairobi, Kenya - where UNEP is based - and decided to open negotiations on the treaty next year.

Nations will be asked to reduce the use of fossil fuels, cut the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane and fluorocarbons, and preserve the rain forests.

″We have no clear idea about the ecological minimum of green space that the planet needs to function effectively. What we do know is that we are destroying the tropical rain forest at the rate of 50 acres a minute, about one football field per second,″ said Brown.

Each acre of rain forest can store 100 tons of carbon dioxide and reprocess it into oxygen.

Brown suggested that compensating Brazil, Indonesia and Kenya for preserving rain forests may be necessary.

The European Community is talking about a half-cent levy on each kilowatt- hour of fossil fuels to raise $55 million a year to protect the rain forests, and other direct subsidies may be possible, he said.

The treaty could also call for improved energy efficiency, increasing conservation, and for developed nations to transfer technology to Third World nations to help them save energy and cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Brown.

[2019 fact check - "According to an ongoing temperature analysis conducted by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880."]