The Spell, by William Fettes Douglas, 1864. © National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, The Bridgeman Art Library. 

Magic Shows

Volume V, Number 3 | summer 2012


A doctoral student in economics at Harvard University in 2004 compared the rise and fall of temperatures to the likelihood of witch trials in Europe, discovering that they often formed an inverse relationship. The average temperature between roughly 1520 and 1770 was two degrees lower than previous centuries, leading to crop failure and economic instability. The majority of trials and executions for witchcraft occurred during the period, known as the “little ice age.”

There is not so contemptible a plant or animal that does not confound the most enlarged understanding.

- John Locke, 1689


U.S. secretary of agriculture Sonny Perdue meets with German minister of food and agriculture Christian Schmidt, 2017.


Equal Climates


U.S. Department of Agriculture bans words related to climate change.


Aristotle denies that the climate is changing.


LQ Podcast

#11 John Strausbaugh

Lewis H. Lapham talks with John Strausbaugh, author of City of Sedition: The History of New York City During the Civil War. More