Archive for January, 2012
New Ice Age

In 2010 we discussed the possibility of a Dalton minimum here. The British media now report:

Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a 92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

Journey to Perplexity puts the implications thus:

From the memoirs of Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, a blast from the past reporting on the Little Ice Age and the horrible effects of global cooling!  An excerpt from Chapter XLIV:

One of the reasons Madame de Maintenon had brought forward, which much assisted her in opposing the siege of Lille, was the excessive cold of this winter [1708-09]. The winter was, in fact, terrible; the memory of man could find no parallel to it. The frost came suddenly on Twelfth Night, and lasted nearly two months, beyond all recollection. In four days the Seine and all the other rivers were frozen, and,—what had never been seen before,—the sea froze all along the coasts, so as to bear carts, even heavily laden, upon it. Curious observers pretended that this cold surpassed what had ever been felt in Sweden and Denmark. The tribunals were closed a considerable time. The worst thing was, that it completely thawed for seven or eight days, and then froze again as rudely as before. This caused the complete destruction of all kinds of vegetation—even fruit-trees; and others of the most hardy kind, were destroyed. The violence of the cold was such, that the strongest elixirs and the most spirituous liquors broke their bottles in cupboards of rooms with fires in them, and surrounded by chimneys, in several parts of the chateau of Versailles. As I myself was one evening supping with the Duc de Villeroy, in his little bedroom, I saw bottles that had come from a well- heated kitchen, and that had been put on the chimney-piece of this bed- room (which was close to the kitchen), so frozen, that pieces of ice fell into our glasses as we poured out from them. The second frost ruined everything. There were no walnut-trees, no olive-trees, no apple-trees, no vines left, none worth speaking of, at least. The other trees died in great numbers; the gardens perished, and all the grain in the earth. It is impossible to imagine the desolation of this general ruin. Everybody held tight his old grain. The price of bread increased in proportion to the despair for the next harvest. The most knowing resowed barley where there had been wheat, and were imitated by the majority. They were the most successful, and saved all; but the police bethought themselves of prohibiting this, and repented too late! Divers edicts were published respecting grain, researches were made and granaries filled; commissioners were appointed to scour the provinces, and all these steps contributed to increase the general dearness and poverty, and that, too, at a time when, as was afterwards proved, there was enough corn in the country to feed all France for two years, without a fresh ear being reaped.

Particularly given the rest of the World’s woes this is not good news. While we hope we are wrong about the global economy, we pray we are wrong about the increasing probability of an imminent ice age. The governments responses to the GFC are making the inevitable downturn worse. They have kicked the adjustment can down the road at the cost of making the inevitable adjustments more painful. Just as the State stepped in to mitigate the effect of the little ice age and “all these steps contributed to increase the general dearness and poverty” so with the GFC. I have no doubt our industrious leaders will similarly exacerbate the detrimental effects global coldening. Just as they have for global warming.

Make no mistake governments have through their plethora of policies and grants done real damage in the name of mitigating the effects of global warming. People have gone cold, hungry and without medical care because of the resultant perversion of public policy preferences. Those kind hearted Greens and their enablers have blood on their hands. This may include you, your family or friends. If so, then repent your position. Confess your mistakes and try to undo the evil done in the name of stopping global warming. As  Confucius said “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake”. To err is human and we are all only too human. Something Mercury Malcolm should consider.

The one advantage of concern about an ice age is it presents the possibility of continued funding to academic climate scientists if human induced warming concerns are dismissed by policy makers. No longer will climate alarmists be faced with the choice of continuing to sing from the warmist hymn book or finding a new career. They can simply change the nature of their concerns. After all, it would not be the first time. This may speed up the rate at which the discipline recants, helping to stop the implementation of climate alarmist policies. This will save lives and reduce poverty.

 

 

 
Unprecedented money printing

Great post from Barry:

Living In A QE World

All Central Bank Balance Sheets Are Exploding Higher, Or Engaged In QE

The degree to which central banks around the world are printing money is unprecedented.

The first eight charts below show the balance sheets of the largest central banks in the world. They are the European Central Bank (ECB), the Federal Reserve (Fed), the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the Bank of England (BoE), the Bundesbank (Germany), the Banque de France, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB).  Noted on the charts are significant events or growth rates.

His charts tell the story for each the world’s 8 largest central banks individually and in combination. If you are interested, read the whole thing. The implications are enormous. Our view of the most likely outcome is detailed here. At some point the world’s major central banks will suffer from indigestion after eating so many toxic securities. At that point we will enter a new world.

For a light hearted and informative parable of how we for here, have a look at: Mad meat! how securitized lending collapsed the financial system. Barry’s charts show just how many toxic sausages our central bankers have consumed.

 

 
It is human to believe in property rights

Australians may love freedom most. But a belief in property rights appears be innate to humanity.

Kids Are Capitalists

Now a new study shows youngsters exhibit very strong beliefs about property rights. Eric Falkenberg quotes a recent psychology paper’s abstract proving the naturalness of property rights:

Rather than being learned from parents, a concept of property rights may automatically grow out of 2- to 3-year-olds’ ideas about bodily rights, such as assuming that another person can’t touch or control one’s body for no reason, Friedman proposed…

Friedman’s team presented a simple quandary to 40 preschoolers, ages 4 and 5, and to 44 adults. Participants saw an image of a cartoon boy holding a crayon who appeared above the word “user” and a cartoon girl who appeared above the word “owner.” After hearing from an experimenter that the girl wanted her crayon back, volunteers were asked to rule on which cartoon child should get the prized object.

About 75 percent of 4- and 5-year-olds decided in favor of the owner, versus about 20 percent of adults.

In other words, the truth is the opposite of what the “property is theft” people would have us believe. We start out with a strong sense that ownership is paramount. It’s only later that we become socialized into soft forms of socialism that deny property rights.

Wow, to be human is to believe in property rights. What does that make those who want to trample on them? Monsters? Yep.

People have a right to do what they wish with their own body and property, provided it does not infringe on the rights of others to do likewise. This is not necessarily a God given right. It flows from our very DNA. It is part of what makes us human. That’s why it applies to people, not all living things. Sorry Mr Singer, you’re flat out wrong. Although Spain has created an alternative reality, at least for now. No wonder they have 22.9% unemployment. Their legislature’s as barmy as the Australian Greens.

Of course, they say the devil is in the detail. And it sure is when there are conflicting property rights. But as they say, that’s a subject for another post.