Category: Environment
Solar flares

This eruption may have come to nothing:

Huge Solar Flare’s Magnetic Storm May Disrupt Satellites, Power Grids: A massive solar flare that erupted from the sun late Tuesday (March 6) is unleashing one of the most powerful solar storms in more than five years, a solar tempest that may potentially interfere with satellites in orbit and power grids when it reaches Earth….

The sun’s activity ebbs and flows on an 11-year cycle. The sun is in the midst of Solar Cycle 24, and activity is expected to ramp up toward the solar maximum in 2013.

But just in case I’ll be unplugging my computer tonight. Whatever happens with this solar flare, the underlying risk remains:

1 in 8 Chance of Catastrophic Solar Megastorm by 2020: The Earth has a roughly 12 percent chance of experiencing an enormous megaflare erupting from the sun in the next decade. This event could potentially cause trillions of dollars’ worth of damage and take up to a decade to recover from.

Such an extreme event is considered to be relatively rare. The last gigantic solar storm, known as the Carrington Event, occurred more than 150 years ago and was the most powerful such event in recorded history.

That a rival to this event might have a greater than 10 percent chance of happening in the next 10 years was surprising to space physicist Pete Riley, senior scientist at Predictive Science in San Diego, California, who published the estimate in Space Weather on Feb. 23.

“Even if it’s off by a factor of two, that’s a much larger number than I thought,” he said.

Earth’s sun goes through an 11-year cycle of increased and decreased activity. During solar maximum, it’s dotted with many sunspots and enormous magnetic whirlwinds erupt from its surface. Occasionally, these flares burst outward from the sun, spewing a mass of charged particles out into space

There’s an interesting site here.

We have long been concerned at the correlation between sun spots, volcanoes and earthquakes.The Chifio has been posting in it periodically for some time. He points out:

Quakes – California and South America: We’ve got a quake in South America – 6.1 in Argentina (which seems a bit odd) along with a 4.0 that the news is saying was in “San Francisco” but the map shows it in the East Bay (on that Hayward / Calaveras side I’ve been worrying for a year or three now… so the question now is: “One and done? Or Foreshock?”…) This one is on the Hayward that runs right through the heart of U.C. Berkeley.

On the subject of cosmic influences on earth, the reference frame has an interesting post from Nick Calder on the effects of cosmic rays:

Supernova remnants → cosmic rays → solar modulation of cosmic rays → variations in cluster and sulphuric acid production → variation in cloud condensation nuclei → variation in low cloud formation → variation in climate.

Essentially we appear to have experimental evidence supporitng the Svensmark hypothesis. Changes in the world’s temperature are not primarily driven by human induced emissions of CO2.

The human induced global warming hype is simply another example of vested interests expropriating our wealth for their gain. We are living in the time before the theft is fully recognized. We do not realize how poor we now are. The money spent on desalination plants, bats in and out of roofs, windmills, solar cell, insulation schemes and as a consequence of building codes is gone forever. The results of that expenditure is not generating a return. It was wasted, we are the poorer for it. All the money printing in the world can not bring the real value of that expenditure back. It can but deceive us as to our financial state, for a while. It can also help redirect our view of who is responsible for our impoverishment when that impoverishment is realized.

 
Global anti carbon tax coalition

The China Post reports:

Countries opposed to an EU law forcing the world’s airlines to pay for greenhouse gas emissions agreed on a basket of retaliatory measures, adding to a series of threats that have raised the prospect of the globe’s first carbon trade war.

Not possible I hear you say. The world noted Australia’s legislated imposition of an ETS via a carbon tax and are now moving full steam ahead implement their own. It must be. China, the US, India, Japan and others were just waiting for Australia to legislate for an ETS. They can not possibly be opposed to the EU ETS covering international air travel. But they are. They are all members of the Coalition of the unwilling, which included:

Representatives of Armenia, Argentina, Republic of Belarus, Brazil, Cameroon, Chile, China, Cuba, Guatemala, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda and United States of America, gathered in Moscow, on the 21st and 22nd February 2012,.

Of course, despite domestic distractions the Australian government will be protecting our interests. Australians travel further than almost anyone else when going to Europe, so the impost will be particularly hard on them. But somehow we seem to have missed the Moscow meeting. This despite it involving our biggest trading partners. Surely the government could not be embarrassed at such a rapid world-wide refutation of its impose a carbon tax rhetoric?

China has instructed its airlines not to pay the fee. Russia is considering doing likewise:

The Russian government is now reviewing a bill prohibiting Russian airlines to participate in emission trading: It means considering a retaliatory approach,” Aeroflot said on the eve of the talks…

Aeroflot said the law could cost it 800 million euros ($1.05 billion) by 2025. It warned that the opposition could change its approach from “oral protestations” to “various forms of trade wars with the EU.”

Will the Australian government do likewise? Of course not, what does it care about our hip pockets. It’s already demonstrated a callous disregard with it imposition of a carbon tax as an intermediary step to an ETS. Don’t ask me why we have to go through a carbon dioxide tax to get to a carbon dioxide emission trading scheme. I did not vote for one. Almost no one in Australia did. Our major parties promised not to introduce one during the election campaign.

But once in office… promises? Only the little people have to keep those. What’s our word worth compared to imposing our will, to transforming society? To creating a world without exploitation of man the environment? The creation of a new era, one in which our land will last a thousand years, rather than being largely submerged in a couple of hundred. Mao would have loved the rhetoric. Speaking of Mao, check out this suit?

Our politicians acted so our children will again know rain not perpetual drought. So English children will be able to see snow. Sigh, those were the days, before floods in Australia and snow drifts in England demonstrated the hollowness of the climate alarmists claims.  But why let facts get in the way of rhetoric and enriching vested interests? Marxist ending of exploitation of man by man does not move the masses anymore. But ending exploitation of the environment still garnishes votes and subsidies to a privileged few.

In the real world a global coalition of the unwilling has formed to fight the imposition of a carbon tax on international air travel. The coalition unites the economic, political, military and population heavyweights of the US, Russia, China, India, Japan and dozens of other countries. Come on Canada. Come on Australia. You can do it. You too can stand up to the Europeans. They are so broke they would be mad to risk a trade war. But they must have been mad to have got themselves into their present state.

Unlikely as it may seem, I guess we have to add a carbon tax induced trade war to our list of global black or grey swans. After all, even the BBC recognizes the possibility. As if we needed another.

 
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.