Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Ice Age Cometh

Now that the Luddites and tree huggers have convinced most of the world that human beings—that evil race—have caused the world’s climate to get warmer or colder or even to change, it turns out that the Sun—you remember the Sun—has an exceptionally strong influence on climate.

Who knew?

And guess what, the Sun’s activity has nothing to do with greenhouse gas emissions. It does not even depend on whether you use plastic shopping bags or burn corn in your gas tank.

Many news outlets have been reporting the story. Among them, the Daily Mail:

The Sun's activity is at its lowest for 100 years, scientists have warned.

They say the conditions are eerily similar to those before the Maunder Minimum, a time in 1645 when a mini ice age hit, Freezing London's River Thames.

Researcher believe the solar lull could cause major changes, and say there is a 20% chance it could lead to 'major changes' in temperatures.

'Whatever measure you use, solar peaks are coming down,' Richard Harrison of the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC.

'I've been a solar physicist for 30 years, and I've never seen anything like this.'

He says the phenomenon could lead to colder winters similar to those during the Maunder Minimum.

'There were cold winters, almost a mini ice age. 

'You had a period when the River Thames froze.'

The Ice Age cometh.


Anonymous said...

"Scientists have warned..." about everything. And then there's the contradictory evidence. Then there's the supporting evidence. Then there's the peer review. Then there's the skeptics challenging the work, etc. That's how science works. Unless it's a law, it's a theory.

This just in... anthropomorphic global warming is a theory. A dangerous one. And it has little to do with science. It's just a new tale based on the same old tired theory: human beings are evil, and need to be eradicated. Not all human beings... just the ones they don't like (which is a large number).

Climate change is common sense... the climate changes. Which is why howling and screaming about climate change is like wailing about the seasons. They happen. Being right about a changing climate is like being right about sunrise. The anthropomorphic element of all this is the misanthropic overestimation (or eradication goal) of our species.

And yes, it is shocking -- SHOCKING -- that the sun impact's the Earth's climate. As Will Ferrell's Harry Caray SNL spoof said of the sun: "Without that thing, we're all dead!" Never anything truer said.

I was struck by global warming (now sanitized as "climate change," kind of like Altria) the first time I heard of it. People were freaking out about a one degree centigrade increase in global temperature, with hockey stick graphs to boot. And they were all liberals, and the really looney people were Leftists, and the apocalyptic wackos were environmentalists, and the psychotics were animal rights activists. I found it very strange. And the solutions were always the same: massive government and U.N. intervention reflecting their political philosophy. Kind of like single payer healthcare. It's all about controlling people because you know better how they should lead their lives. It's bureaucratic tyranny.

So I'm waiting for what's next after the climate change hoax is over. I suppose it'll have to be something even more out there. Maybe it will be something like how we're using too much electricity, and it's overwhelming the Earth's lightning system and opening up the ozone layer and reaching out to decay the Van Allen radiation belts and we're all going to slowly, cruelly die of radiation poisoning because we're the selfish animals who inhabit the planet and destroy it.

We're human. We're evil. Get with the program.


Anonymous said...

Follow the money.

Sam L. said...

Nooooooo. How can this possibly be? We've been assured that "top men, climate scientists, agree that we are causing global warming and that big ball of light in the sky has NOZZINK to do mit it!

I know Global Warming is real--where I grew up, half the state was glaciated 15KL years ago. Which was (go, furious fingers, go!) mmmmmmmmmmm, yes, before SUVs!, before OIL!, before over-population!, before the industrial revolution!

Anonymous said...

Tabloid hype? Perhaps we should worry about volcanos (by the little ice age article below)? Are there any sign of imminent explosions? Certainly holding a 7-billion population in the long term is a dicey plan when all the potential local and global hazards.
"Doing a fingerprint analysis, which identifies the climate influences that produce the climate changes we actually measure, researchers showed that volcanoes and greenhouse gasses were the largest influences on the climate over the last 1,000 years, with greenhouse gasses playing a role even before their recent rise due to industrialization. ... Nevertheless, the study is another point against the idea that the Sun's variability has had a significant influence on the historic climate. And, in that, it's consistent with the majority of other results."

But while we're practicing our denial, top-10 hottest year on record needs more little downplaying.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/18/14 @7:12 PM:

"Tabloid hype," indeed.

Please re-read the first article you referenced. The lede is laughable. As usual, I never know whether these true believers are being funny or serious. The article demonstrates the nutty uncertainty the "science is settled" crowd is peddling. Every time a climate change advocate references more "evidence," the more skeptical I get. This is no exception.

There are no anthropomorphic volcanoes. And the article says this warming trend is pre-industrialization. Thank goodness it said "it's consistent with the majority of other results" before the author risked being hauled in front of the IPCC's Star Chamber Court.

So I am now devastated, consumed with guilt, recognizing my species' butchering of Mother Earth. And that's the point, isn't it? The devastation, the guilt... whipping everyone up into an apocalyptic frenzy to demand political action before they read the fine print (which says the politicians, climate clerics and bureaucrats will be your new masters). At least Nietzsche had the humility to stop at God.

As for the second reference, Russia may have had the top-10 hottest year on record. 2010 was the coldest winter there in 1,000 years. Pick one.

As usual with this crowd, it's "heads I win, tails you lose." Every Leftist prayer begins with "Studies say..." or "Science says..." Yet the claims within are usually contradictory, while both sides seem so certain. How do you account for this?

Examine the proposed political "solutions" to this Armageddon-like problem, and you'll see it's basically a wish list cooked up by hard Left and self-loathing fringe ideologues. As if government is not a big enough influence on our lives.

I'm not a denier that the climate is changing (which is common sense, regardless of its direction), but I am definitely a skeptic about the anthropomorphic part. I am one of the radical Luddites who doesn't give a &%#$ about what Leonardo DiCaprio says... about anything. The more I hear the smug, righteous certainty of the climate change crowd (while they call me names for questioning them), the more resolve I have. When a "green economy" profiteer idiot like Al Gore is telling me the "the science is settled," and our certifiable no-nothing president says "under my plan, electricity prices would necessarily skyrocket" while saying he's standing for the middle class, I want to vomit.

Who has the courage to tell the truth? AlGore and Barama have laughed at people like me so many times because they are so smart and we are so dumb. We're told climate is so complex, yet somehow they have a clear grasp of it. Activists shout mantras like "weather is not climate" while unable to distinguish the two themselves. It's like we're living in a Monty Python skit, but the dead parrot is the dead Earth.

In the face of all this scientific uncertainty and the tyrannical "solutions" proposed in the face of it (which, strangely, we are told will have no efficacy), I dissent.



Sam L. said...

For those of you wondering, BOHICA is a military acronym for Bend Over, Here It Comes Again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tip for expressing your concern that climate change is partisan hype, but ignoring the political motives should be different than ignoring the scientific evidence. Cherry picking is a political virtue, and a scientific vice.

The second link is about global average temperature, not just Russia which had a record warm November. I don't have any idea why you're so convinced it is not related to human activity - whether by fossil fuels, deforestation, desertification, or

Myself, I long considered that the record highs that starting being consistent into the 1990's were a short term cycle riding a long term trend that can reverse, so I was concerned about overstating the evidence. I admit I was shocked to see Newt and Pelosi's 2008 video on climate change.

Myself I've been more concerned about the certainty of resource depletion and demands of world population, and the rest of the world trying to catch up to American levels of consumption. I know it won't happen, but I don't know why - whether economics, energy, food, war, or climate change will be the most dominant limits to growth in the next 30 years.

Of all the disasters coming, it seems to me that population the "easiest" intractable problem, not to say its easy at all, but actually impossible, but at least family planning ought to be a no brainer, and conservatives under the virtue of life have to reject any organization that includes abortion, even as a last resort.

I do love the conservative story "God, why haven't you brought us a cure to cancer? ... I tried, but you aborted her." Perfect passive victim mentality of the Right, scapegoating all harm in the world to someone else's bad decision.

Anyway, I do think anyone who thinks they understand anything at all by reading tabloid news is not looking for truth, but entertainment and humanity I guess deserves what we get. So that's my passive victim mentality alive and well, looking at a culture with a big "kick me" sign on our butts.

Really right now, the only personal response I see is to avoid personal debt like the plague. Anything else is just making you a slave to someone else who doesn't care about whether you care our the future or not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/19/14 @10:59 PM:

I guess I have more faith in humanity than you do. I do think that, more often than naught, people make the right decisions when they are living in equilibrium. This means eliminating subsidies so that people experience the true impact of their choices and behavior. I so not believe it compassionate to subsidize amoral and antisocial behavior. No need to list those things here. Human beings have a marvelous ability to adapt.

As for climate change, I never said man has no impact. I said this has been greatly exaggerated. If you don't think science has become politicized in the last 30 years, I don't know what to tell you. I actually believe the political sphere is by far the worst way for a nation to allocate resources, mostly because the power of the political class in America has become all-pervasive, and it is a profession that attracts talented people and quickly corrupts them. I'll not listen to lectures from Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich. They're both windbags and would read a Dr. Seuss book in front of a camera if given the chance,

I'm with you on the personal debt and American consumption habits. I am not with you on the global population issue. If you think me an ostrich, so be it. The human condition is what it is, and experience and faith have taught me know man is perfect and has all the answers. Global climate change has many adherents, just like every angle of every issue. I am a skeptic, meaning I don't go around proclaiming things I don't understand. I believe the Earth's climate is a very complex thing, and I tire of listening to experts, politicians and specialists telling me we haven't much time. It he solutions are all nonsense because of Third World exemptions.

I could on, but it doesn't really matter, does it? People will do what they do because they can. The other option is to control and enslave them. That's what the modern state is about. The new Caesar.


Anonymous said...

Tip, faith is good. I keep hearing about that in the new agers, everything will keep working out if we just all follow our hearts.

Myself, I feel safer if we're proactive, although I admit it is a difficult problem to see what level problems can be solved - destroying nuclear weapons is a national issue, although it takes a grass roots effort to convince people we should destroy them BEFORE we fall into the 30 year great depression where centralized power collapses. But we have bliss to feel, and we can trust the government to protect these important tools of democracy.

Incidentally the phase "more often than naught" looks funny since naught means zero or nothing - perhaps you meant "more often than not" rather than "more often than nothing".

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/20/14 @8:16 PM:

I wasn't talking about a specific brand of faith. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "everything will keep working out if we just all follow our hearts." That sort of thinking can open man to self-deception and delusion. I'm not sure where "New Age" thinking comes from. If anything, its ascendance reflects individualized spirituality, apart from the moorings of organized religion and metaphysical inquiry. This increasing subjectivity and atomization of faith experience has its own consequences, not entirely positive in my view.

I do have faith that humanity at large makes sound decisions when there are clear feedback loops in place. Nature, education and religion provide these things from a real, practical and cultural perspective. Subsidy, ignorance and corruption retard feedback loops. Our hearts need a sound foundation, carefully discerned as the mind develops. When we lose virtue, ethics and character as the bedrock of education, we see individuals begin to use knowledge as a tool for power rather than focusing on what it means to lead a good life, connected with others. Hence the destabilizing social consequences of vacant consumerism. The same is true of science. Money and knowledge are tools… to what ends? It seems we've forgotten the essence of the soul. And indeed why not? You can't say anything about the soul in our schools today except to criticize it, which is indoctrination.

You seem to have a strong faith in science (and the evidence it posits that I question as a layperson). Science is wonderful and has led to many breakthroughs in material comfort and public health. But science is limited in its ability to feed man's essence, because it is an analytical pursuit. It cannot love. Indeed, it has been used for evil many, many times. Anything can become politicized, including education, religion, science, etc. Today's science has become increasingly politicized (with virtue and morality becoming lost or optional), and before long becomes a means to power as its own end, playing god in capabilities (what is possible) without ethics (character, conduct). So I follow the money when I consider the trajectory of scientific consensus (particularly among non-scientific people who cite theoretical science that support their positions), because the pursuit of money for its own sake is a human failing, and opens the individual to corruption since his fellow man may be an obstacle in his will to power.

And I see you have an apocalyptic view of what's coming down the pike in terms of the world falling apart, nuclear weapons, etc. I do not share this view, though the world is a scary place in many respects, as it is wonderful. Nuclear weapons have helped maintain peace and stability throughout the world, preventing a continuation of the mechanized slaughter of the first two world wars. This has led to population increases, to be sure, which I suspect you are concerned about. Being that we cannot have it both ways, I prefer the present nuclear arrangements, though Iran's entry into the club causes me to rethink things a bit. I feel safer with America having a nuclear deterrent.

If you are so certain the world is going to hell in a hand basket in the next 30 years, why do you care about climate change? When government collapses, we will need more arable land. It's cold that kills. I don't engage the over-population game because it's the same tired conversation since Malthus published his treatise in 1798. After the population growth rate peaked in the 1990s, it has been declining overall, and this is projected to continue.

Humanity is not a problem. I will acknowledge that homo sapiens is a fallen creature, but that doesn't mean man must be controlled, contained or eradicated.

And thank you for correcting my English. Always helpful.


Anonymous said...

Tip said "I do have faith that humanity at large makes sound decisions when there are clear feedback loops in place."

There's a potential contradiction here - on the one had, libertarians say we have to maximize freedom at all costs, and on the other we need "feedback loops" that are categorically rejected as limiting freedom.

I 100% agree on "clear feedback systems", and the problem is someone has to play the bad guy and say "no" to individual selfishness that has long term costs to a society's viability. Who wants that responsibility when you can play a short term win-win game of telling people what they want to hear for fun and profit.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/21/14 @1:33 PM:

I actually wrote you a detailed response yesterday. For whatever reason, it didn't post. Please allow me the liberty of a disorganized re-hash:

I am not a libertarian, so I cannot speak to that. I think most libertarians forget that man is a social animal, living in community. Often other members of the community (as in everyone) drive him nuts. Par for the course here in reality, which is not where most libertarians live. However…

Feedback loops are absolutely essential, and they are best unencumbered so they're accurate. Subsidy retards feedback because the recipient of the subsidy doesn't understand the true price of anything. He usually consumes more and comes to believe himself entitled. This is a rational response, and grossly inefficient. It creates free riders.

And yes, of course someone has to say "no" in an adult society. People are saying "yes" because of all the subsidies floating around out there, paid for by other peoples' money. Rich, guilt-ridden people favor policies that create more subsidies so they can feel better about themselves. And then recipients have no idea what the true cost is of producing them (once the bureaucracy takes its generous cut). But it makes the guilty feel better, while the recipients become delusional and addicted to their entitlements. The result: great suffering. It's all about feeling good, and that is what is selfish… both ways. And that is what happens when society and culture becomes fragmented in terms of its spiritual, moral and cultural code. People think they're being generous, when they're really just doing it to make themselves feel better. And recipients feel better, while not acknowledging the generosity, and become hooked on it because it comes from the ether.

And yes, "Who wants that responsibility when you can play a short term win-win game of telling people what they want to hear for fun and profit?"

Indeed, of course. Yucky. Why do you think the state of New York thinks Bridge card subsidies are super-duper? Because it adds more money into their economy. It's not compassionate, it's selfish. And everyone's on the take. Typical socialist outcome. Did you know 15 years ago the head of welfare services in New York didn't want food stamps expanded because he didn't believe it was good for the recipient. My, how far we've come…

It's all a lie, and we're getting more comfortable with lying in America. I wonder why...


Anonymous said...

Tip, I think we're on the same side in many things, but there's always many helpful ways to assess facts.

Ultimately you can consider everything an "entitlement", even clean water is something we think we deserve, but its something animals don't much worry about. So is expecting to live past age 40 an entitlement, or is it a good investment for society - to provide resources so its members can pass on their wisdom for the next generation to ignore.

I admit when I was younger, I had no idea how we could be so (materially) wealthy, to have so many resources at our disposal, and after college reading showed me that fossil fuels explain the answer. E.F. Schumacher said we've not "solved" the problem of production unless we've solved the problem of energy.

So if you consider spending down a million years of fossil fuel deposits per year, with energy returns of 10:1, or 100:1 its easier to understand where our real entitlement comes from.

Industrialists say we need energy returns of at least 6:1 to cover the most basic structures of modern society, and we can compare that to ethanol or biodiesel which have energy returns in the range of 0.6:1 (net loss) to possibly 3:1 if you don't need high return volumes and can let nature do more of the work.

So that's my perspective when I worry about subsidizing food stamps or transportation or housing. once you lift the curtain, its unsustainable subsidies all the way down.

So when people say we can't afford carbon taxes (a form of "saying no" to unlimited consumption of a finite resource), I agree, but only because we're weak-willed addicts, so "growth economics" that makes modern miracles is approaching an end-game and we have no idea what exists on the other side.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough. I hear what you're saying. But let's go back to where we started this thread... basing all this law, policy and regulation on an Armageddon-based "climate science" lie isn't a platform for conservation or conscientious use of earth's bounty... it merely empowers unaccountable bureaucrats and entrenched ideological political actors to control your destiny. That doesn't sit with me. So now we're back to the tabloid nonsense we started with, and I say that largely begins with Al Gore and all his environmentalist cronies who have yeti-sized carbon footprints flying all over the world talking like Brando's Jor-El on an immanently dying Krypton, vomiting nonsense about hockey sticks and certain doom, accompanied by undeserved accolades and vacuous speaking appearances telling the rest of us how to live and and taxing us into oblivion to realize a heaven they'd never agree to live in themselves were it not for all the billions they've fleeced off an inefficient, grossly-subsidized "green economy." In Apple speak, it's iBarf.


Anonymous said...

Its a curious irrational argument - on the one hand conservatives feel resentful over Al Gore's bloated consumption that he can apparently afford no matter how high energy taxes get, YET not feel at all resentful that a few thousand people have maneuvered themselves into controlling the majority of the wealth in the world.

I never liked Carbon trading, so I think a carbon tax is more democratic, and it can be revenue neutral, so you can charge higher taxes on gasoline, natural gas, coal, consumption, and then reimburse that tax back onto tax payers as a reduction of their income taxes, or payroll taxes.

So rather than subsidizing alternative energy, you make carbon-dirty energy more expensive and let them all compete and if there are alternative energies that will make our future less polluting, and more sustainable, this will inspire inventors and producers to make them, and sooner than we need to, if we simply waited for supply and demand prices, or pollution or climate change effects to demand it.

There's no downside EXCEPT of our economic is a lie, is a pyramid scheme that only exist because it can find ways of destroying more of the world faster than the year before. So any path to sustainability would slow economic growth AND "punish" poor people who are not able to live with below average energy use (like rural communities perhaps?) So you can "subsidize" and give people excepts and say why they don't have to carry their own weight to moving towards a carbon-free economy, or just do your best to push in that direction.

But yes, I know Al Gore is a big fat pig, and exaggerated the rate that Greenland and Antarctica will melt, so probably its all a hoax and we'll be laughing someday in our cow-dung heated igloos, because the tabloids said so.