I saw a headline about preparing for Global Cooling and I winced. Not this again!
I mean, of course, after involuntarily taking an environmental studies class that beat any doubt out of me and defeated my will to argue with them, it seems that the climate is changing, but whether people are causing it is still up for debate. Of course not! All the carbon dioxide and temperatures rising so quickly... All but a handful of scientists said in a (voluntary) poll that there wasn't a doubt...
The Earth is nothing but change. Why would we expect the climate to be stationary? The weather channel can't accurately predict the weather in a region more than a few days in advance, but they can predict the weather decades in advance for the whole planet with enough accuracy to warrant spending lots of money?
Call me a loony, but the contemporary environmental movement seems to me like the reboot of communism. I'm being super cereal, people! Instead of sacrificing oneself for the community and state as with classic communism, the environmentalists want us to sacrifice ourselves for the well being of the planet (read: all humanity). Think about it: global communism. After telling me that we all live on the same planet, my environmental professor asked me if we're not all equally people and why I don't care about people in China who make $2 per day as much as I care about Americans.
After reading the article Read the Sunspots about a coming global cooling, I feel a little refreshed. His whole spiel is that after studying fjord sedimentary records, he's determined that variation in the sun's brightness is the biggest driving force of change in the climate of the planet. That seems very reasonable; the sun is the only energy input into the Earth's system after all.
The climate is constantly in flux. We've only just emerged from the Little Ice Age which started at the end of the Middle Ages and ran until the mid-1800's. Turns out the Middle Ages were a warm period and they used to be able to grow grapes for wine in England, which is at present far too much to the north. Then in the 1600's people begged God to stop the Alpine glaciers from running amok. Like the economy, it's all cyclical, baby.
...We also see longer period cycles, all correlating closely with other well-known regular solar variations. In particular, we see marine productivity cycles that match well with the sun's 75-90-year "Gleissberg Cycle," the 200-500-year "Suess Cycle" and the 1,100-1,500-year "Bond Cycle." The strength of these cycles is seen to vary over time, fading in and out over the millennia...
Our finding of a direct correlation between variations in the brightness of the sun and earthly climate indicators (called "proxies") is not unique. Hundreds of other studies, using proxies from tree rings in Russia's Kola Peninsula to water levels of the Nile, show exactly the same thing: The sun appears to drive climate change.
However, there was a problem. Despite this clear and repeated correlation, the measured variations in incoming solar energy were, on their own, not sufficient to cause the climate changes we have observed in our proxies. In addition, even though the sun is brighter now than at any time in the past 8,000 years, the increase in direct solar input is not calculated to be sufficient to cause the past century's modest warming on its own. There had to be an amplifier of some sort for the sun to be a primary driver of climate change.
Indeed, that is precisely what has been discovered. [Scientists] have collectively demonstrated that as the output of the sun varies, and with it, our star's protective solar wind, varying amounts of galactic cosmic rays from deep space are able to enter our solar system and penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. These cosmic rays enhance cloud formation which, overall, has a cooling effect on the planet. When the sun's energy output is greater, not only does the Earth warm slightly due to direct solar heating, but the stronger solar wind generated during these "high sun" periods blocks many of the cosmic rays from entering our atmosphere. Cloud cover decreases and the Earth warms still more.
These new findings suggest that changes in the output of the sun caused the most recent climate change. By comparison, CO2 variations show little correlation with our planet's climate on long, medium and even short time scales.I find those two sentences I bolded to be particularly interesting.
He goes on to predict that by 2020, the sun will be starting a new Seuss Cycle (200-500 years) that'll be "the weakest in two centuries," which should trigger a new cool period. That'll be interesting to see what the environmentalists are up to in 13 years and whether they all get to stick their carbon neutral feet in their mouths.
On a completely unrelated note, my anthropology professor, who's really a very nice person, today made reference to the "prison-industrial complex."