Jun

19

 There's a plethora of articles recently published that discuss the possibility of the sunspot cycle going into hibernation for awhile and a new Maunder Minimum (Period of decreased solar activity lasting ~70 years or more that caused a "Little Ice Age") taking place. There are articles here, here, and here that discuss a new solar minimum. Already this possibility is being politicized by the global warming crowd and articles are saying this, this, and outright falsehoods in this article.

There are many comments based on opinion and no science, like this one swirling around that said, "A new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions," wrote authors Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf, noting that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change forecast a maximum 4.5 degree Celsius rise by this century's end compared to the latter half of the 20th century. On that last partisan note, I expect that if there was a new solar minimum, the sun would have a solar flux of 11% of it's peak value and 50% of it's average minimum value. During that period, sunspot count could approach zero and average solar output could drop by 0.9-1.3%, going way below the solar constant. A solar minimum could be a big deal with a huge planetary climate disruption. Thinking ahead by looking to the past, one notes that Oats, barley, beets, other cold weather crops and "Ancient grains" all had an increased planting range during the last Maunder Minimum. Other crops like wheat, rice, and tropical crops had a shrinking planting range.

Jim Sogi comments:

This just shows how facts can be picked to substantiate any thesis. The verity, relevance, reliability, conflict of interest in any particular fact or its origin may affect its reliability and thus the strength of whatever conclusion is being drawn. These factors can also be used to spin facts to support spurious conclusions. Irrelevant facts often determine outcomes of decisions based on their emotive content or recency. These are well known heuristics. I know this probably better than anyone on this list. We see scientific studies by drug and food companies misused to promote their products. We see facts misused by the propagandists of the power elite to distort the truth. Thus the use of facts is not the only road to truth. The use of reflection, thought in the absence of fact can be useful and productive.

Vincent Andres writes: 

Thus, as long as the IPCC satisfies its true clients, it can– like its clients– completely ignore the critics. They are valueless, unimportant and powerless. That is what it has learned-– the classic "mind over matter" trick. It doesn't mind and we don't matter. That is the way modern government works, and the IPCC is part of it– as this brazen example shows.


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  1. Greg Rehmke on June 19, 2011 12:36 pm

    How can we best measure the distortion caused by current green enthusiasms and regulations based on faith in global warming/climate change caused by CO2 increases? How many tens of thousands of engineers are working on green technologies that will have little or no value without green legislation and enthusiasms?

    A few months of cooling from a cooler sun, will lead eventually to wider understanding of how misguided the anti-CO2 crowd is, and at least some costly green mandates will be ended. (Everyday technology advances proved most gains in energy efficiency and decreases in pollution anyway, but the truly useless and counterproductive green mandates would be swept away by the reality of a cooler sun backing the scientific theories of sun-driven climate variation.)

    So, will the economic gains from ending green mandates go some way to add capacity to accommodate climate changes from a cooling sun. (And will reduced air conditioning bills in the U.S. south counter increased heating costs in the north? And happily the housing boom and bust has supplied vast quantities of empty housing across the southern states and in Spain for those wishing to escape the coming cold winters).

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