Ethics Observations On The Impending “Little Ice Age” And Climate Change


From Alphr:

Between the years 1645 and 1715, there was a period of bitterly cold winters in the northern hemisphere. The winters were so cold that the Thames completely froze.This was caused by low solar activity, known as the Maunder Minimum, and when it will happen again has been a source of debate among scientists. Well, according to a new model that promises 97% accuracy, we’re due another “little ice age” in 15 to 25 years time. The prediction is the work of mathematics professor Valentina Zharkova from Northumbria University, examining the sun’s so-called “11-year heartbeat”. This is the period at which the sun’s activity remains steady before fluctuating every 10-12 years. Zharkova’s new model forecasts solar cycles based on two layers of moving fluid within the sun, one near the surface and another in the convection zone. By using this model, Zharkova’s team found their predictions “showed an accuracy of 97%”.

At this moment, I’m not concerned about whether the prediction is right or wrong; there’s plenty of time for me to buy ear muffs. I do think it is fascinating, however, and I offer these observations:

1. Question: Why has this story been virtually ignored by the mainstream news media?  Answer: Because progressive journalists haven’t figured out how to reconcile their climate change, environmentalist, pro-EPA dictatorship, “all climate change skeptics are idiots and the equivalent of Holocaust deniers” narrative with its implications, that’s why. This is news, don’t you think? “Fit to print,” correct? Any time some semi-respectable scientist predicts that we have 20 years left to knee-cap American industry or the seas will boil, that’s headlines at MSNBC and the Times, isn’t it? I can’t think of a more blatant example of unprofessional and biased news manipulation for purely ideological reasons than the fact that this story has thus far been isolated to European and Australian news sources.

2. The theme of environmentalists and the progressive establishment, as well as elected officials who are just as certain about climate change despite not remotely understanding the science, is that the science is settled, that disastrous, man-caused global warming is certain, and that no argument to the contrary will be accepted or respected. Yet scientists just figured out, using a new model, that a massive global cooling will occur just 15 years from now.  Quite simply, according to the angry, insulting rhetoric from the Gores, Pelosis, Obamas and their pundit cheerinbg section, this is impossible. Science has settled, and cannot be wrong, what the temperature will be a hundred years or more from now, and that’s that—no skepticism allowed. The models are undeniable! And yet, a new model, just developed, shows that a decidedly non-warming trend  not predicted by those perfect models is now certain.

Reconcile those positions. Go ahead. I dare you. If the models have not accurately predicted what the climate will be like 15 years from now, it cannot be more reliable concerning hundreds of years in the future, since, presumably, a massive cooling for ten years will have an effect on the pace of subsequent warming. And might there be another cooling factor, or ten, to be discovered with a new model, or ten, between now and global warming Armageddon? No, you say? How can you be so sure?

3. What is the proper and responsible climate-fixing policy now, costing billions of dollars, that will address future global warming that is still subject to whatever OTHER new and excellent models the Northumbrians develop in the meantime—cloudy with a chance of meatballs, perhaps?—when before that the world must prepare for a “mini-Ice  Age”?  Explain that policy, please. For me, it brings to mind “Snowpiercer,” the recent sci-fi film about how a climate change fix goes horribly wrong and plunges the Earth into a permanent sub-zero, uninhabitable Hell.

4. Every climate change blathering politician must be asked, in public, to answer that question. Reporters have a duty to ask it, and politicians have a duty to answer. I can’t wait, especially for the Presidential debates. So far, climate change ventriloquist dummies—this is a fair description, since virtually none of the vocal climate change scolds, including that eminent scientist, the Pope, have any idea what their certitude is based on, except computer models they don’t understand—have said that climate change explains hurricanes and no hurricanes, warm winters and harsh winters, droughts and floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, and probably why Rachel Dolezal thinks she’s black. But this is a real challenge: I want to hear them explain how global warming explains a new ice age. I especially want to hear Joe Biden, who can’t say anything that makes sense about anything, and Hillary Clinton, who has to come back and explain everything she says the first time, and Al Gore, who thinks the world is so hot at its core that we should all be dead anyway, explain it. This should be good.

5. As I and anyone remotely objective have been arguing for years, the science of climate change is NOT settled, There are too many factors that affect world climate to create a long-range model that is accurate enough to bet billions of dollars, industries and livelihoods of speculative fixes that might not work or even be necessary. This sudden discovery of a looming mini-ice age proves how little scientists can be sure of, and how quickly and unexpectedly previously “proved” theories, projections and models can turn out to be wrong.

The discovery of the mini-ice age doesn’t prove that man-made climate change isn’t real. It does show that what this means for the world in a hundred or two hundred years, and what needs to be done about it, are uncertain…too uncertain, at this point, to commit resources and policies to addressing it. Anyone who claims otherwise is either lying, or doesn’t know what he is talking about.


Sources: Alphr, Mirror

87 thoughts on “Ethics Observations On The Impending “Little Ice Age” And Climate Change

  1. I imagine someone to claim that obviously, with all this Global Warming, it will be the MILDEST mini-ice age ever, so clearly they’re still correct.

    • I somewhat concur with this on a serious level. All climate change models have uncertainty, and even this one. While this study claims a “97%” accuracy (which I am not quite sure is the same as a 97% “chance”), two other studies only claim a 15% chance that a Maunder Minimum would occur within 50 years.

      Even if such a solar event occurred, the “Mini Ice Age” is not expected to impact average Earth surface temperatures. Since Global Warming theories usually do predict in increases in average temperatures, the two climate events are not mutually exclusive.

  2. Climate change is weather forecasting writ large, and weather forecasts are useless beyond a few months. There have been mini-ice ages and heat ages before, as a geologist friend was at pains to explain to me. There’s just too many factors beyond our chicken-little control, like the sun’s climate. This isn’t the apathy of a rationalization, but refusing to enter a mass-hysteria. Everything could change if we get some other event like a super volcano erupting.

    It would be more honest to convince everyone to conserve instead of scare tactics.

    • I actually agree, sort of. I don’t know if it would be more honest but it would certainly be more useful “to convince everyone to conserve instead of scare tactics.”

      Jack, you malign people like your former friend Al Gore, but I saw/heard his very first semi-public “secret” presentation on climate change while I was at Nat Geo, long before an Inconvenient Truth and all of the craziness. The photos I saw were compelling. I’m not saying that we are irrevocably doomed. But I do believe that life on earth is in a delicate balance and there’s so much that individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments can and should do to help protect that balance.

        • Seriously? That old chestnut? Gore can be accused of stumbling verbally, thus he did use the term “invented,” but in context it is clear that he just had a brain fart saying “invented.”

            • I have nothing to spin. Al Gore is not an idiot. There is no way that he actually thought that he invented the Internet. On the other hand, there are testimonials by those who virtually DID invent the Internet (Bob Kahn and Vint Cerf, the latter often called “the father of the Internet”) about the fact that Gore was advocating for this kind of technology long before any other politicians thought that it was savvy to do so. And they hold him in high regard concerning the Internet.

              If you want to talk about spin, let’s talk about how Wired News spun this into the ridiculous claim it continues to be today.

              • I don’t think he ever thought he had invented the internet. I think that he lied. I think he’s prone to exaggeration, laziness and bias, and I think he enjoys (I was about to write suffers from, but that would be wrong) an overabundance of self-importance. It wasn’t that he thought he created the internet, he thought his audience was too stupid or unengaged to know different…. Which is in itself it’s own kind of stupidity: In the age of the internet, facts are so easy to check. How ironic.

                • Probably I am being too generous, here, but I believe he was trying to say “I practically invented the Internet”, without any intention of claiming that he invented it, but that he was very familiar with it. Disclaimer: I, in no way dispute that the man was and is as dishonest as Jesse James. His entire global warming push is an exercise in self-aggrandizement for personal gain. My belief is the “invented” statement was a slip of the tongue.

      • You do know that a lot of those photos were later proven to be misleading, right?

        “But I do believe that life on earth is in a delicate balance and there’s so much that individuals, organizations, corporations, and governments can and should do to help protect that balance.”

        That’s “we gotta DO something,” though. That’s really emotion, not reason. You don’t do anything responsibly until you know what.

        • Re misleading photos — the ones that he used in the public presentations and the book are not the same as the ones I saw at Nat Geo. And if it’s only some of the photos, what about the ones that aren’t considered misleading?

          And, hell yeah, we gotta do something. We’ve always known that we gotta do something. When was the first Earth Day? 1970? It’s about being good stewards of the planet. That’s what we gotta do. It’s just common sense — if we know that doing a certain thing, especially if it’s something that is done repeatedly or constantly, is harmful to — take your pick — the air we breathe, the water we use, the land we stand on — why wouldn’t you DO SOMETHING to change that?

          Maybe, MAYBE there are Chicken Littles running around, frantically squawking, “We gotta DO something! We gotta do something!” Pray, don’t paint all of us environmentalists with that broad brush.

          • We did solve the acid rain problem, right?

            How? Through solid science that educated policy… if the “acid rain” proponents were inventing data that it would melt our faces off I suspect nothing would have happened. Score one for the moderates.

          • “if we know that doing a certain thing, especially if it’s something that is done repeatedly or constantly, is harmful to — take your pick — the air we breathe, the water we use, the land we stand on — why wouldn’t you DO SOMETHING to change that?”

            Agreed. This is one of those times that the slogan “Think Globally, Act Locally” should be active. There are things being done that have already proved effective. for instance,

            I see nothing wrong with “Do Now, Plan for Later” (my shorthand). There shouldn’t have to be laws to “do now” — on an individual level — with cleaning the air, water and land immediately around us as well as we can: it doesn’t cost anything and it’s habit-forming. If the city, county, state and private industry or business can help out, especially for the larger projects, and the money is there, ask for it, vote for it. It’s for our own benefit. We deserve it.

            The planning for the future is where it goes off the rails. Advancing theories as facts regarding climate change is not a weather report for the future — it’s nonsense. Using those conclusions to scare and coerce people defeats its own purpose; people begin to distrust science itself instead of those, like Gore, who are using it wrongly. Because it IS theory and not fact. Will the climate change? Of course. It always does. Are the ice caps melting? Yes. Is that a bad thing? Yes. What can we do about it? Maybe nothing. Maybe the scientific process will work it out. Tomorrow. Some day. A popular cinematic and literary device is a fault that opens during an earthquake to swallow up an inconvenient character. But unfortunately for principled writers, gaping faults exist only in movies and novels. The theories are great for the entertainment industry and our pleasure … and for debate, debate among scientists, sans publicity, … until the facts are established. Until then, the arguments that “Plan for Later” remain moot and a terrific waste of time, money and collective decision-making.

  3. “2. The theme of environmentalists and the progressive establishment, as well as elected officials who are just as certain about climate change despite not remotely understanding the science, is that the science is settled, that disastrous, man-caused global warming is certain…”

    So, environmentalism and climate change are interlocked?

    Not according to one Ottmar Edenhofer; UNIPCC, UNIPCC working Group III, Lead Author AR4 (2007), in a rather refreshingly unguarded and candid moment. (bolds mine throughout)

    “First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community.


    “Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this.”


    “THIS HAS ALMOST NOTHING TO DO WITH ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ANYMORE, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.”

    My, my, doesn’t leave too much to the imagination, does it?

    Perhaps he was taken out of context?

  4. Climate is cyclical. There have been many ice ages in the last 5M years and there will be more. Right now the earth is in a sweet spot with minimal volcanic activity and stable weather patterns.

    The question is just how much human activity is contributing to the process of GW? IMO it is – but, again, just how much? The overwhelming scientific evidence is we are.

    • Not responsive. What other factors are involved? How will they change? How long will it take for those to have an effect? Will effects cancel each other out? Are we talking 50 years, 100, 200, or a thousand? What gurantees are there that whatever we can do now will have any substantive effect, and be worth the price? Absent hard answers to these and other questions, saying that overwhelming scientific evidence is that “we are” is pretty useless.

      • So, Jack, is there a problem? Do you “Buy Into” the science? Is it real? The evidence is real supported. Do I believe NOAA and NASA? Do you? Do you believe the various scientific agencies that support GW?

        So you want “Answers” from the scientific community. Hard answers. Right? What they are capable of giving is millions of years of evidence that connects the dots. They can point out that similar conditions in the past (without humans) led to significant change. This is not at 7:45 PM on 6/23/2036 the seas will rise 20 meters. You and I and probably our children will not seen dramatic change, but incremental change – which is already happening.

        What they can’t give you is a timeline. You want guarantees. What does that mean? Do you expect a slip of paper saying “Your tax money or inflated product costs back if nothing happens.”

        So without your garantee the idea is to ignore the man behind the curtain?

        • 1. Don’t be snotty.
          2. The past can be validated, predictions and projections cannot.
          3. Projections don’t include unforseen circumstances, changing conditions, more. That was the point of the post. If a brand new, unforeseen phenomenon of that magnitude wasn’t foreseen, what else won’t be foreseen?
          4. Every model has failed so far, when tested against what it said would happen by NOW. Nor is your past fully explained, like the similar warming spike in the Dark Ages.
          5.I believe scientists; I also believe this particular issue has been so politicized by advocates that it is less reliable than most.
          6. When advocates falsely imply that there is consensus on TIMELINES, which is impossible, damn right they owe me guarantees. Since we know those are impossible, then I want a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof before I’ll condemn society to moving backwards in lifestyle, wealth and employment, and the same standard applied to whether expensive policies will work. We’re taking about a trillion dollars or more for a society that is already operating in debt.
          7. The reaction in places like Slate to the sunspots story is typical: gotta slap down those deniers! I smell bias, not objective science. Now all these scientists have a stake in being right; they are no longer open to the possibility that they are wrong, or could be. Under those circumstances, they can’t be trusted. It’s too bad.

          • From Victor Hanson Davis today: this pretty much states waht I regard as unacceptable uncertainty:

            We could be experiencing natural global warming that results in the same periodic spikes in temperatures as in the past in the age before machines — cycles that presumably were due to changes in solar activity or idiopathic causes still poorly understood. We could be entering a period of global cooling as we were warned about in the 1970s. We all remember our California high school science classes and the Newsweek scare-story articles of a new ice age. Or we really could be in an era of man-caused global warning, but one of only incremental change that will not have much dramatic effect on living things. We could be in an era of man-caused global warming that could soon deleteriously affect global life, but cannot much be moderated by even poverty-inducing change in Europe and the West, given the billions in Asia, India, China, Russia, and elsewhere who would prefer to survive first and worry about hotter weather second.

          • Beyond a reasonable doubt? With the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community I would say that is well beyond reasonable doubt.

            I can certainly surf the internet and find sources that can point to evidence to support the deniers. I can also find supporters who will tell you that the anti-smoking crusade is all hyperbole.

            • Did you read the comment? I don’t think so:

              When advocates falsely imply that there is consensus on TIMELINES, which is impossible, damn right they owe me guarantees. Since we know those are impossible, then I want a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof before I’ll condemn society to moving backwards in lifestyle, wealth and employment, and the same standard applied to whether expensive policies will work. We’re taking about a trillion dollars or more for a society that is already operating in debt.

              I see no doubt that the world is currently warming, and little doubt that man is a big cause. What I demand, however, is reasonable doubt about how long the warming will continue, what its effects will be, when those effects will kick in, for how long, and whether the proposed measures will work. There is lots and lots of doubt about all of that, and THAT is the stuff that really matters.

              • Don’t be snotty, Jack.

                My contention is that no reasonable doubt exists in the scientific community. The article in question is nothing new. And there are many articles that I can find that will refute it. Likewise, many articles that could support it.

                The scientific community disagrees on many issues regarding GW and the timelines are certainly part of the package. I have seen many that conflict and pay little attention to the prognostications – I pointed that out in a previous post by mentioning the East Coast being flooded by now – you must have missed that. But the core issue remains and a key player in upsetting the cyclical pattern of nature is humans.

                The message has been clear on this issue regarding lifestyle and changes have been made for decades to slowly alter our life style. I have done many myself. Have you?

                • You get one more warning, and I’m not kidding.
                  I’m the moderator and the host: I have no problem with your opinions or, generally, your manner of expressing them. However, I don’t tolerate condescension and disrespect in my house: those are the rules. You wrote, “So, Jack, is there a problem? Do you “Buy Into” the science? Is it real? The evidence is real supported. Do I believe NOAA and NASA? Do you? Do you believe the various scientific agencies that support GW?” I do not approve of the tone. Do I have the absolute right to use the same tone at will? Sure do. You do not get to mock my words by aping them. You can express yourself respectfully to me, or not express yourself at all. Your choice. If you do it again in the next comment, nobody will read it but me. That will be a petulant choice, in my view, but go ahead, make my day. I do not allow my guests to act like that, unless I happen to be in a forgiving mood. I’m not.

                  As for substantive matters, you ducked the issue, twice. Nothing in the post or any of my comments involve whether there is currently global warming, or that man-made activities are probably the cause. The issue is what global warning, at what level, how quickly, for how long, at what intensity, with what effects and when, will occur, and what measures can be put in place now with a risk-reward ratio that makes sense. Both of your responses pretended to rebut what I wrote while not doing so, and simply asserting, again, that global warming is (currently) ongoing and that humans are the result. We can’t trust the models, and the data is being hyped. Unforeseen circumstances are certain, how they will effect, or even counter, global warming trends are unknown and currently, with current science, unknowable, and thus “consensus” is both a misnomer and false regarding the issue as a whole.

                  Your last sentence is gratuitous: I am not rejecting the importance of responsible stewardship of the environment. Your raising that in this context suggests to me that you are employing the manufactured climate change panic (“manufactured” moderates “panic” not “climate change,” just so you don’t AGAIN tell me that climate change is real) to force others to adopt your lifestyle choices.

                  As to the Marshall household’s carbon footprint, its none of your damn business.

                  • Again, Jack, I trust those agencies and all the world-wide agencies that support this matter. And I do believe I am clear on the fact that the agencies and various scientific organizations have conflicting opinions on time lines and cause, but are certain on the potential consequences. Some dispute the level of contribution via human activity, but none dispute that we are a factor.

                    So….should I subscribe to the article as a means to debunk? No…as a means to question? Certainly and even the advocates of GW do that. That’s what scientist do. When the facts change the opinions will change.

                    Panic? No…stewardship. That is very important to me. Conservation of land, resources and the environment. GW – to me – is a direct result of our environmental nastiness.

                    Now, Jack, I will make your day: Who wins tonight? KC or the NL!

                    • I no longer care, sadly. The All-Star Game was fun before interleague play, when it really was a test of which league was better, and when we had a chance to see stars from teams our own teams never played. Then the players really played hard, and there was some intensity—now its a lot of megamillionares going through the motions, and the managers who are more committed to parading players on the field than winning the game. I’ll watch the game, as a tradition, but it is no longer very entertaining.

                      The NL sqaud looks a lot stronger, and Ned Yost is an awful in-game manager. But since the players are barely trying, who knows?

    • “The overwhelming scientific evidence is we are.”

      All that “scientific evidence” clean, or has none/some/most of it been jiggled/folded/spindled/mutilated (with a healthy heapin’ helpin’ of COULDIFMAYMIGHT) all incuriously in the same direction (down) to give the appearance of more current warming?

    • What you wrote made me think of “economies are cyclical”, and how we try to control/grow/smooth them through monetary policy. Since that has worked so well, I don’t want the same guys giving use QE1, QE2, etc. giving me Climate Easing 1, 2… N. I’ll take my chances with plain old natural+market based warming.

      • Yes. In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

  5. I make no claim to be a scientist skilled enough to make an intelligent determination on my own. Nor do I say that there is unanimity among the people who really do know what they’re talking about. But study after study shows that 97% of climatologists agree that 1). global warming is at least significantly man-made and 2). the situation will continue to worsen.

    This new study might drop that percentage to 96%. Similar studies have been around for at least a decade, but the consensus is still clearly that global temperatures will continue to rise. Perhaps the methodology and results of this study will be sufficiently compelling that the number will drop more appreciably. Until then, I’m more skeptical of outliers than of norms, granting that this might be a time (and they exist) when the minority is correct.

    But if over 90% of engineers tell me a bridge is unsafe, I’m still going to take the detour even if someone well-credentialed argues that there’s nothing wrong.

    • That’s not the analogy, though. If 90% tell you that the bridge will be unsafe eventually, and rebuilding the bridge will break today’s city budget, and the last bridge the same people swore would collapse in 1954 actually collapsed in 1991 and this is a completely different bridge, when do you make the repairs?

      • Throw in: if we don’t rebuild it now we will never be able to cross that river again, by any means, in perpetuity, and you’ll be getting (ahem) warmer.

      • 97% of scientists agree is not evidence. That is an appeal to authority. You need to describe WHY 97% of scientists believe in Global Warming. So many politisophs fail to understand this!


          As I’ve said before: Science is about curiosity and learning. It is NEVER EVER “settled”. Real science presents evidence, not consensus of opinion.

          Consensus of opinion is something else, called politics. The language used by each makes it trivially easy to distinguish one from the other.


        • “97% of scientists agree is not evidence. That is an appeal to authority. You need to describe WHY 97% of scientists believe in Global Warming.”

          Well, what if you don’t know?

          I mean, most people would agree that a vast majority of scientists believe gravity and evolution exist. Most people also wouldn’t be able to tell you why. Does that make it logical to be a creationist or someone who believes that gravity isn’t real?

          It’s rational for non-scientists to assume that there’s a reason the vast majority of experts believe in AGW, and to take the word of experts when their scientific knowledge is so lacking. That doesn’t mean they’re right, it’s pretty likely that they’re right.

      • The guys over at Freakonomics discussed the notion of making policy adjustments NOW to stave off climate change:

        “Even the moral argument is not without critique. With just a 1% real annual rate of growth, global per capita income rises from about $12,000 today to $77,000 by 2200. Even if climate change damages shrink the economy by 13% by 2200, as some have suggested, our distant descendants will be five times richer on average than we are. Are we to sacrifice our relatively modest wealth so they might be six-times richer that us?”

        Which coupled with the FACT that there is likely little we can do to guarantee affecting climate change, it’s a no-brainer.

  6. They say the baseline temperature outside of our solar system is 2.7 Kelvin, from background radiation. I wonder if that deviates in swaths or if that’s fairly consistent? I mean, yes, we circle the sun, but the sun circles the center of the galaxy. Our planet is never in the same position twice. Maybe in relation to the sun, but never in relation to the center of the Galaxy, and certainly the center of the Universe.

    So…what’s the weather outside our solar system like and who does the regular temperature readings to look for variations?

    • The cosmic microwave background is remaining radiation left over from a time when the universe was very hot and dense. The early universe was very uniform, meaning that the background temperature is similar everywhere. According to Wikipedia ( the background temperature is 2.72548±0.00057 K, so the fluctuations are very small. The nature of the cosmic microwave background was explored by the COBE, WMAP and Planck satellite missions.

      • The CMB is the remnant of radiation from when the universe had cooled to the point that electrons could bind to electrons. At that point, the universe became transparent and the radiation was free to move. As the universe expanded, it stretched the wavelength of the radiation right along with it. Today, the CMB appears as radiation that would be emitted from a black body radiator at a few Kelvin.

        • Yes. I was trying not to get too technical, so I avoided discussion of black body radiation, etc. However, I think you meant to write that electrons could bind to protons to make hydrogen once the temperature got low enough.

      • For those who do not know, a Kelvin is an absolute temperature scale. One Kelvin is about 0.56 Rankine, or -459.11 Fahrenheit.

  7. This study seems to be based on the idea that solar output (not man-made factors) are a major factor in the planet’s temperature, although this is obvious, it is a point of contention with climate change advocates who don’t understand the laws of thermodynamics. This will be ignored in the US because no one wants an honest look at climate science. The press doesn’t want to admit that the leading global warming models have gotten a lot of things wrong over the years.

    Thing the climate change alarmist got wrong:
    1. The ocean absorbs most of the carbon dioxide emitted.
    2. Much of the temperature change comes from solar output (this is a ‘duh!’ point, but they still deny it to some extent)
    3. Plants grow faster when carbon dioxide levels increase (another ‘duh!’ point, but one biologists and climate change fanatics denied). The northern hemisphere is being reforested, absorbing a large amount of carbon dioxide.

    In addition, the amount of carbon dioxide produced is not really known, and we can’t fix this anyway. Unless someone is willing to stand up to China and tell the developing world that they need to stay undeveloped (which means keeping people from third world countries in third world countries and reducing their populations), all attempts to reduce carbon dioxide output is pointless, anyway. This whole, “we need to suffer because the world will see us and follow our example is foolishness”. When Jimmy Carter told us we would seize the moral leadership and ban reprocessing of nuclear reactor waste, how many countries followed our example? The answer is…NONE.

    Oh, and NO ONE can make climate predictions based on the greenhouse effect 50 years in advance, much less 100 years. Answer the following questions that you first need to know.
    1. How many people will there be in the world in 50 years?
    2. How will the people be distributed?
    3. How much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases will be produced?
    4. How much plant life will there be and where will it be distributed?
    5. What will the albedo of the earth be and how will it be distributed (what if we make all roofs white?)?
    6. What will the solar output be?
    7. What about of carbon dioxide will dissolve in the oceans between now and then?

    No one know or can know most of these answers and you need to know the answers to these and a lot more to make a prediction. The best predictions are the ones that state a set of assumptions and show how those assumptions affect the prediction and that is why the predictions vary by several 100%.

    Of course, we could just spend the money to actually develop thorium reactors and then we can look back on this issue and laugh.

    • “When Jimmy Carter told us we would seize the moral leadership and ban reprocessing of nuclear reactor waste, how many countries followed our example?” out of numerous contenders, I think this stands as the single worst decision Jimmy made. Although apparently a little more expensive than other reactor designs, fast breeder reactors would eliminate most nuclear waste concerns.

      • Not your fault, Phlinn, but now, I’m stuck. I wrote a big paper about breeder reactors, in some decade past that now seems like just a dream. You mentioned them, so now I have to go back and re-learn all that stuff.

        • OK, the truth is that ALL current nuclear reactors are designed to produce plutonium and other fissionable materials for bombs. Reprocessing the waste makes it easier to make bombs without detection. If no one reprocessed, it was thought that it would slow or halt nuclear proliferation. Carter thought that if we banned reprocessing, the world would stand in awe of our moral leadership and do the same thing. No one else followed suit and no one has had the political courage to reverse the decision.

          We had a choice in the 50’s, we could develop thorium reactors for civilian power-generating purposes, but we needed our now-familiar uranium reactors to build up our nuclear arsenal. If we had thorium reactors (which could be ridiculously cheap) it would make building the horribly expensive military reactors politically difficult. Instead, we only developed the military ones and claimed they were just for power generation. Admitting this would be political suicide, but it would make standing against deals like this a whole lot easier.

  8. Well Washington crossed the Deleware during this time period so it couldn’t have been too bad. On the other hand, Napoleon didn’t do so well in Russia. Anyway, the current climate model is based on junk science despite what Al Gore says. Perhaps, we should be spending our money on other things such as dealing effectively with ISIS and Iran.

  9. Isn’t the “man made” portion of this issue ultimately irrelevant? If the planet was warming, and we decided that was a bad thing, and if we knew how to stop it, shouldn’t we stop it whether it was man made or natural? Obviously, if it’s man made warming then that adds a potential “then don’t do that” answer to the mix, but I don’t see how man made is a requirement.

    • Of course we obviously know how to stop it. We have known the answer since 1983. See Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions, R. P. Turco, O. B. Toon, T. P. Ackerman, J. B. Pollack 2, and Carl Sagan, Science, vol. 23, December 1983, Vol. 222. no. 4630, pp. 1283 – 1292

    • No, we should NOT stop it. This is apparently going to come as a shock to some, but we depend on plant life for our very existence; our air, our food and most of our clothes. Not to mention our houses. The list goes on literally for pages. Now, you’ll never guess what grows better in warmer temperatures than cold. Give up? PLANTS. Humanity thrived during the last warm spell, just before the mini-ice age that doomed Eric the Red’s settlement in Greenland. I say “Embrace global warming. WE WELL SURVIVE IT AND WE WILL THRIVE.”

      • Dragon, you are the ONLY person besides myself I have EVER witnessed saying (or writing), “Embrace global warming.” It’s so good to have company! Once we humans figured out how to industrialize instead of munching grasses like bison, global warming was inevitable – just like Rush Limbaugh said today that the Obama regime has been saying Iran having nukes is inevitable. Silly leftists! They are NEVER consistent about inevitabilities! Especially the inevitability that human-caused government will do more harm to humans than human-caused climate change.

        • As a student of history, albeit an amateur, watching historical periods of “boom and bust”, I early noted that periods of plenty alternated with periods of famine. Plenty happened when it was warmer, famine when it was colder. Ipso facto (probably misusing the term, but saying QED would probably not be understood by many).

      • I won’t go so far as to say “Embrace Global Warming”, but at the same time, I don’t think you’re wrong.

        I do think it odd that it’s just patently accepted that the current temperature (or–more specifically–some arbitrarily-chosen temperature a few degrees lower than current) is automatically assumed to be the optimal temperature.

        Why is that? Why is THAT temperature ideal and nothing above it or below it is acceptable? What criteria did we use to decide that THAT temperature was ideal in the first place?


  10. Jack, I don’t think you’re wrong, necessarily, about the media maybe having an agenda and thinking the agenda not well-served by covering this story. But, you’ve missed an important reason why this story might not have caught as much press: the reported science has not yet been published in a journal nor peer reviewed. This came out of a scientific meeting, a place where scientists often present ideas that aren’t quite polished and might not be correct (this is common practice and a way to gather community input that can improve one’s scientific arguments prior to final publication). For science news that has real-world implications, most responsible news outlets will wait until a study has been published to cover it. That way they can read the paper and solicit opinions from other scientists who have likewise been able to read and evaluate the paper.

      • It is frowned upon in the scientific community to publicize like that before peer review, but it does happen. Some scientists are notorious for it, like those who publicized that ridiculous (and completely wrong) “scientific study” about the Rosetta mission finding life on that comet. But the media are welcome at most conferences, and they sometime choose to publicize a story even if the authors of it aren’t seeking attention by putting out press releases (I don’t know which is the case for this climate study). I hope the news outlets covering this story will provide updates with whatever final version of it gets published (like whether the 97% accuracy claim survives peer review). But I won’t hold my breath. I’ll try to remember to post an update here if I see the paper go up in a journal (solar physics is related to my field of work, so hopefully I will see it when it gets published).

        • Talks at meeting are actually considered ‘peer reviewed’. The peers at the meeting review them. I have seen a professor stand up and say “everyone, tear out all the notes from this paper, this person doesn’t have a clue” and everyone did. Of course, I had already passed a note down the aisle containing my labmates saying the same thing.

  11. I have to say I saw it briefly yesterday, and thought, “Wow, we might get a little help in the upward slide…” Not that it would undo all that I think man has wrought, but that it could assist us in the eventual timeline before we screw the pooch so much we extinct ourselves. But the biggest issue is NOT how all of us will do. Because all of ‘us’ who can comment here have the means, etc. to get to warmer ground for those 10-15 years OR higher ground before/after it. It’s the more global view of the folks who can’t, and that’s where it could get political. People who can’t eat start to get really pissy with their current political apparatus.

    • Balance that against all the third world and developing nations that will choose to pump hydrocarbons out like mad, cut down forests and generally do all the stuff we did to get were we are now.

  12. Jack, neither the study nor the press release says what the right-wing media are claiming it said. There was no mention of a “little ice age,” just a reduction in sunspot activity.

    It strikes me as unethical to hype this study without even knowing what it says.

      • Right Michael, I forgot that to you no one is appropriately conservative unless they are calling for the army to actively exterminate illegal aliens as well as all Democrats everywhere.

          • Ordinarily, I wouldn’t even bother to reply to this. But, yep, one channel, one web site, not the ‘media’. Sorry.

            • I still have no idea what you are trying to say. Are you saying only one website reported this story? Are you saying the majority of websites which ran with this story aren’t right-wing? Are you saying that websites such as The Daily Caller, Breitbart, Washington Times, etc. don’t make up any larger “right-wing media?” None of these arguments make sense to me.

      • But many reports went further and claimed the study said that this would result in a similar mini ice age this time. The study didn’t say that.

  13. General climate fluctuations occur all the time have have throughout geologic history. Solar activity or lack thereof is the prime instigator, which incidence of volcanic activity as the secondary factor. Human activity is still to low on the scale to be a serious consideration in the equation.

  14. Thank you for having the ability to see, and the courage to point out ethical issues in hiding the total dependence and vulnerability of humanity on the Sun.

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