Filed under: Domestic Policy, Energy, Environment, Global Warming, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Cycles of Solar Activity, Predicting the Future, Russia's Pulkovo Observatory
Russian scientists say that a period of global cooling is ahead due to changes in the activity of the sun. Scientists at Russia’s famous Pulkovo Observatory are convinced that the world is in for a period of global cooling that could last for 200-250 years.
Solar activity is waning, so the average yearly temperature will begin to decline as well. Scientists from Britain and the US chime in to say that such forecasts for global cooling are far from groundless.
Yuri Nagovitsyn of the Pulkovo Observatory said:
“Journalists say the entire process is very simple: once solar activity declines, the temperature drops. But besides solar activity, the climate is influenced by other factors, including the lithosphere, the atmosphere, the ocean, the glaciers. The share of solar activity in climate change is only 20%. This means that sun’s activity could trigger certain changes whereas the actual climate changing process takes place on the Earth.”
Solar activity follows different cycles, including an 11-year cycle, a 90-year cycle, and a 200-year cycle. Professor Igor Davidenko comments:
“The Northern Sea Route has never opened so early or closed so late over the past 30 years. Last year saw a cargo transit record – more than five million tons. The first Chinese icebreaker sailed along the Northern Sea Route in 2012. China plans it to handle up to 15% of its exports.”
Prediction of the future is mostly little more than guesswork, but there are trends and there is a past history of cycles. Russia is upgrading its icebreaker fleet, and new generation icebreakers are set to arrive in the years to come. Russia also has great interest in energy in the Arctic. as well as the Northern Sea Route., so they are preparing for eventualities.
While other nations are considering how to prepare for a possible long period of cooling, ours is desperately trying to save the planet from global warming and free us from our addiction to foreign oil, at the same time that they restrict every possible domestic source of petroleum from drilling. Go figure.
Filed under: Education, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History, United Kingdom | Tags: The Industrial Revolution, Time Machine: 1880, Transforms Farming
If you have time this weekend, and need a respite from the Boston bombings, I recommend this documentary from the BBC. It is called Victorian Farm, and is an observational series following a team who live the life of Victorian British farmers for a year.
This is not ‘reality TV’. In Britain, the Acton Scott estate in Shropshire is a world frozen in time, the time of Victorian rural England. The buildings and grounds are cluttered with antique tools and machinery collected by the Acton family, who have lived on the estate since the 12th century.
The team consists of two archaeologists, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn, and historian Ruth Goodman who go back in time to relive the day-to-day life of a Victorian farmer. The team moves into a Victorian smallholding on the Acton Scott estate that has not been used in nearly half a century. Their first job is restoration of the cottage. As incoming tenants, they help thresh the previous summer’s wheat crop, their first experience of steam-powered machinery. Alex attempts to sow a wheat crop using horse power. Ruth and Peter install a range in the cottage and take a trip to the canals to load up on coal.
They have as a guide, an 1844 guidebook explaining Victorian tools, and local folk knowledgeable in traditional country ways come by to help them with unfamiliar tasks. It is very professionally done, and if you have no interest in history, probably not your cup of tea. The full documentary is six hours long, but broken up into manageable segments. I enjoyed it immensely. Not Kim Kardashian, but serious scholars discovering the past by doing. Watch a little, you’ll get hooked.
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Environment | Tags: Government interference, Politicians Are Not Experts., The Free Market Works
There is a mindset that seems to be derived from the propaganda about all things “green.” We humans have not properly cared for the earth. We use far too much of the earth’s bounty. Our lifestyle and profligate overuse of natural resources is killing the earth and depriving the world’s poor of their fair share of the bounty. Climate change is destroying the earth and it’s our fault. We need to use less of everything. Turn off the lights, drive less, buy an electric car to save energy, save water. There are just too many people, have more abortions, fewer kids. Endangered species.
Even if you recognize that all to be sheer hogwash, there’s a mindset that remains. They have been very vocal about their fraudulent claims. It brings out the nannies. They want to make better choices for you consumers, because they’re smarter than you are.
Congress has been determined to legislate efficiency mandates for American homes and businesses since the late 1970s. The most recent legislation is being reintroduced tomorrow with a House companion bill coming on Friday. The bill from Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman (R-OH), has supposedly been modified from previous renditions to make it more acceptable.
There are some basic requirements:
- The free market rewards efficiency without any intervention from the government.
Congress should focus on removing the policy and regulatory barriers that diminish the market incentives to pursue efficiency upgrades.
- Consumers and Businesses have other preferences.
Federal mandates assume that everyone has the same needs and make purchases for the same reasons. Not true. The “Energy Star” designations are notably faulty. the DOE latest rule for dishwashers show that almost 20% of households will see no improvement at all, yet costs have skyrocketed.
- When a technology offers more efficiency and lower costs, Americans do not need to be compelled to invest. Congress’s guess about what consumers want may not match reality. Front-loading washers and dryers have been far too costly and unpopular.
- Mandates risk taxpayer resources to subsidize private sector efficiency. The mandates distort, and usually raise, the prices involved. and distort the marketplace to consumer’s grief.
You might let your representatives and senators know that this is not acceptable. and Congress has no business mandating efficiency. They have already made a mess with twisty lightbulbs, low-flow showerheads, low-flush toilets, none of which have improved anyone’s lives.
Filed under: Environment, Fun n Games, Energy, Music | Tags: A LONG Construction Project, Exquisite Patience, Imagine the Tuning
In a Japanese Forest, — and Sung By Alien Robots.
Filed under: Architecture, Art, Energy, Environment, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Kinetic Sculpture, Strandbeests, Theo Jansen
Theo Jansen makes wind-fueled kinetic sculptures specifically for walking and “surviving”on the beaches of Holland. He calls them Strandbeests and they are extraordinary. His 2007 TED talk explains in more detail how “the animals” move and survive. You can find more videos on Vimeo.
Filed under: Art, Entertainment, Environment, Freedom, Humor, Science/Technology | Tags: Kinetic Sculpture, Strandbeests, Theo Jansen
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Keep Track, Simple Pleasures, Take Time to Appreciate.
Small, simple pleasures that give us a bump of cheer, yet we don’t often pay enough attention to notice and be grateful. So slow down a tiny bit, and appreciate all the nice things. Have a moment of gratitude for the break from the annoyances of the day.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Law | Tags: Do Not Defend Yourself, Large Black Bears, State ofr Massachusetts
Richard Ahlstrand of Auburn, Massachusetts went out in his back yard to fill up the bird feeders, when a bear about seven feet tall and weighing 300–400 lbs. started chasing him. Mr. Ahlstrand turned around and aimed in the general direction of the bear and fired. He had a shotgun with him because he had heard a noise and thought he’d seen a bear the day before.
Now he faces criminal charges for encountering a bear in his back yard and shooting it to avoid being mauled or eaten. Can’t do that. The bear has rights.
He is charged with “illegally killing a bear, Illegally baiting a bear, illegal possession of a firearm and failure to secure a firearm.” All of these charges seem to require that Ahlstrand make his yard completely inhospitable to animals rarely seen in the area, and then investigated a suspicious noise by looking out the window and calling the police.
Chief Sluckis said the bear is believed to have been attracted to a 50 gallon drum of birdseed Mr. Ahlstrand had in his back yard. Mr. Ahlstrand went back inside, retrieved a shotgun and decided to shoot the bear. “Obviously we believe if Mr. Ahlstrand was truly in fear for his life he would have stayed secured in his home and would have called the police.”
The police chief claimed that bears are “not common in Auburn,” and the last sighting was about a year ago, and Ahlstrand shouldn’t have had birdseed because? The drum of birdseed seems to have been the basis of the “baiting” charge against him, though birdseed would seem to be bait more for birds than bears. I thought bears were fond of honey?
Always interesting when police officers are more interested in saving the lives of bears than humans. I guess self-defense only counts with armed and certified bad guys, if then.
Filed under: Africa, Education, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Liking Waterholes, Mud is Good, The Elephant's Trunk
When you are very young, there’s all sorts of stuff you have to learn. You humans have noses with which you breathe and smell; ours does that as well as collecting food, touching, grasping and sound production. We can eventually crack a peanut shell without harming the peanut itself, lift up to 770 lbs., reach up to 23 feet, suck up water both to drink and to shower. When we swim, it’s a snorkel. So don’t go laughing when we have to learn how to use our proboscis, it just takes time.
Filed under: Education, Environment | Tags: Alleviating Confusion, Basic Deer & Buffalo, Scientific Knowledge
What’s the difference between horns and antlers? The Brain Scoop’s Emily Graslie explains.
Filed under: Economy, Environment, History, United Kingdom | Tags: BBC's Edwardian Farms, Sisal Weaving, The Rope Walk
In the BBC series Edwardian Farm, archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and historian Ruth Goodman work on a British farm for an entire year in the manner it would have been run during the Edwardian era (1901–1919). In this clip they demonstrate how rope was made from sisal fiber, and the tools that were used to make it.
The whole Edwardian Farm documentary is available here. It’s twelve hours long, so save it and watch it over time. Great fun, and worth your time. It’s very well done.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Energy, Environment, History, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Michael Crichton, Reality and Fantasy, Understanding Belief
The late Michael Crichton’s famous speech, “Environmentalism as Religion,”to the Commonwealth Club in 2003, was widely quoted. He explains why religious approaches to the environment are inappropriate and cause damage to the natural world they intend to protect. Read the whole thing, but if you haven’t, but here’s a brief excerpt:
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Ever one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears. …
There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs imbibe.
It was a prescient speech that foretells much of what has happened in the intervening decade. Are we anywhere near to being ready to accept reality and attempt to address it, probably not quite yet. If you haven’t read it, it is worth your time.