Carbon Market+Sun=FAIL? Sunspot Maunder Minimum vs. 'global warming,' bad for Alliance for Climate Protection 'mass persuasion exercise': How about dem sunspots??!
Some scientists are suggesting that the slow return to a more active phase of the solar cycle may portend a general decline in solar activity. If sunspots shut down, does that mean that we could stop worrying about climate change?
Over the weekend, a paper published in the American Geophysical Union's journal Eos attracted a lot of attention, as it suggested that the levels of magnetic activity associated with recent sunspots indicated that the sun might be returning to a state of low activity, similar to that of the Maunder Minimum, which occurred in the late 17th century. That change in solar activity was notable for setting off what's called the Little Ice Age, which plunged Europe into a deep chill. Left undiscussed is what that might mean in a world where greenhouse gas changes are threatening a period of extended high temperatures.
To understand how a significant change in sunspot levels might be felt in the Earth's climate, we'll back up and look at how sunspots relate to solar output, how that output gets felt on Earth, and how it interacts with changing levels of greenhouse gasses. The answer appears to be that it could reverse the climate change that occurred during past century, but would only delay the changes expected by the end of this century.
And the grand weather guy of Minnesota, Paul Douglas, weighs in with a reference: MinnPost - Paul Douglas: Picture postcard perfect:
Maybe it's because summer was so amazing. Yes, it was a couple degrees cooler than average (I blame the damn sunspots, or lack thereof) but we still had a blast.
Douglas goes on to restate that he's big on climate change, but the reference stands. A worthy question: Are climate change deniers like creationists? | The Agonist. Couldn't resist, I proceed to rattle teh cage on the thread:
At the risk of getting in trouble, has anyone had a cold summer? We sure have here. Some people are saying that the roughly 11-year sunspot cycle is becoming much quieter than usual.
While atmospheric CO2 measurement is a recent development (altho of course we can get ice cores for now), sunspot observation has been going on for centuries. Interestingly, the Little Ice Age corresponded to a period of very low sunspot activity, with the Hudson River in NY/NJ and the Thames freezing over for extended periods. (Some other people theorize that it was because an oceanic current loop halted for a while.)
Anyway it seems to me that CO2 is a coefficient for trapping heat. OK. It is not as effective by weight as many other pollutants/components of the atmosphere but it certainly has an effect.
However there are basically three thermal inputs to the whole system. One is the level of solar energy and the other would be whatever geothermal heat bleeds out of the earth's core. (a moderate amount but whatever steam you see coming off a hot spring is part of this). The third would be the heat generated by civilization itself. (not the CO2)
Sooo... if it's true that the sunspots and thermal-type solar energy are linked, then that would seem to be a way bigger deal to the whole system than the CO2 level. People were wigging out about global cooling in the '70s and also proposing overarching powerful political structures to react to the problem.
If people were presented a clear mathematical model considering the sunspot & solar side as well as the atmospheric coefficients then that seems like it would be more intellectually honest than the current PR campaign which seems to be a policy agenda oriented exclusively around carbon.
Check out this lil gem from the Internet Wayback Machine on the Alliance for Climate Protection site: (It's been deleted for some time, but I found it awesome when I spotted it originally):
Americans have always risen to meet the most important challenges to our nation’s and the world’s future. Our mission is to persuade the American people — and people elsewhere in the world – of the importance and urgency of adopting and implementing effective and comprehensive solutions for the climate crisis. The Alliance for Climate Protection is undertaking an unprecedented mass persuasion exercise based on scientific facts.
Through a new combination of non-partisan alliances with Americans from all walks of life and innovative and far-reaching communication techniques the Alliance will focus on presenting the facts about climate change and its solutions to the general public in an accurate, clear and compelling manner.
Americans have always risen to meet the most important challenges to our nation’s and the world’s future. Together, we can address the climate challenge domestically and provide a robust economy for now and for our children.
Say what you will about Darwin, he didn't have a bunch of PR flacks doing an 'unprecedented mass persuasion exercise,' which frankly is Rendon Group-style jargon.
And also I don't see how you can measure carbon I/O on farms -- it would take a whole staff of Goldman Sachs minions to figure out how much to pay for one farm, which appears to be precisely the whole idea of 'carbon trading.'
Matt Taibbi nailed how the almighty Carbon Market is going to Suck: The Great American Bubble Machine : Rolling Stone
And instead of credit derivatives or oil futures or mortgage-backed CDOs, the new game in town, the next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an "environmental plan," called cap-and-trade.
The new carboncredit market is a virtual repeat of the commodities-market casino that's been kind to Goldman, except it has one delicious new wrinkle: If the plan goes forward as expected, the rise in prices will be government-mandated. Goldman won't even have to rig the game. It will be rigged in advance.
...... The feature of this plan that has special appeal to speculators is that the "cap" on carbon will be continually lowered by the government, which means that carbon credits will become more and more scarce with each passing year. Which means that this is a brand new commodities market where the main commodity to be traded is guaranteed to rise in price over time. The volume of this new market will be upwards of a trillion dollars annually; for comparison's sake, the annual combined revenues of all electricity suppliers in the U.S. total $320 billion.
Goldman wants this bill. The plan is (1) to get in on the ground floor of paradigmshifting legislation, (2) make sure that they're the profitmaking slice of that paradigm and (3) make sure the slice is a big slice. Goldman started pushing hard for cap and trade long ago, but things really ramped up last year when the firm spent $3.5 million to lobby climate issues.
......[Buying into renewables...] is convenient, considering that Goldman made early investments in wind power (it bought a subsidiary called Horizon Wind Energy), renewable diesel (it is an investor in a firm called Changing World Technologies) and solar power (it partnered with BP Solar), exactly the kind of deals that will prosper if the government forces energy producers to use cleaner energy. As Paulson said at the time, "We're not making those investments to lose money."
The bank owns a 10 percent stake in the Chicago Climate Exchange, where the carbon credits will be traded. Moreover, Goldman owns a minority stake in Blue Source LLC, a Utahbased firm that sells carbon credits of the type that will be in great demand if the bill passes. Nobel Prize winner Al Gore, who is intimately involved with the planning of cap-and-trade, started up a company called Generation Investment Management with three former bigwigs from Goldman Sachs Asset Management, David Blood, Mark Ferguson and Peter Harris. Their business? Investing in carbon offsets. There's also a $500 million Green Growth Fund set up by a Goldmanite to invest in greentech … the list goes on and on. Goldman is ahead of the headlines again, just waiting for someone to make it rain in the right spot. Will this market be bigger than the energyfutures market?
"Oh, it'll dwarf it," says a former staffer on the House energy committee.
Well, you might say, who cares? If cap-and-trade succeeds, won't we all be saved from the catastrophe of global warming? Maybe — but cap and trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private taxcollection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it's even collected.
"If it's going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it," says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil futures speculation. "But we're saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That's the last thing in the world I want. It's just asinine."
Cap-and-trade is going to happen. Or, if it doesn't, something like it will. The moral is the same as for all the other bubbles that Goldman helped create, from 1929 to 2009. In almost every case, the very same bank that behaved recklessly for years, weighing down the system with toxic loans and predatory debt, and accomplishing nothing but massive bonuses for a few bosses, has been rewarded with mountains of virtually free money and government guarantees — while the actual victims in this mess, ordinary taxpayers, are the ones paying for it.