Category Archives: Climate Change

Forbes: The Sun Is Asleep. Deep ‘Solar Minimum’ Feared As 2020 Sees Record-Setting 100-Day Slump

forbes.com
12 May 2020
Jamie Carter Senior Contributor

A composite of the August 21, 2017 total solar eclipse showing third contact Ð the end of totality

While we on Earth suffer from coronavirus, our star—the Sun—is having a lockdown all of its own. Spaceweather.com reports that already there have been 100 days in 2020 when our Sun has displayed zero sunspots. 

That makes 2020 the second consecutive year of a record-setting low number of sunspots— which you can see (a complete absence of) here.

Note: never look at the Sun with the naked eye or through binoculars or a telescope that aren’t fitted with solar filters.

So are we in an eternal sunshine of the spotless kind?

The sun is blank--no sunspots.
The sun is blank–no sunspots. SDO/HMI

“This is a sign that solar minimum is underway,” reads SpaceWeather.com. “So far this year, the Sun has been blank 76% of the time, a rate surpassed only once before in the Space Age. Last year, 2019, the Sun was blank 77% of the time. Two consecutive years of record-setting spotlessness adds up to a very deep solar minimum, indeed.” 

What does all of this mean? Here’s everything you need to know about the Sun, the solar cycle, and what a deep solar minimum means for us

What is a sunspot? 

It’s an area of intense magnetic activity on the surface of the Sun—a storm—that appears as an area of darkness. Sunspots are indicative of solar activity, birthing solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs). Although sunspots seem like tiny specks, they can be colossal in size. 

Sunspots have been continuously counted each day since 1838, which has allowed solar scientists to describe a repeating pattern in the wax and wane of activity on the Sun’s surface—the solar cycle

From a visual perspective, the solar cycle is a “sunspot cycle” since solar scientists can gauge where the Sun is in its cycle by counting sunspots on its surface. 

Autumn weather Oct 30th 2019
Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, over the Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland. (Photo by … [+] PA IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES

How does the solar cycle affect Earth? 

While there’s some evidence that the solar cycle affects Earth’s weather and climate, the status of the Sun has the most obvious effect on the intensity and frequency of aurora. The more charged-up the solar wind headed towards Earth, the brighter and more frequent are the displays of Northern Lights and Southern Lights. What’s known as the ‘auroral oval’ gets larger, too, so people who live in areas that normally don’t experience aurora—such as the USA and Western Europe—sometimes get to see them.

Either way, a solar maximum is historically when aurora are at their most frequent and spectacular. 

What is ‘solar minimum’?  

Just as solar maximum sees many sunspots, the trough of solar minimum features zero sunspots—and that’s what’s going on now. However, it’s been continuing rather longer than expected, which means the Sun is in the midst of a particularly deep solar minimum. The most infamous happened between 1645 to 1715 when a “Maunder Minimum” saw a prolonged sunspot minimum when sunspots were very rare for an extended period.

The current record-breaking solar minimum is part of a longer pattern of wax and wane; in fact, it’s believed that the Sun may have been in a magnetic lull for the last 9,000 years at least. 

When is the next ‘solar maximum?’

It’s thought that the Sun will reach solar maximum in the mid-2020s, though exactly when sunspot frequency will peak is anyone’s guess. It’s something that can usually only be described in retrospect. The last solar maximum was in 2013/2014, but was was ranked among the weakest on record.

Once way to gauge what’s going on visually is by counting sunspots—and the other is by looking at the Sun’s mighty corona during a total solar eclipse. 

Luckily, there’s one coming up in North America right on cue. 

How the solar cycle affects solar eclipses

During a total solar eclipse it’s possible to see clear, naked eye evidence of where the Sun is in its cycle. Totality—when the Moon completely blocks the Sun’s bright disk—affords a brief view of the Sun’s corona, its hot outer atmosphere. During solar minimum the corona is relatively small and tightly bound to the surface. During solar maximum, the Sun’s corona is typically flared and stretching away into space.

AUSTRALIA-ASTRONOMY-ECLIPSE
Totality is shown during the solar eclipse at Palm Cove in Australia’s Tropical North Queensland on … [+] AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

How to see explosions on the Sun

When the Sun is at solar maximum the likelihood is increased of seeing prominences—huge solar flares and coronal mass ejections in action—around the limb of the Moon during a total solar eclipse.

Solar Prominences
A close-up view of the Sun’s disk during a total eclipse reveals fiery solar prominences. | View … [+] CORBIS/VCG VIA GETTY IMAGES

Here’s an image (above) of some pink prominences that can be seen with the naked eye only during a total solar eclipse.

Why is this good news for North American eclipse-chasers? 

All of this is well-timed for the next total solar eclipse in North America on April 8, 2024, since the Sun will, by then, be approaching solar maximum.

The 100-mile wide path of totality will, during the 139 minutes it’s over land, afford a stunning view (if skies are clear) of a flared and stretched corona from anyone within under the Moon’s shadow in: 

Mexico: Sinaloa, Durango and Coahuila

U.S: Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

Canada: Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. 

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes. 

Greta or Naomi: Climate Alarmism vs Realism

Climate change is of interest to many young people, and now they have more than one climate leader. Greta Thunberg is well-known for her ‘house is on fire’ rhetoric – an alarmist view of climate; less well-known is German teenager Naomi Seibt who rejects climate alarmism and calls for climate realism. This video explores six points that people often use as evidence of climate catastrophe, but the CLINTEL climate intelligence group shows things are not so black and white. Please read their report: “There is no Climate Emergency”: https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/rea…

Eco-Anxiety is Overwhelming Our Children

shalemag.com
Kym Bolado
30 January 2020


Climate despair, eco-anxiety, climate grief, climate rage, climate depression. All of these are part of our lives now. There are Millenials and Gen Zs deciding not to have children because of their climate fears. Katie O’Reilly wrote in an article for the Sierra Club, “I’m worried that if I procreate, I will contribute to melting ice caps, rising seas, and extreme weather. Worse, I might create brand-new victims of climate change—people who never asked to be part of this human-made mess.” She goes on later to equate children to “consumption machines.” Caroline Hickman, a member of the Climate Psychology Alliance, has counseled parents who have actually fantasized about killing their children out of fear “of the climate-ravaged future.” 

Children are not consumption machines

With the number of adults who consider children to be nothing more than consumption machines, is it any wonder that children around the world are feeling depression, anxiety and guilt more than ever before. From the time they can comprehend what climate is, they are being told over and over again by parents, teachers, the news that the world is doomed and, oh, by the way, it’s your fault. There are no official counts to the number of children who have committed suicide specifically out of fear and guilt over climate change. There is only the fact that the rates of suicide among children, teens and young adults is growing.

Climate alarmists want you to believe global warming is causing the increase in suicides. The heat is affecting everyone and decreasing people’s ability to think clearly and make sound decisions, they say. I don’t know about you, but I find it more than a little hard to believe heat-addled brains are the cause.

Being told day after day after day that your carbon footprint is causing the end of the world is a burden no child should have to bear. Patrick Moore put it well, “Young people have always been vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness. Greta is fueling those fears.” But Greta is just the face that was chosen to market those fears to young people. She did not come up with these ideas. She admits to going into depression after learning about climate change as a young girl. Isn’t it ironic that she is now being pushed to the forefront and is frightening a whole new wave of children into panic and despair?

It isn’t over yet

These children need to be told the other side of the story. There always is one. Climate change is nothing new. The climate has been changing since the beginning of time. There have been hot periods; there have been cold periods. Humans had nothing to do with them. And if having no control over climate change is still a frightening thought to a child, reassure them that we are all still here. That climate-related deaths are the lowest they have been since there have been records of such things. Change is often a good thing. They changed from babies to kids, and soon to adults. The world is doing the same thing, and we get to be here to enjoy some of it.

IceAge Farmer: CORONAVIRUS, MEAT, & SOLAR MINIMUM

As it becomes clear the Chinese government has covered up the true extent of the Wuhan coronavirus–as they did with ASF–“experts” are blaming climate change for the virus spreading, and pinning meat as the source. Studies link viral mutagenesis to solar minima. Though the crisis is nascent, already meat is being blamed.

YouTube’s Algorithm Keeps Suggesting Users Watch Climate Change Misinformation

vice.com
17 January 2020
David Gilbert



This article originally appeared on VICE News.

If you search for “climate change” on YouTube, one of the videos you will be recommended to watch is “What do scientists say?” which will tell you that there is “no evidence that CO2 emissions are the dominant factor in climate change.”

Not only is this false, but the video being promoted by YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is also being monetized by the company with ads from Greenpeace.

The revelation comes in a report from Avaaz, a non-profit rights group, which claims that YouTube is promoting climate change misinformation to millions of users while making money from that content by selling ads to organizations like Save the Children and the World Wildlife Fund. The bombshell report comes despite repeated claims by the company that it is making big efforts to eradicate the problem of misinformation about climate change being promoted on its platform.

“YouTube is the largest broadcasting channel in the world, and it is driving millions of people to climate misinformation videos,” Julie Deruy, a senior campaigner at Avaaz, said in a statement. “This is not about free speech, this is about free advertising YouTube is giving to factually inaccurate videos that risk confusing people about one of the biggest crises of our time.”

YouTube has long claimed to take the issue of conspiracy theories and disinformation seriously, and in 2015 it launched a campaign called #OursToLose that urged content creators “to continue helping people to broadcast their message, empower their communities, and even catalyze a global movement to further action on climate change.”

Last year, the company published a whitepaper on disinformation where it claimed that it “introduced a higher bar for videos that are promoted through the YouTube homepage or that are surfaced to users through the “watch next” recommendations.”

But Avaaz’s research suggests otherwise.

To compile its research, Avaaz conducted a series of YouTube searches in English on three climate topics — ”climate change” global warming and “climate manipulation.” They collected the top results and queried YouTube APIs asking for the top related videos from these search results, which are the videos that appear in the ‘Up Next’ feature and the suggestions bar.

The end result was a cache of 5,537 videos with the following results:

  • For the search term “global warming,” 16% of the top 100 related videos included under the up-next feature had misinformation about climate change.
  • For the related videos recommended to users who searched “climate change” this number equals 8% and rises to 21% for the search term “climate manipulation.”
  • The climate misinformation videos Avaaz reviewed had 21.1 million views collectively.
  • Ads for some of the world’s most trusted brands were found on climate misinformation videos including household names like Samsung, L’Oréal, Decathlon, Danone, Warner Bros, and Carrefour.
  • One in five ads found were from green or ethical brands including Greenpeace, WWF, and Save the Children.

YouTube’s recommendation algorithm is hugely powerful, driving up to 70 percent of total views on the platform. Yet, despite the evidence presented in the report, YouTube asserts that the algorithm is working as intended.

“As our systems appear to have done in the majority of cases in this report, we prioritize authoritative voices for millions of news and information queries, and surface information panels on topics prone to misinformation — including climate change — to provide users with context alongside their content. We continue to expand these efforts to more topics and countries,” YouTube told VICE News in an emailed statement.

A company spokesperson also pointed out that Avaaz’s use of the YouTube API to return a set of videos linked to the original search result could be impacted by outside factors, such as the fact that a third-party website would link to a set of videos in the same article.

YouTube faced similar criticism last July, when social scientist Joachim Allgaier from RWTH Aachen University in Germany, published a report that found that searching for climate change-related results for which “fewer than half of the videos represent mainstream scientific views.”

READ: 2020 voters are already being inundated by fake news on Facebook

At the time YouTube said it was working on improving its algorithm to boost “authoritative voices” over conspiracy theories, but Avaaz’s report suggests little has changed in the last six months.

“YouTube said they are taking this issue really seriously and that it’s going to improve, but from what I read here, I get the impression that it has not improved that much really and if they are still monetizing this content and also recommending it. It is actually really, really disappointing,” Allgaier told VICE News.

When this was put to a YouTube spokesperson, they said that if you look at the videos cited by Avaaz in the report, several come from what YouTube labels as authoritative voices — such as Fox News and Canadian conference series IdeaCity.

YouTube doesn’t manually pick and choose these authoritative voices, but relies on a ranking algorithm that is constantly being tweaked to recommend what it deems trustworthy sources to users.

This means that YouTube’s algorithm is coded to boost this content even if it contains misinformation. YouTube told VICE News that the content shared by these trusted channels as simply discussions on controversial topics and that going down the road of banning channels simply for mentioning contrarian views would be very dangerous.

But the reality remains that YouTube is making money from videos espousing climate change misinformation and boosting those videos by recommending them to users.

“The fact that there is still quite a lot of misinformation on YouTube when you’re looking for climate-related terms and also the fact that still a lot of people are watching it shows us that something is wrong here,” Allgaier said.

Naomi Seibt and Her Journey to Climate Realism

Recorded in Madrid, Spain, the site of the UN’s COP25. Naomi Seibt, a popular YouTube streamer, speaks on her journey to climate realism, the state of science, and more during the United Nations’ COP25. She closed out our presentations in Madrid in the opening week of the conference. Watch all FIVE HOURS of Heartland’s Climate Realist Forum RECORDED LIVE from Madrid at the link below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3W8E…

‘We shouldn’t be worrying’: Boy’s anger over school’s climate education

9news.com.au
Pippa Bradshaw, Sheri Mimis
3 October 2019


A fed-up father has pulled his son out of school and has accused staff of brainwashing children, after the climate movement made its way in to his son’s Year 4 classroom.Around the country thousands of students have taken to the streets to protest on climate change, but Matthew Karlos is infuriated about the topic being taught at his son’s state school claiming, “it’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous.”Mr Karlos’ 10-year-old son Max told A Current Affair reporter Pippa Bradshaw “they asked us all to dress up as hippies, and sing this song, big yellow taxi.””We shouldn’t be worrying about the end of the world,” he said.Agreeing with his son, Mr Karlos claims, “it’s just brainwashing the younger generations.”

Max said he didn’t want to dress up as a hippie for his school’s environmental day. (A Current Affair)

The father and son duo are taking a stand against climate change activism.”They shouldn’t be teaching kids that, and yeah we shouldn’t toss away our rubbish like I said before, but we shouldn’t be worrying about the end of the world,” Max said.

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The climate change debate has been front-and-centre of late after 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg called out politicians at the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York on September 23, telling world leaders, “We will never forgive you.”

Dad Matthew has pulled his son out of school. (A Current Affair)

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to her controversial speech, emphasizing, “I think we’ve got to caution against raising the anxieties of children.”When Max was told that one of his last days of the term, would be a ‘Greenie day’ it was the final straw for the young boy and his dad.”All the other kids, ’cause (sic) we were all in the one class at the time, they were all going, yay we can dress up as hippies, and I just said, what’s so good about it? There’s nothing good about them,” Max said.

Climate change protests have attracted thousands around the world. (A Current Affair)

“They just sit around doing nothing all day.”Students were also expected to sing to the go-to environmental song Big Yellow Taxi, written by Joni Mitchell, which has been covered numerous times, including by pop band Counting Crows.Mr Karlos had already kept Max home weeks earlier when students were asked to give a speech on the environment.

Max said he shouldn’t be worrying about the end of the world. (A Current Affair)

“It was to do with mankind induced climate change and all this business they carry on about now,” he said.This father, who is a second generation water farmer, has long had a beef with greenies, who are against his water harvesting business in northern New South Wales. “They don’t like the trucks on the road, they don’t like this, they don’t like that you know, so here we are” he said.

Matthew is a water farmer in northern NSW. (A Current Affair)

And now he’s had enough of his son also getting the greenie message at his state school.”You’ve gotta (sic) teach kids to be happy and positive and it’s all well and good to be concerned about the environment and wanting to teach kids good practices and basically not be grubs and throw litter around and this sort of thing, but you don’t have to be a greenie to do that,” he said.Parenting expert Dr Justin Coulson believes teachers are better off keeping the message positive, when it comes to primary school children.

Greta Thunberg has drawn worldwide attention. (A Current Affair)

“We just want to be careful in an education context that we don’t cross into the political sphere too much … you don’t have to be a believer or a skeptic to buy into the fact that it’s a good idea to talk positively about what we can do to make our planet healthier,” Mr Coulson said.Mr Karlos believes scenes of protesting around the country, as well as activist Greta Thunberg speaking out, amounts to brainwashing.”The fact that you’ve got supposed adults … pushing ideas on a 16 year old girl and using her as a pawn, is just disgusting; it’s child abuse,” he said.

Max will start at a new school next term. (A Current Affair)

“Just stop brainwashing the kids and being negative and teach them how to be positive about making good positive changes for the world, not all doom and gloom.”In a statement to A Current Affair, a spokesperson for the New South Wales Department of Education said, “studying controversial issues is acceptable for educational purposes.”Max will now start at a new school at the beginning of term four.