Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow in Victoria

Victoria is in crisis today, a crisis of whiteness. Paralysis may ensue, depending on how long it lasts, on how deeply it blankets us. I well remember the snowfall that fell between Christmas of '96 and New Years… all five feet of it. It snowed starting on a Thursday night and continued without let up until Saturday. And on Saturday night it redoubled, going from knee deep to chest deep by the next morning. Then it stopped. The landscape was unbelievable, strangely, awesomely beautiful. And hushed. Nothing moved. You would have to go back a century to hear such an absence of sound in Victoria. You would have to be a century old to remember the last time it snowed that much in Victoria. Ever since then whenever the snow falls heavily as it does right now, I think of that year.

There has been some discussion in the blogosphere about a phenomenon known as the Maunder Minimum. In brief, it's a term for a certain phase of sunspot cycles. Sunspots grow and diminish according to a regular series of cycles, and there is strong evidence that these variations correlate with variations in the earth's climate. When there are a lot of sunspots the earth's climate is relatively warm. The Maunder Minimum, meaning a period of little or no sunspot activity, occurs every few centuries and is strongly associated with drastic cooling of the earth's climate. The last time it happened Europe and Britain suffered from widespread crop failures. During the winter of 1779-1780 the Hudson River was frozen solid for five weeks. Severely cold winters alternated with short, cool summers. We may have entered a Maunder Minimum. You can find the details here.

I think it would be a fair bet that very few have heard of this potential scenario. Perhaps it doesn't matter, because there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. But if it transpires the public might be forgiven for being extremely angry at the politicians and con artists who have been peddling the global warming nonsense. They might wonder why we haven't been exploring for more energy sources, and what 's worse have actively forbidden it.

As there is not much I can do anything about it except enjoy a white chocolate mocha by the fire.

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