imageSunspots have fascinated man since their discovery in the Middle Ages.

And somewhere back there, an 11-year (roughly) solar cycle was also observed.

And then later, economists began to observe an 11-year economic cycle.  It was not a perfect relationship, however as it varied a great deal:

The Juglar cycle is a fixed investment cycle of 7 to 11 years identified in 1862 by Clément Juglar.[1] Within the Juglar cycle one can observe oscillations of investments into fixed capital and not just changes in the level of employment of the fixed capital (and respective changes in inventories), as is observed with respect to Kitchin cycles. 2010 research employing spectral analysis confirmed the presence of Juglar cycles in world GDP dynamics.

As one zooms out to even grander time-scales, there appears a relationship whereby every five (or six of these business cycles, there is a Kondratiev (Kondratieff) wave with a duration of anywhere from 46-years on the short side and 64-65 years on the long end.

Even further out, we see cycles that define the lifespan of a fiat (paper) money as upper bounded near 90-years, but whose length is largely determined by how quickly the value of money is “watered down” (debased) by simply printing up more money than is justified by economic activity; the results of which are mis-named “inflation”.

Economists like Keynes liked inflation as the fairytale became it was simple enough to explain to average people a “general rising of prices” rather than admit to something much more surreptitious: A deliberate government plan to print too much money in order to spend money from the future that had not yet come into existence.

It was this ignorance that led to the current crop of “Free Lunchers” in Washington, and although both corporate-owned parties have espoused a “balanced budget” (which would allow for stabilization of purchasing power) it hasn’t happened, nor do we expect it ever will.

The reason is simple:  It is too tempting – and easy – to step over the the printing presses of money and attempt to adjust the print rate in order to counter the normal flow of the business cycle, the shorter term and longer term cycles, including the Presidential Cycle, as one in called.

But our focus this morning is not on this big picture of how the economic cycle is adjusted – we will get to that in a moment.

Instead, we will begin this morning’s discussed with the 55 dead people in Japan, victims of the “longest heat wave on record” there.

A lot of climate change adherents are pointing to this as clear evidence that Global Warming is real, here, and a matter of urgent public concern.

But the more skeptical look at data like the sunspot data, historical weather data, and begin to see a relationship (with a bit of lag to it) between sunspot peaks and weather changes on Earth.

Moreover, there is another phenomena that garners little attention from the easily manipulated public, and that’s the matter of compression heating.

When air is compressed, it releases trapped heat.  When compressed gases expand, the lowering of pressure absorbs heat, which is why the air compressor air lines in the shop get so cold on a warm day when I’m blowing off a power tool or cleaning off the bench.

So we have to mention that concurrent with the heat wave in Japan, we see the forthcoming arrival of a typhoon in the region, as well.  Well off from Japan, though, this typhoon will be around Taiwan.

From “Elementary Meteorology Online” please see “Chapter 6 – Humidity, saturation, and stability” and then review the dynamics under “Adiabatic Compression/Expansion Simulation.”

.Here in East Texas we are about to have our own heat wave.  It hit just under 100 yesterday – which is average for this time of year.  And the next week, or three will be much the same with afternoon temps right at the top end of seasonal averages.

In order to cope, Zeus the Cat has been hanging out in my office where the solar panels assure a pretty even 74-degrees year round, except cold cloudy winter days when we rent a few BTUs from the local power company.  Since our solar is grid-tied, I can make some of that back when the sun returns.

When we’re not in the office (*where Zeus carefully watches the back of his eyeballs, if you know what I mean), I turn on the misters between the house and the shop.  These drop the temps several degrees.  Since cat body temps run 101.5, or so, we’re pretty careful to have the misters on, or the cat in the house for several hours during the day’s peak heat.

As to the misters, we started with a Orbit 30060 Arizona Outdoor Misting System Basic 3/8-Inch Cooling Set which was about $25 bucks worth and then tacked on a Orbit 30068 Arizona Outdoor Misting System Basic 3/8-Inch Cooling Extension Set for another $11-bucks and change.

Elaine likes to think of herself as a “desert rat” so even when it was 96 outside on the screen porch, she was out tossing around free weights and working out on her Tony What’s-his-name walker thing.

She comes in the house (air conditioning set at 77), does whatever for a while, then complains about how cold it is and goes back to working out to “warm  up.”

Those of us with Danish and Scottish genes (plus onboard R386 insulation) were never meant to be above 75, and frankly, my preferred operating temp is about 68F.  Cool temperature, steaming hot mug of coffee and I can  rock the paperwork for hours on end.  Flip side, I suppose, is Elaine’s risk of deep vein thrombosis (clots from sitting around too much) is about zero.

Meantime, I’ve been using the hot spell to collect water from my window-mounted air conditioner.  Last year, Elaine noted that it was putting out drops of water which were splashing onto the exterior wall of the office and she had concerns that would cause rot if not addressed.  It went on the ToDo list in 2014 and actually came up a couple of months ago.

I just added “How long would that take to fill up a 33,000 gallon swimming pool considering evaporation and loan mean temps?” to my 2016 ToDo list.

The answer to the initial problem (air conditioner drips splashing the office wall) was to drill a couple of 1/4” holes in the bottom of the A/C unit (being careful not to nick a line, motor, or anything stupid, eh?) and then placing a blue 5-gallon plastic bucket under it.

On  a good warm day, the condenser from the A/C will drop in about 5-quarts of water to the bucket.

I’m  not sure if that one is in the prepping books, but seeing as our friends over at Backdoor Survival are doing “Water Month”  (See: “16-ways to Conserve Water In Your Home”) I thought I’d make an unusual contribution.

I should mention my other biggie for summertime water conservation:  Don’t put ice in your drinks.

Not that I have actually practiced such a Plebian thing, but I’ve worked out a number of calculations that suggest water in the amount of about one ounce per cube MIGHT be used as an ice replacement, but not in my afternoon Martin, thank you.

I’ll have to check with Gaye on ice use in Mohitos.  This is the fun part of prepping, you understand. 

So far, this morning’s column has been little more than a recitation of facts and figures, along with a few heat-coping and water-conserving ideas.

It still hasn’t answered the BIG Question about whether Global Warming is real.  Sitting under the misters, cat under the chair I was in so he could be cool yet keep his fur dry, and sipping the afternoon Martin, I really didn’t much care, at least yesterday afternoon.

But this morning, Ures truly the Intrepid Journalitist (or Insightful  Urinalist or something like that) wanted to mention a little oddity that popped up in one of our data runs as a link.  *(Hat tip to Grady for finding this): 

This website has everything to do with the US fusion research program.

Take a look at the top of the page at the progress chart there.  See anything odd?

Well, to my conspiratorially curious mind, it sure seems interesting that in the 2005 (and earlier) timeframe, when a bunch of big corps and scientists were drumming up money for the Fusion project, that it seems (going from memory here) about coincident to the time that Global Warming was starting to pop as a great big deal.

And then – reading along the timeline, we see that like all big bureaucratic projects, the time to “first plasma” has slipped.  It has gone from a target date of 2020 back to 2024 and the US is pulling back/out of the fusion program.

Fits my notion “If we pay long enough we can get nothing to happen” approach to government projects.  Worked that way for the Great Society programs, if you’ll recall.  We still have the same poverty levels as…well, that’s off point.

But we do notice the fusion thingy is being built in France, by the way, not here.

All of which got me to looking at the relationship between the timing of Global Warming (replete with data jiggering) and the dreams of a fusion powered world.   I’m still in the camp that believes fusion has been done before, perhaps deep in the pyramids as a pulse steam generator source which might have driven low power steam…but that’s an aside.

While there are still many good pieces of science coming down the pike, it seems the presidential declaration of war on coal-fire generation which Obama just doubled-down on in the past week, means there may be something more going on under the headlines about fusion and a potential breakthrough.

The Boston Globe, in fact, says “Obama leaves coal nowhere to go.”

As part of the Obama administration sales plan for clean energy, the presidential blog this week went into a long discussion of the myths and facts about clean power, including a re-assertion of the primacy of climate change as a driver.

Yet, upon closer inspection, one can’t help but wonder what’s really going on:  Both the fusion industry and the nuclear industry (and in same cases overlapping players) have high stakes in promoting climate change.  The more they can do that, the easier funding will be and the more pressure will be on coal, which is a much cheaper (albeit in the short-term only) competitor.

Yet around here, we’re still not totally convinced.  Compression heating does happen, and in new and novel places when the water waters of the Pacific are seriously out of position, and I’m guessing because of the high solar cycle readings in the 2000-2003 period and the one we are now in.

Authoritatively, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explains:

El Niño and La Niña are extreme phases of a naturally occurring climate cycle referred to as El Niño/Southern Oscillation. Both terms refer to large-scale changes in sea-surface temperature across the eastern tropical Pacific. Usually, sea-surface readings off South America’s west coast range from the 60s to 70s F, while they exceed 80 degrees F in the “warm pool” located in the central and western Pacific. This warm pool expands to cover the tropics during El Niño, but during La Niña, the easterly trade winds strengthen and cold upwelling along the equator and the West coast of South America intensifies. Sea-surface temperatures along the equator can fall as much as 7 degrees F below normal.

The website “Whatssupwiththat” let the cat (no Zeus) part way out of the bag in 2012.  But the work was not perfect.  One of the reasons is likely that sunspot densities are likely not a perfect proxy for total Sun energy output.  In other words, Sunspots are an easy number, but the big solar furnace may have a somewhat differing peak depending on the temperature color (sure, in Kelvin if you must) and ancillary data such as radio wave emissions. 

The idea was put forth in more detail in a paper by Madhulika Guhathakurta and Tony Phillips (“The Solar Cycle Turned Sideways” 2013):

“During Solar La Niña (Solar Min), cosmic ray levels
surge. Galactic cosmic rays coming from outside the solar
system must propagate upstream against the solar wind
and a thicket of solar magnetic fields. During the La Niña
phase of the solar cycle, solar wind pressure decreases
and Sun’s magnetic field weakens, making it easier for
cosmic rays to reach Earth. Because cosmic rays are so
potent—a single relativistic iron nucleus can easily shatter
a strand of human DNA—Solar La Niña is a dangerous
time for astronauts.

Sun’s El Niño phase (Solar Max) brings cosmic ray counts
down, but solar flare activity surges. Solar explosions spray
the solar system with X-rays, high energy protons, and
billion-ton clouds of electrified plasma known as coronal
mass ejections. This is scant relief for astronauts.

Solar El Niño affects many technologies.

Ham radio operators grapple with radio blackouts. Airline traffic
controllers are sometimes forced to divert international
flights away from polar routes. A 2008 report by the
National Research Council (NRC) warned that “extreme
geomagnetic storms can cause worldwide power outages,
water shortages, and disruptions to financial markets”,
among other things.”

The cool thing, (sorry, pun police)  from the climate change, nuclear industry, fusion promotion standpoint is it’s a complex relationship.  And what does the American public have a terrible track record of understanding?


Be that as that as it may, and while I flip through papers like that one,, it sure seems to me that thinking people need to learn not to read the headlines so much (like Obama douses coal) and look more at least at headline pairings or the whole matrix of the information spectrum.

When you do that, the arising of public issues (warming) and pending commercial warfare (a t least a three-way with coal, nukes, and fusion) becomes a much more informative way of looking at events than to waste one’s time on stories viewed without their relational contexts.

There…feel better now? 

Remember yesterday’s headline about all news being marketing.  I’ll be the guy out under the misters this weekend, with a drink stuffed full of solar power-made ice and a cat under the chair.

The stylish blonde lady will doubtless be tossing free weights and high-stepping on the walker and that’s  deserving of appreciative supervision.  And around here, chivalry is still alive even if not politically correct.

Totally On-Point P.S.     If you read and grokked the Madhulika Guhathakurta and Tony Phillips  paper and it occurred to you that the same uneven energy states might account for asymmetry of financial cycles such as the business cycle, congratulations.  You just earned more ice and whatever you’re having with it.  Welcome to my world!  Just call me mister mister.

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