Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Sunspot update: More evidence of an upcoming weak maximum

On July 4th NOAA updated its monthly graph tracking the monthly activity of sunspots on the Sun’s visible hemisphere. Below is that updated graph, annotated by me to show the past and new solar cycle predictions.

June 2020 sunspot activity

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community for both the previous and upcoming solar maximums. The green curves show the community’s two original predictions from April 2007 for the previous maximum, with half the scientists predicting a very strong maximum and half predicting a weak one. The blue curve is their revised May 2009 prediction. The red curve is the new prediction, first posted by NOAA in April 2020.

June saw an uptick of activity since my last update, though that activity remains quite low. We saw two sunspots during the month, both with polarities that link them to the next maximum and thus providing evidence that we will have a maximum in about five or six years. The first of those sunspots was also one of the strongest new cycle sunspots yet seen, and lasted for almost two weeks before it rotated off the visible face of the sun.

The ratio of next cycle sunspots vs sunspots from the past maximum has also been shifting. More and more, the new sunspots belong to the next cycle and less to the last. The ramp up to the next maximum is definitely beginning, though to call it a “ramp up” at this point is a big exaggeration. Sunspot activity remains low, though the last few months have seen some activity, unlike the seven months of nothing seen during the second half of last year.

The upcoming prediction for the next maximum calls for it to be very weak. Interestingly, the activity in June surpassed that prediction. This does not mean that the prediction will be wrong, only that June was more active when compared to the smooth prediction curve. As the cycle unfolds the monthly numbers will fluctuate up and down, as they did last cycle. The question will be whether their overall numbers will match closely with the prediction. In the past cycle actual sunspot activity was consistently below all predictions. It is too soon to say how well the new prediction is doing.

Readers!
 

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar below. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.


Your support is even more essential to me because I keep this site free from advertisements and do not participate in corrupt social media companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook. I depend wholly on the direct support of my readers.


You can provide that support to Behind The Black with a contribution via Patreon or PayPal. To use Patreon, go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation. For PayPal click one of the following buttons:
 


 

Or with a subscription with regular donations from your Paypal or credit card account:


 

If Patreon or Paypal don't work for you, you can support Behind The Black directly by sending your donation by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman, to
 

Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

7 comments

  • Phill O

    Now, NOAA would say there were sunspots visible 50% of the time. Lying with statistics, IMO. Total sunspot numbers as presented by Bob here, is the best manner of data presentation.

  • Nightfall

    Note, there is no scientific evidence so far that sunspots effect climate. If sunspots effected climate, we would see an 11 year annual effect, when sunspots always decline, and always have. We do not.

    The only time anyone can point to sunspots and climate is during the “little ice age”. During that time, there was periods of low sunspot activity that lasted for many decades. Thus, even if sunspots effect climate, it takes decades, many decades, to do so. The rest of Earths history, there have been longish periods with few sunspots, and no noticeable effect on Earth’s climate.

  • Phill O

    To put the record straight, we have about 400 years of data for sunspots : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_cycle#/media/File:Sunspot_Numbers.png

    The early data is sporadic and are noted in red. More continuous data is in blue. The link (what ever it may be) is scientific. We have no real data which explains the link. There is a link between the “greeness” of the grass and umbrellas found on buses in England. Current observations may show what the relationship is between the sunspots and climate. Yes, for this to affect climate, it by definition is over decades not an 11 year cycle.

    There have been some who try to relate sunspots before there were observations, but these require assumptions, which tend to have problems. Give me empirical data over models anytime!

  • Phill O

    Here is a new tool by NOAA
    https://www.swpc.noaa.gov/products/solar-cycle-progression

    Interesting that they have eliminated data from the grand minimum known as the Maunder Minimum!

  • Phill O

    Also note how the scale is changed each time one looks at a particular data set.

  • Phill O: Um, this is the graph I link to and use every month. I wrote about it extensively earlier this year when they introduced it.

  • Phill O

    When I went on, the scale changed for every time I clicked on an era. If it were all on one scale, it might be much easier to see trends. As it is represented, I get the idea that they do not want people to draw their own conclusions. Might explain why you were fooled for a brief time.

Readers: the rules for commenting!

 

No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.

 

However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.

 

Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *