Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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.

Global warming in Tucson!

Global warming in Tucson!

As I start writing this post it is snowing hard here in normally sunny and warm Tucson. In fact, this winter has been one of the coldest in years, averaging about 15 degrees below average, according to one long time resident and friend. He might have his number wrong, but without doubt this is the coldest winter I’ve experienced since we moved here in 2011. The image on the right was taken looking out across my backyard about ten minutes ago. The city of Tucson and the Santa Catalina mountains should be plainly visible in the distance. Instead, between falling snowflakes all one can see is whiteout.

Obviously, this is proof of global warming!

I am of course joking. A single storm, a single cold winter, or even a half dozen cold or warm winters, are nothing more than weather. Such events tell you nothing about the Earth’s climate or any of its global trends. Unfortunately, the global warming crowd does not seem to understand this. Get the temperature above normal for an hour, and they are screaming about how we are burning up and it is now necessary to abandon our constitutional rights to give the government the power to do whatever it wants, with them in charge.

And when the weather is cold? These same “experts” then claim that this also is proof of global warming. To any rational person, such claims are absurd, and serve only to prove that these experts are untrustworthy.

Today, Tony Heller at his The Deplorable Climate Science Blog put together a masterful essay outlining the failure of these irrational experts, entitled “The Five Top Arguments Against Climate Alarmism”, then summarized what this means in a second essay, “The Malicious Intent Behind Climate Alarmism.” As he so correctly concludes:

We need to have a robust discussion about our energy future centered around engineers – not decisions based on hysteria by politicians and academics who don’t know the first thing about climate or energy. The American people need to be educated, not fed propaganda and have their information sources censored. Our survival depends on an adequate supply of energy, not mindless hysteria and fear over an essential trace gas. Without carbon dioxide, life itself can not exist.

Without a reliable supply of energy, modern civilization can’t exist.

Read both of Heller’s posts. He backs up his conclusions with facts.

And by the way, by the time I finished this short post it stopped snowing. More proof of global warming!


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.

Regular readers can support 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


  • wayne

    Hey Mr. Z.,
    Currently hovering around 30 degrees here in SW Michigan (a heat wave for us recently) with a Winter Storm Watch in effect starting Sunday. ‘Only’ 4 inches snow predicted but “up to 60mph winds and rapidly falling temperature’s.”
    Interestingly, our seasonal total-snowfall has been off by 50% this Season but we’re getting cold temperature’s reminiscent of the mid 70’s.

    Who here lives in Minnesota?

  • D Ray

    For my retirement income I am going to begin a campaign to warn of one of the most hideous and frightening weather outcomes, climates stasis. Yes, overreacting to other weather scares such as a new ice age (1980s), global warming (1990s) and climate change (2000) caused the climate reach a very rare state of choatic micro oscillation. This phenomenon results in a steady +-1 degree temperature. This horrible situation will result in boredom for much of the population leading to depression and substance abuse on a massive scale.

    I figure this dyer thread to the planet will be worth a couple of best seller and years of campus lectures.

  • Phill O

    D Ray LMBO Laughing My Bit Off (but not FMBO)

    Bob, you should have been here for February 2010! Temperatures in Rodeo NM were around -8F and frozen water lines everywhere. The prickly pear that had been watered suffer terribly in Bisbee. Those in the desert were fine. I am told of other cold winters by residents dating back 30 or more years.

  • commodude

    D Ray,

    Where do I send the bill for the new laptop? I just sprayed a very nice upstate New York red wine all over the keyboard.

    With your almost guaranteed future millions, surely you can spare the few pennies that a new laptop would cost.

  • Keith

    I recall one snowy day in Phoenix when I lived there in the early 1970s. While I don’t recall what the temperature was, I do remember people wearing fluffy down coats and traffic crawling along.

    In 1972, there weren’t any Climate Alarmists telling us that this was proof of an impending climate catastrophe, but, of course, now there’s money to be made for those pushing their climate fear agenda.

  • John

    Global warming was bad.
    Global climate change is even worse.
    But I fear we have entered a new even worse stage.
    This is global weather change!

  • wayne

    good stuff!

  • Edward

    I remember a morning when I lived in Phoenix, back when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, when I went outside and turned on the garden hose. Some cylindrical ice came out of the hose. Phoenix had had a sub-zero night.

    Fewer than five years later, my teacher in Minneapolis, MN was telling us about the coming ice age, when the poles were covered in two miles of ice, and the polar caps reached as far south as Minneapolis. After school, that day, I left the school building and looked up, trying to imagine the building being covered by two miles of ice, and wondering if the residents of Phoenix would let us back in as refugees.

    No matter the weather, we are always told that we are in trouble for the future. We may need to sacrifice a virgin to the gods, in order to save ourselves. Does anyone, here, live near an active volcano?

  • Aristeidis Lykas

    Average ice cover near the North Pole has decreased dramatically in the past 20 years. This is a fact.

  • Aristeidis Lykas: No it is not. Simply wrong. There was a decline in the summer melt until about four years ago, after which the decline stabilized and appears to be reversing. Moreover, the summer melt refers only to the ice shrinkage during the summer, a very short period of time in the Arctic. Overall, the decline in the overall amount of ice has not be very significant.

    You might want to click on the links I provide in this post and look at the data cited.

  • Phill O

    Historically, February is the coldest month on the southern Canadian prairies and Rocky Mountains. March can be a swine. November and December are significantly warmer than Feb. & Mar.. This is know as the seasonal lag, which most on this site are quite familiar.

    Under the Solar Powered Climate Change model, the “seasonal lag” has not been established yet. I am hoping that if we are heading into a “Grande Minimum” we will have this data, provided that unbiased data can be had. To this, I am not hopeful. I am not convinced yet that we are going into a grande minimum, but information so far does suggest that we are (have been) entering a significant minimum in solar activity. It is time to buy an H-alpha scope to see anything of interest on the sun. The neutral density filters show only sun spots and faculae.

    However, I believe there are still enough skeptical scientists out there that rational thought is not dead, and we will get empirical data..

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 *