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: The boom in sunspots returns!

It is time for my monthly sunspot update, based on the most recent NOAA monthly graph, showing the changes in the Sun’s sunspot activity during September. That graph is below, annotated to show the previous solar cycle predictions and thus provide context.

In September sunspot activity boomed once again, producing the most sunspots in a month since 2016 and ending the slight drop in activity in August to return to the pattern the Sun has exhibited since the end of solar minimum. Consistently the number of sunspots on the visible hemisphere of the Sun since 2020 has exceeded the April 2020 prediction of the NOAA scientist panel, as indicated by the red curve in the graph.


September 2021 sunspot activity

The graph above has been modified to show the predictions of the solar science community for the previous solar maximum. 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.

The blue curve represents the number of sunspots daily, and shows that the ramp up to solar maximum is continuing to steepen, suggesting that maximum will either arrive a year sooner than predicted, or will be significantly stronger then the prediction should it happen in 2025 as predicted.

The increased activity continues to be in line not with the NOAA panel’s prediction but with the prediction of dissenting solar scientists who have been foretelling a very strong maximum.

Even if those dissenting solar scientists turn out to be correct it really will prove nothing. None of these predictions are based on a true understanding of the fundamental cause for the Sun’s eleven year sunspot cycle. We know the Sun’s magnetic dynamo produces the sunspots and the cycle, but we have no idea why it exhibits this cycle, flipping the polarity of its magnetic field as it does so. Nor do we understand why every few hundred to a thousand years it ceases to produce sunspots and goes through a grand minimum lasting decades.

We also do not know if the intensity of this cycle as well as the arrival of grand minimums has an influence on our climate. There is circumstantial evidence that fewer sunspots leads to a cooler Earth, but the mechanism that links the two has not yet been identified, though there are unproven theories.

That it appears we will not see a grand minimum in the next decade is in a sense a grand shame, as the occurrence of such a rare event would have helped solve these mysteries. Undergoing another typical solar maximum, even if it is weaker or stronger than normal, will provide scientists much less new information. A grand minimum however would have likely made it possible to show without doubt the effect of the sunspot cycle on the Earth’s climate.

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19 comments

  • Mark

    Bob, what’s with all this “Data” & “Science” and “Graphing” on Sunspots? You know what Saint Greta would say – “Blah, Blah, Blah… Blah, Blah, Blah…” Her jihad has intimidated politicians across the globe. From a post last week on Watts Up with that dot com, here is the crazy talk going on over in Britain: “Boris Johnson says young people have every right to be angry about the state of climate change. The UK prime minister told climate activists in Milan that they were paying the price for the “reckless actions of their elders”. The penitent mood here was underlined by Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who said politicians needed to be “whipped into action.” Both agreed that urgent action to limit warming was now desperately needed”
    I can only hope soon some Solar physicist in the UK bumps into Boris when he goes into the local pub, and bends his ear with a few facts about that Immense and Radiant Nuclear Furnace in the Sky.

  • Phill O

    Just shift the prediction a bit earlier and there is a very good match. Time is on our side (hindsight is 20/20).

  • Max

    With the Parker probe orbiting the sun, it would’ve been a perfect opportunity to collect the maximum amount of data if it was an unusual cycle.
    Just the same, it will be collecting more data than we’ve ever had before. Perhaps it will help explain magnetic reversal, or if the magnetic field is only surface deep (similar to Jupiter) or perhaps it comes from the corona sphere like all light, heat, and the solar wind does. (All that plasma, by the laws of physics, must have a gigantic magnetic influence)
    Then there’s the question of “why is the photosphere is so cold”, or are nano flares (formally micro flares) responsible for the heating of the Coronasphere? And what part does tadpoles play?
    Why are the dark spots so bright? (In the ultraviolet) is it because they are unusually strong magnetic field in that location prevents, by resistance, the electrical discharge causing light to climb to a higher frequency? So why would the sun spots be a few thousand degrees cooler? Around 7000°.
    Why does the equator rotate so much faster than the poles? (with so much gravity, the upper atmosphere would be thick, compressed to a near liquid state)
    If the sun is a nuclear furnace, where is the radiation?
    How much current does the thermal pile affect create? (does it still hold the Guinness book of world records?)
    If hydrogen is being converted into helium, why hasn’t the sun choked on its own byproduct?
    (just as plants are choking on oxygen, not having enough carbon dioxide)

    Wandering thoughts while I’m driving, looks like rain, can hardly wait for a day off… And More than six hours of sleep. Saw my first contrail in weeks today, very unusual… The sky is usually full of chemtrails.

  • Mark

    Max – I appreciate the ‘contrails’ of parody in your post, but I’m left wondering who are the know nothings that are the objects of the derision?

  • Alex Andrite

    My oldest son has lived out side of Fairbanks AK for a number of years, well to many in my opinion.
    I spoke with him recently asking about the recent / past Auroras.
    He replied “Pa, the past few nights have been incredible, the “sizzling” is amazing.
    I asked, “sizzling” ?
    “Yep, the display is one thing, the sound they make is another”.
    “Very cool Pa”, “come on up”.
    … … … …

  • Edward

    Max Asked:
    If the sun is a nuclear furnace, where is the radiation?

    Much of the radiation is diverted by Earth’s magnetosphere and absorbed by Earth’s atmosphere.

    If hydrogen is being converted into helium, why hasn’t the sun choked on its own byproduct?

    It will be. It just takes billions of years to do so for a star of the Sun’s size.

    Parker has instruments to investigate some of the other questions.

  • Andrew_W

    “If the sun is a nuclear furnace, where is the radiation?”

    Fusion only occurs in the sun’s core, so is blocked from us by hundreds of thousands of kilometers of sun stuff, the radiation the sun fires out through the solar system is a product of surface activity like flares, not directly from nuclear fusion.

  • Questioner

    “If the sun is a nuclear furnace, where is the radiation?”

    The hard, very high-energy gamma radiation that is created in the core of the sun when hydrogen is fused to helium is transformed into the sunlight on the way from the sun’s core to the surface through an unbelievable number of interactions (emission and absorption). If I remember correctly, photons take hundreds of thousands of years to travel from the nucleus to the surface, which I find pretty amazing.

  • Max

    Mark;
    I fail to understand;
    “who are the know nothings that are the objects of the derision?”

    In the late 80s,, Congress passed a law removing “regular” fuel with sulfur and cancer causing agents from the market. Leaving only “unleaded” fuel which didn’t cause photochemical smog cleaning the air.
    The sludge of sulfur, benzene, and other toxins were disposed of in red “off-road fuel” of construction, farming equipment, and jet planes because it raises the octane level increasing thrust. (The boys at the refinery are in the same union as I, and have talked about it in the past)
    I don’t think red fuel is available anymore, perhaps they quit using it in jet fuel as well?

    Hydrogen sulfide (acid rain) is naturally emitted by the plankton in the ocean and is a strong condensation nuclei that changes humidity into clouds.
    Similar chemical, Sulfur dioxide responsible for smog, does the same thing only stronger. The long lasting, water absorbing chemical trail emitted from jet engines.
    (Which I haven’t seen much in the past month.)
    Planes that I have seen had a very short trail, like the military planes out of hill Air Force Base, but these were passenger planes.

    Edward;
    Neutrons are not affected by magnetism… Or for that matter they’re not affected by matter much either.
    The gaseous nature of the sun does not prevent them from being released immediately traveling here at the speed of light, with half of the neutrinos hitting the earth, passing right through the earth.
    That’s why all neutrino detectors are deep underground, usually inside mines away from granite that’s radioactive.
    The detectors can pinpoint any nuclear testing, or nuclear reactors that are stationary, and supernovas occurring in real time. (From our perspective) most of the galaxy and our Sun are neutrino quiet. Otherwise, neutrino detectors would be useless… And we would all be a dead “irradiated world” lifelesss with every rotation.

    From Wikipedia;
    “Neutrinos are also released by the fusion reactions in the core, but, unlike photons, they rarely interact with matter, so almost all are able to escape the Sun immediately. For many years measurements of the number of neutrinos produced in the Sun were lower than theories predicted by a factor of 3. This discrepancy was resolved in 2001 through the discovery of the effects of neutrino oscillation: the Sun emits the number of neutrinos predicted by the theory, but neutrino detectors were missing 2⁄3 of them because the neutrinos had changed flavor by the time they were detected.[104]”

    Neutrinos do not change flavor when from a man-made reactor, or from natural decay, or from supernovas… neutrinos “from the sun” preform a magical act of changing into leptons and quarks and disappearing into the quantum flux… (might as well blame dark matter as well, to make it sound more convincing)

    Andrew_W has it right, mostly. (No known substance can block neutrinos)
    According to the the theory, all nuclear reactions occur at the core. (radiation detectors receive results from the Full circumference of the sun, not just the center) Matter and magnetism may play a part in this that the Parker probe is hopefully going to settle)
    That’s why I asked, why hasn’t the sun choked on its own by product?

    Again from Wikipedia;
    “Over the past 4.6 billion years, the amount of helium and its location within the Sun has gradually changed. Within the core, the proportion of helium has increased from about 24% to about 60% due to fusion, and some of the helium and heavy elements have settled from the photosphere towards the center of the Sun because of gravity.”

    As the heavier helium pushes the hydrogen out of the core, the sun should be getting dimmer… Not brighter. Perhaps this is the reason that Parker, for which the probe is named after, theorized that the sun is electrical… It explains all the other theoretical problems.
    The SoHo satellite in the Lagrange point 1 prove this long ago and a book was written about it by a British scientist. He coined the phrase “Micro flares” in their observation of chronal heating. I listened to his interview on the BBC live in the 90s, and again a few years later archived on the “way back machine”. I believe the title to his book is “our manic sun”

    Questioner said;
    “The hard, very high-energy gamma radiation that is created in the core of the sun when hydrogen is fused to helium is transformed into the sunlight on the way from the sun’s core to the surface through an unbelievable number of interactions (emission and absorption). If I remember correctly, photons take hundreds of thousands of years to travel from the nucleus to the surface, which I find pretty amazing.”

    If you put your hand over flashlight, some light trickles through. (we are not a solid) But this happens instantly. Place a book over the flashlight then calculate how many minutes, or years it will take the light to pass all the way through to the other side… or how long sunlight that hits the earth will pass through the soil to illuminate caves underground… Or aluminate your basement.
    Absorbing and reemitting is the theory, but it’s well documented that all “light”, “heat”, and “solar wind” comes from the corona, thousands of miles above the surface of the sun. The surface (photosphere) is just a fraction of the temperature of the corona. (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune all have hotter atmospheres than the suns photosphere)
    The +2,000,000°F Corona layer of plasma light is consistent with an electrical arc through a hydrogen gas medium when the sun’s light is analyzed on a spectrometer.
    Therefore, any light or photons created at the center of the sun are absorbed as heat which dissipates and cools to near 9500°F by the time convection reaches the surface. Emission is in the infrared, but cools significantly before it reaches the chromosphere. Just as light that hits the book or hits the ground is absorbed into warmth with shallow penetration.
    I think that’s enough to chew on. My goal here is to make you think about what you’re told and not to except it on face value. Even if they wear a white coat! The symbol of trust.
    Ignorance is slavery, the truth will make you free… The scientific method should be used on all religiously held notions that seem inconsistent.

  • Questioner

    Max:

    This video may help you to understand!

    “Sunlight is way older than you think – Sten Odenwald”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-UO-RZBQ3U

  • Edward

    Max,
    You are correct about neutrinos being ubiquitous. In that way you have answered your own question. However, because they do not react with matter as readily as most other radiations, it is not something to worry about.

    Ignorance is slavery, the truth will make you free… The scientific method should be used on all religiously held notions that seem inconsistent.

    Be careful. Science is not the answer to everything. It does not answer many philosophical questions, such as “what is good” and “what is bad.” We answer them based upon other methods. Think of science as a tool. Like a hammer, if it is all that you use, then everything starts to look like a nail. It is only one tool in the toolbox, and the right tool should be used for the right job.

  • Questioner

    Max and Edward:

    In the sense that Keith Ward explains in the video, I am declaring here to be a philosophical idealist. I.e. I assume that the spirit is the primary thing in the world. Matter is only a derivative appearance in our mind.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iExqv32hVJM

  • Andrew_W

    Max: If hydrogen is being converted into helium, why hasn’t the sun choked on its own byproduct?

    This reminded me of a claim I read many years ago, which was that kilo for kilo someone asleep produces more energy than the Sun.
    Sounds improbable?

    The Sun has a mass of 2×10^30kg, it produces 3.8×10^26 W, so the Sun produces about 0.00005 W/kg. So yes, a very small fraction of the energy produced/kg by someone asleep.
    No wonder it spends so long in the main sequence.

  • Andrew_W

    Correction: 0.00019 W/kg, compared to about 1.5 W/kg for the sleeper. Even in the core of the Sun the fusion reactions happen at a very slow rate when we take into account the huge amount of fuel in which the process occurs.

  • Questioner

    As it looks (see the following excerpt from the Wikipedia article), the produced helium simply accumulates in the core. If I have understood it correctly, the effect of the decreasing hydrogen concentration is compensated by the increasing temperature of the core during the time of core’s hydrogen burning, which is an effect of the increasing helium content (see below), so that there is no decrease in the suns’s overall fusion performance until helium burning starts – it is just the contrary.

    “However, as depth into the Sun increases, fusion decreases the fraction of hydrogen. Traveling inward, hydrogen mass fraction starts to decrease rapidly after the core radius has been reached (it is still about 70% at a radius equal to 25% of the Sun’s radius) and inside this, the hydrogen fraction drops rapidly as the core is traversed, until it reaches a low of about 33% hydrogen, at the Sun’s center (radius zero).[5] All but 2% of the remaining plasma mass (i.e., 65%) is helium, at the center of the Sun. ….

    The rate of nuclear fusion depends strongly on density.[citation needed] Therefore, the fusion rate in the core is in a self-correcting equilibrium: a slightly higher rate of fusion would cause the core to heat up more and expand slightly against the weight of the outer layers.[citation needed] This would reduce the fusion rate and correct the perturbation; and a slightly lower rate would cause the core to cool and shrink slightly, increasing the fusion rate and again reverting it to its present level.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_core

  • Questioner

    Andrew_W:

    from Wikipedia:

    “The energy conversion per unit time (power) of fusion in the core varies with distance from the solar center. At the center of the Sun, fusion power is estimated by models to be about 276.5 watts/m3.[7] Despite its intense temperature, the peak power generating density of the core overall is similar to an active compost heap, and is lower than the power density produced by the metabolism of an adult human. …”

  • Max

    Oh my,
    Questioner, I think you missed my point entirely. The video was a good laugh, but light does not come from the center of the sun… it’s emitted by the corona.
    Any energy coming from the center of the sun comes in two forms, radiated heat (which is 9500° by the time it reaches the surface) and electrical energy, from the little nano flare, to the all twisted up magnetic currents which will explode with the power of thousands of hydrogen bombs in an X class flare.
    The part in your “Ted talk” that talks about a photon hitting a proton causing a charge? This is the Static electrical discharge of plasma that is occurring all over the sun in the path of least resistance…
    There are micro flares being discharged from every cell (charged like a capacitor) nearly continuously. These nano flares shoot up to the corona, which heats from 2,000,000 to 30,000,000°F depending on the Suns activity. (parkers theories on this got him laughed at, now the solar probe is named after him)
    Surprisingly, the solar output does not vary more than one percent of its normal.

    What’s not happening is neutron radiation. Nuclear fission and fusion is well understood and has a consistent ratio of mass to energy conversion that results in a known quantity of radiation for which a factor of 3 (10×10×10) is not occurring! The only reasonable explanation is the sun is “not” a nuclear furnace.
    Without proof, you can follow the religious belief that neutrons change their flavor into leptons, quarks, and unicorns to which they all ride off into the quantum flux… that way you can sigh with relief, that your faith in the solar model has been restored! Hallelujah!

    The solar output is actually more consistent with theories from the 1800s. I have in my possession an information sheet about our solar system printed in 1890s.
    It talks about the output of the sun is the equivalent of 9 feet of coal covering the entire surface of the sun every hour.
    No radiation with Coal either. But there is a simpler explanation that occurs on every planet with an atmosphere that is consistent, and measurable, and is not in any of the global warming models, even though it holds the Guinness book of world records in temperature change.
    I know, I’m not supposed to talk about the elephant in the room… I just can’t stand the smell any longer.

    Edward, thank you.
    Our disagreements in the past have been interesting because you come from an educated intellectual viewpoint, were mine is from an uneducated experimental, drawing from the experience of Engineer’s that I have known.
    I include your experience as much as I can to my knowledge. I learned from you often.

    You said;
    “Be careful. Science is not the answer to everything. It does not answer many philosophical questions, such as “what is good” and “what is bad.” We answer them based upon other methods. Think of science as a tool. Like a hammer, if it is all that you use, then everything starts to look like a nail. It is only one tool in the toolbox, and the right tool should be used for the right job”

    I disagree, science as in the “scientific method” is using intelligence with experience to divine the “truth” or proper course of action or what is, or is not real. I have no intention to use my head as a hammer, just rational thought in how one thing leads to another and the consequences.
    Case in point, performing action for actions sake, to appear to be doing something good? that’s only producing harm. Good intentions. Negative outcome. Equals bad idea.
    When I talk about religion and using the scientific method, where inconsistent conclusions do not uphold reality. I’m thinking about the current global warming/climate change/the sky is falling hysteria. Climatology. It has no sound facts behind the greenhouse theory, in fact they have never rationalize the inconsistencies with the “second law of thermodynamics” which flatly state it’s impossible, that radiating heat from air mass that is is colder, to warm the ground hotter, doesn’t happen. But their belief in a fantastical lie that we only have 10 years left, is stronger then the laws of nature and therefore they quit “thinking” rendering the scientific method useless.
    They’d rather “believe” a lie. because everyone else is, and they’re afraid of sailing over the edge of the world and being eaten by monsters… (The only tool left in Biden’s toolbox is the biggest Hammer ever made)

    “It does not answer many philosophical questions, such as “what is good” and “what is bad.”
    Philosophical concepts of good and evil are an every day struggle. Christ devoted much of his teachings on the subject. Loving your neighbor seems to work just fine, Although many claim that the Bible and love are outdated concepts.
    For those I would recommend the 12 step program to help those with Blindspot’s in their mental deficiencies to recognize when they’re harming others.
    The recipe for happiness is just surround yourself with happy people knowing that your responsible and caring attitude facilitated this happiness. The more you give, the more you receive. And to whom much is given, much is expected… So don’t keep score, you will never be paid back. Just write it off, that’s the price for happiness… It is worth it.

    That’s why I like science so well, the rules are fixed, for every action there’s a reaction. When you’re fed a line of bull, you can recognize it right away.
    The methods of men that are used to control others are devious, and meticulous in their lies. Or relentless as you’ve experienced through the Trump administration, and as we’re experiencing now on every newscast.

    A quick comment about the subject matter at the top of the page, I know a Carrington event is possible with every solar maximum. The last one was during the telegraph years not long ago. Today it would shut down industry across the world, everything will come to a stop. This would be more bad than good but it would take the “great reset” out of the hands of the politicians blowing everyone’s malicious plans to kingdom come.
    Theories on what is, or what might be, will not be a high priority in life and death situation where reality slaps you in the face and wants a duel to the death. People that work together can overcome any obstacle.

  • Questioner

    Max:

    The energy produced in the core of the sun is transmitted in the core and in the radiation zone by means of radiation (as photons), but in the convection zone – as the name suggests – by convection (i.e. flow of the solar plasma). In the end, solar energy is radiated into space by the photosphere.

    If I remember correctly, our discussion relaxed about the question of how long it takes for a photon produced in the nucleus to reach the surface of the sun. I admit that this question is not quite correctly phrased. If one were to formulate it correctly, it would be better to ask how long it takes on average for the fusion energy produced in the nucleus to reach the surface of the sun and be radiated there as sunlight. And according to today’s knowledge, these are 170,000 years.

  • Edward

    Max,
    You wrote: “Case in point, performing action for actions sake, to appear to be doing something good? that’s only producing harm. Good intentions. Negative outcome. Equals bad idea.

    Possibly, but you still have not defined good or bad or negative outcome, and science cannot define them, either.

    Is it good for people to live according to their wealth or is it good for everyone to live equally; equal opportunity vs equal outcome?

    Science may be able to quantify the amount of good or bad, but those are still based upon non-scientific definitions. The definition is needed in order to measure it.

    It is vitally important to understand that there are limits to science, and it is important to understand what those limits are. Science is not judgmental. It can tell us the way things are, but it cannot tell us the way things should be. We are the ones who have to judge whether or not some condition should be changed (i.e. from bad to good), and science can help create a map for that change, but science cannot judge whether something should be changed.

    Science shows us that the lion hunts for food, but it is the lion that judges whether he should hunt for food now or later. Science tells us that the gazelle is lion-food, but we are the ones who judge whether it is good for the lion to weed out the slowest one or whether it is bad that there is one less gazelle. If it is good for the lion to “control” the gazelle population, then would it be equally good for him to control the human population? Science does not answer that question. We humans do. Our individual differences in philosophy show that we don’t always agree on the answer, especially on the equality of opportunity vs outcome question.

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