Political Correctness in the Republican party consists of denying that global warming exists, or that it’s man made, or that it’s impact to our children’s futures and our nation won’t be monumental. These denials come in the face of science that states unequivocally otherwise.
Political correctness in the GOP demands knee jerk adamant opposition to clean energy because they’ve wrongly become convinced that environmentalism and capitalism are mutually exclusive isms… It means that all GOP pundits must regularly spout myths that most of world knows are not true, and it means that China will be the world energy leader and have the world energy markets dominated within 30 years.
All of this is clearly and concisely covered in Peter Hadfield’s video below.
A good post is up at NEI discussing the ambiguity of the Obama Adminstration’s stance on new nuclear energy plants in the face of the push for cap and tax:
If a cap and a price are imposed on carbon dioxide emissions, [nuclear] plants could be among the biggest economic winners in the vast economic shifts that would be created by greenhouse gas regulations.
That’s from the New York Times, borrowing a story from Climate Wire, which while noting the nuclear plants achieve the goal of carbon emission reduction rather well, runs though the tough sledding it faces.
For example, President Obama is overly ambiguous in his support:
“The president needs to show his cards on nuclear energy,” said energy consultant Joseph Stanislaw, a Duke University professor. “He cannot keep this industry, which must make investments with a 50-year or longer horizon, in limbo for much longer.”
We’re not absolutely sure this is the right way to put it – Congress weighs in, too, and we’ve seen an EPA report that basically shows that carbon emission reduction goals are unattainable without nuclear energy. The nibbling around the edges is happening from both ends.
Tales of Brave Ulysses II – Solar Wind at Lowest Pressure Since Measurement Began
The Ulysses satellite Solar Wind Observations Over the Poles (SWOOPS) solar wind sensors are reporting a 20 percent drop in pressure, with only a 3 percent drop in speed. Dave McComas, the principle investigator for the project, states this as the lowest solar wind pressure observed since the early sixties when we began measuring it.
“What we’re seeing is a long term trend, a steady decrease in pressure that began sometime in the mid-1990s,” explains Arik Posner, NASA’s Ulysses Program Scientist in Washington DC.
How unusual is this event?
“It’s hard to say. We’ve only been monitoring solar wind since the early years of the Space Age—from the early 60s to the present,” says Posner. “Over that period of time, it’s unique. How the event stands out over centuries or millennia, however, is anybody’s guess. We don’t have data going back that far.”
What this bodes longer term is unknown, we don’t have a long history of solar wind measurements to judge by. Here’s a link to the positve Ion measurements half of the data if you want to take a look at it yourself, and I’ve also included a McComas jpg visual above, click the thumbnail to enlarge. On Earth we aren’t going to be affected short term, but Space Travel has become slightly more dangerous due to increased Cosmic Ray penetration of the Heliosphere.
“The solar wind isn’t inflating the heliosphere as much as it used to,” says McComas. “That means less shielding against cosmic rays.” Dave McComas
To picture this think of the solar wind pressure emanating from the sun as part of the atmosphere of the sun (no, it really isn’t, but bear with me a moment;) a huge bubble around the solar system called the Heliosphere. Then picture that heliosphere zooming through a dense sea of Cosmic rays. Still can’t picture it? Take a look here.
Anecdotal but truth as I know it: People living near the poles will also be exposed to more cosmic rays, which could lead to some effects. One of the visible effects I’ve observed is higher incidence of gray hair at earlier ages in populations living near the Northern pole. Earth’s magnetic shield is the backstop for the heliosphere in stopping cosmic rays from affecting life on Earth, and the shape of the magnetic field allows entry to more Cosmic rays at the poles.
Another effect could be on Clouds and climate, which the linked story speaks of.
The solar winds are now the lowest they’ve been in fifty years, meaning that the Sun’s effects on our solar system are also at an ebb. The Ulysses solar probe is providing these measurements, and the winds have not only lessened, but are also 13% cooler. Much more at BBC.
“This is a whole Sun phenomenon,” said Dave McComas, Ulysses solar wind instrument principal investigator, from Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, US.
“The entire Sun is blowing significantly less hard – about 20-25% less hard – than it was during the last solar minimum 10-15 years ago.
“That’s a very significant change. In fact, the solar wind we’re seeing now is blowing the least hard we’ve see it for a prolonged time, since the start of those observations in the 1960s at the start of the space age.”
In addition to being calmer, the wind measured at Ulysses is 13% cooler.
However, judging from Sun activity data collected by non-satellite methods over the past 200 years, the current behaviour is thought to be well within the long-term norm.
Nonetheless, scientists expect the weakened wind to have a wide range of impacts.
Among the notable effects of this will be cooling of our upper atmosphere, and increased penetration through the solar system of external cosmic rays.
John McCain is a realist – he has the foresight to look ahead at the nine billion souls who will soon populate this planet, and what they will need. They will need energy in quantities undreamt of, and the only way to solve that dilemma is an “All of the Above” approach. We need every energy source working if we would not have the planet plunged into poverty, misery, filth and despair. The first step on that path is making energy cheaper and more abundant in America so that we may continue to feed the world.
In this video you see Senator McCain call on Congress to come back and work on the energy problem.