The iceman cometh?

I’ve been thinking about sunspots.

Now, cool your jets. I’m not going to start banging on about Maunder Minima and little ice ages versus global warming, CO2 and all the rest of it.

Reasons: a) I’m bored by all the arguments that generate more heat than light, and b) I’m not qualified (you might reasonably ask: on the basis of a piffling few hundred years of unreliable weather data… who really is?).

No, this blog entry merely asks a hypothetical and rather narrow question, viz:

If solar activity does hugely affect climate, and if we are the verge of a new ‘Maunder Minimum’ period that will bring much colder winters (all theoretical and unproven)… what would that be like on my vegetable plot?

Well, I guess it would mean more years like the last three.

Which, I gotta say, is bad news. Because 2011-2013 have brought average vegetable yields at least 20% lower than before – even worse in certain crops (potatoes are more like 40% down). Lots of rain and no sun, allied with longer winters, has been fairly crappy for me. Yet more rain and/snow plus even longer winters would presumably be disastrous.

And I’m just a humble one-man vegetable grower. Extrapolate these figures to northern hemisphere farming, as a whole, and they add up to a hell of a lot less food.

I don’t pretend to know how this would play out. Especially if lasted – like the 17th century ‘little ice age’ – for 70 years.

But I’m doubting humanity would feel it was an improvement on what’s gone before.

Posted on 7th June 2013
Under: Rants, Winter | 4 Comments »

Snow update: No update

So where’s the snow post? The one moaning about the weather? Surely the blog wouldn’t be complete without it?

Sorry. Refuse to do it. Harsh and unforgiving views etc.

“Cold Weather In Winter Shocker”… it’s not a headline, and it’s not a national emergency. Recommend the Norman Tebbit response to such crises: Get over it and get on yer bike. It won’t kill us.

And to those who’ve been panic buying in supermarkets, I can only sigh and say this: You’re a bunch of spineless, dimwitted tossers. I hope you choke on your stocks of unnecessary food.

Shit. I did the snow post after all.

Posted on 11th January 2010
Under: Rants, Winter | 10 Comments »

Video: Heavy snow in England

I know you Canadians and north Americans will laugh, but a foot of snow in the southern UK is a very big deal. Really. We’ve not seen snow like it in the London area for almost 20 years.

In fact, I remember that last heavy snow. I was a student, living in Chelsea (south west London), and 200 of us were snowed in at our digs. The gates froze solid. So we had a day off college because they were too high to climb.

Er, honest.


Snow in England from Soilman on Vimeo.

Posted on 2nd February 2009
Under: Winter | 9 Comments »