The cold front hit yesterday afternoon, and the cold north wind blew all night at 15 to 20 mph. When we got to Yoakum from Austin last night it was warm downstairs in the new house, but kind of cold upstairs, where I had left the windows open. I closed them. This morning it was pleasantly cool downstairs and cooler upstairs, but did not feel cold, as it did outside in the wind. The insulation seems to do a fine job, even in a sustained wind.
I could barely feel my fingers while picking vegetables in the garden, which had been warm all week. We got lots of small tomatoes, a few medium tomatoes, four good eggplants and lots of kinds of peppers. Along with some fresh basil I picked, some of this became tonight's spaghetti dinner.
Since it was finally cold enough to try the heating I put in with the build, I turned the heat pump from AC to heat, and turned it on. It worked fine. Very nice.
We have small , vented gas wall-heaters upstairs and downstairs, so I squatted down, read the directions and got the pilot lights lit.
Jenny found the printed directions, so I was able to read about installing a thermostat ("sold separately") .
We never bought thermostats, but they are "passive", "microvolt thermostats", not requiring batteries or connection to house-wiring. These units are sold to work on gas-only. I looked at the 2 connections for the thermostat wired, which were easy to access with the front open. I touched them both with metal plies at the same time, and the flame came on. Success!
This is how I remember my grandparent's wall heater. No thermostat. Turn the little knob to Low, High or Pilot.
I stripped a couple of pieces of wire, jumpered the connections for the thermostat, and turned the flames to low. They both made plenty of heat on low.
We are ready for winter in the new house. We turned the furnace on last night in the old house. It is big, central, and makes a big sound when the flame ignites.
The fan blows impressively. I think it burns a lot of gas, by comparison.
It is still a work in progress, but we will see how much of our daily living and sleeping we can easily transfer to the new house this winter.
Space weather is changing, too. Our lovely blue and green planet insulates us from most of that, most of the time, but not completely, and not always.
We didn't have space weather yet when I was a kid, but we do now. We didn't know about much except gravity and forms of radiation in space. There were little tiny particles moving really fast that could damage space capsule shells and windows.
We did know about big solar flares, like the Carrington Event of September 1-2, 1859, which caused auroral displays and caused telegraph wires to vaporize.
The sunspot that spewed it was tracked by a hobbyist named Carrington, who got a lordship for it.
These solar flares get tracked by NASA and others these days. We know there is a solar cycle of 11 years. There are electromagnetic excursions as well as ejection of high energy x-rays and gamma rays. The magnetic fields of the earth and the sun are also coupled.
It looks like the whole of the universe is magnetically coupled, and all of it is in motion, and there are sheets of magnetic waves traveling through the universe, changing the behavior of stars as they cross them, so they can be tracked. Voyager has detected a lot of these electromagnetic fields and waves. Our sun has something like a bow-wave in front of a ship, as it speeds on its way.
Our solar system is about to be engaged with a big, powerful electromagnetic wave, which seems to be cyclical, like a big, spinning, wavy-disc. Voyager, and watching other stars, reveal this. Earth's magnetic field has been weakening more rapidly, and its strength has not been reported since 2010, when it was seen to have declined twice as rapidly as predicted. It was down 15% from 1900, and down about 35% from the field strength enjoyed by Jesus of Nazareth. The north pole has accelerated from a walk to a jog towards Siberia in recent years, increasing from 25 miles per year in 2--3, to 50 miles last year.
There is a lot of uncertainty about polar reversals lately. They might be more frequent and transient than thought, not just every 100,000 to 10 million years. The electromagnetic universe, through which our electromagnetic sun and planet speed may be a determining factor, but it is only beginning to be studied. The current accelerated decay of earth's magnetic field, coupled with accelerating travel of the magnetic north pole, and the approach of the periodic electromagnetic wave, seen disturbing stars as it overtakes them, suggest that we humans may be in for some bad solar weather soon.
NASA won't talk about it. They clammed up after 2015 and have been making data posted earlier harder to find. The European Space Agency is just as tight-lipped.
The problem is that when the fields weaken X-rays and gamma-rays get through to the earth's surface, where they are extremely toxic to life forms, such as mammals. A steel roof doesn't stop gamma rays. Even lead sheet isn't enough. It needs to be thick lead.
Four feet of soil or water does a decent job of protecting life forms. Nobody has that, nobody normal, anyway. Driving in a car is no good. Driving at night protects you from solar rays, blocked by earth, but not from cosmic rays, coming from distant parts of our galaxy.
Other very strange things can happen, like the younger-Dryas period of 13,00 to 11,500 years ago, when the weather changed abruptly from warming, back into sudden glaciation. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/sites/default/files/2021-11/3%20The%20Younger%20Dryas%20-FINAL%20NOV%20%281%29.pdf
The Younger Dryas Period corresponds to what looks to be the last time this big electromagnetic spinning disc crossed our solar system. It also looks like large things impacted our planet, likely making clouds of water and dust, which could lead to glaciation. There were anomalies in the magnetic formations in hardening lava. Modern agriculture sprang up after that glaciation age warmed up, but some think it had already been present before that bad 1500 years of cold. There was a genetic bottleneck in our human genome around that time, also. There was a very small human population surviving in India, north Africa and the Mediterranean areas.
Though NASA won't talk, Astrophysicist Ben Davidson will. This is a sub 10 minute talk he posted this past week about bad space weather effects we may expect "soon". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyPJfa_Cum0&t=2s
Though we can't know exactly when, it would probably be this decade or next. Ben talks about our sun going into a recurring micronova event, a cyclic thing for our star, and seemingly linked to the recurring galactic electromagnetic wave disturbance that we now know about.
Because of how micronovas occur, there is a darkening of the sun, for an undetermined number of days, as solar energy emission decreases, and matter collects at and beyond the surface of the star. A burst of energy explodes this "shell" and releases an intense pulse of gamma and X-rays, which reach the earth in 8 minutes as an intense flash. You should be in a big cave somewhere since our bodies would be sickened or killed at the surface. If it impacts the other side of our planet, you will be spared from the flash. 18 hours after the flash, the hurtling debris field arrives on your side of the planet, so the secure cave is still the place to be. I don't have one. I'm trying to figure this out. I'll need to have something actionable when the sun goes dark, right?
Ben points out how rapidly we are accumulating knowledge of the workings of our universe, that all of the assumptions of not-much happening were based on our just not knowing much, and not looking for very long, or very effectively. We now have sensitive arrays to look at light and other radiation much farther away and are seeing all kinds of "new" things we did not know were happening.
Here, in 32 minutes, he presents Solar Micronova, The End of an Age, with good animated illustrations. This is the more complete video he talks about. This kind of an event will clearly have lots of human survivors, due to location, good fortune and preparation, but they will be a minority of humanity.
This video is dense with information, which I am able to digest, having delved into numerous NASA videos in recent years for the background. Try it.
I'm always in this awkward position of believing in global warming, CO2, methane, other greenhouse-gasses, tipping points of melting polar ice caps and methane clathrates, but not being so worried about those things, compared to other things that would be better candidates to kill most of us. 536 ws purportedly "the worst year to be alive", likely due to a super-volcano erupting and darkening the sun for a year and a half, ruining crops, making it cold, and bringing out the worst in humans, which is ghastly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/536
536 kicked-off the "Late Antiquity Little Ice Age", which was likely the end of the Anasazi people in Mesa Verde. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Antique_Little_Ice_Age#:~:text=The%20Late%20Antique%20Little%20Ice,%2C%20539%2F540%20and%20547.
From around 1300 to 1850 the northern hemisphere had "The Little Ice Age", with some very cold years, which were probably due to volcanic eruptions causing cooling. This is much better recorded, and includes the Black-Plague years. https://www.britannica.com/science/Little-Ice-Age/Changes-in-large-scale-atmospheric-patterns
Since 1850, California has had a lot of nice weather, but we find out that was an anomaly. We assume that so much which is pleasant and agreeable in our world is the normal baseline. Who could blame us?
Being killed by weather is a recurring feature of human existence, and the deadly weather keeps changing for such a very wide variety of reasons, some of which we are just now discovering. Anthropogenic global warming seems to me to be a real thing. I am scientifically trained and educated, and it all seems to be completely as presented by climate scientists. Not looking at all of the other causes of deadly weather seems to be the fatal flaw.
The largest threat to most people is being killed by other people, which is well documented when weather and crops are bad in history. We have such a vast and intricate food production and distribution system, using 10 calories of fossil fuel for every one calorie eaten, that we are unfathomably vulnerable compared to other periods in history. Most of us would be dead within 3 months if all the electricity went off and stayed off.
Thank you for considering the context that life is usually far more difficult than we have known it in our own years, and that this best-of-all times is not the baseline. Don't get sold a scam. Learn basic human living, especially vegetable gardening, walking and bicycling. I'm grateful to have been able to do all of the things, go all of the places, know and help all of the people that I have in my life. Now that I realize that this has been the best of all times, I feel a responsibility to help all of us go forward gracefully, without face-planting from the next curveball that the universe throws our way.
World War-3 has started. It's different from the first two, as you have noticed. The cause is about the same. Power elites are in a power struggle as the economy goes through big changes. They all need to get richer, to protect what they already own, and to get rid of some of their rivals and most of us useless-eaters.
That being said, a lot of them are probably not expecting a micronova event, or even Scotty losing our shields for a few decades.
Try to outlive them. Keep your head down.
Hotwiring the Heater (pictured in action)