Thoughts on Solar Minimums

The Sun , as you already probably know, has spots on it, amazingly called sunspots. These spots are areas of magnetic activity and are used as a measure to show how “active” the Sun is.

“So what” I hear scoffing , and I can see the cornflacks hitting the computer screen of many a ready who is probably wondering why they should carry on reading this.


Well, it is important, as the Sun’s magnetic field shields us from the space rays which come from other stars. The Earth’s magnetic field also shields us from the radiation from the Sun and alll the other stars out there. But when the Sun’ magnetic field decreases, when the sun spot level drops, then we get “bathed” in more of this cosimc radiation, as the Sun doesn’t protect us so much, and so more of this “comic radiation” or Cosmic rays” hit us.

Cosmic rays have many effects, they cause mutations in DNA and probably have an effect on the Earth’s natural radioactive substances, even perhaps causing a small uptick in the natural rock cycle, with perhaps more volcanic and techtonic activity (this pper They may  interct with our atmosphere and cause more clouds, and scientists think that one star that exploded caused a gamma ray blast that caused an extinction event ( Well, Wikipedia for what its worth says so!)

People have long used methods for investigating the sun, and of course recorded weather and climate. Humans have worship and feared the sun and ancient chinese records go back at least 2000 years, and stone monuments from the brnze age seem to indicate that the Sun had a large importance as far back as 5000 years ago.


So the sun has an influence on whathappens on Earth, and we could discuss what the extent of that is.

I’m all for a cleaner, greaner planet, and think we pollute too much with plastics  and rubbish, and would like to see more public transport used, and even electric cars, if we could square the old problem of produing and storing green electricity(enough of it anyway) to meet modern developmental needs. And , even if I’m not so sure that “science is ever settled” I’ll probably have to “tow the line” on “green house gases and anthropogenic emmisions” as otherwise , like past scientists , I’llb e forced to confess my sins.

Bad science is no scientific debate! When we refuse to consider all eventualities. When we speak from “mount stupid”

Big think predicts tht the sun will lose a whopping 7%in about 30 years

So In solar minimums, we can see that wheat prices increased, and the sun set food prices in the Middle ages according to a rather old paper from 2003 in Nature

But , this effect is probably eliminated in the modern trading world.

But a failure of rice or wheat could cause problems.With half the world’s population in asian countries, and with a reliance on staple foods, we could struggle to feed people should a really big volcano explode of if the sun should slump into a funk from hell.

Well, i shall watch ans see. There isn’t much anyone can do about any of it, and the sun ill shine on, like a crazy diamond.






Sonnet B

Frown frost broken pane

Face cross question mark

Look lost question came

Those aches how they hark


Mist and eyes bleeding raw

Hope to hold the bind

Loves lost blood and some more

We look them in eyes blind


Yet how it plucks at those strings

Hearts hoping to yearn again

And we may hang onto broken things

Hoping that we can repair, when


We wander then in seach of love

Yet there it is, good enough


Au Revoir, Monsieur Hollande

French President François Hollande wont seek a second term. His popularity was too low and unemployment in France has remained stubbornly fixed at 8 or 10 percent.He had stated that he wouldn’t stand again if employment didn’t move, and indeed we can say that this is the case. So at least he kept his word.

So lets take a look back at the mandate and try to see what Hollande did for France. Indeed, it is from this point of view that I will start: Many people shrug their sholders and say ‘What did he do’ to which my answer is “Well, what did YOU do?”

Holland started with some radical changes to society. He changed the law on gay marriage, and made it possible to get married if you are gay. This has proved unpopular with the traditional Catholic right, and very much appreciated with the liberal left, so 50/50. A dinner table topic of a few years ago, this now seems to be an established right and Hollande probably was right to do this early in the mandate to stop it being overturned when he left office.

Indeed, one could argue that the fruits of a politician’s labours are often seen only when they leave office and the plaudits taken by those who replace them, and I have a feeling that this could be the ultimate truth for Hollande , who has tried too hard to do too much and not given enough timeor been given enough time for the vast worksites to bed down.

Hollande has worked on reforming many many sectors: Education, Employment legislation, French legal and magistrial systems, the French regions, Health, international politics, the environment.. So much to do in so little time.

But at least he seemed to let his ministers get on with it.

And his idea of social democracy reminds us of Gerhard Shroder and his ultimate failures.

So Hollande wont run again and Socialism as a political force wanes. It probably isn’t possible to buy voters with promises of a better futurebut with cheaper taxes or whatever as France is broke. But public debt did fall from 7% in 2010 to 3% today.

However with over 90% dept to gdp rate, France has a dept on par with the UK, but above that of Germany

So Hollande is probably the last President of the 5th French Republic. If Fillion become President, France will become less social and much more religiously integrist, and indeed perhaps loose its famous laique status. A poorer future here.

The hope for France. Thanks Francois. Against a background of terror, indeed, Hollande gave us hope. Hope for climate change action, hope for action on social equality, hope for action against terror.

Yes, maybe he wasn’t a superb strong leader with buckets of charisma, and perhaps he wasted time doing things he didn’t need to at the beginning and the end… but don’t we all?

France will have an election in May to see who will be president and it is my personal wish that thos parties  and personalities on the extremes who seek to tempt people with a vision of quick fixes rather than solid foundations should fail.





So long with hate

So tired, its load

Drag it round like fate

Blame the toads


Lie and lay

Light to light too light to dig

Dig my own grave today

See if I still fit


Familiar with its shame

Shame waves over errors

Thank them all for the blame

Never learnt from Terrors.


Dig again

Dig with the pen

A father, son, husband and friend.

Good enough. TEN.


To stand in the light and pass.

Pass. Pass away.

Pass to me. Class.

Let me play


To begin, like sand

Dragged out, by the tide.

Pressed down by land

Become rock, wide


That no waves can hurt?

Worn by time and tide

Eventually to give,

Sand again.


Thoughts on Europe

Europe is at the edge of reason now, reaching forward for should be hoped whilst struggling not to fall into the abyss.

Europe was a great idea, and is worth fighting for, but it needs radical change to survive and it lack the political will and intelligence to do so.

At the moment Europe faces many fronts.

Economic decline, as Asia rises. In the 80’s, 70% of trade was European , now its 30% of world trade.

The rise of national identity, as the extreme right springs up in many countries. Not just that but the extreme left too. Indeed the mainstream has lost its potenty and has failed to answer the urgent poitical issues, or at least the electorate have been told that.

Immigration. Europe’s poster boy free movement ideals just wash up on the shores as people drown in dodgy boats trying to get here. The Syrian conflict has shown Europe as unable to deal with urgent matters and the Geopolitical power of Russia.

Dissolution. Brexit/Grexit threaten now. Even the fact of the brexit referendum means Europe isn’t thinking about the issues or values, but that their eyes are elsewhere.

Invasion. Russia looked and took Ukarane and will look at the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Nato stood and watched Ukarane and before Georgia and even Cyprus had to be careful. So a not so sleeping bear to deal with.

We need an elected European president, with a European army , navy and airforce. Nato isnt fit for purpose and America isn’t able to prevent collapse. We’ve pumped 800 billion dollars into the economy every month and now look seriously at helicopter money, or cashless society ideas. So we need a new central bank, with central taxes and laws.

If we cant accept this, then it is the END of Europe and all its cronism and gravy train eurocrocy, laws for human rights and employment, protection and prevention.

We don’t need a new empire, we have just got over the last one.



They sat in their line

Blue chairs , metal flaking

Metro station with their wine

Fingers puffed and aching

Sat next to the exit sign

Drunk beyond pain and faking


Pool of wine pool of piss

Away from life’s pain

Lost in their alcoholic mist

All day drink,drunk in vain

They know nothing’s list

Nothing to lose, lots to gain?


Still there when we come back.

Sat in the chairs, eyes shut

Hunched far away from lack?

Wine spilled , wine glut

Drunk so much they hack

And curse at the track.


Trains goes by, people get on , off

Not looking at those men, knuckles clenched

They’ve been there so long ,they dont give a toss

And life’s game passes by , from grip’s wrenched

Hard drugs or soft , they’ll gather their moss

Stinking and sinking thirst never quenched



Those ghosts on metros benched.


Ripples on the stones

Wearing down

Slowly washing over them

Dragging them out

The tide comes

Burying all

In its frothy wake

Waking all

From their slumber sleep

The rolling tide

Ripping through

Etching salt

Salty spew

Roaring wave

Tugging hard

Pulling us

From our yards

Down to the sea

The spray and spume

The iodine air

Blows .


Gripping the crumbling surface

Holding to dust

Turning to dust

Back when we were young

And knew, or thought so

When life was clear

Instead of questions

We knew

Made choices without the responsibilities

Now we see

Simple wingbeats cause hurricanes

And step back from decisions

And think before we act.





Syllables or lines

Iambic and rhyming styles


Plough the clouds with our hope

Plant them with your dreams

Tear the landscape

Sculpted by ice


Or write.

Stinging words

Bringing spots

Swirling before our eyes

Dizzy with the truth

Hazy with their anger

Invigorationg as the rain.