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The Grand Solar Minimum
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  1. #1321
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    I think it's possible that in another couple of years, most won't be able to afford to move south. Or they will end up in the hills where most of the dirt is just one big rock under a few inches of crushed rock. It took me a long time to get decent soil, and at that, I had to have six dump trucks of dirt brought in to get enough soil to make a garden.

    It's still hard for me to believe I leveled all that dirt with a wheelbarrow, shovel and rake! And they were those big huge sized dump trucks! Was I ever that young and strong? Nowadays, it takes me over an hour to move three bags of chicken feed from my truck in the driveway to the feed cans by the chicken run, which is a little uphill, but not much over a hundred feet!

    So if you want to move south, better do it soon. It's probably going to be as cold here in a few more years as it is up north now. And if you stay up north, better have lots of sturdy greenhousing and access to firewood where there aren't a jillion other people thinking that they are going to use it Meaning, if you live at the edge of a national forest, you're probably going to have lots of neighbors. Close neighbors.
    You have a valid point here....it's probably better for the true prepper that most are blissfully ignorant.



    The high points are the four previous civilizations created during the favorable periods of solar maximums; the Minoan, the Roman, Medieval, and our Current warm periods.

    When the tipping point comes, as it has for every previous culture, panic will reign.

    von Koehler
    Last edited by von Koehler; Yesterday at 08:52 PM.
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  2. #1322
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    I think it's possible that in another couple of years, most won't be able to afford to move south. Or they will end up in the hills where most of the dirt is just one big rock under a few inches of crushed rock. It took me a long time to get decent soil, and at that, I had to have six dump trucks of dirt brought in to get enough soil to make a garden.

    It's still hard for me to believe I leveled all that dirt with a wheelbarrow, shovel and rake! And they were those big huge sized dump trucks! Was I ever that young and strong? Nowadays, it takes me over an hour to move three bags of chicken feed from my truck in the driveway to the feed cans by the chicken run, which is a little uphill, but not much over a hundred feet!

    So if you want to move south, better do it soon. It's probably going to be as cold here in a few more years as it is up north now. And if you stay up north, better have lots of sturdy greenhousing and access to firewood where there aren't a jillion other people thinking that they are going to use it Meaning, if you live at the edge of a national forest, you're probably going to have lots of neighbors. Close neighbors.
    Why move? People have survived previous minimums in the northern part of the country. I grew up in a house built in the 1780s. The people that lived there survived 2. Oldest house in Maine was built in the late 1600s so the people there survived at least 3.

  3. #1323
    Sure people survived in the north, but not all of them.

    And in that post I said IF you want to move south...

  4. #1324
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    On Drudge, top left and just under the bold headlines in the center, is the headline Lack of sunspots to bring record cold, warns NASA scientist which links to Felix's iceagenow.info story. Guess I'd better hustle up and place those long term grains orders before some of the sheeple catch on and prices go up and/or supplies shrink.

    This morning we woke up to temps in the low 30s, sustained strong winds and higher gusts, and wind chills in the teens. Tonight we dip into the 20s actual temps. There are snow flurries and sleet falling all the way back to San Antonio. Almost finished making 'window blankets' with fleece fabric and expanding curtain rods, which helps block that coolness that is by the glass...thankfully not drafts. It helps make a cozy feeling at night.

    Hoping we see the sun around mid day. We have enough windows to get the passive solar effect on the south side. It would be a blessing.

  5. #1325
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    Quote Originally Posted by TxGal View Post
    On Drudge, top left and just under the bold headlines in the center, is the headline Lack of sunspots to bring record cold, warns NASA scientist which links to Felix's iceagenow.info story. Guess I'd better hustle up and place those long term grains orders before some of the sheeple catch on and prices go up and/or supplies shrink.

    This morning we woke up to temps in the low 30s, sustained strong winds and higher gusts, and wind chills in the teens. Tonight we dip into the 20s actual temps. There are snow flurries and sleet falling all the way back to San Antonio. Almost finished making 'window blankets' with fleece fabric and expanding curtain rods, which helps block that coolness that is by the glass...thankfully not drafts. It helps make a cozy feeling at night.

    Hoping we see the sun around mid day. We have enough windows to get the passive solar effect on the south side. It would be a blessing.
    OUr house is a partial earth berm passive solar and those windows work both way. We lose a lot of heat through them. We have curtains but I am looking at using 1" foam board cut to fit to put in at night. That hasn't been approved by the boss yet so who knows. May end up compromising on a more substantial thermal curtain.

  6. #1326
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    Quote Originally Posted by mecoastie View Post
    OUr house is a partial earth berm passive solar and those windows work both way. We lose a lot of heat through them. We have curtains but I am looking at using 1" foam board cut to fit to put in at night. That hasn't been approved by the boss yet so who knows. May end up compromising on a more substantial thermal curtain.
    Yep, understand the window issues. In Texas summers, we keep blinds closed during the day. Sure don't want 100 degrees plus coming in! My original plan was to use the foam board. This arctic air came in far earlier than normal for here, so I pulled fabric out of my stash to use. I think back in the old days old quilts and blankets were used up north. Family was from upstate NY and PA, I spent most of my life in northern VA, and we heard a lot of stories on how things were done way back in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Lots of things to learn from those generations.

  7. #1327
    This thread has become quite long, with thousands of "views" whatever that means.

    So, I have thought of an interesting challenge.

    Try bringing up the topic of climate change, and talk about global cooling.

    What is their reaction? Disbelief? Don't want to talk about it? Think you are crazy? Argue or ignore?

    Probably the key people to talk to are your family members and spouse.

    My ex would always agree with a change; but only after it was too late to do anything. Until she saw it actually happen, it wasn't "real" to her.

    Curious to know what the responses are.

    von Koehler
    Last edited by von Koehler; Today at 10:39 AM.
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  8. #1328
    Quote Originally Posted by mecoastie View Post
    Why move? People have survived previous minimums in the northern part of the country. I grew up in a house built in the 1780s. The people that lived there survived 2. Oldest house in Maine was built in the late 1600s so the people there survived at least 3.
    Please do not interpret this as a personal attack, as that is not my intent.

    I think you are comparing "apples with oranges" here as there as are significant differences between today and New England of the 17th century.

    Then:

    population was much smaller
    no use of electricity
    no use of fossil fuels [perhaps some use of coal]
    people were far closer to the land; many were farmers or tradesmen
    "lifestyles" were completely different-there's major difference when you are concerned about getting your morning gruel and ordering a $5 Starbucks coffee to go
    even still, after the "Year without a Summer" there was a outflux of discouraged people resettling further west to warmer climates

    and the biggest reason is that the Grand Solar Minimum is expected to be harsher then in the Maunder Minimum. There's a huge difference in consequences from a 1.5 degree Centigrade drop and a 3 degree Centigrade drop-it is not a linear progression but an exponential expression.

    Can someone survive in New England? Sure, if you make the proper preps and have the money $$$ to spend for them. Anyone can grow bananas in Maine IF you know how to and are willing to throw enough money into producing $100 a bunch bananas.

    I am just saying your survival problems would be lessened by relocating to a relatively warmer region. It's easier to cope with 0 degree Winters than a minus 25 degree blast.

    However, I am NOT saying the South will not escape untouched. I remember reading accounts on how the Seminole indians in Florida first encountered snow during the Maunder Minimum and called it "white rain" because they had no frame of reference.

    von Koehler
    Last edited by von Koehler; Today at 11:04 AM.
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  9. #1329
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Koehler View Post
    Well, to add to the doom porn, this chart also implies that the Eddy Minimum will last at least for 40 years!

    I will be gone long before that date, but it means my daughter and her children will face a tough future.

    Choices made today literally will affect you for the rest of your life: stay put and hunker down OR relocate elsewhere?

    But where? Further South? Does this mean real estate in the Northeast and Midwest pluments while warmer Southern areas gain?

    von Koehler
    Serious points you've raised. We know we won't see the deepest of the GSM since we're in our 60s, but our adult children and future family generations will. They are aware and understand the implications of the changes. Our planning is not just for ourselves, but for them, as well. We have the acreage and wooded areas that we manage for now and the future, pecan and fruit trees (we planted dwarf and semi-dwarf trees, now thinking we'll add standards for the longer life span), a variety of water sources and stocked ponds, good fencing and poultry housing, raised bed gardens. Grains and Mountain House freeze dried will last at least 30 yrs plus stored properly. Grain mills and food processing equipment can be handed down for generations, too.

    Land prices are already rising, I think in large part due to people moving in from California. Not that we'd like a lot of company down this ways (I think we'll get it anyway), I would suggest south of DFW. It gets pretty cold up that way. In many areas, though, if the GSM knowledge takes hold, land will be needed for crops and livestock as more northern land becomes inhospitable. I would think priority would have to shift to preserving crop and ranch land.
    Last edited by TxGal; Today at 12:15 PM.

  10. #1330
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    Quote Originally Posted by mecoastie View Post
    Why move? People have survived previous minimums in the northern part of the country. I grew up in a house built in the 1780s. The people that lived there survived 2. Oldest house in Maine was built in the late 1600s so the people there survived at least 3.
    I've been thinking about this a lot since this thread started. I still haven't fully decided. I feel that it would be pretty rough staying put in Western Maine, but I also think there is going to be a rush to move South once things get in full gear. I could beat the rush and move South to establish a homestead, but what happens when it becomes common knowledge and there is a mass migration South? I am leaning towards spending time and money to survive in Maine. I may change my mind. For a couple of reasons, I really can't fully relocate until around 2020. Maybe that will be too late and the decision will be made for me.

    I recently had a discussion with my father about his childhood in central Maine. I know it doesn't compare to a minimum, but I state this as how different our comfort level is now. My father told me what he was a kid in the mid-1950's that the old house they lived in didn't have running water. They got water from a year-long spring and kept it in a milk container (those big metal ones). He said when they got up in the morning during winter, most days they had to chip the ice that had formed in the milk container. It was that cold in the house. I asked if they heated the house with a wood stove and I was surprised that he said they didn't have a wood stove. They heated the house with a single, big kerosene tower heater. It sounded similar to the tower heaters we have nowadays, but he said it had a big glass "globe".

    Nowadays, when I tell people the furnace is set for 60F, they think that is freezing. Granted, with the wood stove going it is usually closer to 70F, but unless it is really cold out, I usually let the fire go out at night and the furnace will kick on in the early morning. I know we would need to adjust quite a bit to survive a minimum in Maine. In many ways, not just temperature wise.

  11. #1331
    I didn't mention the "Year without a Summer" because I couldn't remember any details right at the moment. I do remember it was also referred to as "Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death".

    I use passive solar heat, too, as much as I can. but I think everyone is forgetting that during the solar minimums, a big factor in the cooling is that there will be a lot more cloudy weather. I'm expecting winters where there will be practically no sunny days. If summers are the same, there might be only a short window during the very hot spells that there will be much sun at all. If we're lucky, we'll time things right to grow anything. There was one winter here several years ago that was cloudier than usual, and my house cooled down and stayed that way. The greenhouse that is attached to the south side of my house did very little to give me any additional heat that winter.

    I am also expecting weather on either end of those predicted "shorter, hotter summers" that will be so cool that the sudden dips that we're starting to see will go down far enough to cause late spring frost kill of young plants (already happening) as well as early frost kills just before harvest time. (Also happening in a way, as per that apple crop in India that Robert Felix posted about on iceagenow.info.

  12. #1332
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    I didn't mention the "Year without a Summer" because I couldn't remember any details right at the moment. I do remember it was also referred to as "Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death".

    I use passive solar heat, too, as much as I can. but I think everyone is forgetting that during the solar minimums, a big factor in the cooling is that there will be a lot more cloudy weather. I'm expecting winters where there will be practically no sunny days. If summers are the same, there might be only a short window during the very hot spells that there will be much sun at all. If we're lucky, we'll time things right to grow anything. There was one winter here several years ago that was cloudier than usual, and my house cooled down and stayed that way. The greenhouse that is attached to the south side of my house did very little to give me any additional heat that winter.

    I am also expecting weather on either end of those predicted "shorter, hotter summers" that will be so cool that the sudden dips that we're starting to see will go down far enough to cause late spring frost kill of young plants (already happening) as well as early frost kills just before harvest time. (Also happening in a way, as per that apple crop in India that Robert Felix posted about on iceagenow.info.
    The reason I mentioned that was because, without exception, every Solar Minimum has experienced major volcanic eruptions.

    von Koehler
    Fad saol agat, gob fliuch, agus bás in Éirinn!

    Christianity is the estranged descendent of a bizarre Jewish apocalyptic cult.

    Kein Krieg für Israel!

  13. #1333
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Koehler View Post
    This thread has become quite long, with thousands of "views" whatever that means.

    So, I have thought of an interesting challenge.

    Try bringing up the topic of climate change, and talk about global cooling.

    What is their reaction? Disbelief? Don't want to talk about it? Think you are crazy? Argue or ignore?

    Probably the key people to talk to are your family members and spouse.

    My ex would always agree with a change; but only after it was too late to do anything. Until she saw it actually happen, it wasn't "real" to her.

    Curious to know what the responses are.

    von Koehler
    I haven't brought it up, but a guy I graduated high school with is a Maine State Representative. His full-time job is installing geothermal heating systems. He has been posting quite frequently on Facebook about the coming minimum. I notice he doesn't get much feedback, but it is surprising that he posts about it so much.

  14. #1334
    Geothermal would be a good solution for the long term, or even now on a small scale, but I think it's already too late to expect to save entire large populations where it isn't already in operation.

    And think of the massive greenhousing that would be necessary to feed more than a single homestead. It would require sturdily built structuressss, possibly underground to protect from the elements, and with good artificial lighting. And with generations having to live this way, there would need to be manufactooring, also protected, and also stockpiling of the raw materials. I wonder if it could even be done for a good-sized population, even with plenty of advance time?
    Last edited by Martinhouse; Today at 12:07 PM.

  15. #1335
    Von Koehler, add the increased cloud cover to what those volcanoes put into the atmosphere and if this is going to be a worse Minimum than the Maunder, we'll surely see a lot more than only one "year without a summer."

  16. #1336
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    Quote Originally Posted by NHGUNNER View Post
    I haven't brought it up, but a guy I graduated high school with is a Maine State Representative. His full-time job is installing geothermal heating systems. He has been posting quite frequently on Facebook about the coming minimum. I notice he doesn't get much feedback, but it is surprising that he posts about it so much.
    I think more and more people are paying attention and planning accordingly, as best they can. I just don't think they're talking about it much, except for within their families.

    I've seen GSM mentioned more and more on other prep websites.

    I don't mean to push any panic buttons, but I'm doing some prep Christmas shopping, and some of the long term food items I was looking at last evening are sold out this morning...think grains.

  17. #1337
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Koehler View Post
    Please do not interpret this as a personal attack, as that is not my intent.

    I think you are comparing "apples with oranges" here as there as are significant differences between today and New England of the 17th century.

    Then:

    population was much smaller
    no use of electricity
    no use of fossil fuels [perhaps some use of coal]
    people were far closer to the land; many were farmers or tradesmen
    "lifestyles" were completely different-there's major difference when you are concerned about getting your morning gruel and ordering a $5 Starbucks coffee to go
    even still, after the "Year without a Summer" there was a outflux of discouraged people resettling further west to warmer climates

    and the biggest reason is that the Grand Solar Minimum is expected to be harsher then in the Maunder Minimum. There's a huge difference in consequences from a 1.5 degree Centigrade drop and a 3 degree Centigrade drop-it is not a linear progression but an exponential expression.

    Can someone survive in New England? Sure, if you make the proper preps and have the money $$$ to spend for them. Anyone can grow bananas in Maine IF you know how to and are willing to throw enough money into producing $100 a bunch bananas.

    I am just saying your survival problems would be lessened by relocating to a relatively warmer region. It's easier to cope with 0 degree Winters than a minus 25 degree blast.

    However, I am NOT saying the South will not escape untouched. I remember reading accounts on how the Seminole indians in Florida first encountered snow during the Maunder Minimum and called it "white rain" because they had no frame of reference.

    von Koehler
    Who is predicting that this will be worse then Maunder?

    In many ways we are far better off than anyone living in 18th century New England. Our homes are far more efficient energy wise. Better insulation, better heat etc. Our infrastructure is far more advanced. We have the ability to quickly move materials around by multiple means. In modern America we are blessed with a food system that exports or converts into energy over 50% of our produced grains. We could lose 50% of our production and still feed this country. Back then if you failed you starved. A 3 degree drop in temperature is a change of approx. 1 USDA zone. That is an oversimplification as weather patterns will change causing additional crop failures but will also open areas to agriculture where it wasn't viable before. I anticipate that my peach trees will fail but most of my apples are Zone 3. Tomatoes and peppers will become hard outside a greenhouse but my kale, potatoes and other cool and root veggies will do fine. I grow a variety of corn that survived 1816. I have another that is short season that I plan on trying out next year. A year wo a summer is a wildcard but it isn't going to matter if you live in the South or the North if that happens. Massive crop fails and everyone starves unless you have food storage. What we are far more likely to see is prices increase on everything. Food, fuel, clothing etc. People will be forced to reevaluate their priorities. The people that are truly going to suffer are the ones on the margins. Both geographically and economically. If you can improve the insulation in house. Do it. Put in a back up heating system. Do it. Put back food. Do it. Grow some of your own food. Do it. That is what we prep for.

  18. Here on the wet side of the PNW we know about almost entire winters with only a few days here and there (usually one or maybe parts of two with sun) for months on end. Ever heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)? It's real and for those not used to cloudy winters it will be an issue. I get sooooo lazy with short, cloudy winter days. It's hard to concentrate on complex tasks or to get motivated. You will need to stock up on Vitamin D3 as you will be lacking it and its so important to health. Another thing is dampness. Good footwear that is waterproof is essential. Wool socks. Having damp footwear and the lower part of your jeans/pants damp gets real old.

    Another thing we are seeing is death of the Douglas firs that grow in the Willamette Valley. They aren't meant to be where they were planted here. Too wet some winters and definitely too dry in the summer, since it's been so dry there hasn't even been the normal dew at night these last couple summers. It's rapidly changing the landscape to closer to what it was before the valley was taken over by settlers. You'd be amazed at how fast a change in climate will affect your environment. Things like firewood may not be available as they once were.

    It affects greenhouses, too. The hoop house I had here was so damp, causing problems with molds and mildew. I did have a small solar fan set up which helped. I had a solar passive greenhouse on the dry, sunny side of the Cascades. Plants did better there, despite the cold. They came out of dormancy sooner and it was a great place to be in the winter, as opposed to a cooler, damp, drippy greenhouse on this side.

    We'll have to adjust, and as we get older, it will be more and more difficult. I wish the younger generations, most of which have no idea how to exist past their smart phone, the best of luck. They will need to change their attitudes, get educated, and get strong real fast if this comes to be.

  19. #1339
    Pinecone, thanks for the reminder and description what clouds and damp can be to deal with. I found that dandelions get powdery mildew in the winter in my greenhouse even during a winter with a normal amount of sunshine. Whiteflies are a huge problem in greenhouses, too. I've bought supplies to make my own white fly traps if I should need them.

    I've just talked to my sister and we are revising our ideas about what else we need to stock up on. Beans and rice are fine, but greens are really important and we will need to find seeds for them this coming spring, if not sooner. Pinetree Seeds always sends their catalog far earlier than any others I get and I think I'd better order broccoli and kale seeds as soon as I get that catalog this year. I'm also thinking I need plenty of potting mix so I can plant tomatoes in individual containers in the greenhouse where they can get to a good size before the shorter summers get started.

    This sister told me she has talked to our brother recently about freeze dried food purchases and he told that prices have already gotten way higher.

  20. #1340
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    Martinhouse, Baker Creek Heirloom is another good seed provider, I'm working up an order now. I used to order from Pinetree many years ago, they were wonderful.

    Yep on what your brother said. I've noticed that, too, often significant price increases. Wheat especially is going up and some places are out of stock in certain sizes. Hard to tell how much is due to crop loss this past year, increasing sales, or some combination.

  21. #1341
    I've also picked up some of the 1" Styrofoam insulation 4' x 8' boards for my north windows. I'm thinking of getting more and using it for the lower half of the greenhouse walls and then I can hang mattress pads on the upper half when needed when there are extra cold nights. Not sure where I'd store all of them in the summer, but maybe summers will soon be too short and cool to even need to store them.

  22. #1342
    I'm thinking I should get my chick starter now, if the feed store carries it this time of year. And some more good containers to store it in, possibly just more canning jars.. And I might invest in a couple of game hens, as they make fantastic mamas who would do all the work of raising chicks for me. And when they do it, I don't have to breathe all that dust and trip over the extension cords! (:

    I'll buy as much seed as I can from my feed store before I order any from a catalog, because I like to support local businesses. I can probably find all I need there, as I'm going to stick to basics with plenty of root crops and greens. I will buy my seed potatoes as soon as they are available and get enough for least my sister if not others, as well. As I may have mentioned in an earlier post, I'm starting to think that potatoes will grow with a minimum of sun and even maybe where it isn't even direct.

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