Top 10 For November 2011

Last month’s most avidly read post concerned the 20th anniversary of Niven/Pournelle/Flynn’s salute to sf fandom, Fallen Angels. Back when Fallen Angels was written one of the questions was why we weren’t launching orbital power satellites to avert the coming Ice Age, a concern that might belong on the shelf with the science in Bradbury’s Mars stories — or will it eventually be shown prescient?  

Stories about the doings of Harlan Ellison, the deaths of a popular fan and pro, and a fannish reference in the mundane political news, were also among the Top 10 posts for November 2011 according to Google Analytics:

1. Fallen Angels at 20
2. Chris Croughton Killed in Accident
3. Anne McCaffrey (1926-2011)
4. Ah, Culture
5. Tarpinian: Harlan’s Back!
6. SFContario 2 Photos
7. Chicon 7’s Cyber Monday Sale
8. Internet Journalism at Its Most
9. World’s Most Valuable Comics
10. Beanie Goes To Congress

2 thoughts on “Top 10 For November 2011

  1. These people surveyed 71 climatology papers from 1965 to 1979 – granted, a decade earlier than FA but back when TIME was running scare articles about an ice age – and found that of the 71, seven predicted continued cooling, 44 predicted warming and 20 were neutral or made no climate predictions.

    Most people agree that the greatest threat to civilization is an ice age, since Canada is much less kilometer-thick ice-sheet tolerant than PETM-style semitropical forest tolerant, but adding enough greenhouse gases to defer the next ice sheet cycle for tens or even hundreds of thousands of years seems well within our capacity; whether it’s something mundane like CO2 and methane or something more exotic like HCFC-22 or Hexafluoroethane should be determined by whichever Ministry is in charge of regulating the climate.

    (On a plus side, this knowledge could later be applied to the climates of such defective planets as Mars)

    It is true that some previous warming cycles have involved dry climate south of the border that would be quite hostile to agriculture but I’ve checked Canadian census data and hardly anyone lives there. Anecdotally, I’ve visited ten or twelve US states and I’ve spoken to at most hundreds of people and seen at most thousands of people milling about, all of which casts the claims about “hundreds of millions” into doubt: ten thousand seems like a more reasonable figure, although a hundred thousand isn’t out of the question. Note that the “hundreds of millions” number comes from the US government, which I am continually assured cannot be trusted [1].

    Providentally, even if the Greenland Icesheet melts, most people live between Quebec City and Windsor, well above sea level. See here:

    to see that the effects of even a 10 or 13 meter rise in sea level has few serious consequences for the urban corridor.

    1: But what of the vast infrastructure, you say? It is true there evidence that in the past some great civilization built impressive works south of the border but also true that the current people occupying that region appear to lack the skills or wealth to maintain it. Probably the interstate highway system was constructed by Mound Builders wandering Aztecs or possibly Phoenicians [2].

    2: Note the people who claim to have seen the interstates built are generally very old and probably senile; presumably they are relaying folk tales about what they found when their people migrated there.

  2. I just tell people that Climate Change is a conspiracy by Polar Bears and Glaciers, and leave it at that.

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