If only we had a bit of
The wife was born in the neighbourhood, and I have lived out here since 1973, about
50 miles NE from downtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. With our farm being away from
the glare of city lights in the night sky, and with the clean air that exists here, we
have excellent viewing conditions at night. Moreover, the night sky is quite often
clear where we live. I always thought that the splendour of the aurora borealis, the
northern lights, that was observable to varying extents on almost any clear night
compensated us for many of the disadvantages that trying to make a living from farming
brings about. Our name for the aurora borealis is "the poor man's
fireworks." Northern lights are heavenly nocturnal light
displays that are often far more
spectacular than man-made fireworks can be. Moreover, the price for seeing them is
right. They are provided free of charge and we don't have to do more than go outside
to see them, in total quiet, without jostling, without having to worry about parking.
There is a direct correlation between the intensity and frequency of solar
activity and the intensity and frequency of the aurora borealis. Even when there
were no spectacular displays in the sky, there was almost always a whitish lightening of
the night sky toward the northern part of the sky at night that sometimes showed up as a
band arching from the horizon in the NW to the NEE.
For about two or three years prior to the fall of 2002, we rarely saw that
whitening of the sky and have seldom had the pleasure of seeing the aurora borealis, but
since then and at least until early January of 2003 (the time of the update stating
that) a number of large solar eruptions occurred and so did large and intensive
displays of the aurora borealis.
However, increased levels of precipitation are a
result of increased cosmic radiation, and that we won't get until the sun returns to a
quieter phase.[*] Instead, we have long-term and
increasingly severe drought conditions. The clear and sunny skies of Alberta are
deadly to farming, so are the long and cold spring seasons we have been having
lately. Besides, our water wells are drying up.
Dr. Yu tells us, it won't get any better
for another 100 years. I believe him, not any climate alarmists trying to sell us a
bill of goods that if only we were to give generously in the form of higher taxes and
outrageous fuel prices we can change the world climate to the better. The good thing
is that although drought conditions have been the norm in the Great Plains of North
America often for hundreds of years, we have had nevertheless fairly good farming
conditions for most of the last century, even here in Alberta. Let's hope that we
will get some more of those.
* Dr. Theodor Landscheidt predicted that El Niņo will start
up again in the beginning of September of 2002, when solar activity was to once more
increase and give us elevated levels of solar radiation. The
precipitation received during the year 2002 was far
below normal levels. But still, northern lights are more frequent since the autumn
of 2002 than they've been for a long time.