I don't pride myself on much, but one thing I do feel smug about is that as far as I know I invented the #quietsun hashtag. A small thing, to be sure.
One of the more rewarding parts of science is the examination of ideas that seem crazy at first, but just might be true after all. A good example is the theory of Continetal Drift: the idea that the continents move around is completely off the wall, and yet move they do. Many fascinating discoveries in science have been the result of closer examination of seemingly wacky ideas. Albert Einstein's theories were strange indeed, but ultimately correct. The same can be said for any number of scientific discoveries.
Currently, there are many theories about solar activity and it's affect on Earth's climate, but one in particular is wacky enough that it deserves further scrutiny. It seems that even The Beeb agrees with me.
I've long been fascinated by the idea that the sun is about to go 'quiet' and usher in an era of global cooling, with potentially disastrous consequences. This sort of thing seems to have happened in the past, although the link is not proven.
A few degrees of global cooling doesn't sound like much, but it would shift the farm belts much further south, hugely reducing the amount of arable land available for crops. This would be a calamity, as the globe already has trouble producing sufficient food for the population.
We don't know if this will actually happen. The sun is far more complicated than we can understand, and there are nuances of its behavior that are simply beyond us. We can't say for certain whether a slowdown would affest temperatures on earth, or how those alterted temeperatures would affect mankind. The only thing we can do is watch and wait.