One of the lighter moments in our movie, An Inconsistent Truth, is when we’re making the point that of all the factors global warming alarmists point to they ignore that big, burning ball of fire in the sky. We conclude the segment with a paraphrase of political guru James Carville. It’s the sun, stupid.
Sometimes there’s a point when scientists are so immersed in the science that they can’t see the obvious. The proverbial not being able to see the forest for the trees. I believe the great global warming debate will go down in history as one such example.
The French news agency, AFP, recently ran a story on how the sun has been surprisinglyquiet lately. Scientists like to package things as chaotic as the sun into nice, little packages that can be studied and presented in nice, little, peer-reviewed papers. The only problem is the sun is unpredictable. Usually we can expect around 120 sunspots per day in a “normal” 11-year cycle, they tell us. The most recent cycle was forecast to peak at around 90 sunspots per day. It’s coming in at about half that, or roughly a quarter of the 250-year average.
Interestingly enough, scientists tell us the last time this happened was around 1650 to 1715. They refer to that as the Maunder Minimum, named after a 19th century husband and wife scientific team who discovered the anomaly. Many scientists now believe the Maunder Minimum sparked what is now referred to as the Little Ice Age, a period of prolonged cooling that ran from about 1650 to 1850.
And guess what happens after you come out of a little ice age. You start to warm a bit, as we have since 1850. Now that the sun is quiet it would make sense that we’d begin another cooling phase, as many scientists now predict. Instead of common sense another theory captured the imagination of scientists and that is a theory that manmade CO2 is now driving climate change. The only problem with that theory is there doesn’t seem to be any correlation.
No one is denying that carbon dioxide levels have risen substantially over the last 100 years. The problem with the theory is the temperatures haven’t followed the rise in CO2. In fact, as we point out in the movie, if you go back and closely examine the historic record you’ll find that temperature rise precedes the rise in carbon dioxide. In other words, as the planet heats the ocean temperatures rise and give off more CO2.
It’s interesting that this week much of the nation has been going through a cold snap. We must be careful that we don’t confuse weather change with climate change. The global warming alarmists are famous for this. Any time there’s an unusual heat wave they trot out their theory of global warming. On weeks like this they’re conspicuously quiet except for those who call this “extreme weather” and blame it on humans.
The odd thing is there is no scientific scenario in which CO2 would cause dramatic cooling. This whole theory of CO2 causing weather extremes is nonsense. Either additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing the planet to heat up or it’s not. The greenhouse effect is just that. Greenhouses get warmer, not colder or wetter or dryer or stormier. These folks are so determined to blame humans that they ignore common sense and even science itself.
There is basically one dominant factor that determines whether we’re going to be warm or whether we’re going to be cool.
It’s the sun, stupid!