Monday Madness: It’s the dumb, stupid.

Steven Milloy. Science. Two things that are immiscible. One of his latest essays on Fox, It’s the Sun, Stupid. It’s time for some Monday Madness.


When the international global warming alarm-ocracy gathers for its annual convention on the balmy island of Bali next week, is there any chance that the delegates will look up at the big yellow ball in the sky and ask, “Could it be the Sun, stupid?”

When Steven Milloy writes a column on global warming, does he ever ask, “Could it be the CO2, Stupid?” Nah.

New research suggests that would be a great question for them to consider.

It’s always new research. Last year, it was “New Research” on Cosmic Rays. Milloy has always seemed to maintain that the Sun must be the cause of global warming, hosted articles claiming it, always saying that new research now supports it. Wait a second, you mean all the past claims were bunk, and NOW research supports it? Get real. No really, get RealClimate on your blogroll and hear it from the actual scientists working on studying global warming. Read about the bunk shoveled about Solar forcing causing recent warming.

A recent study from the Journal of Geophysical Research (November 2007) reports that the sun may have contributed 50 percent or more of the global warming thought to have occurred since 1900.

Global Warming = Anthropogenic + Natural Influences. We’ve all known this. Pinning down exactly how much is due to humans and natural cycles can help us figure out what we’re doing and what we need to do in the future. Oh wait, may have? Doesn’t sound like the argument is too strong, does it?

Researchers from Duke University and the U.S. Army Research Office report that climate appears to be insensitive to solar variation if you accept the global temperature trend for the past 1,000 years as represented by the so-called “hockey stick” graph — which claims to show essentially unchanging temperatures between from 1000 to 1900 and then a sharp uptick from 1900 to the present. But the hockey stick-graph has been relegated to the ash heap of global warming history.

Sounds like someone didn’t read Myth vs Fact regarding the Hockey Stick. At least, the words.

Even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no longer mentions the graph in its reports. The researchers instead used a temperature reconstruction developed by Stockholm University researcher Ander Moberg and others that shows more variation in pre-industrial temperatures. Using Moberg’s reconstruction, the researchers found that “the climate is very sensitive to solar changes and a significant fraction of the global warming that occurred during the last century should be solar induced.”

Yes, and if you read the rest of the IPCC’s reports instead of quote-mining them, you’ll find gems like this:

“There is very high confidence that the net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming.”


The researchers conclude that the current large-scale computer models — which, by the way, don’t work as they don’t even accurately reproduce historical temperature trends — could be significantly improved by adding sun-climate coupling mechanisms. Unfortunately, the reconsideration of the climate models isn’t on the agenda at Bali.

Nor is reconsidering Milloy’s personal anti-science dogma.

Another interesting bit of data comes by way of the Solar Science blog, which on Nov. 15 spotlighted a letter in the Green County Daily World (Indiana) that starts out, “Each morning I turn on my computer and check to see how the sun is doing. Lately I am greeted with the message ‘The sun is blank — no sunspots.’”

Who writes the Solar Science Blog?

The letter goes on to state that, “We are at the verge of the next sunspot cycle, solar cycle 24. How intense will this cycle be? Why is this question important? Because the sun is a major force controlling natural climate change on Earth…”

No really, who writes it? There is no name, explanation, or any identifying information listed for Solar Science blog. The main page of the Audit Blogs website that hosts the “Solar Science blog” specifically suggests that global warming will be a topic on the website, and the name seems very similar to Climate Audit, a blog that is based on criticizing climate science. A whois lookup of Audit Blogs resulted in the following information:

Domain Discreet
P.O. Box 278
Yarmouth, NS B5A 4B2

Registrar Name….: REGISTER.COM, INC.
Registrar Whois…:
Registrar Homepage:

Domain Name:

Created on…………..: Thu, Dec 07, 2006
Expires on…………..: Mon, Dec 07, 2009
Record last updated on..: Mon, Dec 10, 2007

Administrative Contact:
Domain Discreet
P.O. Box 278
Yarmouth, NS B5A 4B2
Phone: 1-902-7495331

Technical Contact:
Domain Discreet
P.O. Box 278
Yarmouth, NS B5A 4B2
Phone: 1-902-7495331

INTERESTING! An anonymously written blog on an anonymously hosted blog website specifically mentioning that climate science will be debated on that site… and this is an authoritative source for climate science that Steven Milloy will quote to suggest that the scientists, errrrr… global warming alarm-o-crats are all wrong?

A further search identifies this person at Climate Audit, “John” self-promoting themself as the author of the Solar Science blog. Back to Milloy’s article.

“For the past few months, the actual sunspot numbers have been below [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s] lower predicted threshold, approaching zero,” according to the letter, leading some to conclude that we may be headed into another “solar minimum” period. The solar minimum, known as the Maunder Minimum, corresponds to the temperature depths of the Little Ice Age, a period of global cooling lasting from the 14th century to the 19th century.

Yes, peaks and dips in solar sunspot cycles corresponds to local peaks and dips in global temperature. BUT, we’re talking about warming trends in addition to those cyclical variations cause by sunspot cycles.

As you can see from this graph of solar activity since the mid-18th century, low sunspot activity matches up nicely with well-known Little Ice Age climatic events like George Washington’s Christmas-night 1776 crossing of the ice-strewn Delaware River and Napoleon Bonaparte’s retreat from Moscow in the horrifically-cold winter of 1812-1813.

Again, we’re talking about the independent recent warming trend. You’re not addressing that at all. Read the Trouble with Sunspots for starters.

The letter writer goes on to mention that not too long ago the Mississippi River froze solid above St. Louis, permitting westward wagon trains to cross in the winter and that you can still see old two-story houses in Wisconsin with second floor doors that allowed inhabitants to exit their homes in the middle of winter when snow depths reached 8-feet and more.

So it was colder in the past than it is now, which means the Earth is not warming up? Gotcha. This paragraph clearly establishes, due to the presence of these second-floor doors, that humans didn’t cause global warming at all! *snork*

If sunspot activity continues to be so markedly low, then we should prepare for the possibility of a significant global cooling trend that could reduce agricultural yields and bring on the sort of food shortages that occurred during the Little Ice Age.

Wait, I thought fears of a global freeze in 1970 was some sort of mistake on the part of climate scientists, but now the climate “skeptics” are predicting freezes? How did that happen? Well, actually, here’s how it happened:

  1. Global warming cannot have been caused by humans, at all. Nope. Free Enterprise Rulez!
  2. Therefore, the Sun must have been warming up.
  3. Gloss over the details about how the sun has not been warming up but slowly cooling down.
  4. Flash a flashy graph that doesn’t even demonstrate what you’re talking about.
  5. Refer to an anonymously registered “sun science” blog that claims without reference that sunspots suggest that the sun is about to take a nosedive. I wonder why the climate scientists haven’t been clamoring about it??? Peer review, shmear review.
  6. Therefore, if the sun is totally responsible for the warming, then this ultra-mega-reliable (read: reliable because no one can fact-check its references) source leads me to conclude that the earth is about to freeze. Which is bad – and the only thing we can do to stop it is make more greenhouse gases!

You can’t be cool without fuel!

There’s also a new study out this week claiming that the expansion of above-ground tree vegetation in Europe has absorbed 126 million tons of carbon, equivalent to 11 percent of the region’s carbon emissions. While this seems like a positive development — at least for those bent on removing carbon from the atmosphere in order to reduce global temperature — it may actually backfire in terms of preventing global warming.

Burn Them All!Global Warming: It’s the TREES! Burn them all! Why don’t you blame global warming on the existence of the ocean because it is absorbing heat, and more ocean is absorbing heat because there’s less ice cap to reflect it, and ignore what’s been causing the absorption of the heat in the first place? Isn’t it ironic that those things that companies want to harvest are the cause of global warming? Phree Entrpryze RULEZ! D Enviro-nazis R pwned.

As reported in this column last April, forests in northern regions actually contribute to global warming through the albedo effect. Researchers estimated that this effect may contribute as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit to regional temperatures. So while expanding European forests may take more carbon out of the atmosphere — a dubious proposition for reducing global warming — the forests will also be absorbing more sunlight producing a net effect of warmer temperatures.

Oh yeah, and you see, global warming is really the fault of the melting ice caps. You see, because global warming caused the melting of the ice caps, that has lowered the Earth’s albedo, making the Earth absorb more solar radiation, warming it up. So the global warming we’re experiencing is really the fault of global warming. I like how the trees are always at fault for global warming, and suggesting that all the research on greenhouse gases is Dubious! That’s Madness.

Finally, let’s not forget about last year’s experimental validation of the sun’s impact on cloud cover. That research indicated that climatic impact of sun-influenced cloud cover during the 20th century could be as much as seven times greater than the alleged effect of 200 years worth of manmade carbon dioxide. So while the global warming crowd parties in Bali amid its plotting and planning to subjugate western economies to global government based on a dubious hypothesis about trace levels of invisible manmade gases acting as some sort of atmospheric thermostat, the sun will be there shining down on their folly.

If you follow the link, you will read about an experiment involving Cosmic Rays, not the sun. Most Cosmic Rays do not come from the sun at all, but hit us equally from all directions – they originate from distant objects far outside our solar system. That’s why we call them Cosmic Rays and not Solar Rays. And this is why we have peer review, folks.

Would it be too much to ask for someone to look upwards and see the light?

Apparently so. Sounds like someone’s been staring at the sun a little too long.
I ask you, dear readers, which is the more likely explanation. That decades of climate science is all upside-down according to anonymous sources and cherry-picked papers that don’t have anything to do with what this guy is saying, or that the author of this horrendous article, Steven Milloy, is caught in a down-ward spiral of climate science contrarian Madness?

Enjoy your Monday, Happy New Year, and open your blinds to let a little light in. You’ll feel better, and you won’t have to turn your thermostats up so high, too. Everyone wins.

Steven Milloy publishes and He is a junk science expert and advocate of free enterprise and an adjunct scholar at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Except Free Enterprise, I guess. Wah.

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Karl Haro von Mogel

Karl Haro von Mogel serves as BFI’s Director of Science and Media and as Co-Executive Editor of the Biofortified Blog. He has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics from UW-Madison with a minor in Life Sciences Communication. He is currently a Postdoctoral Scholar researching citrus genetics at UC Riverside.

One thought on “Monday Madness: It’s the dumb, stupid.”

  1. I fear that we have reached a tipping point already. The warming we’re experiencing every year is more than the previous, even inspite of ‘no solar activity’ and just now a ‘moderate La Nina’. If even these things aren’t tempering the greenhouse warming, then when the La Nina has passed and an El Nino developes we will really be in trouble. Also the 11year solar cycle is likely to be a stronger solar maximum than the last (so scientists are saying) and that is due to happen in 2010 – 2011. With more greenhouse gases being pumped into the air year on year I really see no hope! Of course, it could have been so different. We have solar power, HHO, focus fusion, cold fusion, wind power, bio-mass, wave energy, hydroelectric, and hydrogen electrolysed from wind or solar. Oh, and as I’m vegetarian adopting my lifestyle would do wonders too!


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