Free Markets, Free People

climate change

Another alarmist claim bites the dust

OK, perhaps not the perfect metaphor for this but another in a long line of claims made by the UN’s IPCC report has been found to be totally false.  In fact, in the case of this particular claim, there appears to be no foundation whatsoever for the claim and in reality it appears exactly the opposite of what was claimed appears to be true.

The claim?

Himalayan glaciers were melting because of global warming climate change.  The facts?

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

You have to love that sentence – “contrary to popular belief”?  Is that what the so-called “science” of global warming climate change has been reduced too?

Even more damning:

The new study by scientists at the Universities of California and Potsdam has found that half of the glaciers in the Karakoram range, in the northwestern Himalaya, are in fact advancing and that global warming is not the deciding factor in whether a glacier survives or melts.

“Global warming” isn’t the deciding factor?  But, but there was “scientific  consensus” that global warming climate change was indeed causing the glaciers to melt.  And now scientists are saying that not only are the glaciers not melting – they’re instead growing – but that global warming climate change isn’t even the “deciding factor” in either case?

In fact, the study says, the real reason for advancing or retreating glaciers is much simpler than global warming climate change.  It has to do with debris fields:

Their report, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, found the key factor affecting their advance or retreat is the amount of debris – rocks and mud – strewn on their surface, not the general nature of climate change.

[…]

"Our study shows that there is no uniform response of Himalayan glaciers to climate change and highlights the importance of debris cover for understanding glacier retreat, an effect that has so far been neglected in predictions of future water availability or global sea level," the authors concluded.

Dr Bookhagen said their report had shown "there is no stereotypical Himalayan glacier" in contrast to the UN’s climate change report which, he said, "lumps all Himalayan glaciers together."

In fact, the science of global warming climate change lumps a whole bunch of things together it shouldn’t be lumping together, while it leaves off a whole mess of things it should be considering depending on the model such as clouds, sun, water vapor, etc.

By the way, a reminder of the base for the IPCC “scare-science”:

Dr Pachauri, head of the Nobel prize-winning UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has remained silent on the matter since he was forced to admit his report’s claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was an error and had not been sourced from a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It came from a World Wildlife Fund report.

He angered India’s environment minister and the country’s leading glaciologist when he attacked those who questioned his claim as purveyors of "voodoo science".

Of course, now we know who the real purveyor of “voodoo science” is, don’t we?

~McQ

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Zombie climate-change – administration says still possible during lame-duck session

Yes, yes, we were assured that the “climate change” portion of any energy bill was dead in this Congress.  More popularly known as the “cap-and-trade” portion of such a bill, we were assured by Democratic leaders that it just wasn’t something that was possible or probable during this session of Congress.

Well, like most things they tell us, don’t ever believe anything:

Carol Browner, the White House’s top energy and environmental adviser, refused on Sunday to shut the door on passing climate change legislation this year — even though Senate Democratic leaders have conceded they lack the votes and have punted on the volatile issue.

Browner said on NBC’s "Meet the Press" that President Barack Obama is still committed to pushing the bill through the Senate, and that there was "potential" for the bill to come up in a post-election, lame-duck session of Congress.

Browner’s remarks will almost certainly give ammunition to Republicans who say Democrats are plotting to do mischief in a lame-duck session — even though top congressional Democrats have thrown cold water on an overly ambitious lame-duck agenda.

Agenda politics is agenda politics and the power shifts to the loser with a majority if in fact Democrats get drubbed in November.  I mean, what do they have to lose at that point.  So it will truly become more about agenda and party  (and not what is best for America) – even more so than it is now.

Never, ever, ever think or believe the left is done with something they want badly.  Ever.  Even though the economics of an additional tax on energy at the height of a recession is absolutely the dumbest thing one can imagine doing, that won’t deter the ideologues from their agenda.

By the way, the EPA is attempting to do by fiat and interpretive regulation what the Congress hasn’t yet been able to do by law.  And, God bless ‘em, Texas has told them to go pound sand.

~McQ

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Fighting global warming – the moral equivalent of war?

That’s certainly what I take from a quote attributed to British scientist James Lovelock.  Lovelock is the environmental scientist who developed the Gaia theory.  Lovelock has finally concluded that for the most part humans simply aren’t bright enough to prevent climate change from impacting their lives.

But the biggest impediment, of course, is that pesky thing called “democracy”.  What you and I would call freedom and liberty.  Or as Lovelock would most likely term it, lack of a dictatorship and/or a version of war socialism:

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

That’s mostly because you rather dim humans aren’t buying into what he and the others are selling and we therefore need to have firmer measures enacted. Don’t get excited, it’s for your own good and we promise to return your freedom and liberty to you unchanged, undiminished and unlikely, er, complete. It’s just a temporary little thing, you know, until we get the climate back to where it should be, where ever that is and however long it takes us.

Hmmm … you know, now that I think of it, I have to ask: what is the ideal temperature for humans and “Gaia”, Dr. Lovelock? Seriously – what is the perfect temperature? And when you answer that, tell me when we’ve experienced that temperature as a constant, and how we managed to keep it that way previously? Because, unless I’m mistaken, the climate guys out there have been saying for years that the climate of the earth is in constant and eternal flux. So if you can indeed tell me the ideal temperature Dr. Lovelock (sounds like he ought to be making porn – and in some circles this contention of his that we must put democracy on hold is the moral equivalent of porn) has it been a constant or have we just been passing through that temperature for millennia as we go from natural cycles of warm periods and ice ages?

There are some amazing liberty averse agendas out there. It’s nice to see the green mask finally fully slipping away from the rather deep red face behind it on this particular one.

~McQ

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Thus spake the Goracle

Heee’s baaaack – and of course he picks a forum to voice his opinion which allows for no debate.  I’m speaking of the Al Gore op-ed in the New York Times.

Even the title is misleading – “We can’t wish climate change away”? Who in the world is wishing it away?

The climate has been changing ever since this rock got an atmosphere. To wish it wasn’t constantly changing would obviously be a) giant waste of time and b) contrary to the history of our planet. No one is wishing climate change away. Instead they’re wishing away the unproven narrative that man is causing climate change and pointing to the history of the planet that says what is happening is most likely natural and unstoppable.

But back to Al:

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Hmmm … interesting. See, “human civilization as we know it” has survived in eras like the Medieval Warm Period – with nary an single SUV on the planet – quite well. In fact, “human civilization as we know it” settled and farmed Greenland during that period and seems to have flourished under those warmer conditions. Of course still unanswered is how they did so without a combined and concerted effort by mankind of that period to prevent the same “unimaginable calamity” from happening then? It appears that instead of wringing their hands and relying on cherry picked data and false claims called “science” they accepted, assessed, adapted and thrived.

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.

We just hit one of the largest finds of natural gas in the world (in fact, it makes us the world’s largest NG producer) and each year the remaining oil reserves climb as we find new ways to extract it (remember – we’ve seen peak oil predicted for decades and to this point all that happens is the forecast continues to be moved out). So that’s not exactly as great a lever as it once was. Of course Al seems to think that just because we’re not buying into the chicken little pronouncements about oil we don’t agree that alternatives and a smart grid aren’t “good things”. They are – but we don’t need all the scare tactics to understand and agree Mr. Gore. They actually can stand on their own merit. However, we also understand that until they’re viable, oil and gas are critical to our economy and will most likely continue to provide the fuel for 70 to 80 percent of our economy for decades to come.

But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.

The only reason anyone’s grandchildren might think we’re a “criminal generation” would be due to the indoctrination they’ve received in their schools concerning the “science” of global warming. Al continues to cite reports that were derivative of the data now called into question by the climate-gate emails. Someone should explain to him that anything derived from bad data, no matter how prestigious the institution publishing it, is still wrong.

I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.

Well, of course, there are mistakes and then there are MISTAKES. Certainly a couple of small mistakes – you know like saying the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 when real science says it would take over 300 years, may not invalidate the overall assertion that man is causing the climate to change. But when the foundational data upon which the whole of the “science” is called into question, then one MISTAKE within thousands of pages is more than enough to invalidate the entire mess. It is the latter which Al attempts to minimize.

It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law.

Huh – no mention of the “hockey stick” being found to be invalid, or the tree ring data being grossly skewed or the temperature data being cherry picked? No mention that the computer models being improperly built, or that the claim that AGW would reduce 40% of the Amazon rainforest to savannah coming from a non-peer reviewed article originally about logging? Nope, it only had to do with a little overestimate here some inaccurate data there and British scientists not following the FOI law.

What a hand wave at the facts. Because, you see:

But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged. It is also worth noting that the panel’s scientists — acting in good faith on the best information then available to them — probably underestimated the range of sea-level rise in this century, the speed with which the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and the speed with which some of the large glacial flows in Antarctica and Greenland are melting and racing to the sea.

But that’s real science’s mission – to attempt to be free of mistakes. Because it is upon that type of science that further scientific progress is built. It is when science becomes a political tool, as it has in the case of Mr. Gore’s “climate change consensus” that we begin to see the gross misuse of the discipline to advance an agenda.

Garbage-in doesn’t excuse garbage-out when the garbage-out is used to make political policy. Sticking to discredited consensus “science” about the arctic and antarctic isn’t particularly impressive either (for instance temps are colder in the Arctic now than they were in 1956 and have been trending downward for 3 decades).

Which brings us to this:

Because these and other effects of global warming are distributed globally, they are difficult to identify and interpret in any particular location. For example, January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States. Yet from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago.

Similarly, even though climate deniers have speciously argued for several years that there has been no warming in the last decade, scientists confirmed last month that the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept.

Note Mr. Gore’s link.  Yes, that’s right – NASA/Giss.  NASA/Giss’s data has come from what?  Data that is under heavy fire for being cherry picked from stations which best support the theory that man is responsible for the warming of the climate.  So again we have the claim being made with data which many scientists are more than a little skeptical about.  In fact, they believe the data to be wrong.  But, as Dr. Thomas Sowell pointed out in “The Vision of the Anointed”, facts mean very little to these people, it’s all about the claims of the vision being axiomatically correct.  Man is the cause of this pending catastrophe and “science” is built to say so.

Here is what scientists have found is happening to our climate: man-made global-warming pollution traps heat from the sun and increases atmospheric temperatures. These pollutants — especially carbon dioxide — have been increasing rapidly with the growth in the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and forests, and temperatures have increased over the same period. Almost all of the ice-covered regions of the Earth are melting — and seas are rising.

Of course, science isn’t finding that at all. While it may be true that some of the ice-covered regions of the earth are melting, there is a) no proof that it is due to a greenhouse effect, b) no proof that man’s “pollutants” are causing a greenhouse effect and c) much proof that it is natural solar cycles which may be the cause of any warming taking place.

Or said another way, there is more “settled science” on the side of those claiming it is natural solar cycles causing any warming taking place than there is on the side claiming it is man who is responsible.

Gore continues on with his nonsense for some time to get to the crux of his real concern – no cap-and-trade means no rich Al Gore:

When the Senate failed to follow the lead of the House of Representatives, forcing the president to go to Copenhagen without a new law in hand, the Chinese balked. With the two largest polluters refusing to act, the world community was paralyzed.

Some analysts attribute the failure to an inherent flaw in the design of the chosen solution — arguing that a cap-and-trade approach is too unwieldy and difficult to put in place. Moreover, these critics add, the financial crisis that began in 2008 shook the world’s confidence in the use of any market-based solution.

But there are two big problems with this critique: First, there is no readily apparent alternative that would be any easier politically. It is difficult to imagine a globally harmonized carbon tax or a coordinated multilateral regulatory effort. The flexibility of a global market-based policy — supplemented by regulation and revenue-neutral tax policies — is the option that has by far the best chance of success. The fact that it is extremely difficult does not mean that we should simply give up.

Gore’s game is obvious. Jump start the process within the US political system while Democrats are still in power and get cap-and-trade passed. Then, with the US on-board, China and India can be shamed and pressured to join. Result? Al Gore’s enterprise grows flush.

Of course you’ve probably noticed that to buy into Gore’s scenario, you have to accept any number of premises, most of them false. You have to accept that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and not a natural byproduct of any number of natural processes (oceans being the largest producer via water vapor). You have to believe the science which has said carbon dioxide is a lagging indicator (by 800 years) of warming trends has suddenly decided it is a leading indicator and a cause. And you have to apparently believe that man has more effect on the climate than does the sun. Last, you have to really buy into the hubris which says ‘we can fix that’ if we just spend enough money, tax enough people and regulate enough of everyone’s lives.

You’re welcome to read the rest of his piece – it ends up using marginal “science” to push a political appeal to pass cap-and-trade, the bread and butter of the riches he hopes to reap from the fraud he’s helped perpetrate. He knows his scheme is in trouble, so he ends his appeal with:

We have overcome existential threats before. Winston Churchill is widely quoted as having said, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes, you must do what is required.” Now is that time. Public officials must rise to this challenge by doing what is required; and the public must demand that they do so — or must replace them.

Churchill would most likely roll over in his grave if he knew his name was being invoked in such a disingenuous attempt at fleecing the world. I’ll agree with Gore on one thing, I demand that public officals do something – send cap-and-trade to the dustbin of history forever. And corral the EPA and make them back off this insane attempt to regulate carbon dioxide. If they won’t – replace them with those who will.

~McQ

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Podcast for 14 Feb 09

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael  and Dale discuss the Republican desire not to be seen as the “Party of No”; China, the Euro, and the Dollar; and what seems to be a fundamental shift in the assertions of the AGW crowd.  The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2009, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

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Warmists and Their “Science” Head To Copenhagen

Those who would like to restrict how you live depending on how big your carbon footprint might be apparently don’t have a problem with the size of theirs.  Theirs will be a 41,000 ton carbon footprint which will include 1,200 limousines, 141 private jets and just about every 5 star hotel in the city is booked up by the 15,000 delegates.

Perhaps it is the members of the world’s oldest profession which best help identify what this is really all about.

And this being Scandinavia, even the prostitutes are doing their bit for the planet. Outraged by a council postcard urging delegates to “be sustainable, don’t buy sex,” the local sex workers’ union – they have unions here – has announced that all its 1,400 members will give free intercourse to anyone with a climate conference delegate’s pass. The term “carbon dating” just took on an entirely new meaning.

This, my friends, is how absurd it has become. In fact, I would suggest the local sex workers are an analogy for exactly what these Warmists intend to do to the entire world. And the world is pretty much giving it up for free.

Pretty sad.

And as the delegates meet, they do so under a shadow. For the first time, not just the methods but the entire purpose of the climate change agenda is being questioned. Leaked emails showing key scientists conspiring to fix data that undermined their case have boosted the sceptic lobby. Australia has voted down climate change laws. Last week’s unusually strident attack by the Energy Secretary, Ed Miliband, on climate change “saboteurs” reflected real fear in government that momentum is slipping away from the cause.

Let’s make sure that’s precisely what happens.

~McQ

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India: We’re Not Hurting Our Economy For “Climate Change”

The Copenhagen summit is in December and yesterday UN climate chief Yvo de Boer said he didn’t expect a binding agreement to come out of the meeting, dashing the hopes of environmental extremists that the nations of the world would agree to binding reductions of so-called greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Today India, apparently speaking for, or speaking with the approval of, the world’s developing nations (of which China considers itself one):

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday that the world’s poor nations will not sacrifice their development in negotiations for a new climate change deal.

The issue of how to share the burden of fighting global warming has divided the developing and industrialized worlds as they prepare to negotiate a replacement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol at a December summit in Copenhagen.

“Developing countries cannot and will not compromise on development,” Singh told an international conference on technology and climate change.

Naturally he threw a little diplospeak out there to soften the refusal to play the game:

However, even poorer countries need to “do our bit to keep our emissions footprint within levels that are sustainable and equitable,” he said.

Riiiight. And that means they’ll decide what constitutes “sustainable and equitable” as it applies to their economy, not the targets some world body wants to put on them. Both India and China, two of the largest emitters of GHGs in the world have repeatedly said no to binding reductions and international monitoring. But they’re up for a little friendly looting:

Developing countries want financial aid for their climate change efforts, and Singh said wealthy nations have an obligation to ensure they get access to new, clean technology that will cut emissions and increase energy efficiency.

“We need technology solutions that are appropriate, affordable and effective,” he said.

I certainly don’t blame them a bit for refusing to hurt themselves economically in the name of specious “science” (thankfully, Americans are beginning to figure out the scam). And the fact they won’t do so should confirm to even the most fanatic global warmist that attempts to cut GHGs will indeed cause major economic distress. Additionally, as pointed out here and elsewhere, cap-and-trade attempts in Europe and elsewhere have been a disaster with no net reduction in such emissions observed.

I look for Copenhagen to be a bust and am quite happy about that, frankly. The US will show up empty handed with nothing but promises (Waxman-Markey thankfully not having passed yet), the UN will play the international “Chicken Little”, 3rd world “developing” countries will have their hands out as usual and industrialized nations won’t be able to agree on much of anything.

Perfect.

~McQ

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The Green Shift, again

QandO founder Jon Henke posted at The Next Right yesterday with a suggestion for Republicans that I didn’t think would be very controversial: that they should propose swapping out the payroll tax in favor of a carbon tax.  I’ve established that I’m all for that idea. Though I would go farther, it’s a good idea on its own, especially when unemployment is high and hours worked are very low.

Go over there and read his reasoning (please don’t comment unless you’ve read it).  It makes a lot of sense, whether you believe in anthropogenic climate change or not.  Well, unless you do believe in it, and think it’s such a good thing that it overwhelms the benefits of switching from a relatively destructive tax to a better one.

Climate Change Update – Falling Dominoes

For the American taxpayer, under the shadow of the recently passed House cap-and-trade (Waxman-Markey) bill, the news continues to be grim. However for the traitorous “deniers”, aka skeptics, who believe the whole climate change hysteria to be an economy killing farce, things are looking better.

For instance India has announced it will not participate in the Western world’s attempts to kill their own economies:

India said it will reject any new treaty to limit global warming that makes the country reduce greenhouse-gas emissions because that will undermine its energy consumption, transportation and food security.

Cutting back on climate-warming gases is a measure that instead must be taken by industrialized countries, and India is mobilizing developing nations to push that case, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told the media today in New Delhi.

“India will not accept any emission-reduction target — period,” Ramesh said. “This is a non-negotiable stand.”

Heh … fairly blunt and straight foward wouldn’t you say? Of course, China took the same stand a couple of weeks ago. I call that good news because it is another country which has decided to put its economy first and this nonsense second. When two countries which are or expected to be very soon the two leading emitters of CO2 say “no”, it makes it rather ridiculous for the rest of the world to say “yes” given the consequences vs. payoff, doesn’t it?

And the US cap-and-trade legislation? Well India sees that as a “no-go” as well:

But last week, the US House of Representatives backed a “border adjustment tax” to equalise carbon emissions charges between domestic production and imports from states that do not cap emissions. The legislation is likely to face tough opposition in the Senate.

Mr Ramesh denounced as “pernicious” US efforts to impose “trade penalties” on countries that do not match its carbon reduction moves.

Meanwhile in the EU:

The European Union risks driving industry out of the region if it continues to push for deeper cuts in carbon dioxide emissions than other economies, according to the chief executive of Eon, one of the world’s biggest renewable energy companies.

Wulf Bernotat, Eon’s chief executive, told the Financial Times that the EU was imposing higher energy costs on its industry than competing regions, and criticised the US for doing “basically nothing” to cut its carbon dioxide emissions.

He added that if there were no international deal to cut emissions agreed at the Copenhagen meeting at the end of the year, the EU would have to rethink its plans to take a lead in fighting the threat of climate change.

“It is a European political issue whether the European Union can continue to lead the policy process if the rest of the world is not joining in,” he said.

“We are adding additional costs to our industries, and if other countries don’t follow, then those industries will move to lower-cost regions.”

Yeah, like India or China … or Mexico. That’s the irony of this nonsense. We have a president and Congress who’ve made a cottage industry of demonizing corporations who “outsource” jobs while they pass legislation that encourages corporations to outsource jobs.

And for those who worship at the feet of Al Gore, another inconvenient truth is to be found in a recently published paper from the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics:

The Abstract states:

Daily temperature and pressure series from 55 European meteorological stations covering the 20th century are analyzed. The overall temperature mean displays a sharp minimum near 1940 and a step-like jump near 1987. We evaluate the evolution of disturbances of these series using mean squared inter-annual variations and “lifetimes”. The decadal to secular evolutions of solar activity and temperature disturbances display similar signatures over the 20th century. Because of heterogeneity of the climate system response to solar forcing, regional and seasonal approaches are key to successful identification of these signatures. Most of the solar response is governed by the winter months, as best seen near the Atlantic Ocean. Intensities of disturbances vary by factors in excess of 2, underlining a role for the Sun as a significant forcing factor of European atmospheric variations. We speculate about the possible origin of these solar signatures. The last figure of the paper exemplifies its main results.

The paper concludes:

In concluding, we find increasingly strong evidence of a clear solar signature in a number of climatic indicators in Europe, strengthening the earlier conclusions of a study that included stations from the United States (Le Mouël et al., 2008). With the recent downturn of both solar activity and global temperatures, the debated correlations we suggested in Le Mouël et al. (2005), which appeared to stop in the 1980s, actually might extend to the present. The role of the Sun in global and regional climate change should be re-assessed and reasonable physical mechanisms are in sight.

Shorter conclusion?

“It’s the sun, stupid”.

~McQ