Excuse #52 for 'the pause' in global warming – natural climate variability as secular trends

Earlier we added this to the list, now here is the description of the excuse. Basically what they are saying is that natural climate variability has overtaken the posited powerful effects of CO2 on climate.

From the EU’s JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE Last decade’s slow-down in global warming enhanced by an unusual climate anomaly:

A hiatus in global warming ongoing since 2001 is due to a combination of a natural cooling phase, known as multidecadal variability (MDV) and a downturn of the secular warming trend. The exact causes of the latter, unique in the entire observational record going back to 1850, are still to be identified, according to a JRC article which analysed the phenomena.

The earth hasn’t warmed at the same pace during the 20th century. The noticeable temperature increases during some periods interspersed with fairly stable or decreasing levels during others have been explained as a combination of secular global warming (likely manmade) and natural climate variability. We are currently, in the early 21st century, experiencing a hiatus period, during which surface temperatures have not risen at the same rate as higher atmospheric radiative forcing.

JRC scientists analysed surface temperature data records – which began in 1850 – to separate natural variations from secular (i.e., long-term) trends. They identified three hiatus periods (1878-1907, 1945-1969 and 2001 to date), during which global warming slowed down. These hiatus periods coincide with natural cooling phases – the multidecadal variability (MDV), most likely caused by natural oceanic oscillations. The scientists therefore conclude that the MDV is the main cause of these hiatus periods during which global warming decelerated.


HadCRUT4 Temperature Anomaly 1850-2013 (°C) (blue and red bars). Secular trend (red line), multidecadal variability (green line) and reconstructed signal from the statistical analysis (black line). Hiatus periods are indicated with grey bars in the x-axis. © EU, 2014

However, they found that the current hiatus period is, for the first time, particularly strongly influenced by changes in the secular trend, which shows a strong acceleration from 1992-2001 and a deceleration from 2002 to 2013. Such rapid and strong fluctuations in the secular warming rate are unprecedented.

This unique fluctuation in the recent secular warming rate could have several causes, such as recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the accelerated melting of Arctic ice, changes in the deep ocean heat storage or the increasing content of aerosols in the stratosphere. The authors recommend further scientific investigation of the causes and consequences of this change, in order to address whether the global climate sensitivity has recently changed. Such research is crucial to understanding current climate conditions and creating plausible scenarios of future climate evolution.


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Nobody lives on the “secular trend” [!] [in the figure above] an allusion to a phrase, “nobody lives at the Federal Level of Law. Rather, everybody lives at the LOCAL level of Law.
Niner Niner Niiiiiiiiiiner. 😉

Secular ?( Climatology speak, for Model output?)
As opposed to what? An act of GOD?
If so which GOD is to blame for the ignorance and arrogance of these bureaucrats?
Seriously what a puff piece.
Why not tell the truth; “We are without a clue”
I do not know, words Climatologists of Team ScienceTM IPCC, dare not speak?
By the logic of this “reconstruction” the warmer an cooler periods of the past, were caused by..?
Obviously anything that occurred outside the green line of multidecadal variability, must have been caused by these secular forces.
So what secular activities caused the Medieval warm period?
The little ice age?
This farce is not going to end well for this pseudo science.


Dunno, but over here secular is latin for “century long”. I have the impression that you guys have a different meaning in mind.
Anyway, another step back from alarmist claims and they will be defending the same position as the skeptics.

Harry Passfield

According to the Oxford Dictionaries, secular:

Astronomy: Of or denoting slow changes in the motion of the sun or planets.
– or –
Occurring once every century or similarly long period (used especially in reference to celebratory games in ancient Rome).

Jim Francisco

I hope to live long enough to see it. I am 62.


I was born close to the beginning of the cooling period. I didn’t know it was a cooling period then but by my teens I did. Knowing that we had had 30 years of warming before I expected that the cooling period would end and we would have warming again. We did. I didn’t get my whole 30 years of warming but I did expect another cooling period and it is here. What part of this did the climate scientists not understand?

Pamela Gray

Say what??? Current natural variability is unprecedented? Try to explain that one to frozen mammoths.



Shawn from High River

This piece has the word “unprecedented” in it. Then mentions ‘recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the accelerated melting of Arctic ice, changes in the deep ocean heat storage or the increasing content of aerosols in the stratosphere. ‘
So now its multiple excuses wrapped up in one


Hey, I remember being called a “denier” for using a chart like that. I’m guessing many here had that experience

What are the number of watts that are supposed to be kept in by the greenhouse effect of each of the various gases? And mans portion? I see it expressed as temperature all the time. Which is unprecedented!!!


It’s a fundraiser.


I see that the “secular trend” caused a REDUCTION in temperature from 1850 to 1880. How does that happen? According to the authors “secular trend” is “human induced” so apparently humans were doing something between 1850 and 1880 to cause the temperature to go DOWN.

IMHO, there’s a lunar driven 1500 year cycle ( found by others in published papers) that has ‘nodes’ at 1/2 and 1/4 cycle ( so about 750 and 375 ish years). This can have variation (one paper finds it bimodal at about 1200 and 1800 years with only a 1470 year average), but the trends recur. I came to this from looking at history…
There are regular historical records of famines, wars, migrations, civilization collapses. They tend to be worse at about the 1500 year period, moderate at 1/2 period, and still present in modest form at the 1/4 period. IMHO, the LIA was a 1/2 period event (from the 1.4 KYA Bond Event 1, so at about 700 YA or 1300… which is about the onset.)
That would make the turn of the cold end of the 1/4 event about 1675 ( it got warm into 1720 ish then cold to about 1880) which is inside the error bands of 1850 for a cold phase. With a “top” for both the 1/4 even and 1/2 event cycles at about 2000 to 2075. Oddly, that would also be the top of the 1500 year cycle (last onset was 540 AD or so, which makes it about 2010 if you use the 1470 nominal average Bond Event period or about 2040 if you use a rougher 1500 years).
Now I dearly hope I am very very wrong in this. It does line up with Habibulo’s prediction of 2020-2040 being very cold. It does line up with some lunar cycle data from Keeling & Worf. It lines up with other cyclical measures. BUT, if accurate, we have a long long cold run ahead of us as things head to the deep bottom.
We can hope that this is an 1800 year period.
“But hope is not a strategy. -E.M.Smith”….
So just take their “secular” with a ton of salt and remember it could just be a longer cycle…

c. Parson

Maybe they left their refrigerator doors open… Just saying

TYoke: It’s a typo. The ‘s’ is supposed to be a ‘p’ and they left out an ‘i’… ‘peculiar trend’

Secular: “going on from age to age; continuing through long ages” as in “Long Term Trend”. Of course if we pick different end points … Of to watch football. At least with football, you know the result after a predetermined period. Usually.

The game is rigged there, too.

NZ Willy

Maybe “secular” comes from the Roman Secular holiday, held every 110 years IIRC.

Ashby Manson

They’re making a slow turn, like an ocean liner. Gradually all the grants will flip to studying natural variability. Then maybe we’ll be able to hear the full story with less spin. But not until the grants are properly lined up.


They can’t tax natural variability.


That is not the same as “they won’t try at least to tax it.” Just think of the coming cooldown and a tax on carbon emissions. For the Left its, “Screw the little guy just trying to pay his bills, while keeping blame on “Big Oil and evil frackers” so his anger is misdirected.”

Sure they can. They could just say that natural variation is due to human activity and must be paid for.
Their type has no problemo with doublethink.


When I was a kid, a pretty standard joke idea was to tax the air we breathe. Obviously we all thought that was impossible.
Go figure…


They can’t tax natural variability.
I think ….Yes they can……Seems like they have got it at last…. No matter how many think otherwise… you can’t have an unnatural tax..:)
As long as it’s natural the possibility exist….but some clever mediocre guys thought they could have gone beyond natural…..and have some extra rip off..:)
sorry just a thought.


……..they’ll tax natural (plus unnatural, interstellar, galactic, cosmic, micro, nano, mega, milli, and giga) variability one way or another. We have to find a way to replace the lost corporate income tax revenue due to US manufactures moving to places without global warming. 😉

This is such nonsense.
How many times has the 1910-1945 warming comparison to 1975-2000 been posted, homogenization warts and all? Every comparison disproves the thesis of this paper with a simple side by side graphic.
WUWT did such a comparison yet again on August 20, 2013, posted as “When somebody hits you…”
Even AR4 said the warming prior to 1960 could have been purely natural variation!
This comeback has been done yet again in a much longer essay concerning the basic AGW IPCC canard in the forthcoming book. With better NOAA graphics, and all the historical footnotes, in order to nail the case ‘dead’. I suspect this canard might still remain a vestigial zombie/vampire despite the garlic, the stake, and the silver crucifix affixed by the book. CAGW ‘warmunists’ do not die easily. Example Mann.
“Lies gallop around the world while truth is still getting its boots on.” Folks, get your boots on, and ride.

Tim Neilson

Hi guys.
I’m not very science-educated so maybe you can help me.
It seems to me like:
They’ve drawn a green line, called it MDV, and said that “most likely” it’s ocean driven i.e. they don’t really know;
They’ve drawn a red line called ST which they say is “likely” human caused i.e. they don’t know;
The combination of MDV and ST seems to track the temperature data they portray fairly well;
But if they don’t know for certain what causes MDV or ST, how did they draw those two lines in the first place? I mean what evidence do they give that those two lines represent anything real, rather than just being reverse engineered from the temperature data so as to create two totally artificial constructs designed to fit temperature rather than evidencing any correlation between anything real and temperature?

Michael P

I think they drew the black line (ST+MDV) to “fit “the temperature record, then drew the green wave (MDV) and tweaked it a bit to get the red line (ST) they wanted. If you notice the green wave turns down more sharply after the last peak than at the two other peaks. All the lines seem to be graphical lines rather than from any data as where MDV and ST+MDV are both near zero about 1945, ST is about -0.15.

The authors Macias et al used the Singular Spectrum Analysis Technique for statistical analysis (See PLOS online September 2014, e107222.) I used simple least squares fitting to get similar results. My fitting function was TA(t) = c0+c1*t+c2*t^2+c3*sin(c4*t+c5) where ci are fitting parameters. ST is represented by the polynomial terms, MDV by the sine term. For completeness, I replaced the polynomial terms by a second sine function: TA(t) = c0*sin(c1*t+c2)+c3*sin(c4*t+c5). This also gives a good fit with periodicities of about 60 and 750 years, respectively. Unfortunately, a period of 750 years is much larger than the time interval of 165 years where data are available. Therefore a Taylor Expansion of the sine to second order is a good approximation. Both fitting functions are the same. So nothing is gained. This kind of analysis cannot tell you, whether the temperature anomaly is man made or not,


Failed modeling and an inane climate science community, insane politicizing combined with taxpayer theft in hundreds of billions of dollars is what is “unprecedented”.

Alberta Slim

AND… the end is not in sight


“The authors recommend further scientific investigation of the causes and consequences of this change, in order to address whether the global climate sensitivity has recently changed. Such research is crucial to understanding current climate conditions and creating plausible scenarios of future climate evolution.”
Are they saying that the climate sensitivity can change due to natural factors? This seems like a insurmountable dodge. If the climate sensitivity can change, no one is wrong because they got the physics wrong or misunderstood the system. The failed predictions are simply a function of changing sensitivity. This strikes me as an unprecedented attempt to move the goal post.


What happened to the hockey stick?

Mark Bofill



You can’t simultaneously deny historic and present natural variation, blame it for enhancing the runaway heating of the last 150 years and the current pause, fabricate an imaginary secular trend that is independent of natural variation, invent feedbacks that don’t, and massage the temperature record to claim the science supports a future climate catastrophe. The dishonesty is patently obvious yet all this is part of the climate hysteria mix being tossed at the wall like spaghetti in the hopes something will stick.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

You’re so right. But pity them (the warmists). Imagine, for a moment, that it had been warming for the past 15 years – year on year – getting warmer and warmer. Imagine if we (the sceptics) were still saying, ‘It isn’t CO2, it’s caused by [insert favourite]’. Wouldn’t we look foolish? I would be so embarrassed to think that I was hopelessly wrong. I would like to think that I would have been brave enough to admit being wrong. Imagine them squirming when they try to think up yet another excuse. I pity them, because they are human – and can’t admit when they are wrong. What’s sad is that respected scientists cannot admit that something isn’t right, let alone wrong. The longer the ocean liner goes without turning, the more absurd it looks. Science will be so damaged by all of this. I predicted that in 2003 on a BBC forum. I said that the fallout could be so bad, that science may never even recover in my lifetime. If there’s a world-renowned scientist reading this, then I urge you to speak up…for science. IT’S DYING ON ITS FEET.

Margaret Smith

I don’t pity them at all! They’re knowingly ‘stealing’ our money for 25 years and grimly continuing to do so

Doctor Gee

If they don’t turn the ocean liner soon, it will fall off the edge of the earth (or at least that is how they will blame the skeptics when the ship ultimately sails silently over the horizon).


The inability to say the models are crap and the hypothesis was overhyped is their big issue. They will defend it to their graves no mater what surface temps do. I enjoy the squirming though, after all the name calling they are facing shame and they know it.

The thesis that the change in the global surface air temperature is the sum of changes in an anthropogenic signal and natural noise lays in violation of the theory of relativity as demonstrated earlier in this blog; The powers of this “signal” and this “noise” are both nil..


Translation “We have no idea what is happening, please send more money”

Our scientists have no idea, but theyre willing to study it further on the public’s dime!


EU Joint Research Centre states, “This unique fluctuation in the recent secular warming rate could have several causes, such as recent changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean, the accelerated melting of Arctic ice, changes in the deep ocean heat storage or the increasing content of aerosols in the stratosphere.”
From 1978~2005, the PDO was in its 30-yr warm cycle, from 1982~1998, there was a rare string of SIX strong/moderate El Nino events in just 16 years (including the 1997/98 Super El Nino), the AMO entered its 30-yr warm cycle in 1994 and the 2nd & 3rd strongest back-to-back solar cycle in 300 years occurred from 1976~1996.
The combination of all these natural climatic events easily accounts for most of the 1980~1998 warming, with CO2 only contributing a small portion of total warming.
Now the reverse is occurring: weak solar cycles since 1996, only 2 El Ninos in the past 16 years, the PDO entered its 30-yr cool cycle in 2005, and the AMO warm cycle is winding down and enters its 30-yr cool cycle around 2020.
Given these realities, It’s not surprising global temp trends have been flat for 18 years and falling for the past 14 years (RSS data), despite 1/3rd of all manmade CO2 emissions since 1750 made over just the last 18 years.
Moreover, the Arctic Ice isn’t “accelerating ice loss”, it’s showing signs of recovery, 0~2000 meters of oceans have only warmed 0.09C since 1948 (3 times less than projected) and the Sea Level Rise rate has fallen 30% over the past 10 years– so much for the “missing heat” buried in the oceans meme….
The CAGW scam is collapsing like house of cards. In 5 years, this silly hypothesis will be laughed at.

Richard M

I think Dr. Syun Akasofu already covered this years ago. Looks a bit like plagiarism to me.


and a deceleration from 2002 to 2013. … the accelerated melting of Arctic ice, …

1) The graphic they supply shows acceleration from 2002 to about 2010.
2) The arctic ice has increased this year, but it is at a low level. Do these blithering idiots know the difference between a value and its derivative? Acceleration is the derivative of the derivative. Wrong squared. Or are they morally something much worse than idiots?


As others have pointed out, Akasofu was saying this and ostracised for it. Dana kept banging on about needing a mechanism for it to be acceptable as if pointing out a correlation for further study was a crime:
“In order for this to be a physically sound argument, Akasofu must explain the physical mechanism behind the “LIA recovery”, and why this 0.5°C global warming trend continues to persist. What is the underlying cause? Surely a geophysicist will examine this question.”
From this SKS link:


The collapse of global warming Climate Science s happening before our very eyes.


As far a number of excuses goes: Many of the above excuses are all closely related. Anthony or someone smarter than me on Climate should group them into excesses by major “claimed” mechanism to see how many there really are and then group all the subtle minor variations within an a major excuse.


We’ve all learned that Global Warming can do Anything.
I think what they’ve just said here is that Global Warming has caused a reduction in Global Warming.

The Ghost Of Big Jim Cooley

I read it like that, too.


I think they call that a “self-licking ice cream cone.” 😉

[ ˈsekyələr ]
denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis: Contrasted with sacred.
“secular buildings”
synonyms: nonreligious · areligious · lay · temporal · worldly · earthly ·
a secular priest.
Powered by OxfordDictionaries · © Oxford University Press

The correct term in their context would be “centennial” or “centenary.”


“Such rapid and strong fluctuations in the secular warming rate are unprecedented.”
Unprecedented to them perhaps.


“‘Tis new to thee.” [Them]

David A

They stated.”A hiatus in global warming ongoing since 2001 is due to a combination of a natural cooling phase, known as multidecadal variability (MDV) and a downturn of the secular warming trend..”
Strange redundancy. I read this as a natural cooling trend, and a reduction in the non-religious warming trend. Which begs the question, what is the religious warming trend?
Oh, yes, we know it as CAGW, which has been taking quite a beating lately, but has 52 excuses as to why it is really still warming; so they are correct, the non-secular warming trend is still in tact.

I think they subconsciously reveal the religious character of their beliefs.


It’s funny that they refer to the warming as a secular trend when it seems to be more a matter of religious faith. 😉

Aha! You had the same thought.


Gosh… lets hope these scientists are not in the mood of rebeling yet…against the man-made climate religion and end-up to be referenced as heretics…by likes of Dana and Cook….

> The authors recommend further scientific investigation
> of the causes and consequences of this change, in
> order to address whether the global climate sensitivity
> has recently changed.
Which translates into English as please give us more money for research grants.

Man Bearpig

Well, that’s that then. the science is settled.


The authors recommend further scientific investigation of the causes and consequences of this change, in order to address whether the global climate sensitivity has recently changed. Such research is crucial to understanding current climate conditions and creating plausible scenarios of future climate evolution.

I agree, MBP, any claims henceforth that “the science is settled” in relation to climate change are just hollow bunk. How can these people show their faces in public??

Dr. Paul Mackey

Yes I aggree with teh above. How was this secular signal de-composed from the single temp record.
Also, these graphs also always show 0. How is that calculated? Are these calculations the same ( i.e. standard ) for all these graphs?


How lucky do you have to be to find these ‘natural causes ‘ perfectly balance the temperature increases that ‘had to occur ‘ due to an increases in atmospheric CO2 according to climate ‘scientists’ Tails you lose , heads I win seems to be a standard approach in climate science’

richard verney

This type of argument, rarely considers the differing CO2 induced forcings during the various periods of hiatus.
For example, in relation to a theory that suggests that CO2 must drive temperature increases, it is more significant that there is 14 year plus hiatus after 2000 when CO2 levels are upwards of 390ppm compared to the 20 year plus hiatus around the 1880s/1900 when CO2 levels were only about 290 ppm. The forcing at the end of the 20th century is considerable more than the forcing at the beginning of the 20th century, so natural variation has to be stronger at the end of the century if it precisely cancels out the warming effect of all that CO2 in the atmosphere.
The same point arises (but to a lesser extent) with respect to the late 1940s hiatus.


Jokes aside, when it comes to 14+ years of a hiatus in the particular condition as experienced, one thing, which is ignored by many, but not by Phil Jones, IS THAT NUMBERS DON’T LIE, even when some times the approach somehow arbitrary.
There was a good reason why Phil told to some of his pals that unless the pause goes beyond 14 years there was nothing to worry.
With the hiatus at 14+ years it means that the finger print of what we call a climate sensitive, for whatever reason we choosed to rely on it, shows that we are in an influence or a driving of a long term natural variation.
A 14+ years, according to the numbers is well beyond a possibility to be caused by short term natural variation.
Longer the pause lasts more clear it becomes that the climate is changing as it suppose to, naturally according to its long term change.
According to the numbers in relation to climate sensitivity a 14 years of a pause could be due to a short term natural variation, in the particular condition as it is, only if we were previously in a longer than a 300 years of a certain warming trend. And that at a 14 years of hiatus. At 20 years pause (not considering the possibility of the cooling) it requiries a 400 and longer warming trend to be explained under the short term natural variations. And that is in the case of been kind with the numbers.
So if by any chance this the case, then there never will be enough short term natural variations to explain it.
Maybe even a 520 reasons could not be enough. Beyond 14+ years the anomaly shown by the climate sensitivity becomes very significant. It could get to a point that at a 450 ppm CO2 and still in a pause, there will be no other way but to claim an anthropogenic climate change causing an unprecedented cooling.
I know this is a kinda of a very abstract form to express an idea or a thought but to me that is what the numbers show.
I could very possibly be wrong…


All of the “best” “climatologists” used say the secular trend coming out of the little ice age ended in the 1970s. Warming since the 70s supposedly did not have a natural component. An other nail on the coffin of the theory that “water vapor feedback enhances CO2’s thermodynamic effect”. Positing a secular trend since the 70s reduces even more any warming due to CO2 + H2O.

Alan the Brit

It gets better & better! Warming causes cooling, which in turn causes warming, which causes cooling. reminds me of the Wet Office predictions: “Some regions will experience warmer temperatures, others will experience cooler temperatures. Some areas will experience more rainfall, others will experience less rainfall. some areas will experience dryer weather, others will experience wetter weather.” Just predict everything & anything & you’ll NEVER be wrong!
Others have already said it, but science is truly dying on its feet here!

Robert of Ottawa

Sunny periods with scattered showers.

Alberta Slim

Also, “cloudy otherwise clear.”

Alberta Slim

The “scientists” that are politically motivated have a big foothold in politics and academia.
They are going to be difficult to get rid of. If ever.
These folks are never wrong[just ask them].
They must have gotten 100% on every test they have ever written.
They always have a JERRE. Justification; Explanation; Rationalization; Reason; or Excuse.


How about that magic trick where you hide ten envelopes each containing a number from 1 to 10. Then you ask your mark to choose a number between 1 and 10. After a bunch of woo-woo theatrics and claims of special powers you go to where the corresponding envelope is and presto!

Robert of Ottawa

More epicycles

Alberta Slim

Yes… right you are.

My guess is that the “downturn of the secular warming trend” is caused by the same thing that sent all the previous interglacials back into glaciation. We’re due.

Robin Hewitt

Shakespeare says it is dreams that “must give us pause”.
Ham 3:1:68

A physics based equation, with only two drivers (both natural) as independent variables, explains measured average global temperatures since before 1900 with 95% correlation, calculates credible values back to 1610, and predicts through 2037.
The drivers, method, equation, data sources, history (hind cast to 1610) and predictions (to 2037) are given at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com.
Find out why thermalization makes CO2 change NOT a driver in an updated paper at http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com .

Kip Hansen

Reader DMA hits the highlight –> “The authors recommend further scientific investigation of the causes and consequences of this change, in order to address whether the global climate sensitivity has recently changed. Such research is crucial to understanding current climate conditions and creating plausible scenarios of future climate evolution.”
They have opened the door — IPCC-mandated global climate sensitivity figures can now be safely challenged by Team scientists without censure.
Now maybe we’ll see some real science on the issue.

@Pamela Gray, I love the way you think! Of frozen mammoth’s, I have a interesting anecdotal tale from my friend and next door neighbor Robbie DeAmbroso, this goes back to around 1968, we were playing in the back yard and he tells me a story he got from his great uncle, who , as the story goes was a sailor on one or more of Admiral Byrd’s polar expeditions, where he says they were nearly starving when the crew found a frozen mammoth, the multi ton beastie of hot furry meat was frozen so fast that flowers in its stomach had not been even digested a little, and the bacteria in the gut of said creature that gets active at the moment of death, had not even kicked in! What became clear to the scientists of the day was that creature was frozen solid in its tracks instantly. OK folks what kind of temperature drop is that????? If it can happen once, it can happen again. Ice ages are nasty affairs methinks!


‘Fanciful excuse ‘ hypothesis.

“JRC scientists analysed bogus adjusted out of all touch with reality surface temperature data food product records”
Fixed if for them…
I note in passing that the hottest ever records of the 1930s have been disappeared…. Also that the “New Little Ice Age” panic of the ’70s has been turned into a “hiatus”… Just gotta iron that past into a nice flat cold to warm sequence and then it’s easy to play the climate data manipulation game…

Porpoise Hork

So in other words they have no clue and are desperate to keep the IPCC’s global warming lies afloat. And continue to keep the medieval warming period data off the long period temperature maps that prove the climate changes we have seen are cyclical and not man made.


Does this mean that the science isn’t settled?
I’m so confused!!!


So, is any one of those 52 explanations, “Our theory was wrong”? If not, then they still haven’t come to grips with reality.