Modern Day Versions of King Canute Find It Difficult To Replace God

Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball

I learned in school that King Canute (990 – 1035 AD) was the most stupid King in English history (Figure 1). He was so ignorant and arrogant he believed he could stop the tide. World leaders in Paris led by President Obama, who promised to stop sea level rise in his election campaign, are the modern day equivalent of Canute’s mentality.


Figure 1

Later historical research discovered documents that changed the entire story. People believed Canute was the greatest King and capable of doing anything. He obviously was a great King because he realized the limitations of his power and the need to lower people’s expectations. He staged an event to show there were things he could not control. He sat on his throne by the ocean and ordered the tide to stop rising. It is great leaders who know the limits of their power. It is necessary to remind others.

It was the historians of subsequent Kings who wrote the false Canute narrative. They did not want to compete with the people’s view of Canute, so they chose to get ahead by pushing him down rather than pulling themselves up.

The modern day Canute’s are not great leaders. They demonstrated their limitations in Paris where they planned to stop climate change. Figure 2 shows a symbol we can use to represent their stupidity. It shows the range of temperatures and climate variability over the last 420,000 years. Temperatures range is over 12°C, as the Earth swung naturally between very cold glacial periods and very warm interglacial periods. Three of the last four warm interglacial periods were warmer than today.

The temperature variations in Figure 2 are the result of thousands of variables all interacting to create the weather, of which climate is the average. To achieve their “stop climate change” objective the world leaders gathered in Paris must control all the variables.



Figure 2: Stop Climate Change.

Source: The author.

Stopping climate change means creating a “flat line” temperature record but that, like on a heart monitor, would mean the patient died.

They are like the original interpretation of Canute ignorant and arrogant enough to think they have that power. They did not look at the IPCC reports because if they did they would discover what Klaus-Eckart Puls found.

“One day I started checking the facts and data—first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements.”

They didn’t read what Puls wrote, especially his comment that

”Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob.”

They believe that by turning the knob, like Canute held up his hand and ordered the tide to stop, they can stop climate change.

Which variables must they control to stop climate change? The answer is simple, all the ones deliberately ignored by the IPCC. The list is very long because the IPCC list was deliberately shortened by the definition given to them in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Article 1

“Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

The IPCC authors know the limitations of their work, but the politicians don’t know. By the time the IPCC Assessment Report 4 (AR4) was written, under pressure from skeptics about the limitations, they inserted a broader definition.

Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.

It was apolitical ploy. It did not and could not change anything because of the cumulative format of their Reports. To apply that definition requires scrapping the entire process and starting over. They wanted to be able to say they knew of the problem, so they put it as a footnote in the Summary For Policymakers (SPM) of AR4.

The long list of variables they must control is all those omitted by the IPCC. Their short list appears in the “Forcings” diagram from the 2001 IPCC TAR Report (Figure3).

The right-hand column labeled LOSU, which stands for Level Of Scientific Understanding, underscores the challenge they face. Seven of the nine are medium or low, and if you act without understanding, the chances of disaster are greater than not acting. For example, when global cooling was the consensus from 1940 to 1980 people demanded action. One proposal involved building a dam across the Bering Straits. The idea was to reduce cold-water flows to the North Pacific to create warmer water and raise temperatures in the middle and higher latitudes around the globe. What would that have done to temperatures in the warmer period from 1980 to 1998? If you want to play God, you need to know what you are doing.


Figure 3

The point of Canute’s exercise was to show there were things well beyond his control. The leaders in Paris and the IPCC scientists and bureaucrats who advise them don’t recognize the limitations.

This is not an argument for a religious answer or, necessarily, the need for a God. It is a result of the vacuum left when a belief system is removed. As G. K. Chesterton said

“When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

There is a reason why books, like Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion or Christopher Hitchen’s God is Not Great, are part of today’s wider discussions. It began with science choosing to defeat Christianity using Charles Darwin. Although he was an atheist, he was, like Copernicus, a reactionary not a revolutionary and realized the implications of his ideas.

Before Darwin, western universities comprised two faculties, The Natural Sciences and The Humanities. Once science used Darwin’s theory to replace God as the Creator it left a void. It required an answer to the question of who created the Universe, but more important the question of who put humans here and made them so markedly different from all the other species. It was a question that Alfred Russel Wallace (Figure 4) posed to Darwin directly.


Figure 4

The academic world filled the void created by removing God as the answer by creating the Social Sciences. Many believe the name is an oxymoron while others think that applying science to humanity is dehumanizing. As mathematician and philosopher, A.N. Whitehead said,

“There is no more common error then to assume that, because prolonged and accurate mathematical calculations have been made, the application of the result to some fact of nature is absolutely certain.”

Darwin also crossed the line into the social sciences when he took Thomas Malthus’s Essay on Population with him on the Beagle, declaring it the most influential material on his thinking. Darwin’s ideas captured the thinking of Herbert Spencer, who coined the phrase “Survival of the fittest.” In turn, Darwin was taken by the idea and included it in the 1872 Sixth edition of Origin of Species.

In western society people began to view science and technology as the source of solutions to all human problems. Science and technology were also credited with all major advances inhuman history. Parallel development of the new paradigm of environmentalism provided a new form of religion for young people looking for Chesterton’s “anything”.

In this political and social environment, 190 world leaders met in Paris to advance the belief that they can stop climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon led them as the modern day Canute (Figure 5). He set the stage for his demands when in 2014 he said that

“…climate change has been one of his top priorities since taking the office in 2007. He noted that progress has been made but warned the time for decisive global action is now, else the world risks climate chaos.”


Figure 5: Ban Ki-moon in Paris holding up his hand and asking the tide to stop, but failing.

Source: The author

Consider the challenge they face with just one variable – the Sun. Astronomers define our Sun as a variable Yellow Dwarf Star that is approximately half way through its 10 billion-year cycle. It is the major source of energy in our climate system. It is so dominant that the IPCC ignore one other source, geothermal heat from the nuclear activity within the Earth as inconsequential. To stop almost all of the variability of temperature and climate change that are shown in the graph in Figure 2 they must stop changes in the Sun. This is a much greater challenge than stopping the tide for the modern ignorant and arrogant Canute’s.

Ban Ki-moon said,

We are also the last generation that can fight climate change.

Hopefully, future historians will report that his was the last generation that ignorantly and arrogantly believed they could stop climate change and sanity finally prevailed, but I won’t wait for the tide to come in.

280 thoughts on “Modern Day Versions of King Canute Find It Difficult To Replace God

  1. To stop almost all of the variability of temperature and climate change that are shown in the graph in Figure 2 they must stop changes in the Sun
    Nonsense, if those changes are so small that their influence is hard to measure.

    • The Total Solar Irradiance is measured to have small variations, at least over the past few decades. Other wavelengths (UV, etc.) and energy modes (e.g., magnetic field) vary more emphatically. So what if the UV hits the ozone, tweaks the stratospheric vortex, which works its way down, and so on? What if… But the sun should not be ruled out.
      But it looks to me that the largest climate variations are mostly regional ones caused by internal variability of the atmosphere-ocean system, with occasional hits from volcanoes and a minimal CO2 effect. The internal variability shows itself as el Nino, Pacific and Atlantic Oscillations, anomalous snow cover, and an occasional bomb cyclone that changes the entire global circulation. I.e, weather that follows different paths. All that stuff is notoriously hard to predict, and the only way to stop it is to reduce the atmosphere-ocean system to absolute zero to stop all molecular and fluid motion, and eliminate the need for heat transfer.
      And the only way to do that is stop the thermo-nuke reactions inside the sun, or move the Earth halfway to M31 in Andromeda. Surely the UN can do that.

      • I read a paper the other day (I think Usoskin’s big review paper) that claimed an increase in solar activity of 0.9 Wm-2 since the Maunder Minimum (MM)
        Since the net imbalance estimated from ocean heat content is around 0.5 Wm-2 (Loeb et al) that would suggest net negative imbalance of -0.4 Wm-2 around the time of the MM from solar activity alone.
        Loeb, Norman G., et al. “Observed changes in top-of-the-atmosphere radiation and upper-ocean heating consistent within uncertainty.” Nature Geoscience 5.2 (2012): 110-113.
        In my opinion, this supports the idea that the integral of the Sunspot Number (or Group Number) is worth exploring for a connection with global warming.
        A paper by Nir Shaviv has some interesting figures. Using the Oceans as a Calorimeter to Quantify the Solar Radiative Forcing
        Shaviv elsewhere has taken issue with those who dispute the value of revisions to the sunspot number and group number series. Shaviv argues that for climate studies, the revision does not make much difference. I believe he bases this on a comparison of the original and revised series.
        In my opinion the small differences in the old and new series do not count for much in studies that go back only to 1610 or so.
        The real value in the revised figures will be to improve reconstructions based on proxies for solar activity that extend the sunspot series back several centuries. Reducing the errors introduced by various observers will reduce the risk that these errors will propagate backwards in time in the reconstructions.
        In some sense the revision of the sunspot series is not much different in principle from the revisions of the RSS and UAH satellite series. Both approaches resolve multiple observations over time, including variations introduced by the technology used for observing.

    • Nonsense, if those changes are so small that their influence is hard to measure.
      Leif, or that our science has not advanced enough to do any of the things we are claiming.

      • Sorry, Leif–he didn’t claim he could do it, only that some day science might advance to the point where something we don’t now know will be discovered.
        That’s what’s repeatedly happened in the past.

      • yes, hence understanding of solar influences is quite low, yet evidence that CO2 is greatly over exaggerated is very high.

      • Svalgaard ! you are becoming like a Troll
        saying the Sun doesn’t change much,
        when it is self evident that it does.
        You are furthermore digging a huge hole
        for yourself which you will never escape,
        by trying to then defend your ludicrous
        suggestion. Your quest for knowledge,
        has sadly led you into the realms of
        sheer fantasy.
        ….. or else this is a deliberate Troll.

        • Svalgaard ! you are becoming like a Troll
          saying the Sun doesn’t change much,
          when it is self evident that it does.

          Actual measurements show that it does not.
          Self evident? The easiest person to fool is yourself…
          And you do a good job at that.

      • Wasn’t it Herschel who linked grain prices to sun spots?
        Did that not happen? Were his calculations in error? Is there no link?
        Also, we know that small changes in TSI do affect the earth because of Milankovitch?

          “Today, we have considerably more data than were available to Herschel; these were collected both before and after he stated his hypothesis, and they can be used for both retrospective and prospective testing. For London wheat prices both before 1801 and, separately, after 1802, binary significance probabilities and Pearson correlations and their effective probabilities are summarized in Table 1. None of these are indicative of statistical significance. While solar irradiance may affect global climate, from our analysis of data of the type considered by Herschel, we conclude that historical wheat prices are not demonstrably useful for inferring past sunspot numbers, and, conversely, sunspot numbers are not demonstrably useful for predicting future wheat prices”
          Also, we know that small changes in TSI do affect the earth because of Milankovitch
          Those changes are not small.

      • Doc. S. reminds me more than a little of Mosh. Right (i.e., most of the time) or wrong, he’s straightforward and “succinct”. With a side of pith.

      • I thin you insult the Dr I with the comparison to Mosh, who I find extremely condescending, often cryptic, and very rarely willing to actually have a dialogue. Also Isvalgaard is a scientist, whereas Mosh is not.
        My only critique is that in an area of low understanding I do not mind people making a hypotheses about possible solar influences, and looking for observational evidence of the same. (I think excess negativity or certainty of said negativity is not warranted, until we know more.)
        For instances, over three low solar cycles how much energy is reduced into oceans. We would need to know the ocean residence time of each wave length of solar spectrum affected, as well as the atmospheric affects on clouds, jet streams etc. (Since we have not calculated the former, as we do not know the residence time of disparate solar insolation into the global oceans, and we do not know the affect on jet streams and cloud formations, we cannot know the multi decade affect of solar changes.
        So I am skeptical of skepticism, or positive assertions that the sun did not do it. We simply do not know.

        • So I am skeptical of skepticism, or positive assertions that the sun did not do it. We simply do not know.
          If we do not know, we should not claim that we do know [or that it is self-evident], that is all. There is simply not any good evidence, except that the effect must be small, otherwise we would see it plain as day.

      • Maybe they have a 3-5 fold positive feedback? After all, isn’t that how the warmies get from the trivially weak GHG property of CO2 to their absurd projections?

    • Tim Ball referred to his Figure 2, which depicts the temperature graph for the last four interglacials and intervening glaciations. It is fair to assume that the changes he was referring to were those described by the Milankovitch theory, not the small short term changes in solar activity that you seem to have in mind. Tim could have made this a bit more explicit, however.

      • So he did. However, he also clearly referred to Figure 2, which shows glaciations and deglaciations. I think we can assume Tim Ball do know the difference between fluctuations in activity of the sun itself and the changes in Earth’s insolation caused by astronomical cycles.

    • Leif – “If you can’t do it, you should not claim it…”
      You claim the changes in the Sun are small. Do you understand all the interactions between the sun and the earth and have instruments capable of measuring these changes? “if you can’t do it, you should not claim it!”
      Do you have an idea of what happens when you die? Or where your thoughts come from? Then you may understand the Sun better!
      There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio than are dreamt of in your philosophy – William Shakespeare.
      All the best

    • Doc, would it be obnoxious of me to point out that “Nonsense, those changes are so small that their influence is hard to measure.” also applies to the global temperature observations for almost 19 years?

      • The average temperature of earth is app.288K, the changes in temperature in question are +/- 2K, 2/288=0.00694 or 0.6%.the sun may not vary by much but neither does the temperature.

      • I didn’t intend that to be a jab at Dr. Svalgaard, I have a great respect and admiration of his pioneering research and his generosity to educate and blog with layman goofballs like myself.
        I personally suspect that we cannot point to any one factor in the climate system and identify it as the omnipresent ‘control knob’ of temperature. I suspect that interactions of small variations in orbital eccentricity and heliospheric conditions trigger responses in the planetary magnetospheres and atmospheres which result in heat gains and losses on all the planets (most recently observed as ice volcanoes on Pluto.)

    • At the end of our sun’s life the changes will be large enough to boil away our oceans and then leave us cold and dry at a few degrees Kelvin. In 5 billion years, any human-like creatures on this planet should have the wherewithal to move elsewhere before suffering the death of our solar system.

    • “Nonsense, if those changes are so small that their influence is hard to measure.”
      If they aren’t small, then CO2 can’t be causing global warming and that means it isn’t humanity’s fault. If it isn’t humanity’s fault, we have no jobs.
      So obviously they changes in the sun must be small.
      – IPCC

    • lsvalgaard
      December 11, 2015 at 4:11 pm
      Nonsense, if those changes are so small that their influence is hard to measure.

      Funny, just like temperatures and sea levels, Temperature changes are so small that their trends are hard to measure.

    • Natural variation has been enough to cause ice ages and periods warmer than the one we live in now. 12,000 years ago the site where my home town would be built was under a sheet of ice thick enough to gouge out a valley that is 2 miles wide. 1000 years ago grapes were grown along the slopes of that valley, now the valley is barely able to support hardier strains of wheat and barley. Until such time s cimate scientists can show convincingly how that happened their arguments remain unconvincing.

    • If you look at the output from solar panels on the California grid you can very quickly see that the solar output reaching the Earth’s surface is not constant.
      The idea that the amount of energy reaching the Earth is constant is far from intuitive.
      If the orbit was circular and the axis was vertical, this would be more intuitive.
      However, using the simple inverse squared law, the solar flux in space near the Earth varies from 1366 average to 1421 maximum and 1329 minimum, corresponding to black body temperatures of 394K, 397K, and 391K. respectively. These numbers do not look small when compared to catastrophic changes of 0.01C degrees in the Earth’s average temperature.
      Also we have the tilt of the Earths axis and the different distribution of land and sea in the northern and southern hemispheres. There is also the question of cloud cover. The assumption that seasonal cloud cover variation is small is also non intuitive.

    • The 0.1% variance during solar cycles is alone, enough to explain 1/3rd of the total global warming signal.
      We do not know how much the sun varies over centuries because we have only been measuring it accurately for a few decades.
      You really do remind me of King Canute.

    • Just for the record, the people paid a tithe; 10% of their income to the Church.
      That was the tax that subsidised the Arts and provided social security of or when misfortune hit.
      The King only paid for the military and his own Glory.

      • Actually the king owned all the land in his realm. Some he gave to ‘nobles’ but what he retained he collected rents. Just like now, he very likely collected port levies and taxed imports and created his own monopolies where there was money to be had. He may not have had an IRD, but he would have screwed the normal people with these ‘indirect’ taxes just like now.

  2. ” Stopping climate change means creating a “flat line” temperature record but that, like on a heart monitor, would mean the patient died. ”
    Like I always say to “alarmists”…I’ll start worrying when the climate STOPS changing !!

    • The REAL climate change ” deni*ers ” are the Eco-Freaks on the Left who think the can control Mother Nature !!

      • The REAL climate change ” deni*ers ” are … sez Marcus
        Along with the cadre of data processors at NOAA, NASA, Hadley CRU, Penn State, and all over who happily d*ny that the Dust Bowl, Little Ice Age, Medieval Warm Period, and that “cool” spell in the 1960s ever happened. All by the flip of a wrist and wee bit of computer code.

      • Please keep in mind that these people aren’t really about stopping global warming/climate change. What they are really about is using the topic as a stepping stone to for the rest of us to accept a different style of governance. Something along the lines of Directive 10-289. The world wants to use Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged as a how to manual instead of a cautionary tale.
        As Heinlein observed:
        “Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
        This is known as “bad luck.”

  3. My own favorite Chesterton quote:

    If you argue with a madman, it is extremely probable that you will get the worst of it; for in many ways his mind moves all the quicker for not being delayed by the things that go with good judgment.

  4. You’re a bit hard on old Knut. He didn’t think he could hold back the tide – he was demonstrating the contrary to his court.

      • That’s the problem with starting your essay with such a blatant falsehood, to anyone who knows the truth. You are little inclined to continue reading any more of the author’s material if this is the sort of stuff he’s selling. Sort of why I can’t get past the Headlines of Hanson’s typical press releases.

      • Thing is when reading Tim Ball you can be confident he has done the research. He begins with a little teaser and then … yes indeed he has done the research.

      • Peter — “… starting out with such a blatant falsehood …”
        Uh, what were the first words of his first paragraph? “I learned in school that …”
        All those who know the truth, also know that schools have spread the lie. What kind of scholarship would lead any of them to ignore his explanation of the popular metaphor*, before he then uses it?
        * A simile is like what a metaphor is.

      • @BillK
        I must have had an unusual education, for I never remember the tale as holding up Canute as a fool, but only the straight version where he was trying to put the court toadies, sycophants, and hangers-on in their place. I’ve always wondered about what Paul Harvey would call “The rest of the story”. Truth tellers since Biblical times, and no doubt earlier, have been mighty unpopular.

    • Great article Dr Ball. I especially appreciated your definition of social sciences.
      “The academic world filled the void created by removing God as the answer by creating the Social Sciences.”

      • “Once science used Darwin’s theory to replace God as the Creator it left a void.”
        This blog article is not up to Dr Ball’s usual high standard. Most evolutionists believe in God. As scientists we may hold that it is above our pay grade to question how the Almighty might chose to create the universe. As scientists we have enough difficulty trying to understand relativity and quantum theory without getting involved in religious questions about Who created the universe and Why? Belief in Intelligent Design leads to no useful scientific predictions because the question raised are not scientific questions, but religious questions.
        Professor Dawkins is an Atheist, which means he has made just as great an act of faith as a Theist of Deist. But he makes his act of faith in the non-existence of God as a lay person, not as a scientist. As scientists we may be fortunate to discover HOW some things seem to work. But we learn nothing about the Who or Why.
        To pick on Darwin is unhistorical. If the author must have a target, let it be James Hutton. For Hutton the Earth had no discernible beginning and no end. The belief in deep time that gradually emerged from the study of geology undermined Christian theology. This was made possible because Bishop Ussher and others had promoted the idea that the literal words of the Bible should be taken to mean the Earth was only around 6000 years old. In retrospect, Lord Kelvin did not do much better with his estimate between 20 million and 400 million years but it was enough to create a conflict with estimate made from biblical geneologies.
        The comment about the social sciences is even further off the mark than the comment about Darwin. Adverse social and psychological events had been attributed to punishment by God (as in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse). Which means that the author has got his metaphor backwards.
        Historically, it was not scientists dabbling in religion that disenchanted the masses. On the contrary, promoters of religion had attributed adverse social and natural events as God’s punishment to instill fear. All that scientists did was to pull back the curtain to reveal nature. The fable of the Wizard of Oz was acted out over and over again. Each time the gimmicks of the clerical wizards were revealed they lost authority.
        I wonder if fearmongering will the damage to science will mimic the damage in the past done to religion?
        Today the promoters of the Gaia religion and environmental extremists take the role of the clerical wizards who formerly instilled fear of God as means of control. Now the bogeyman is CO2 and again the End is Nigh. Again sinners and unbelievers will be punished. The Pope and other religious leaders have revealed their belief that the future of the world depends on human emissions of CO2. They seem to believe the Creator has designed the Earth so that man’s continuing use of its fossil energy resources will doom humanity and it would be better for the poor to remain poor.
        Some may continue to believe that the Creator designed Earth function so robustly that mankind’s use of its fossil resources will not destroy the Earth as the home of Man. This is a religious view, the opposite of the view held by adherents of the Gaia religion. In my opinion, there is little difference in these two views apart from the fact that they represent opposite sides of the same coin. But that is as far as Intelligent Design can take us..
        Most of us who are sceptics expect that one day science will reveal that nature, not man, is responsible for global warming and cooling.

  5. Dear Future Grandson
    I figure by now you are strong little fella. Smirk on your face, pep in your behind. You probably have had a few nasty little falls and failures in life and realized you won’t break. I’m not there, but I hope you hear me laughing with you when you look at my picture.
    I’m writing this letter because you are probably wondering how us people could be so stupid to ignore the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit that contributes to an ebb and flow of climate change. Yeah, we tried to limit our CO2 and heat output when we should have been preparing for how we were going to deal with the coming cold that had come several times in a known pattern.
    Well some of us thought it was stupid beyond belief and we got droned out. We failed but I’m happy that the gene pool kept on keeping on and hopefully when faced with a similar degree of stupidity you’ll fair better than we did. I saved you a bunch of frost resistant wheat seeds and hidden in the back forty under the two rocks is a chest of super warm animal skins.
    Oh, listen to your mother. She’s a good egg although I wish she hadn’t married a climatologist.
    Grandpa Knute

    • Dear Grandpa Knute,
      Hi. I am happy that you wrote to me why did you say you are not there. I am going to be born long before you die — don’t — you — KNOW THAT??? Are you planning to kill yourself or something???? Well, don’t do it!!! We are going to have a lot of fun eating ice cream and I am going to listen to YOU. You are going to be my BEST BUDDY. That is final.
      My dog will be named Prince. I don’t know why I just like it.
      I know all about the climate. Up here, we know. EVERYTHING. An angel told me that when I get to earth my brain will lock up and I will be lucky if I can remember that God exists! Can you believe THAT???????!
      Well, my name is going to be the same as yours! I will be little. You will be big for awhile and then I will be the BIGGEST!!! IN — THE WHOLE WORLD!!!!! HHHHHHAAAAAAAAAHHHAHAAAA.
      Okay. I have to go practice being silent. All babies (I am going to be a baby!! — oh brother…) have to not talk for about a year and that will be very hard for me because I like to talk. Some people do not know that babies can talk, but they just do not because they are under orders. They know too much. They only get to talk after they have had a chance to forget just about everything they ever knew. Oh, brother. GRANDPA? Please
      tell me EVERYTHING you can because I think my dad is kind of a dummy or something. I might have to pretend he is not dumb, but you will know I know you know by the *wink* I give you when he is not looking, okay?
      I love you so much, Grandpa — we are going to have fun!!!!
      (I can’t tell you when I am coming because that is a secret)

      • Glad you enjoyed Al.
        Creative writing moment inspired by my remarkably verbal 3 year old neighbor’s granddaughter.
        Some of these little earth urchins are quite bright and very likely to provide excellent leadership in the decades to come.

  6. Nobody is ruling out the Sun. The problem is to find the purported influence. If it is there, it is very small, such at not rising much above the noise, thus not dominant [nor important] in any way.

      • Marcus. If you have decided to challenge Dr. Svalgaard to an intellectual battle, you appear to have come armed with little more than an excess of exclamation marks.

      • Remember, Marcus and Ray Boorman, that Dr. Svalgaard speaks in short-hand at times. From his past comments I am fairly certain that what he means is:
        1. the Sun is the main driver of the homeostasis of Earth’s climate;
        2. the Sun is a likely (but not proven, just likely — I may have misunderstood him on this point, however) driver of long-term shifts in climate (as in millennia), but not relatively short (as in decades); and
        3. that he sternly corrects mistakes about solar science does NOT mean that he also believes that human CO2 rises above a very small influence at most (not much above noise, as Bartemis and others on WUWT have so ably shown).

      • Knute: Thank you! (it really depends on if I represented Dr. Svalgaard accurately, though… hope so).
        {Say, Knute… did you see the letter your grandson sent you above? 😉
        Marcus: Thank you!!! (smile) Your generous spirit and whole-heartedly enthusiastic writing are a joy.
        A Quote of the Day for Our Wonderful Marcus!!
        It is not the critic who counts;
        not the [person] who points out how the strong [person] stumbled
        or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
        The credit belongs to the [person] who is actually in the arena;
        whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
        who strives valiantly;
        who errs, and comes short again and again,
        because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
        who does actually try to do the deed;
        who knows the great enthusiasm,
        the great devotion
        and spends [him or herself] in a worthy cause;
        who, at the worst, if [she or he] fails, at least fails while daring greatly.
        Far better is it to dare mighty things,
        to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure,
        than to rank with those poor spirits
        who neither enjoy much nor suffer much
        because they live in the gray twilight
        that knows neither victory nor defeat.

        Theodore Roosevelt
        {Source: quoted by Charles Swindoll in his book, The Finishing Touch at 456 (1994)}

        • Janice
          Indeed, I heard the little runt whispering in my ear, wanting to know where I hide the good fishing gear.
          Charming thought. Thanks for that.
          Here’s a link to an interesting fellow. Retired paleoguy. 40 year experience. 20 with NOAA. He does a nice simple video that includes a Milankovich explanation. A skeptic that runs his own advisory service. His webpage needed love. You or someone you know may find the video educational. It helped me.

      • Janice, that is not a tank top and no I won’t post any ” unreasonable ” photos of you !! wink wink….

      • Knute: You’re welcome. My pleasure. And you WILL be here for him. (heh, heh, or HER… (smile)). I can’t stand fishing now (too boring for me, oh, I beg your pardon, I AM TOO IMPATIENT for fishing, that’s it (smile)), but when I was a little girl, fishing with my dad was lots of fun. And both my grandpas and I had lots of fun going on hikes and looking for Indian relics and eating snicker bars and drinking Mountain Dew and playing cribbage and… well, you see? It won’t matter whether “he” is a boy or a girl!
        Thanks for the video. Appreciate your kindness in helping me to learn.

    • lsvalgaard:
      Perfect Statement!
      Does anybody mind if I steal a quote and say the exact same thing about CO2?

    • Leif,
      Not dominant for the 11 years cycle, but very dominant for the solar grand minima. Virtually every abrupt cooling period of the Holocene coincides with one or a cluster of solar grand minima. Little Ice Age is not the exception, it is the rule. And solar grand minima appear not to have a random distribution but approach cycles of ~1000 and ~2500 years.
      Ocean thermal inertia and oceanic currents might explain why the climate system does not respond to the brief variability of the 11-years cycle, but responds much more strongly to the prolonged variations of a solar grand minima.
      We are likely to find out in the next solar grand minima. It is encouraging that as the last two solar cycles have got smaller in amplitude, the warming has waned. Encouraging for the theory, as cooling is not kind to man.

      • The link with Grand minima is flimsy at best. Some of the ‘evidence’ comes from cosmic rays, but their depositions is in part controlled by the climate. As for the coming cycle, it will not be any weaker than Cycle 24, so no Grand Minimum this time around.

      • I’m afraid you are ill informed, Leif,
        The link is not flimsy at all. This figure is from C. Martin-Puertas, et al. 2012. Nature Geoscience 5, 397–401.
        And it is nearly the same story for every major cooling. 0.3 kyr BP (LIA), 2.8 kyr BP (Homeric), 5.5 kyr BP, 8.2 kyr BP (Sahel grand minima group).
        Regarding next grand minimum, we will have to wait 11 years to see how cycle 26 looks like before discarding it.

        • Sigh. One expects an up to 0.1 degree insignificant drop when TSI drops at a Grand Minimum. Your graph may show that as the eye of faith of an imaginative observer might perceive hints of. The real issue is the much larger [hokey stick] background variation which does not follow TSI.

      • Leif,
        What one expects and what one gets are two very different things as we have seen with CO2. If I remember correctly we were expecting 0.3°C/decade in 1990 and we are now getting less than 0.1°C.
        It seems that LIA corresponded to a drop of about 0.5°C that has not been properly explained, and contained not less than 4 grand minima in 500 years. Even if you are correct that a grand solar minimum corresponds to a drop in 0.1°C of direct forcing, we still don’t know what the climate sensitivity to that forcing is. Is it 1 or perhaps 3?
        As a higher climate sensitivity to a solar forcing cannot be ruled out and as almost every major cooling of the Holocene temperature record is associated with one or more solar grand minima, a dominant role for Sun variability in climate change during the Holocene cannot be ruled out. Indeed it looks a much better candidate for that role than GHGs whose concentration was changing in the opposite direction, i.e. increasing, while temperatures were declining.
        You might be concerned only with last 170 years (hockey stick) increase, but I believe we will not understand that change unless we understand first climate change before anthropogenic effects. Perhaps a bright grad student of yours will be willing to take up the challenge.

        • a dominant role for Sun variability in climate change during the Holocene cannot be ruled out.
          Yes they can, because the dips are so minor compared to the rest of the trend. Not to speak about the hockey stick. So, not dominant in any shape or form.

          • Lief
            Does anybody seriously claim that the 11-year or 22-year sunspot cycles have sufficient range to be implicated in the MWP or LIA? Isn’t that is a straw man?
            The integrals of SN and GN do seem to show that over longer periods climate is related to solar activity. (Gleissberg, Suess, de Vries Cycles).
            When I plotted the integral of the revised GN, it seemed to me solar activity was related to climate during the period 1600 to the present.
            Is it your position that there is no solar impact on climate even over periods as long as centuries and millennia?

          • The integral idea does not make sense to me.
            For once, the integral of the sunspot series diverges; it will grow indefinitely [since all sunspot numbers are positive]. If you instead integrate the deviations of the sunspot number from the mean, that integral over any time interval is always zero. So you have to integrate deviations from some other value than the mean in order to get a non-zero value. This makes that other value a free parameter, that you determine from the fit to the curves but in no other way can justify by a physical argument or mechanism; just curve fitting. No physics.
            There is another free parameter: when to start integrating? 10,000 years ago? 400 years ago? 200 years ago? Pick the one that wiggle-matches your model the best.
            My view on Climate Change is here
            The solar connection has been postulated since about AD 1650 and has still not reached such a point that it is useful or accepted. There are thousands of papers pro and con, and as a colleague of mine once remarked “the eye of faith of an imaginative researcher might perceive hints of correlations even if the evidence is not statistically significant in any plausible sense”. This in my view sums it up very nicely.

          • We are all biased and some try harder to behave

            “the eye of faith of an imaginative researcher might perceive hints of correlations even if the evidence is not statistically significant in any plausible sense”.

            Thanks for the link to your article..

            “The orbitally induced variations in summertime insolation in the northern high latitudes are in antiphase with the time rate of change of ice sheet volume.”

            Figure 26 correlation blows any comparable CO2 correlation out the door, no ?

          • Thanks for the paper. I will work through it today.
            BTW I didn’t just accumulate the revised GSN series, but the anomalies from the mean value since 1610. I could have worked out Z-scores and integrated that series as I did in Part I for the sunspot numbers.
            My assumption is that the energy imbalance from year to year is either added or withdrawn from the world ocean on the further assumption that energy is proportional to the product of power and time.
            Readers may be interested in an historical overview of solar science,
            Ilya G. Usoskin, “A History of Solar Activity over Millennia”, Living Rev. Solar Phys. 10, (2013), 1.
            alternative URL:
            Today as I was reading the paper, this section caught my eye: 2.4.2 Randomness vs. regularity, in particular the following passage, “An old idea of the possible planetary influence on the dynamo has received a new pulse recently with some unspecified torque effect on the assumed quasi-rigid non­axisymmetric tahocline (Abreu et al., 2012). If confirmed this idea would imply a significant multi-harmonic driver of the solar activity, but the question is still open.”
            Abreu, J.A., Beer, J., Ferriz-Mas, A., McCracken, K.G. and Steinhilber, F., 2012, “Is there a planetary influence on solar activity?”, Astron. Astrophys., 548, A88.
            Usoskin’s paper contains no reference to Scafetta’s work on harmonics. Two papers may be of interest.
            Scafetta, Nicola. “Multi-scale harmonic model for solar and climate cyclical variation throughout the Holocene based on Jupiter–Saturn tidal frequencies plus the 11-year solar dynamo cycle.” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80 (2012): 296-311.
            Scafetta, Nicola. “Testing an astronomically based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the general circulation climate models.” Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics 80 (2012): 124-137.
            Readers may find Usoskin’s reference to an interesting paper by Steinhilber and others, As Usoskin explained in his review paper the sunspot series are indices of solar activity, not proxies. Steinhilber et al used proxies (as defined by Usoskin) to estimate solar activity.
            “Our estimated difference between the MM and the present is (0.9 ± 0.4) Wm-2.

            This reconstruction provides a reliable basis for climate models to quantify the role of TSI forcing on the Earth climate over the past centuries and millennia as well as for estimating the possible solar influence in future. However, the limitations of only considering the rather small forcing by TSI changes may still be a problem. The UV irradiance may not be the viable solution because its observational data do not show a similar distinct decreasing trend as TSI [Frohlich, 2009], implying that its level during the MM was similar as in present solar cycle minima.”
            Steinhilber, F., J. Beer, and C. Fröhlich. “Total solar irradiance during the Holocene.” Geophysical Research Letters 36.19 (2009).
            Steinhilber et al. demonstrate that proxies show little variation in solar activity. But to understand the significance of the estimates in their paper it is necessary to put radiative imbalance in perspective,
            Stephens et al assessed the global radiative imbalance in the period 2000 to 2010 as 0.6 Wm-2. The radiative imbalance during the Maunder Minimum according to Steinhilber et al. would then be negative, approximately -0.4 Wm-2.
            (Note that Wm-2 is a measure of power. To get a measure of energy, it is necessary to multiply by time, which is why your kettle is rated as having a power of one kilowatt and you are billed for energy at kilowatt-hours. When Stephens et al refers to energy balance they are using the term to refer to energy flux or flow.)
            Stephens, Graeme L., et al. “An update on Earth’s energy balance in light of the latest global observations.” Nature Geoscience 5.10 (2012): 691-696.

          • Unfortunately, the planetary hypothesis does not seem to hold up, see e.g.
            “Conclusions:The apparent agreement between the periodicities in records of cosmogenic isotopes as proxies for solar activity and planetary torques is statistically insignificant. There is no evidence for a planetary influence on solar activity”
            You may also look at my view on this
            (with reference to the ill-fated Scafetta claims)

      • Leif,
        The general trend in Holocene temperatures between 10,000-300 yr BP is clearly set by changes in insolation as per Milankovitch cycles, modified by other factors like ice sheet melting up to 7,000 yr BP.
        Those “minor dips” like the 2.8 Kyr event and 0.3 Kyr event (a.k.a. LIA) suggested to be due to solar variability represent some of the hardest periods for mankind. 2.8 kyr event witnessed the collapse of the Late Bronze Age that brought the destruction of every city between Southern Greece and Palestine, and the LIA brought a lot of misery and massive famine-induced death in Northern Europe and China.
        The hockey stick (last 300 years) must account in part for the recovery from an abrupt cooling event (LIA). That recovery in three previous cases (8.2, 5.5, and 2.8 kyr events) lasted between 300-400 years.
        Overimpose to that recovery the warming from AGW and you have hockey stick explained. You don’t need high solar activity for that, just a recovery to normal solar activity after 500 years of reduced activity (1325-1816).
        You refuse to accept any significant role for solar activity in climate change because the measured changes in irradiance are too small and because any solar physicist that has gone that way for decades has crashed his career and reputation. However we do not know if the climate system is amplifying the solar signal (as it is proposed for CO2), and the striking correlation between solar grand minima and abrupt cooling events indicates that it could be the case.
        Perhaps you have seen this figure before. It is the correlation between 14C and 18O in a speleothem from a cave in Oman. 18O in that figure is a proxy for monsoon precipitation, not temperature. The figure is from Neff et al., 2001.
        You can only reject the evidence for a significant role for the variability of the Sun in the variability of climate if you don’t look at it.

        • The dips related to dips of solar activity are certainly there. They are expected from theory and their sizes are also about what we expect [of the order of 0.1 degree], namely minuscule. No argument there. But because they are so small they show that the Sun is not the dominant influence and certainly cannot explain the observed increase in modern times of more than ten times the expected solar influence.
          About Oman: the physical connection is complex and poorly understood and I am not impressed by seeing only a subset of the full series.

      • Thank you for your opinion, Leif.
        We agree in that the Sun cannot explain [alone] the observed increase in modern times.
        We disagree on the effect of solar variability on climate.
        The Oman series connection is not expected to have lasted beyond the Mid-Holocene Transition, as it is known that around that time the ITCZ started to migrate southward and that effect was much larger. The Oman series connection demonstrates that for over 3000 years the governing effect on monsoon variability was solar variability. There is no way around that.

        • There is no way around that.
          That would be so, if our records are good, but they are not. The interpretation of the cosmic ray proxies is complex and error prone (especially 14C). Here I compare your Oman data with 10Be from ice cores. There is but scant correspondence. [Note I had to invert the time axis (and 0 BP is AD 1950), and the ordinate too because cosmic rays are inversely correlated with solar activity].

          The red curve is from
          Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 36, Issue 19, October 2009
          “Total solar irradiance during the Holocene”
          F. Steinhilber, J. Beer, C. Fröhlich
          DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040142

      • “I’m afraid you are ill informed, Leif,…”
        This remark is uncalled for. There is no way that Lief is ill informed. I followed the link to his position statement and read it and find that my views fit within his overall position.
        It could hardly be otherwise since I have been studying climate on and off for over 60 years.
        Where I differ from some of Lief’s views is that I regard certain aspects of solar physics as still actively contested, while Lief holds the view that such issues have been resolved.
        This is a simple difference of judgement in assessing the work of various solar specialists.
        In case you missed the URL, I copy it here and suggest you read it.
        Usoskin’s review paper updated to 2013 is also worth reading.

      • It is not so bad Leif,
        The 10Be data has much better resolution, so many more peaks, but the main peaks and valleys are still there.
        10Be is also affected by precipitation rate over polar regions, if I remember correctly.
        Since there is no a priori reason to choose 10Be over 14C or the opposite, it is best to compare with both. Data is from Inceoglu, F., et al. “Grand solar minima and maxima deduced from 10Be and 14C: magnetic dynamo configuration and polarity reversal.” Astronomy & Astrophysics 577 (2015): A20.
        Green is 14C and pink is 10Be
        I find the general agreement quite remarkable and convincing. Of course different people reach different interpretations with the same data. But we have to consider that climate variability can not depend 100% on solar variability, so we should not expect a perfect fit, just a reasonable one that has a low probability of being due to chance.

        • Tjhe fot yo the Omad data is poor. To 14C slightly better [as one would expect]. Furthermore, people often find small regional variations that may be influenced by the Sun, especially in marginal situations [as in Oman at the time]. This does not mean that the Sun is the dominant player on the global scale. But confirmation bias [both negative and positive] also plays a role. Overall, I don’t find the data convincing [having seem too many of those seemingly reasonable correlations go down the tubes over the years.] Here is a typical example: which was once hailed as a breakthrough in Sun-Weather-Climate relations.

    • I say not to worry about the vagaries of future climate. It will be there when we get there, and if we are smart then we will utilize the ability to adapt to whatever must be the correct course of action at that time and place. Wasting time and money to the advantage of opportunistic doomsayers is a rabbit hole not to descend under any circumstances.
      Whenever anyone purports to know the future by any divination I call BS on that. Best to husband resources so they are available to the issue at hand at the time at hand.

    • Marcus!
      I KNOW!! #(:))
      That is for Eve to choose to post — or not!!!
      I chose a face shot to let you see how beautiful she is …

    • Nobody is ruling out CO2. The problem is to find the purported influence. If it is there, it is very small, such at not rising much above the noise, thus not dominant [nor important] in any way.

  7. I am continually amazed at the way politicians avoid speaking to or seeking advice from sceptical scientists as well as the committed zealots. I have noted that when politicians consider defence they usually get an expert who tells them that he could get more bangs for their buck by a reorganization that inevitably leads to a cheaper defence and normally less effective one. Pity they did not apply the same principle to climate change. Bjorn Lomberg would tell them to spend nothing now and wait until there was a problem worth fixing. In any other sphere that would be the politicians best solution. I suppose it confirms that they are NOT the smartest people and indeed could be the most dumb

  8. It’s not about temperature. CO2 was chosen as the bogeyman and AGW as the symptom after a well planned, financed, and executed ruse to enact world Marxism/Socialism by taking wealth from the prosperous industrialized countries under the auspices of the UN and supposedly giving it to the poor countries. (Please save your explanations of why I don’t understand those ideologies.) Along the way the “pause” happened and outed their scam. Paris is proving that only politicians and countries on the receiving end believe in so called “climate reparations”. No country will admit that they don’t want to save the planet but rational people understand that the real purpose is wealth redistribution cloaked in an emotional meme being pushed by an appointed organization that openly has designs on being the one world government. It’s going to take censuring of the UN to make this madness stop.

      • Exactly. Take the money from the budget and run a smaller deficit, and stop enriching people who want nothing more than to bilk billions of people out of their money. Reduces the deficit and thwarts immoral activities all at once,

  9. When I read some of the ‘alarmist’ blurbs on climate, I was IMMEDIATELY reminded of the history of King Canute and his failure to stop tides, however it is interpreted by historians. And the analogy to current world leaders (not naming no names but you know who I mean) doesn’t stop there.

  10. The C14 records supports diminished solar activity as the cause of the Little Ice Age.
    Or at least they used to.
    Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ – 1984

    • If those records are the ice core proxy records, then THIS is what those reveal:
      “C14 records support{} diminished solar activity temperature as the cause of the Little Ice Age lower CO2 (delayed by a quarter cycle, or roughly 800 years).

      • Thanks for deleting that redundant “s” from my comment, Janice. I noticed it too. 🙂
        The record is not written in the ice cores, however. It is derived from organisms that assimilate the isotope:
        “Through the 1950s and beyond, carbon-14 workers published detailed tables of dates painstakingly derived from samples of a wondrous variety of materials, including charcoal, peat, clamshells, antlers, pine cones, and the stomach contents of an extinct Moa found buried in New Zealand.(6) The measurements were correlated with materials of known dates, such as a well-documented mummy or a log from the roof of an old building (where tree rings gave an accurate count of years). The results were then compared with traditional time sequences derived from glacial deposits, cores of clay from the seabed, and so forth.
        In 1958, Hessel de Vries in the Netherlands showed there were systematic anomalies in the carbon-14 dates of tree rings. His explanation was that the concentration of carbon-14 in the atmosphere had varied over time (by up to one percent).
        De Vries thought the variation might be explained by something connected with climate, such as episodes of turnover of ocean waters.(7) Another possible explanation was that, contrary to what everyone assumed, carbon-14 was not created in the atmosphere at a uniform rate. Some speculated that such irregularities might be caused by variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. A stronger field would tend to shield the planet from particles from the Sun, diverting them before they could reach the atmosphere to create carbon-14.
        Another possibility was that the cause lay in the Sun itself. De Vries had considered this hypothesis but thought it ad hoc and “not very attractive.”(8) However, solar specialists knew that the number of particles shot out by the Sun varies with the eleven-year cycle of sunspots. Also, the Sun’s own magnetic field varies with the cycle, and that could change the way cosmic particles bombarded the Earth. In 1961, Minze Stuiver suggested that longer-term solar variations might account for the inconsistent carbon-14 dates. But his data were sketchy. Libby, for one, cast doubt on the idea, so subversive of the many dates his team had supposedly established with high accuracy.(9)
        Suess and Stuiver finally pinned down the answer in 1965 by analyzing hundreds of wood samples dated from tree rings. The curve of carbon-14 production showed undeniable variations, “wiggles” of a few percent on a timescale of a century or so.(10) With this re-calibration in hand, boosted by steady improvements in instruments and techniques, carbon-14 became a precise tool for dating ancient organic materials. (By the 1980s, experts could date a speck almost too small to see and several tens of thousands of years old.) Tracking carbon-14 also proved highly useful in historical and contemporary studies of the global carbon budget, including the movement of carbon in the oceans and its complex travels within living ecosystems.
        It was particularly interesting that, as Stuiver had suspected, the carbon-14 wiggles correlated with long-term changes in the number of sunspots. […] The anomalies were evidence for something that many scientists found difficult to believe — the surface activity of the Sun had varied substantially in past millennia. Carbon-14 might not only provide dates for long-term climate changes, but point to one of their causes. ”

      • “Khwarizmi
        December 11, 2015 at 10:31 pm
        …an extinct Moa found buried in New Zealand.(6)”
        That’s because it was eaten to death…and then the Maori just said…”We’ll just have to put up with KFC eh bro!”…lol…

  11. King Canute was actually a wise old bird who got fed up with his sycophantic courtiers telling him that he had power over everything including the winds and tides. So he agreed to show them his powers by being taken to the shore and commanding the tide not to wash over his feet. It came up and covered his feet and he told the court that this showed that he was just a man.
    No Al Gore he!

    • That is correct, Phil. The weight of scholarly opinion about this legend is with you:
      A typical example:

      “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings. For there is none worthy of the name but God, whom heaven, earth and sea obey”.
      So spoke King Canute the Great, the legend says, seated on his throne on the seashore, waves lapping round his feet. Canute had learned that his flattering courtiers claimed he was “So great, he could command the tides of the sea to go back”. Now Canute was not only a religious man, but also a clever politician. He knew his limitations – even if his courtiers did not – so he had his throne carried to the seashore and sat on it as the tide came in, commanding the waves to advance no further. When they didn’t, he had made his point that, though the deeds of kings might appear ‘great’ in the minds of men, they were as nothing in the face of God’s power.


  12. CAGW theory (Ozone Hole, DDT, etc) was only ever a stalking horse for a connivance by rent-seekers, friends of the UN/IPCC to get hold of much responsibility-free money. They do not care about science, or the temperature but only the money.

  13. On the subject of ‘evolution’ it depends on the scope of what your meaning is for the word.
    As I understand evolution the science does not cover the beginning of life on earth. There are multiple theories on this and no agreement. So no problem with believing in God for this one.
    Additionally there are little to no scientific explanations of the beginning of consciousness. So God is very much still in the picture on this one also.
    The only bits that evolution covers is the changes over time. Where it started and where its going seems to me to be any bodies guess.

    • ‘As I understand evolution the science does not cover the beginning of life on earth. There are multiple theories on this and no agreement.’
      Correct. Life existed on earth little changed for 3 billion years before evolution kicked off big time in the Cambrian Explosion. The earth had existed for 4 billion years.

      • Gamecock,
        Correct that the origin of life is a different study than its subsequent evolution, although obviously connected. However, life actually changed quite a lot during the three billion years before the so-called Cambrian Explosion; indeed to such an extent that the changes had large effects on earth’s atmosphere.
        The Cambrian saw proliferation of macroscopic animals with hard body parts, which naturally fossilized better than their Pre-Cambrian ancestors. But important milestones in the history of life on earth occurred between c. 3.8 billion and 550 million years ago. Among these were of course the development of the first procaryotes, ie bacteria and archaea; evolution of nucleated eukaryotes from these two domains, including endosymbiosis of mitochondria and chloroplasts from bacteria; the Oxygen Catastrophe resulting from photosynthesis; evolution of multicellular organisms, of sexual reproduction, of radially symmetrical animals from bilaterians, of deuterostomes from proterostomes, of macroscopic life forms, of hard body parts and advanced sensors, to include eyes.
        It is probable that all animal phyla already existed in the Pre-Cambrian. Early in the Cambrian, animals got bigger, with more hard parts, but the basis of the food chain remained cyanobacteria, vascular plants having not yet evolved.
        I respect and admire Dr. Ball, but evolution is a scientific fact and not a plot. Darwin and Wallace’s insights have indeed been misused and abused, but that doesn’t change the facts of common descent and that evolution of new species, genera, families, orders, classes and phyla has been repeatedly observed and inferred.

        • “…the facts of common descent and that evolution of new species, genera, families, orders, classes and phyla has been repeatedly observed and inferred.”
          Niles Eldredge in Timeframes (1985) explains both neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory and problems with the theory and offers “puctuated evolution” as his and S.J. Gould’s revision of the theory.
          Probably a better defense of evolution would nowadays be derived from Bioinformatics. There is now a huge DNA database with genes from many organisms that are cognates. The gene for synthesis of vitamin C is an easy one to study. It is possible to match up this gene with cognates in many other organisms and to identify which part(s) of the gene have become disfunctional in humans.
          I have used the software to match up a human gene and its cognate in a cobra. It is not difficult to generate graphs that show possible lineages in tree form.
          (Of course most people don’t need to do that, because they learn very young to identify the snakes among the people they meet.)
          Jeffrey Schwartz has shown that evolutionary change can occur more suddenly than envisaged by neo-Darwinian theory and therefore he has provided support in the most controversial aspect of punctuated evolution. (Schwartz, J. Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes and the Emergence of Species, Wiley 1999.
          Libraries can get these books on interlibrary loan. The are also available cheaply secondhand from Abebooks. Google Books often gives enough of a free preview to get the gist of an author’s argument.
          Software for processing DNA data and the bioinformatics background material are all available free on the internet. All that is needed are curiosity, time and persistence, which seem to be the missing ingredients for those most scientifically challenged.

      • I should have included the divergence of opisthokonts, the ancestors of animals (metazoa) and fungi, from the lines of other so-called protists and eventually plants. That was a pretty important step in the history of life.

      • Also, evidence was published this year that life might have emerged on earth even earlier than 3.8 billion years ago, ie 4.1 Ga:
        This early date raises the possibility that life did not evolve independently on our planet, but that simple microbes might have been carried here on the same asteroids which delivered complex organic chemical compound building blocks of life, such as amino acids.

      • Dr. S,
        Yes, plus possibly some moons outside of the habitable zone. Given the climate of Venus, that means in effect just Mars (marginally) and Earth for the solar system. Mars apparently did have liquid water and a thicker atmosphere early in its history, so its surface might have been hospitable for microbes, despite its weak magnetosphere.

      • As for outside the solar system, I do indeed imagine that microbes are quite common in the farther reaches of galaxies, beyond their centers. If life be possible on planets around red dwarfs (dwarves?) as well as sun-like stars, then life might be nearly ubiquitous in these regions.
        Earth benefits from some unusual features, so life as complex as here may however be quite rare. It’s possible, although I kind of doubt it, that we are the only supposedly intelligent life in the Milky Way, thanks to earth’s stability (due in part to the moon) and its protective magnetosphere.
        I’ll be dead before science can confirm or show false this hypothesis, although possibly not in the case of Mars, for extinct if not extant life. Maybe Europa and other moons as well. If ET life is as we know it, using the same systems for replication and metabolism, then there will be support for the panspermia conjecture, although obviously not conclusive evidence.

        • Gamma-ray bursts may sterilize a galaxy [at least higher life]. The bursts are extremely rare [one every 0.5 Gy ??] and may be [??] one reason why higher life may be very rare [Fermi’s paradox: “where is everybody?”].

      • Dr S,
        Perhaps higher life hasn’t existed long enough on earth to have been zapped by intense gamma rays, but has been around longer than 500 million years now.
        Maybe the outer limits of galaxies are less vulnerable, such as in the whispy spiral arms.
        Also, a lot of terrestrial microbes live in earth’s crust rather than on it or in the ocean, so might be sheltered. But again, not complex organisms. Some microbes can survive intense ray and particle flux.

      • Possible explanations for Fermi’s paradox:
        1) There really is no one out there within EM transmission range;
        2) EM spectrum is used for communications only for a brief interval, around a century in duration, by technologically advancing civilizations, and
        3) They are out there but we are outside each other’s EM radiation bubbles, i.e. on the order of 100 light years.

  14. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

  15. Figure 5: Ban Ki-moon in Paris holding up his hand and asking the tide to stop, but failing.
    The skeptical tide will not stop and is certainly rising as well and Ban Ki-moon’s failure in Paris would make the above caption true.

  16. Well, yes – it seems just so obvious to every sensible person. But why then – why do the news media swallow all that, hook, line and sinker?? They sit there and blithely take it all so serious – in full seriousness discuss, report on, page up and down, whether our 195 nations should settle for one and a half or two degrees C. increase by year 2100!! They behave indeed like King Canute’s blind courtiers. Why is it that only at WUWT can we read such self-evident opinions.

    • AndyE commented: “… why do the news media swallow all that, hook, line and sinker…”
      You are assuming that they either don’t understand or are too stupid to see the truth. My take is they are paid to tow the party line. Why else would MSM not report dissenting views?

      • While I agree about the MSM being forced to toe the party line, I also remember reading from someone who should know, that in college the journalism program really doesn’t have any science coursework in the degree plan.

        • Power Grab commented: “…. in college the journalism program really doesn’t have any science coursework in the degree plan….”
          How does that explain the lack of dissenting views? I thought journalism is supposed to be balanced. One sided “news” is simply propaganda. The media is as much culpable in the AGW farce as the perpetrators.

      • I once knew a young lady who wrote feature articles for a living. She told the group we were part of about a woman she had interviewed who ran a shelter for sick animals and had the power of healing these animals by laying hands on them. She had published an article about this. I asked: “How do you know this woman has that power?” The reply was “She told me.” At that point I was Enlightened.

    • Put yourself in a publisher’s or editor’s position. If you publish skeptical material, you will be deluged technical objections from credentialed bigshots and other socially prominent groups that is impossible to rebut, never mind refute, without a major time investment, and much of your elite readership will be annoyed. The easy way out is to hire a graduate of an environmental journalism course and let him deal with it.

  17. else the world risks climate chaos….
    They have been preaching this BS for over 1/2 a century…..that’s their problem
    World ends at 10… at 11

  18. Whoa… I guess I’m just catching up here. Did Dr. Svalsgaard just say that Jupiter (mainly) caused the glacial periods in that graph? Is this common knowledge or part of Milankovic? Also, I was under the impression that the lack of sun spots was causal for the LIA. Are we saying that was just correlation?
    I’m gathering that short term changes in solar irradiance aren’t considered large enough to be a major factor in any recent warming. Does that include even those processes not considered to be direct influences? Thinking Svensmark? How is that going, or have we written off cosmic ray theory as not viable too?
    I’m always amazed at the certitude that “it isn’t the sun”. I appreciate Dr. Svalsgaard indicating that it still could be the sun… just not in any way that we know of… (yet?). Hence my question above about Svensmark.
    Thanks for any input!

    • I hope that Dr. Svalgaard has time to answer your apparently genuine questions, Jumbofoot. IIRC, he has told us several times on WUWT that there are just too few measurements of sunspots back that far to be able to find causation to any meaningful degree of certainty.
      The Jupiter-causing-12 deg-shift would be a one-time climate shift, I think — and pulling earth closer or farther away from the Sun (whichever that theory says it did) could quite plausibly cause a large temperature shift in average surface temperatures on earth.
      Here is a brief summary (for someone unfamiliar with Dr. Svalgaard’s comments on WUWT) of (IIRC) Dr. Svalgaard’s views:
      I misunderstood him for a few months until I (if I’m not mistaken) read enough of his really excellent teaching overall and realize what he ACTUALLY meant. I was really angry with him a couple times and got kind of disrespectful, too *blush*….

      • Janice, in order for the Jupiter theory to work, Jupiter would have to have pulled the Earth from it’s orbit for approx. 400 years and then put it back in it’s original orbit …How is that possible in so short a time ??

      • I don’t know, Marcus. (sigh) The idea just sounded plausible/logical to me. I obviously need to do a lot more reading about “how things work.”

      • Janice, keep in mind I’m talking about the LIA, not back 500 million years where everything is an absolute guess !!

      • Okay, Marcus.. I can see that the Jupiter thing is NOT going to explain THAT (and thank you for clarifying for me). I was trying (sigh, not succeeding) to talk about the 12-deg. shift in Fig. 2 Dr. Ball asked Dr. Svalgaard about.

      • Thank you Janice, Javier, Knutesea. Yes, genuine questions. I’ll check out the link (lots I don’t know). I like your Leif-Speak translations / viewpoints. Helpful frame of reference. =) Thank you all again for responding.
        PS- Has the Svensmark theory fallen from grace? After the LHC experiment proved out the nucleation part… crickets.

    • Jumbofoot,
      It is common knowledge and usually expressed as the Milankovitch theory. Leif Svalsgaard is referring to changes in eccentricity, precession, and obliquity that are due to interference by other planets, mainly Jupiter, and that together with other factors in the Earth set the pace for glaciations.
      It is usually not expressed like that, but it is correct to say that Jupiter is the main cause of the pacing of glacial-interglacial alternations.

      • Thank you, Javier, for the information about the theorized effect of Jupiter (and other planets)’s effect on earth’s climate. Not “common knowledge” for me (sigh). <– Wrote that for any others who are in the same lack of "common knowledge" boat.

      • Thanks for that fine reference to help me understand how Jupiter is theorized to have affected the climate of the earth. Only scanned part of it, but it is well-written and understandable to a non-tech major like I. It may or may not be true, but, it sure has a lot more logic and data to back it up than AGW speculation has (of course, that is not saying much at all, really…. ).

      • knutesea December 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm
        Some meat with the potatoes
        The role of Jupiter in
        driving Earth’s orbital evolution
        And with a bucket of gravy to boot.
        Thanks knutesea ,
        I did not know , surprise surprise.

    • Let us not forget triggering mechanisms. They can enlarge small changes. For instance the phase and amplitude of the long waves.

  19. Prior to MLO the atmospheric CO2 concentrations, both paleo ice cores and inconsistent contemporary grab samples, were massive wags. Data at some of NOAA’s tall towers passed through 400 ppm years before MLO reached that level. IPCC AR5 TS.6 cites uncertainty in CO2 concentrations over land. Preliminary data from OCO-2 suggests that CO2 is not as well mixed as assumed. Per IPCC AR5 WG1 chapter 6 mankind’s share of the atmosphere’s CO2 is basically unknown, could be anywhere from 4% to 96%. (IPCC AR5 Ch 6, Figure 6.1, Table 6.1)
    The major global C/CO2 reservoirs (not CO2 per se, C is a precursor proxy for CO2), i.e. oceans, atmosphere, vegetation & soil, contain over 45,000 Pg (Gt) of C/CO2. Over 90% of this C/CO2 reserve is in the oceans. Between these reservoirs ebb and flow hundreds of Pg C/CO2 per year, the great fluxes. For instance, vegetation absorbs C/CO2 for photosynthesis producing plants and O2. When the plants die and decay they release C/CO2. A divinely maintained balance of perfection for thousands of years, now unbalanced by mankind’s evil use of fossil fuels.
    So just how much net C/CO2 does mankind’s evil fossil fuel consumption add to this perfectly balanced 45,000 Gt cauldron of churning, boiling, fluxing C/CO2? 3 Gt C/CO2. That’s correct, 3. Not 3,000, not 300, 3! How are we supposed to take this seriously? (Anyway 3 is totally assumed/fabricated to make the numbers work.)
    IPCC AR5 attributes 2 W/m^2 of unbalancing RF due to the increased CO2 concentration between 1750 and 2011 (Fig TS.7). In the overall global heat balance 2 W (watt is power, not energy) is lost in the magnitude and uncertainty of: ToA, 340 +/- 10, fluctuating albedo of clouds, snow and ice, and the absorption and release of heat from evaporation and condensation of the ocean and water vapor cycle. (IPCC AR5 Ch 8, FAQ 8.1)
    IPCC AR5 acknowledges the LTT pause/hiatus/lull/stasis in Text Box 9.2 and laments the failure of the GCMs to model it. IPCC GCMs don’t work because IPCC exaggerates climate sensitivity (TS 6.2), of CO2/GHGs RF in the heat balance and dismiss the role of water vapor because man does not cause nor control it.
    The sea ice and sheet ice is expanding not shrinking, polar bear population is the highest in decades, the weather (30 years = climate) is less extreme not more, the sea level rise is not accelerating, the GCM’s are repeat failures, the CAGW hypothesis is coming unraveled, COP21 has all the makings of yet another embarrassing fiasco, IPCC AR6 will mimic SNL’s Roseanne Roseannadanna (Gildna Radner aka Emily Litella), “Well, neeeveeer mind!!”

  20. “I learned in school that King Canute (990 – 1035 AD) was the most stupid King in English history (Figure 1).”
    Really? My first knowledge came from H.E Marshall’s “Our Island Story, written in 1905. A popular book in the British Empire. It said:
    “Now this was foolish talk, and Canute, who was a wise man, did not like it. He thought he would teach these silly nobles a lesson. So he ordered his servants to bring a chair.
    When they had brought it, he made them set it on the shore, close to the waves. The servants did as they were told, and Canute sat down, while the nobles stood around him.
    Then Canute spoke to the waves. “Go back,” he said, “I am your lord and master, and I command you not to flow over my land. Go back, and do not dare to wet my feet.”
    But the sea, of course, neither heard nor obeyed him. “

    • Nick, If you had only continued reading beyond the opening sentence/paragraph, you’d looks less the fool
      “Later historical research discovered documents that changed the entire story. People believed Canute was the greatest King and capable of doing anything. He obviously was a great King because he realized the limitations of his power and the need to lower people’s expectations. He staged an event to show there were things he could not control. He sat on his throne by the ocean and ordered the tide to stop rising. It is great leaders who know the limits of their power. It is necessary to remind others.”

      • John,
        My point i that this is not later historical research. This is a children’s book written in 1905. The Canute story has always been about a king hosing down the foolishness of his flatterers. It makes no sense otherwise. Tim Ball or his school got it wrong.

  21. Tell everyone that you meet that the sea level has risen 120m in just the last 18,000 years.
    Tell them that sea level rise was estimated to average at less than 2mm/year for the 20th century. And that this <2mm rate is widely blamed on mankind.
    Now ask them if they can divide 120m by 18,000 year to provide the average rate of rise for the last 18,000 years.
    Tell them to go home and get their kids to do this for them!!
    Or just shock them with the answer!!!
    Yes, people hear about ice ages and land bridges lost to the ocean, etc
    But – they imagine that this was all long long ago, back with the dinosaurs.

    • Yes, people hear about ice ages and land bridges lost to the ocean, etc
      But – they imagine that this was all long long ago, back with the dinosaurs.

      Good observation.
      I see that reaction more often than not.

  22. Tim Ball writes:
    “The modern day Canute’s are not great leaders. They demonstrated their limitations in Paris where they planned to stop climate change”
    Al Gore would disagree – lol. (btw given CAGW sceptics have been criticised for being mostly older white males, check out Gore’s audience):
    around 6 mins, after listing weather events he claims were caused by CAGW, Gore boasts how 150 heads of state at the start of COP21 made speeches, and there was not one single expression of denial.
    VIDEO: 9 Dec: Greenbiz: Al Gore at WBCSD’s COP21 meeting
    Al Gore, speaking to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development as it met in Paris, said the
    almost daily occurrences of severe floods, droughts and fierce hurricanes across the globe are like “a
    nature hike through the Book of Revelations.”…
    30 Nov: World Business Council for Sustainable Development: In memoriam: Maurice Strong
    The history of the WBCSD is strongly linked to Maurice, to whom we are deeply indebted…
    He had the foresight to invite business to provide its input to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, under the
    leadership of Stephan Schmidheiny, our founder…
    Following the summit, Stephan Schmidheiny and his business partners concluded that to keep up the momentum that had been created, it was necessary to keep the cooperation alive. In 1995, the Council merged with the World Industry Council on the Environment and opened its secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland: and here the WBCSD was born.
    We will remember Maurice at our upcoming Council Meeting in Paris this December.

    • “Gore boasts how 150 heads of state at the start of COP21 made speeches, and there was not one single expression of denial.”
      Politicians taxing the very air people breath is no more surprising then a hobo on a hot dog.

  23. So I went outside today and it was warm as the sun was shining brightly. However a cloud came by and blocked out the nice warm Rays of the sun. It got cool so I went back inside.

      • I think, since he is, ultimately, by promoting AGW promoting misery and poverty for the bulk of the world… we should mock him….
        To celebrate the Christmas season, here is Ban Ki-Moon:
        … “Comin’ to Town”


    • We call him “Binky, Bonky, Bunky, Ban Ki” in my household.
      He’s a silly man. So he deserves a silly name.

  24. “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.”

    Only true for those who feel the need to believe in something.

    • Or for those without Electric Monks. From Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency:
      “The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.”

  25. It is an urban fantasy.
    Weather is something seen on TV, complete with scary music and solemn voice overs.
    There has to be an isolation from weather,to be free of planning your own activities as the weather permits, before one can sink into such self conceit.
    The belief,stated or not, that man controls the climate, has no humility.
    Seasonal storms remind most of us, how small we really are. But I sense the urban activist has found a way to ignore such reality.
    The Cult of Calamitous Carbon demands it.

  26. Normally I enjoy Tim Ball’s articles, but this one just meanders all over the place. And while I actually do feel the pushing of atheism in science is overdone this article just comes across as Atheist baiting.

  27. The old, debunked, CNUT (Canute) canard again. You were sadly misled at school, Dr Ball. Cnut did the waves thing to demonstrate to his over-fawning courtiers that he was not omnipotent, and that their flattery was both insincere and recognised as such by himself. Such humility based on a realistic view of the World and one man’s place in it set an example to rulers which was largely ignored through History, and more so in present times. I sure most of Anthony’s faithful can nominate many of our present men and women affairs would do well to heed Cnut’s example.

  28. “Modern Day Versions of King Canute Find It Difficult To Replace God”
    They aren’t really trying. All they have to do is send me the invitation.

  29. Too late. The people who believe tv ads are real have signed their draft agreement against the wishes of the nations they represent. Does that make it illegal?

  30. No and no, dr. Ball.
    The widely disseminated anecdote about king Canute leaves out the crucial part: the king did his “stop-the-tide” schtick as a response to a particularly sleazy courtier who tried to flatter the king by claiming that he could stop the tide; Canute put the statement to the test.
    And yes, modern physics does entirely without god the creator: read Stephen Hawking for the mathematical treatment of quantum fields: you can get “something” out of “nothing” – all the energy and matter in our Universe is balanced by dark energy.

  31. People positively refuse to accept Darwin’s original proposal and cast the whole thing in a more acceptable mode . The original ideology is that relative distinctions between living human beings and especially skin color provided an evolutionary trajectory between humanity and apes. It means that while black skin and white skin people share the same street, some are more human/developed that others –
    “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.” Darwin
    In a piece of academic maneuvering far worse than morphing global warming into climate change, they removed black and aboriginal tribes with Neanderthals ( when the fossils were eiscovered ) hence Darwin’s notion became ‘acceptable’ for today’s audience .
    True story.

  32. Tim Ball.
    The legend of King Canute. Canute was surrounded by sycophants, who believed that he had special powers. To demonstrate that he was mortal, he ordered his throne to be set up at the sea shore and the tide to stay out. The tide came in.
    The moral of this story, kiddies, is that Canute demonstrated that Kings (or greens or politicians) do not have power over nature.
    Tim Ball. Grow up and get an education.

    • Tim Ball has got an education. If yours were sufficient for you to be able to read, you would see that he is making Ithe same point as Canute.

    • Hector
      Do you merely read the first paragraph of items before making up your mind? It took me less than 4 seconds to get to the point in Tim Balls piece that you make.
      How about actually reading the entire article and then make a comment here based on what was actually written and not relying on your preconceived assumption and your attention span of apparently a second or two?

      • tonyb
        Do you normally open your posts with an unqualified fallacy? How about starting with “97% of (climate) scientists agree with…. blah blah…”, then expect people to take you seriously and read on. Some may, some may not.
        Yes I only read the first paragraph. It is an unqualified statement of borrox.

      • Hector
        I by no means agree with all of Tim’s posts and I much prefer his historical articles to his polemical ones. But I do have the courtesy of making up my mind AFTER reading the post and not before, or after a two second skim of the first paragraph.
        We would all be appreciative if you just frankly admitted that an over hasty read made you make an over hasty judgement. We all do it, but defending your own failure to read just a few lines before the purpose of the article is revealed is surely not asking too much is it? If the ‘reveal’ had been during the last paragraph of a long article you might have cause for complaint. But it wasn’t

  33. This article came across as slanderous and self-praising, and I doubt it contributes to the debate in any non-degrading way. Also, bringing assumptions of belief, or lack thereof, into the debate degrades the debate as well (ass u me).

  34. As a non-scientist I avidly read a majority of the articles and discussions on WUWT, and constantly find them to be interesting and educational. The majority of contributors add their own unique knowledge and contributions and, while many articles and commentators attract criticism and disagreement, in general the debate moves the overall level of knowledge and understanding along. We all – even laymen like me – benefit as a result.
    I am always sad, therefore, when people like Mišo Alkalaj, Hector Pascal, and several others above demonstrate their failure to make a real attempt to engage with – let alone simply read – the headline articles.
    In his second paragraph Dr Ball acknowledges that the traditional King Canute story is demonstrably wrong. What is the point of the criticism by Miso, Hector et al, if it’s not simply to play the “look at me” game and to put others down? By all means disagree with Dr Ball’s premise in the article, but at least have the grace to read what he has written first!!!

    • Because Tim Ball set out his stall in the first paragraph, Canute’s ignorance and arrogance compared with COP21. There are lots of people who get the parable wrong. I didn’t bother reading past the opening paragraph.
      Here’s a hint if you wish to communicate. Don’t open with an un-qualified fallacy.

      • You only read a small part of the article and then decided you were qualified to criticize the entire piece ? Do you work with M. Mann by any chance ??

      • Pssst…It’s called a literary device. Look it up. I recognized it as soon as I saw it. Educate yourself.

    • Hector means “a blustering, domineering person; a bully“, synonyms being “torture, persecute; badger, & harass” ( Pascal is a unit of pressure or stress.
      So don’t expect a “Hector Pascal” to engage constructively. 😉

      • I’m not bullying or blustering. In his opening paragraph, Tim Ball stated the fallacy of Canute without qualification. That’s a fact. I didn’t bother to read further: life’s too short to follow borrox on the innertubes.
        If Tim Ball wishes to communicate, he should be a little more nuanced.

      • Wow. Just wow.
        All I can say is, I hope that “Hector Pascal” is not your real name. Poor ol’ Nick St0kes above used his and “Miso Akalaj” looks pretty genuine, too… (wince).

  35. Beoleopard
    The Witan’s Whail
    Whan Cnut Cyng the Witan wold enfeoff
    Of infangthief and outfangthief
    onderlich were they enwraged
    And wordwar waged
    Sware Cnut great scot and lot
    Swinge wold ich this illbegotten lot.
    Wroth was Cnut and wrothword spake.
    Well wold he win at wopantake.
    Fain wold he brake frith and crackéd heads
    And than they shold worshippe his redes.
    Swingéd Cnut Cyng with swung sword
    Howléd Witane hellé but hearkened his word
    Murie sang Cnut Cyng
    Outfangthief is Damgudthyng.
    (From 1066 and all that, the only memorable history of England).

    • “Leo Smith
      December 12, 2015 at 2:45 am
      (From 1066 and all that, the only memorable history of England).”
      Really? And you use modern English, not French, to post.

  36. Bloob. I take it that your education never got as far as showing you the difference between “slanderous” and “libelous”.

    • Ivor Ward. Actually, “libelous” is a completely new word for me, so thank you for introducing it to me. So this article / opinion piece is actually libelous and self-praising.

  37. lsvalgaard December 11, 2015 at 9:49 pm
    The link with Grand minima is flimsy at best. Some of the ‘evidence’ comes from cosmic rays, but their depositions is in part controlled by the climate. As for the coming cycle, it will not be any weaker than Cycle 24, so no Grand Minimum this time around.
    Is that a prediction, Leif? Can we quote you on that?

  38. Another version of the King Canute legend was that he placed his throne very close to the high tide mark and when the tide came in he simply kept on commanding it to go back until the tide eventually went back out and then claimed victory.
    This is why AGW believers are so relieved that there was a big El Nino this year. After nearly 19 years of no temperature increases at all, they can claim that they were right all along.

  39. It appears CNN has completely gone of off the rails with GW propaganda. Not even left wing rags post the amount of “the world is ending if we do not act” front page stuff that CNN produces on their website. Is CNN heavily invested in renewable energy or something? I mean their GW propaganda push is extreme.
    These are headline articles from one CNN front page today
    – BREAKING NEWS ‘Ambitious and balanced’ deal – Leaders welcome a draft agreement to fight global warming
    – Community stands up to coal
    – You’re making island vanish
    – Moral case for action
    – ‘Fairy tale’ island
    All of the article are vacuous propaganda with the last article being kind of interesting. According to the article, a farming community of 4000 that converted to renewables all “on their own” is a model for the rest of the world to follow. Yes converted completely “on their own” except for the 80 million dollars in government subsidies and free technical consulting and the farming machinery and transportation which still runs on fossil fuels. The moral of the story is you too can live on a farm on a windy island (average wind is 12+ mph) and receive $20,000 for each man, woman and child in your home to put up a windmill.
    Using the same model, for only 24,500 trillion dollars (only 1,400 times the US national GDP) the entire USA can be converted to renewables as well. Seems like a good idea,US citizens should their congressman. CNN will write a story about it.

    • That could work. If they could print the dollars fast enough, then you’d at least have a week or two of living like a king on your windy island before inflation set in and you’d have to cart your cash to the baker in wheelbarrows.
      I think with current photocopying technology, they should be able to achieve the speed of printing necessary to create the perfect utopia and pay off the Chinese.

  40. “Once science used Darwin’s theory to replace God as the Creator it left a void. It required an answer to the question of who created the Universe, but more important the question of who put humans here and made them so markedly different from all the other species.”
    Really? How are THESE the most important (or even in any way interesting) questions for a sane human being? Making us believe, or rather parrot without thinking, that these considerations which have no influence at all about our actual life are important, is already part of the delusional “religious” way of thinking that keeps people from minding themselves and mastering their own life.

    • It is because the opposition is so weak that in 100 years time the issue of ‘climate change’ will become much like the theory of evolution is today. Darwin’s notions began with an observation that savage tribes (aboriginal, black skin,Irish) are supplanted by white skin tribes – more survival of the ruthless,cunning ect –
      “One day something brought to my recollection Malthus’s “Principles of
      Population,” which I had read about twelve years before. I thought of
      his clear exposition of “the positive checks to increase”–disease,
      accidents, war, and famine–which keep down the population of savage
      races to so much lower an average than that of civilized peoples. It
      then occurred to me that these causes or their equivalents are
      continually acting in the case of animals also….. because in every
      generation the inferior would inevitably be killed off and the
      superior would remain–that is, the fittest would survive…. The more I
      thought over it the more I became convinced that I had at length found
      the long-sought-for law of nature that solved the problem of the
      origin of species.” Charles Darwin
      The idea of ‘races’ became blurred insofar as the idea of the human race began to fracture from the rest of the animal kingdom . The evolutionary trajectory which included black skin intermediaries between humans and apes was not proposed in any way racist but as a ‘law of nature’ . Of course the indoctrination is so great in society and the defense is now so weak that not even the full extended title of ‘Origins Of The Species’ raises an objection –
      Try that with the following assault on the eyes –
      “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate and replace throughout the world the savage races. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break will then be rendered wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state as we may hope, than the Caucasian and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.” Darwin
      They got away with Darwinism and without the right opposition the same will happen with climate research or lack of true research.

    • “Making us believe, or rather parrot without thinking . . ”
      What it seems to me many have been trained to parrot without thinking, is Evolution theory. Consider, please;
      An “explosion of body plans suddenly appears in “the fossil record”, fully “evolved”, with zero observed evidence that they exited before that in a less evolved state. Why is that not scientific evidence that natural selection did not bring those creatures into existence?
      Answer; Because Evolutionists say so, right?
      Why is it that virtually all creatures (without significant controversy) which we can observe remains of, enter and exit the fossil record essentially unchanged, regardless of how many millions of years they ostensibly survived? All supposed “Evolution” occurs off stage, so to speak, just as Mr. Darwin indicated long ago was the strongest evidence that his theory was wrong . . Why is this not a major problem for the theory?
      Answer; Because Evolutionists say so, right?
      How come Evolutionist get to just say so? That’s not science.

      • It all comes down to Rule III as a foundation for evolution,climate change, planetary motions or anything else which uses the flimsiest of propositions at an experimental level applied to terrestrial sciences and astronomy –
        “Rule III. The qualities of bodies, which admit neither [intensification] nor remission of degrees, and which are found to belong to all bodies within the reach of our experiments, are to be esteemed the universal qualities of all bodies whatsoever.” Newton
        It means you can remove the limitations from experimental analogies and apply them as Universal facts to the Earth’s climate . This and this alone is why an entire society can find itself believing it has the ability to control the planet’s temperature.
        What began as a single rule was expanded to the language of ‘laws’ and eventually to the ‘scientific method’. You all live in the shadow of Newton’s awful agenda with its voodoo and bluffing.

      • gkell1,
        “It means you can remove the limitations from experimental analogies and apply them as Universal facts to the Earth’s climate .”
        I don’t see how one could logically conclude that, sir. I suspect you may have misunderstood Mr. Newton’s words. To me, what he said is that one cannot rightly ascribe qualities to objects which are not consistent with what can be ascertained experimentally. That’s what the computer climate modelers have violated, as I see these matters, not what they stuck to.

      • John,
        I suppose you’re referring to the so-called Cambrian Explosion. In fact, fossil evidence, as well as every other line of evidence, does indeed show the evolution of body plans before the Cambrian. Science has much better knowledge now of Pre-Cambrian life than sixty years ago. The first Pre-Cambrian fossils recognized as such were only found in 1957 in Charnwood Forest, England. Since then older discoveries have been assigned to the Pre-Cambrian which were previously wrongly assumed Cambrian in age, and many Ediacaran fossil assemblages have been found around the world.
        The Cambrian is now know to be less an explosion in body plans as in size and durability. Other Pre-Cambrian life forms appear not to have left Phanerozoic descendants. The Snowball Earth episodes were challenging for life on our planet.
        Evolution is a fact.

      • Gloateus,
        ” Science has much better knowledge now of Pre-Cambrian life than sixty years ago.”
        That sort of lingo is to me no different than some CAGW pusher saying;
        *Science has much better knowledge now of man’s irresponsibility for warming the globe than sixty years ago.*,
        The lingo itself tells a story, so to speak . . Can you hear it?
        “The first Pre-Cambrian fossils recognized as such were only found in 1957 in Charnwood Forest, England.”
        Some Evolutionists say, right? And that to you is Science knowing, right? And it’s up to “Science deniers” to prove otherwise, right? Have Evolutionists ever made claims that turned out to be flat out wrong, even intentional fraud? Of course, many times . . but you still speak of what they say as “science” knowing things. The lingo tells a story, and it’s not about about a scientific thinker, to my mind.

      • John,
        It is not lingo but actual, physical facts.
        Pre-Cambrian fossils and trace fossils have now been found all over the world. That is a fact.
        You refuse to accept the reality of all the facts I’ve showed you, so clearly you’re a hopeless, antiscientific case. It’s a shame that climate skeptics are saddled with so many religious cultists as yourself. It detracts from the climate realist message, making it easy for alarmists to tar all skeptics with the Christian and other religions’ fundamentalist brush.
        D@ny reality all you want, but all you have is verbiage, ie lingo. The real world shows that evolution has been occurring for around four billion years on earth and continues to do so. For evidence, creationists have zip. For confirmed predictions, equally zip. All evidence, all confirmed predictions support the fact of evolution, ie descent with modification.

      • John,
        Every creationist claim has turned out wrong. There is not a shred of evidence in support of creationism and all the evidence in the world against it.
        The Charnwood and other Pre-Cambrian fossils are Pre-Cambrian not because “evolutionists”, ie scientists, say so, but because that is the measured age of the rocks and their position in the geological sequence. That’s known in science as an observation, ie a fact.
        Give it up. You have nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Zippydeedoodaa. Sorry, but that’s the way the world is.

      • I get it, Gloateus, you’ve made my initial point for me. Evolutionists say, and you believe. There is no sign whatsoever in your language use that you hesitate in the slightest to believe without question, without any skepticism at all. That ain’t scientific anything, it’s blind faith.

      • One can see the double-talking BS that is used to indoctrinate us, in virtually any “official” treatment of the issue, if one looks for it honestly, it seems to me. Please think (if you can ; ) about this sentence in the Berkeley article Groateus linked too, for example;
        “Many paleontologists held little hope that fossils would ever be found in rocks so ancient as the Ediacaran.”
        Does it really make any sense that two massive beds of “Cambrian” fossils have been found on different continents (as well as several smaller ones), and, that anyone in there right mind would think there was “little hope that fossils would ever be found” in the layer right below that?
        Of course not, simple logic renders that notion absurd, I say. So why is it there? Why the con-artist style BS? There’s a story in the lingo itself . . and it’s a story about some “scientists” who will come to be seen as they are; about as relevant to real science as Astrologers, if people begin to realize how little actual evidence exists which supports Darwin’s theory.

  41. To all the “It’s the sun stupid” folks, Leif has been trying to gently correct some very unscientific claims and thinking. The anthropogenic CO2 hypothesis (at least the catastrophic variety) fails on it’s own. One needn’t embrace one scientifically invalid hypothesis to refute another.

  42. Changes in TSI, whether due to orbital dynamics or actual changes in the sun are only one variable and without determination of the effects of the other elephant in the room, that 70% of our planet covered by an average depth of 12, 000 ft of water which stores and releases energy and we don’t really know how, and then there are clouds and geothermal heat etc., etc. But I guess that .04% of our atmosphere that is CO2 is really the control knob on the entire machine. Right?

    • Jim,
      Total Solar Irradiance isn’t much affected by earth’s orbital mechanics (if at all), but insolation experienced on earth is. A useful distinction, IMO.

  43. Old Knut was a fascinating figure, one of the few Viking Kings of England, and a King who far outshown most of those who came before and after him. The Norman invasion 30 odd years after his death mostly erased his legacy.

  44. King Canute was not foolish or arrogant. He did that to demonstrate the limitations of his powers as a king.

  45. What we saw at this Paris Climate Conference, it was truly a case of “lunatics being in charge of the asylum.
    Fourteen months ago, Victor and Kennel published an article in Nature explaining some of the reasons why the “temperature targets” such as the 2 °C target should be ditched because this kind of targeting is ill-defined, meaningless, inconsequential, unreachable, … and just plain idiotic. Victor’s and Kennel’s main complaint was that the global mean temperature wasn’t in any useful sense correlated with the health of our planet.
    But the climate hysteria has lost all contacts with science. The hundreds of stupid mammals from all corners of the world who gathered in Paris don’t read Nature. It’s much worse than that, of course. They don’t talk to anyone who has a clue about science, either. They’ve brainwashed themselves into believing that the global warming temperature must be a high-precision, well-defined number and, which is even worse, they may push it in any direction they want by meeting their fellow tetrapods and signing meaningless arrogant declarations.

    • PragerU made a brilliant YouTube video about why people choose to become radicalized by violent Islamism. It has nothing to do with poverty or ignorance (or Climate Change).
      The reason why some people choose to become radical Muslims turns out to be the same reason why some people choose to become radical leftists, attempting to create some supposed Utopia makes them feel good about themselves. And clever people recruit them by pointing out real problems and corruption (while hiding the fact that their solutions only make things worse).
      That video didn’t make the connection between radical Islam and radical leftists, but some of the similarities can be clearly seen in this video about how leftists choose to believe what FEELS good over what DOES good. And clever people indoctrinate people by talking about real problems (while hiding their constant failures).
      And this explains why facts and reason bounces off them. Reality doesn’t tickle their ears and make them feel good about themselves like participating in the Climate cult mission to save the planet does.

      • LarryFine:
        You admit

        That video didn’t make the connection between radical Islam and radical leftists

        True, it did not.
        And it did not because there is no such “connection” except in your imagination.
        An easier case to make is the dangers of radical rightists such as Naz1s.

      • @Richard,
        The first video was focused on Islamism, but it did briefly touch on the similarities between Islamist and Socialist leaders at 2:13, pointing out how they both operate by citing real problems in the current system and then offering Utopian solutions. The video mentioned how Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler and Bin Laden all did this. And ALL of those men WERE Socialists.
        Fascism, Nazism and Islamism are all left-wing, Socialist philosophies. And anyone who claims to be a Communist today is really a Socialist who believes that they will attain the end goal of Socialism some day, Communism, according to Marx.
        Many people mistakenly believe the Nazis were right-wingers for the same reason they believe that Segregation and the KKK were not the products of left-wing Democrats. They believe that lie because Democrats framed Republican with their own crimes.
        Whether they call themselves American Socialists, German National Socialists, a Union of Soviet Socialists, Communist Chinese or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria*, their shared goals are to fundamentally change the current order to deliver some Utopia where social problems will be solved. And in order to establish this, they all enlarge the state’s power at the expense of person freedoms and liberties. But they always fail miserably, causing more poverty, misery, destruction and death.
        Right-wingers, who recognize that all people are deeply flawed, struggle against such concentration of power in the hands of a few. The Founding Fathers knew history, which is why they were obsessed with limiting the central government to preserve Liberty.
        But many left-wing westerners and Muslims today have fallen prey to lies told by Socialists and Islamists because believing Socialist’s Utopian promises FEELS good (as cited in the second video).
        *Democrats always claim that certain differences among these groups (American Socialists, German National Socialists, a Union of Soviet Socialists, Communist Chinese and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) is proof that they’re not ideologically alike, or at least “not like us”. But such differences among these groups always have to do with the cultural and economic differences in the various countries their leaders started with, and the individual prejudices of the leaders.
        But they all share the same basic mission and methodology, to solve unfairness and corruption once and for all by fundamentally changing society using powerful big governments that can control everyone, and necessarily diminishing personal freedom and liberty.
        On the other hand, right-wing politics is about limiting the expansion of state power, allowing people to enjoy personal freedom and liberty. In this paradigm, the state is not there to raise your children, determine your diet and measure the water in your toilet (and punish you for non-compliance or simply being a spoilsport “denier” of their hive brain magical thinking) but simply to guarantee your rights.

      • LarryFine,
        “Whether they call themselves American Socialists, German National Socialists, a Union of Soviet Socialists, Communist Chinese or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria*, their shared goals are to fundamentally change the current order to deliver some Utopia where social problems will be solved.”
        I suggest one not assume such a thing. I suggest one merely note that’s what many wish us to believe is their goal.
        I don’t believe them, I see it as a mere “sales pitch” (for the most part), and suspect that (for the most part) in reality, the goal is simply power/domination. Once the “Socialist” system is in place, it really doesn’t matter whether anything remotely resembling a utopia results, because the means of controlling people is inherent in any truly “Socialist” system.

      • Richard,
        Sorry, but you have that backwards.
        Leftists then and now were aligned with the Naz!s, not the anti-statist American Right, nor even the traditional conservatives in Europe.
        In the US, FDR had far more in common with H!tler than did, say Hoover, Landon, Taft or Dewey. Wilkie was practically as far Left as FDR.
        The modern American Right comes in two flavors, but both are the very antithesis of Naz!sm, while American and European Leftism borrows heavily from National Socialism, especially in countries such as Scotland and Greece.
        The Naz!s killed the unwanted; American social conservatives oppose abortion. H!tler confiscated private firearms; US conservatives fight for the naturally endowed right of self-defense. The Naz!s murdered Jews and others en masse. American conservatives support Israel against its enemies, and favor equality for all before the law, regardless of religion or ethnicity. To take but three obvious examples.
        The Naz!s in effect nationalized heavy industry in a command economy, to meet the needs of the state, not consumers’ choices. While the owners of record often remained shareholders, these companies had to do as ordered by the state plan, as in the USSR. By contrast, American conservatives favor free enterprise and market economics. H!tler restricted the personal liberty of Germans and those in conquered countries. US conservatives favor civil liberties and freedom under the rule of law, not of men. Many are indeed libertarians, supporting the sovereignty of the individual against the power of the state. We are anti-statists, not statists.
        Thus on issue after issue, the National Socialists fall close to their Leftist roots, while conservatives are as far removed from Naz! ideology as possible.

  46. The Idea that heat radiation raises the temperature of the surface of the Earth above the ambient temperature is wrong. heat radiation is not like solar radiation because solar radiation has its direction towards the earth but total heat radiation has no vector towards the Earths surface. During winter when the solar radiation hits certain parts of the Earths surface at a greater angle then surface heating above the ambient temperature falls but total heat radiation given off by co2 molecules has no direction towards the Earths surface. It is obvious that if less energy leaves the Earth and more energy enters over a period of time then the total energy rises and this likely to be as an increase in ambient temperature of all the molecules in the Earth.

  47. JohnKnight, how come this kind of question is of any interest to you? Have you no purpose in your own life – a family, a job, a desire to work creatively, paint, write, make music? Maybe just do sports or tinker around in the garden? Enjoy the life that whoever you believe in gave you?
    These are misguided questions of bored and boring people. Don’t let them get the better of you!

    • Chris,
      “JohnKnight, how come this kind of question is of any interest to you?”
      I don’t like conjecture being passed off as scientific fact, for one thing. I think It leads to things like the (as I see it) CAGW con.

      • PS~ And I believe that con will endanger many millions of very poor people if successful, who can barely manage to keep themselves and their families alive now, The price of food and other basic necessities will necessarily rise significantly , if everything from fuel to run tractors, to transport systems, etc, becomes more expensive. Many will suffer and die . . I believe.
        As a follower of Christ, I don’t really get an option as to whether I try to resist such a gruesome eventuality once I become aware of it, it seems to me;
        ~ Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
        For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
        I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
        Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
        Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
        And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. ~
        That’s the Boss speaking. I can give a bit of time, so I do . .

  48. “There is no more common error then to assume that, because prolonged and accurate mathematical calculations have been made, the application of the result to some fact of nature is absolutely certain.” –A.N. Whitehead
    That’s a great refutation to the argument made by some that the multi-verse “theory” is fact simply because it’s believed to be supportable mathematically.
    In fact, according to the multi-verse theory, the laws of our universe don’t apply in other universes. Therefore, our logic and Math don’t apply. Therefore, it’s illogical to attempt to prove their existence using our Math.
    In other words, it’s impossible to prove the existence of something that defies Math by definition using Math. (But it sure is lucrative for those who can con politicians into paying them to try.)

  49. Dr. Tim Ball, I would like to let you know that you touched upon so many points of interest to me and just to mention a few, probability theory, history, revisionism, beliefs, politics etcetera and cast Canute so well that you merit ten on ten even for purely literary merit. Considering that adding to this the gist as well as the main hold so true then according to me you are the essence of the astute wrapped in quite some style. Thank you for the elucidation and education. One must not forget however the little matter of the earth’s magnetic field, a shield as I understand it against the sun’s irradiation, which magnetic strength is a function of the earth’s core, internal heat production, rotation and heat loss through the earth’s mantle plus a host of other parameters. To play God is to be divine something we surely aren’t though it seems that reductionist determinists being aware of the matter tend to ascribe their own penchants to Him whilst very contradictorily holding themselves up and exceptionally beyond that which applies to everybody else.

  50. Your description of Canute shows either you didn’t pay attention in school or your teachers were as stupid as they thought Canute was.. Canute was not stupid! He was being pressed by his priests to do something impossible and he brought his throne to the shore to show them up by demonstrating that no man, not even a king, could turn the tide.

  51. G. K. Chesterton said
    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing,
    they then become capable of believing in anything.”
    love Dr.T.Ball’s great panorama; but I don’t BELIEVE man has to believe at all.
    ‘believe’ is ok to follow incultered rules – when they yield positive: And so the need for that special rule is long forgotten – the gain is proof.
    And it’s realistic politic to make the children believe to follow the ‘good’ King Knutes – and not scary them with tales of gruesome invaders with murderous iron fists.
    Thanks for the imaginary picture show – Hans

  52. Today, we can be sure that the Germanic, Nordic, Slavic barons and kings
    – still regarded their ancient gods as guiding stars: for
    – but used ‘modern’ Christianity for discipline and
    standardization -and some civilization- of their now
    mixed peoples.
    Regards – Hans

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