A conversation with Dr. Willie Soon – on polar bears, the sun, and Earth's climate

Science, Philosophy and Inquiry on a Galactic Scale

Contributed by Grégoire Canlorbe © 2017 Publised at WUWT by request of Mr. Canlorbe.    These are the opinions of the author and interviewee. 

  • Dr. Willie Soon is an independent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has been studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth’s climate for more than a quarter of a century. A short while ago, he had a conversation with Mr. Grégoire Canlorbe, an independent journalist who is also vice president of the French Parti National-Libéral (“National-Liberal Party,” conservative, nationalist, and free-marketist). Here Dr. Soon speaks for himself. 

 

Canlorbe: You say polar bears are far less endangered by global warming than by environmentalists dreading ice melt. Could you expand?

Dr. Soon: Yes, indeed. I have argued that too much ice will be the ultimate enemy for polar bears. Polar bears need less sea ice to be well fed and to reproduce. Why? Think about this for a minute: Polar bears eat a lot. Any large colony will need a great deal of food. The bears’ staple diet is seal blubber. But seals are a long way up the food chain. So a fully functional and healthy eco-system is required. And that means oceans warm enough to support the lower links in the food chain from plankton all the way up to seals.

Indeed, a good puzzle for polar-bear science is to answer the question how polar bears survived during the ice ages, when ice covered coastal zones and large parts of the global ocean. Ice was piled miles deep on land, making it extremely difficult for eco-systems to provide enough food. Of course, areas of relative warmth, which population biologists call refugia, always exist. They may well be the key to explaining how polar bears survived the Last Glacial Maximum about 21,000 years ago.

 

The so-called “environmentalists”, who seem to allow unreasoning emotion and political prejudice to stand in place of rational thought and sound science, became very angry when I asked them whether they would prefer to see a billion polar bears instead of the 20,000–30,000 living now. The real threat to polar bears was unregulated hunting, which reduced the population to perhaps as few as 5,000 bears in the early 1970s.

After the November 1973 agreement to regulate hunting and outlaw hunting from aircraft and icebreakers, the polar bear population rebounded. By 2017 it was approaching 30,000. In 2016 a survey by the Nunavut government found a vulnerable population in the western Hudson Bay region to have been stable for at least five years.

I should say categorically that this polar bear fear-mongering is evidence of mass delusion promoted by group think. As a physical scientist rather than a biologist, I am generally reluctant to get involved in such topics as the influence of climate on polar-bear population, health and biology. But in 2002, Markus Dyck asked me to examine independently these strange and insupportable claims by environmental extremists that polar bears are threatened with extinction by global warming.

Consider the facts. From 6,000 to 10,000 years ago, the Earth was considerably warmer than today. Yet the polar bears survived. In fact, they had evolved from land-based brown bears some 150,000 to 200,000 years ago, and to this day they rear their cubs in land-based dens burrowed into the snow.

Four dead bears found in an aerial survey of the Beaufort Sea (Monnett & Gleason, 2006)

Readers curious about Al Gore’s false statement that a scientific survey had found polar bears drowning because they could not find ice should see my talk on how environmentalists are the real threat to polar bears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmoKRz5VcbI. The survey cited by Gore in his sci-fi comedy horror movie in fact found that just four polar bears had drowned, three of them very close to land, and they had died because of high winds and high waves in an exceptional Arctic storm. The authors of the paper were later victimized by their academic colleagues at the instigation of environmental extremists because they had stated – correctly – that it was the storm, and not global warming, that had killed the bears.

What is more, in the dozen years before the survey, the sea ice extent in the Beaufort Sea, where the survey took place, had actually increased slightly. At no point was Al Gore’s story true. In 2007 the High Court in London condemned Gore for his false statements about polar bears, whose Linnaean classification is ursus maritimus – the Bear of the Sea. It is now known that they can swim for more than 100 miles over periods of several days. Al Gore could not even ride a pushbike that far.

One positive aspect of my work in science is that I have befriended many seekers after truth. A polar bear expert, Professor Mitch Taylor of Lakehead University, told me late in 2017:

Just finished up in Davis Strait with 275 DNA samples. The bears were in better condition this year than they were during the 2005–2007 study years. The Wrangel Island bears in the photo are in good condition, but the Davis Strait bears were even fatter. Markus [Dyck] has found the same in the Cape Dyer area. Local people confirm the bears are very fat this year and are also reporting a big increase in ringed seals (immigration, not local productivity).

 

Keen readers who may want solid information and frequent scientific updates about the overall health and trends of all 19 subpopulations of polar bears should visit the website of another friend of mine, Dr. Susan Crockford: http://polarbearscience.com.

Is climate change naturally cyclical?

 

Canlorbe: Climate change is surely nothing new. It is a long-established, cyclical behavior of our planet, which has long been oscillating between glaciations and interglacial warm periods. Should we diagnose Mother Nature with a bipolar disorder?

Dr. Soon: Earth’s climate system dynamically oscillates between icehouse and hothouse conditions in geological time or, to a lesser degree, between the glacial and interglacial climates of the last 1–2 million years. But, as with many interesting questions about the Earth’s climate, there is no certain answer. The data do not support over-simplistic accounts.

Sea level rise – mother of all scares

I was fascinated to discover that changing sea levels, including extremely high global sea levels 65–250 feet (20–75 m) above today’s mean, occurred during the “hothouse Earth” era. One does not need an enormous ice sheet for sea level to be high, chiefly because the Earth’s coastal zones and ocean basins may be more porous and capacious than one would imagine. Indeed, deep geological studies proffer good evidence to support my position. I included this empirical evidence in an essay I recently co-wrote with Viscount (Christopher) Monckton of Brenchley.

In addition to the ever-changing shape and depth of the ocean basins and coastal zone boundaries, one must also bear in mind the “leaky Earth”: There appears to be a continuous exchange of water between the ocean bottom and the Earth’s crust, as Professor Shige Maruyama of Tokyo Institute of Technology has shown.

Sea level has risen by 400 feet over the past 10,000 years. For the past 200 years it has been rising at about 8 inches per century, and that rate may well continue. It has very little to do with global warming and much more to do with long-term climate cycles. In fact, so slowly has sea level been rising that environmental-extremist scientists have tampered with the raw data by adding an imagined (and imaginary) “global isostatic adjustment”, torturing the data until they show a rate of sea-level rise that has not in reality occurred.

The Earth in the solar system in the galaxy in the universe

My own examination of the Earth’s climate system extends beyond the solar system to include our place in the galaxy. When the solar system was born, we were 1–3 kiloparsecs closer to the galactic center than today. We are now 8 kiloparsecs from the galactic center.

The solar system drifts along the spiral density wave that orbits the center of the galaxy about every quarter of a billion years. Sometimes, the solar system has lain above or below the plane of the galactic disk. Also, we need to consider the evolution of the Sun from its thermonuclear-burning core to its outer thermosphere. Furthermore, for 4.5 billion years the planets have continued to push and pull the Sun around the barycenter of the solar system.

It was 13.82 billion years ago that, at the moment of creation that we now call the Big Bang, God said, Let there be light, and there was light. The solar system, including our planet, is thus one-third as old as the known universe. Our place and time in the universe cannot be ignored in assessing the climate. The original proposition to resolve the Faint Young Sun Paradox by WeiJia Zhang of Peking University concerned the relevance of Hubble expansion flow in affecting the mean distance between the Sun and the Earth over geological time. One must even consider our galaxy’s interaction with passing stellar systems, especially the coming merger (in a few billion years) between the Milky Way and the M31 Andromeda galaxy to form the Milkomeda cluster. This very likely event will occur within the next five billion years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.

Screenshot of representational images of coming merger of galaxies

These are just a few of the considerations that lead me to insist on being open-minded in pursuing my scientific study. I study the Sun mainly to improve my own understanding. As A.E. Housman’s Greek chorus used to put it, “I only ask because I want to know.”

It’s the Sun, stupid!

On August 31, 2012 a long filament of solar material that had been hovering in the sun’s atmosphere, the corona, erupted out into space at 4:36 p.m. EDT. The coronal mass ejection, or CME, traveled at over 900 miles per second. The CME did not travel directly toward Earth, but did connect with Earth’s magnetic environment, or magnetosphere, causing aurora to appear on the night of Monday, September 3. Picuted here is a lighten blended version of the 304 and 171 angstrom wavelengths. Cropped Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO NASA image use policy. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center enables NASA’s mission through four scientific endeavors: Earth Science, Heliophysics, Solar System Exploration, and Astrophysics. Goddard plays a leading role in NASA’s accomplishments by contributing compelling scientific knowledge to advance the Agency’s mission.

Canlorbe: You suggest that the Sun’s behavior is the driving force of climate warming, not factory smokestacks, urban sprawl or our sins of emission. Would you like to remind us of the keystones of your hypothesis?

Dr. Soon: For a quarter of a century I have studied the hypothesis that solar radiation is causing or at lest modulating climatic variations over periods of several decades. The most up-to-date report of my sun-climate connection research is in a chapter I and my colleague Dr. Sallie Baliunas contributed to a book in honor of my late colleague Professor Bob Carter of Australia (1942–2016). For the more serious science geeks, a fuller paper, with my two excellent colleagues from Ireland, the Connollys pere et fils, is worth reading. If your readers have any difficulty in finding these works, just contact me.

I have sought the best empirical evidence to show how changes in incoming solar radiation, accounted for by intrinsic solar magnetic modulation of the irradianceoutput as well as planetary modulation of the seasonal distribution of sunlight, affects the thermal properties of land and sea, including temperatures. In turn, temperature change affects atmospheric water vapor as well as the more dynamical components of equator-to-pole insolationand of temperature gradients that vary on timescales of decades to hundreds of years.

Readers may like to follow the original hypothesis of a connection between the Sun and climate advanced by the team led by my excellent colleague Professor Hong Yan of the Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences at Xi’an, China. Our paper examines how the incoming solar radiation modulates the expansion and shrinkage of the rain-belts in dynamically active regions such as the Western Pacific Warm Pool. A second example shows how the Indian summer monsoonal rainfall is correlated with a specific metric for incoming solar radiation.

A third example would be the research on how incoming solar irradiance influences China’s thermometer temperature records, showing that over periods of many decades the variations in total solar irradiance in the upper atmosphere are matched by variations at the surface.

I regard this empirical result, detectable notwithstanding the complexities of cloud fields within the atmospheric column, as of the highest importance. We are on the right track after all in investigating solar radiation (rather than something else) as the driver and modulator of most things climatic.

The Maunder Minimum

Canlorbe: The Maunder Minimum, also known as the “prolonged sunspot minimum”, was the subject of a book you co-authored with Steven H. Yaskell in 2003. For the layman, would you like to explain the stellar phenomena observed during this period?

Dr. Soon: The Maunder Minimum was indeed a very notable period in the study of sunspot activity or, more specifically, of the Sun’s magnetism. It lasted from 1645–1715, covering most of the reign of the Sun King (Louis XIV, 1638–1715; regnavit May 14, 1643 to September 1, 1715). Indeed, the late Jack Eddy (1931–2009) was fond of popularizing this fact by saying that “the Sun King’s reign appears to have been a time of real anomaly in the behavior of the Sun”.

Another interesting coincidence is the fact that Saint-Gobain, makers of the glass for the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles, also made the mirrors for the 60-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory where my colleagues (especially Dr. Sallie Baliunas) and I used to study the variations in the activity of solar-type stars. From these observations, we were able to confirm the general Maunder-Minimum-like phase of solar-stellar magnetism.

I worked with Steve Yaskell in writing this book as a labor of love. Our first purpose was to honor the insights of the two dedicated observers of our Star, E. Walter Maunder (1851–1928) and Annie Maunder (1868–1947). I also wanted to dismiss the arrogance and poor scholarship I had noticed among climate scientists. Professors Raymond Bradley and Philip Jones, for instance, had said with great certainty in one of their books that the geologist Francois Emile Matthes (1874–1948) had originated the term “Little Ice Age” which is roughly coincidental with the period of the Maunder Minimum. However, a little research (see pp. 208–209 of our book) shows that Matthes had attributed the phrase not to himself but to “a clever journalist”.

Only a few decades before Louis XIV came to the throne of France, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) and others had first observed sunspots. During more modern times, the Maunders, re-examining sunspot records kept at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England, established the famous butterfly diagram that shows the quasi-symmetrical distribution of sunspots between about 40 °N and 40 °S over the 11-year solar cycle – one butterfly per cycle.

What is special about the Maunder Minimum is the fact that during that period sunspots barely appeared on the Sun’s northern hemisphere and, when they appeared in the Southern portion, the dark spots were very narrowly crowded within a narrow band 20 degrees off the solar equator. This information is uniquely available thanks to the impeccable telescopic observations from L’Observatoire de Paris. My late colleague, Elisabeth Nesme-Ribes (1942–1996), very poetically described this period as that of the “broken butterfly wings”.

 

The butterfly diagrams of sunspot activity from 1666–1719 (left) contrasted with 1945–1990 (right). From J.C. Ribes and E. Nesme-Ribes (1993) The sunspot cycle in the Maunder Minimum, 1645–1715, Astronomy & Astrophysics 276:549, fig. 6.

It is sometimes said that the Maunder Minimum was merely an illusion or a confusion. However, several colleagues and I, led by Professor Ilya Usoskin of the University of Oulu, Finland, were able to affirm the reality of the Maunder Minimum by summarizing all available evidence, including confirmation from the broader phenomenon of Grand Minima as deduced from cosmogenic isotopes and other proxies for pre-instrumental solar activity.

Astrology vs. Astronomy

Canlorbe: In the view of many, IPCC’s predictions based on computer models are little better than Tarot cards and astrological predictions. Given your expertise in solar and stellar physics, do you see solid reasons not to regard astrology as reliable?

Dr. Soon: I am confused by the question. As a scientist, I do not see either evidence or any mechanism by which the relative positions of very distant heavenly objects can assist us in predicting whether any of us will “meet a tall, dark stranger” or win the lottery. However, an active area of scientific enquiry asks why and how the Sun’s magnetism varies. It may be that it is modulated by inertial oscillations within the plasma body of the Sun owing to perturbations caused by the planets, and chiefly by the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn. But that is astronomy, not astrology. Astronomy is clearly within the scientific realm, but divination by means of astrology, just as clearly, is not.

The Sun card from the Tarot of Marseille

 

At this point, I wish to say something about the misuse of computer climate models by the United Nations’ IPCC as a supposed “scientific” mode of divining the Earth’s climate over the next 20, 50, 100, 1,000 or even 100,000 years. Dr. Dallas Kennedy has coined the phrase “uncontrolled numerical approximations” for all climate model simulations inconsistent with the observed climate and insufficiently scrutinized.

The current state of our understanding of the dynamical evolution and variability of the Earth’s climate, in the observational as much as in the theoretical domain, is so immature that, as prudent and careful scientists, we should stop and think. I am confident that, even if we were able to find some “agreement” between the outputs of the current generation of climate models and the available measurements and observations, we ought to be cautious, because we can be almost 100% certain that the apparent agreement is fundamentally incorrect.

Let us heed the caution raised by the world’s most knowledgeable atmospheric physicist, Professor Richard Siegmund Lindzen of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology:

What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world – that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.

The Philosophy of Science

Canlorbe: The Sun has inspired a famous analogy in Plato’s theory of forms: namely, that the Sun, as the sixth book of The Republic says, allows us to see material things in the visible world, just as the Idea of the Good allows us to comprehend incorporeal or abstract concepts in the intelligible realm. Any entity existing in the visible world is intelligible only by virtue of a corresponding Idea that gives it an order, a sense, and an identity. And the Idea of the Good is the divine Sun that allows us, once it is grasped, to know all existing Ideas in the intelligible world. As a debunker of “scientism”, do you recognize some relevance to this Platonic concept of scientific inquiry?

Dr. Soon: I agree with the claim made by Justice Louis Brandeis (1856–1941) that “if the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the Sun disinfects”. Transparency in all human affairs, including our scientific endeavors, is essential.

Honestly, I am less of an epistemological philosopher than a natural philosopher – a mere humble scientist, or, if you like, a Shakespearean “rude mechanical”. I subscribe to David Mermin’s principle: “Shut up and calculate!” Science starts with quantitatively expressible evidence and applies to that evidence the honest, careful, disciplined manipulation of numbers that we call mathematics. Mathematics, then, is at once the language of science and its currency. In scientific inquiry, fully open and objective transparency (especially concerning the methodology and openness of datasets) is the most important requirement. Unfortunately, after more than a quarter of a century working in climate science, I have seen at first hand that these simple rules of science are too often honoured more in the breach than in the observance.

To bear witness to how damaging the flawed processes have been in climate science, I strongly recommend reading the refined essay by Professor Lindzen titled “Climate science – is it currently designed to answer questions?”

Lindzen12-March-ClimateScienceNOTansweringQ

For more detail on the level of corruption and dishonesty that prevails in global warming science, I recommend my recent talk given at the 2017 meeting of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness: https://youtu.be/aYAy871w9t8. For debunking the popular “scientism”, I recommend a serious article that I wrote with my late friend, Professor István Markó (1956–2017) for Breitbart.

There are scientists and there are mere propagandists. For instance, Bill Nye, the soi-disant “science guy”, is in truth Bill Nye the totalitarian propaganda guy. In telling it like it is about Bill Nye, Luke Barnes said this:

In an age when a number of prominent scientists have said profoundly idiotic things about philosophy, Bill Nye, the “science guy” has produced the Gettysburg Address of philosophical ignorance. It would be hard to write a parody that compressed more stupidity and shallowness into 4 minutes.

Let me close this reply on the philosophy of science by quoting Professor Chris Essex of the University of Western Ontario, from his review of the book The Climate Caper by Garth Paltridge:

Anti-skepticism isn’t science. At best it’s a kind of para-science, because skepticism is inherent to the scientific process. This para-science is the unprecedented, powerful, well-funded force, not the much-maligned skeptics. Even the oil companies go against the cliché and fund it. It’s the skepticism inherent to science that is embattled. Everything else is delusion and lies. That is how the science has been damaged. … Many scientists, including me, are worried that humanity has been paying too high a price in subordinating science to these agendas. Years from now, historians will look back on this period as extraordinary. The great social fervour was over something that only seems like science. It’s of science but lacks the heart of science. It will take generations to pick through the detritus, but this period will ultimately tell us far more about ourselves than Nature. Soon it will be over. If doom has not ensued, the climate science tourists will leave for other errands.

Canlorbe: If I may somewhat reformulate Rudolf Clausius’ statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the total entropy of a sufficiently isolated system, no matter where it be in the universe, tends to a maximum. It is not uncommon to hear that the Second Law is proven wrong by the imagined history of the cosmos, given the universe, from the very first particles and atoms to the most advanced human civilizations, appears to have been evolving steadily towards higher degrees of order and complexity. Another opinion is that the Second Law remains true, although life on Earth, which receives energy continuously from the Sun and which is not, therefore, an isolated system, seems at first sight to violate the Law. As an astrophysicist who specializes in solar activity, how do you react to the arguments against the universality and truth of the Second Law?

Dr Soon: Before I reply, it is interesting that you raise the name of Rudolf Clausius (1822–1888), because Clausius’ derivation, together with Emile Clapeyron (1799–1864), of the Clausius-Clapeyron relation between the temperature of the atmospheric space and the capacity of that space to carry water vapor is critical to the construction of a proper theory of climate.

As to the reformulation of the Second Law following its original formulation by Sadi Carnot (1796–1832), Clausius, of all the citizens of the universe, understood that life on Earth is made possible owing to the energy from the Sun. Low-entropy photons begin their journey to Earth at a temperature of about 6,000 K. By the time they reach the upper atmosphere, entropy has already done its work and they keep the Earth at a temperature 20 times lessthan that at which they began their eight-minute journey.

To bring this reply down to Earth (pun intended) and to return the focus to climate, it has long been realized that strict application of conservation of energy alone may not yield to the full understanding of climatic variations. Starting in the 1980s, an active field of scientific research was developed by the gurus of the maximum-entropy principle in climate models, such as imaginative scientists like Garth Paltridge, whose book I mentioned earlier. If one is interested in this esoteric subject, there is a recent paper treating entropy as the emergent primary quantity for describing the nature of couplings and interactions in the climate system.

I should also point out that the theory of greenhouse gas warming does not, as is sometimes thought, in any way violate the Second Law. It is not the theory that is wrong, but the incorrect modeling that leads official climatology greatly to overstate the warming that will occur as we return to the atmosphere some small fraction of the carbon dioxide that came from the atmosphere in the first place.

As you will have gathered, I am a natural philosopher and not an epistemological or moral philosopher. My language is not that of theology or of ideology but of science. I conclude my answer to your query by saying that I am simply happy to be alive, following the strictly unidirectional arrow of time, as proof that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is sound.

Notwithstanding the crazy and highly corrupt atmosphere that exists in the climate science theatre, sensible, solid and active scientists such as Bjarne Andresen and Christopher Essex ask meaningful questions and reach for reasonable answers. I am content to search for topics in which I can add to the scientific understanding of the complex fluid dynamics of the Earth’s climate.

Hotheads and hot weather

Canlorbe: People from South America, Africa, Italy and the Middle East are sometimes thought of as having elevated testosterone levels and, consequently, a propensity to solve political conflicts through violence. These populations are thought of as being warm-blooded, or even hot-headed, owing to the hot climates in which they live. Do you warmly welcome this hypothesis or hotly deny it?

Dr Soon: I am very happy to receive such a question, for I am always trying to understand the extent to which life is dependent upon and influenced by the Sun.

Professor John Todd of the University of Cambridge has recently published a paper that focuses on how some 5,135 out of 22,822 human genes studied for immunity and general physiology exhibited seasonal dependence on incoming sunlight. This finding that the Sun directly influences about a quarter of our genome adds a profound insight and possibly legitimacy to the broad statements you list above. But far more importantly, it proffers a proper and scientific approach to such a question.  This is why it is not a complete surprise that the 2017 Nobel Prize in Medicine  was given for the discovery of “molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm.”

Indeed, for what is worth, in 1927 Sir Arthur Eddington (1882–1944), on page 9 of his book Stars and Atoms, remarked that the height of a man (2 m) is about halfway between the diameter of an atom (2 x 10–10 m) and that of the Sun (2 x 109 m): “Nearly midway in scale between the atom and the star there is another structure no less marvellous: the human body”.

Recent statistics from 380 sites in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, and the USA show that cold weather kills 20 times more people than warm weather. What is more, 90% of the world’s species thrive in the tropics, and less than 1% exist at the Poles.

We must distill the question to a solvable core and examine it properly through scientific methodology. I recently gave a talk about the powerful relationships among various co- factors including seasonal sunlight, seasonal temperature change, sea level, and even tectonic activity that extends back to the bipolar Quaternary ice-ages and interglacial warm periods of last 2.6 million years.

Are environmentalists Fascist?

Canlorbe: Although environmentalist and self-proclaimed antifascist movements obviously share the totalitarian dimension of Italian Fascism – at least, in its final version – they may not share the anthropology and the view of nature that were at the heart of Fascist ideology. As Benito Mussolini wrote in The Doctrine of Fascism, published in 1932, “Fascism wants man to be active and to engage in action with all his energies; it wants him to be manfully aware of the difficulties besetting him and ready to face them. … Hence the high value of culture in all its forms (artistic, religious, scientific) and the outstanding importance of education. Hence also the essential value of work, by which man subjugates nature and creates the human world (economic, political, ethical, and intellectual).” Does Trumpian conservatism or green socialism come closest to the spirit of historical Fascism as expressed above?

Dr. Soon (with help from Christopher Monckton of Brenchley): Fascism, National Socialism, International Socialism and Communism are all disfiguring and mutually indistinguishable instances of the totalitarianism that the political philosophers of early imperial China excoriated as “legalism” and the French philosophers as étatisme, intégrisme and dirigisme. The contrasting political theory was and is known to Chinese thinkers as Confucianism and to us as libertarianism and democracy.

Mussolini no more acted upon the fine-sounding sermons he preached than did Hitler, Lenin, Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung. Each of these monsters, whatever they may have preached about the importance of science, showed the same propensity to interfere with it, to politicize it and to wrench it into conformity with some dull but dangerous, ingenious but ignorant, marketable but murderous Party Line as environmentalist International Socialism does today.

A bust of Mussolini in an antique shop in Venice

Such questions, however, are more political than scientific. Beyond saying that science tends to be corrupted by cruel notions such as eugenicism or Lysenkoism under totalitarian regimes, and to prosper in a climate of freedom, I respectfully decline to address your question. I do not do politics, as the environmentalist socialists do. I do science. As Lucretius put it, Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas – happy is he who finds the why of things. Science is my be-all and end-all.

Some 250 million people have been killed by totalitarian regimes of the extreme Left – the Communists, the Nazis and the Fascists – over the century since the dismal October Revolution of 1917. You will understand, therefore, that I disagree with your apparent attempt to assert that President Trump is a fascist: for his supporters would no doubt argue that he has spoken and acted for those working people whom the totalitarian “Democrats”, with their pointlessly costly regime of taxes, charges and regulations intended to destroy the coal, oil and gas industries and the many other industries depending on them, had wantonly abandoned. And it should never be forgotten that modern environmentalist socialism was invented by Hitler in Mein Kampf as a method of exercising that fingertip control over every aspect of people’s lives and work that all totalitarians crave.

Envoi

Canlorbe: Thank you for your time. Is there anything you would like to add?

Dr. Soon: I wish to thank you for your excellent questions. You have given me the opportunity to pause and reflect on concepts I have not contemplated in quite some time. I have simply shared my humble but sincere premise that the search for the truth in science must prevail. No religious, social, political or philosophical convictions must be allowed to confuse, corrupt or deny the inherent beauty and purity and truth that subsist in the scientific method to which I have devoted and shall ever devote my life.

  • Grégoire Canlorbe is the vice president of the French Parti National-Libéral (“National-Liberal Party,” conservative, nationalist, and free-marketist). Apart from his political activities, he has conducted numerous interviews for academic journals, and collaborates with the sociologist and philosopher Howard Bloom. He promotes a new form of liberalism (libertarianism), which he calls “territorial-aristocratic liberalism.”

 

You may also enjoy his conversation with the late Prof. István Markó and that with Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore.

 

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144 thoughts on “A conversation with Dr. Willie Soon – on polar bears, the sun, and Earth's climate

  1. “Al Gore could not even ride a pushbike that far.” – LMAO. Thanks. I needed that today. Great read but very long. I’m going to have to finish it up later.

    • Yes, very long. I agree with a lot of it, or it is rehashing a lot things, I am impress by the great references.
      One thing I will note is the mention that tropics remain near constant. Or one could say global warming is mostly warming outside of the tropics (tropics being 40 % of earth total surface area) or global warming is warming 60%. And the tropical ocean warms the rest of the world.
      I will mention something not discussed, but is obvious, the average ocean surface temperature is
      about 17 C and average land temperature is about 10 C.
      Ocean warms land. Land causes global cooling.
      So while thing was about importance of the Sun, this is correct. But one should not forget the oceans which cover 70% of the planet, and in terms of global climate, our icebox climate is direct result of the average volume temperature of our oceans, which is about 3.5 C.
      So, sunlight slows warms the ocean, but for the short life of humans, it’s all about the oceans, rather than all about the sun.

    • they [polar bears] can swim for more than 100 miles over periods of several days.
      When our youngest daughter was working as helicopter pilot at the North Slope, Alaska, they could follow the tracks of a polar bear with a radio collar who was swimming over 300 miles over several days…

      • I still think we should help out the polar bears by forcing the Sun to stop drifting all over the galaxy like that, that really can’t be helping. The only question is, do we move the galaxy first, or the solar system? Whatever, we can debate that out.
        And I’m not into this ‘Milkomeda’ idea much, too messy, and seems a bit left-wing throwing stuff into chaos, just for the hell of it. That should be cancelled.
        Frankly, I’d get rid of all the annoying eliptical orbits first, then deport 100% of that offensive CO2 to Venus—be extra sure the environment will be super OK.
        We need fewer variables to make conservation work.

      • Polar bears moving along a coast will normally swim rather than walk, so apparently they find swimming less work than walking.

      • Your daughter is a helicopter pilot,
        Englebeen?
        Your reputation just went up !
        How could anyone possibly count polar bears with anything resembling accuracy ?
        I am very suspicious of the “counts”.
        A majority of grids have no thermometers for the global average temperatures, making surface temperatures very hard to trust — actually impossible to trust.
        Polar bear counts seem even less
        trustworthy — color me skeptical.
        They all look the same, except size.
        Does someone spray paint a number on both sides of the bears?
        If you got close enough to paint
        a number on them, they would eat you !
        Do people shoot them with drugs
        and put a radio collar on them ?
        That seems cruel.
        Okay, I admit that I don’t particularly like polar bears or any other animal that would eat me if I walked up to say hello. And I don’t like that they eat seals — so I wouldn’t care if they disappeared — but what do haphazard polar bear counts have to do with global warming?
        I’d think Al “the Blimp” Gore should be forced to wear a radio collar so we can keep track of him at all times !

      • I came within 3 feet of several polar bears one heatwave in France – protected by a thick layer of glass. While we tourists sweated it, the bears were chilling, taking an occasional dip to check out the passing humans. For such large and powerful beasts they were effortless and balletic in aqua. Memorable.

      • Richard Greene,
        Her “normal” work was bringing people and material to the oil rigs at the North Slope (Prudhoe Bay). Occasionally she helped to move out polar bears who were coming too near the human settlements. The polar bears were shot with a tranquilizer, examined for health (weight, fat reserves,…) and received a collar so that they could be followed (I suppose by satellite) later on. Then they put them away many miles from the base, with no other polar bears around (or they could be eaten by their own kind while still asleep!).
        As far as I know they didn’t do any counting of polar bears, only protecting the settlements and at the same time some observations of their health and movements.
        The over 300 miles swim was an exception, as most swim from the floating ice to land when the ice is melting in summer, but this (male) polar bear started from the ice and was swimming parallel with the coast for that enormous distance, before reaching land… Maybe its navigation skills were not up to date…

  2. Re: “so slowly has sea level been rising that environmental-extremist scientists have tampered with the raw data by adding an imagined (and imaginary) “global isostatic adjustment”, torturing the data until they show a rate of sea-level rise that has not in reality occurred.”
    Adding model-derived GIA to the global sea-level trend is useful for some purposes, but the sum is not “sea-level rise.” Rather, it is an estimate of what the rate of sea-level rise would be were it not for post-glacial sinking of the ocean floor.
    In the words of Greg Goodman:

    “it… means their “mean sea level” is now floating, phantom like, above the waves.”

    Like a commenter over on Dr. Curry’s blog, I would call SLR+GIA “Fake SLR.” Frederikse distinguishes the two more tactfully, by calling real SLR “geocentric sea level rise” and fake SLR “barystatic sea level rise.”
    Real… er, “geocentric”… global sea-level rise is so slow that in many places it is dwarfed by vertical land motion, and/or coastal processes, like erosion and sedimentation.
    At Skagway sea-level is falling >17 mm/year. W/o the tiny reduction caused by global sea-level rise it would be slightly worse.
    http://www.sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=Skagway
    http://www.sealevel.info/9452400_Skagway_2016-11.png
    And at Kushiro sea-level is rising 9 mm/year. Global sea-level rise is less than 20% of it.
    http://www.sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=Kushiro
    http://www.sealevel.info/641-021_Kushiro_2016.png
    Of course, both of those locations show zero acceleration, hence zero influence from anthropogenic carbon emissions — just like everywhere else.

    • Except for this part: “It was 13.82 billion years ago that, at the moment of creation that we now call the Big Bang, God said, Let there be light, and there was light. ”
      Any evidence to support anyone saying anything 13.82 billion years ago?

      • Well, if I were around to notice it, I might not be so eloquent. It might be more on the order of:
        “WTF was THAT!

      • That number is derived from the red shift in light from the galaxies and stars thought to be most distant. A prediction based on how the Big Bang has been thought to proceed gives a number for the expected red shift that matches quite well with 13.82 billion years.
        Given all the hedges that are in the process the 0.82 is superfluous and most people us 14 billion years. If you study any theology the “word of God” is an active force, not sound waves in the air of earth.

      • “If you study any theology the “word of God” is an active force, not sound waves in the air of earth.”
        Sounds like rationalization to me. Where does it say “And God actively forced ‘Let there be light.'”

      • I’ll listen to and respect Dr. Soon’s philosophy. When I read his reference to bible scripture, I knew with certainty it would draw out an intolerant response.

      • God is “before” time. Time is aspect of the physical universe. God created the physical universe which was the “beginning” of time, and time an aspect solely of the physical Universe.
        There are “things” not of this universe. One could say they are ideas, one could ,also say ideas live or persist. One could think that ideas are human artifacts, but they aren’t a measurable part of the physical universe, though one could say ideas could be inspired by the physical universe (and recorded by books). Anyhow, many think there is such a “thing” as spirtual, and God belongs in such realm (but obviously God would have created such a realm also) but main issue is God is not comprised the flesh of the physical universe. Or if we in computer program, God is not the computer programmer, God made made the silicon of computer chips, and the “soul” of computer programmer and everything else.

      • Was there light?
        Yes, got that right.
        Got the next bit right as well.
        And the earth was without form.
        Two lucky guesses from a bunch of tent dwellers 5000 years ago.
        Got the next bit right as well.

        • Mjw

          Was there light?
          Yes, got that right.
          Got the next bit right as well.
          And the earth was without form.
          Two lucky guesses from a bunch of tent dwellers 5000 years ago.
          Got the next bit right as well.

          Well, I’ve to disagree with you there a little bit.
          Seems these itinerant sheepherders wandering in the desert not only got their nuclear physics and relativity correct, but all of their astrophysics, geology, biology and evolution, and plate tectonics right too.
          See, phrased just slightly differently, isn’t this the sequence of everything we are taught?
          First, everything was created in a massive wave from nothing. Then there was light, then the light and energy cooled further and the first matter appeared. Then the matter that formed the solar system and the future earth was separated from everything else, but the clouds hid everything above the earth. Plants grew in the shallow sea around the single land mass, released oxygen and the atmosphere cleared, revealing the stars and moon. Fish and birds (their dinosaur ancestors) appeared, then mammals, then man and domesticated animals.
          Now, I grant you, the dates are a little off – but getting the sequence correct ain’t bad when they had not invented the zero yet, much less powers-of-ten, logarithms, and algebra, calculus or letters.

      • Replace “Word” with “Mathematics” in the philosophical utterance: “In the beginning was the Word, and Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3, KJV.
        Mathematics has always been, and always will be. Mathematics universally applies everywhere. Mathematics is the virtual underpinning of how the universe exhibits itself. In short, mathematics is the superset of all abstractions. Humans will never fully understand all of mathematics.

      • Yeah, well spotted, it was closer to 13.83 billion. Bit sloppy.
        Creation … to two decimal places … what a triumph.

      • Why would I duck? All of these responses are assuming a LOT that just isn’t demonstrably true.

  3. An excellent and very readable interview. Such a shame that the ones who need this information the most are the ones least likely to understand the concepts.

  4. “… I am simply happy to be alive, following the strictly unidirectional arrow of time,…”
    as we all should be.
    And yet, controlling others seems the wont of some who prefer using abuse as a fulcrum to leverage their thoughts. Current climate environmentalist conceal their motives with the cape of doing good by insisting on political correctness and submissiveness.
    To be comfortable with one’s own skepticism and uncertainty, seems to require a self-image that one is resilient, able to succeed in spite of the apparent odds against such success.
    Time indeed seems to be a straight arrow, only, the journey in time is anything but.

    • RiHo08,
      “And yet, controlling others seems the wont of some who prefer using abuse as a fulcrum to leverage their thoughts.”
      You used abuse as a fulcrum here, since you were talking about a specific group. You go on to say,
      “Current climate environmentalist conceal their motives with the cape of doing good by insisting on political correctness and submissiveness.”
      This sentence is predicated on the idea that climate environmentalists are not motivated by a desire to do good. So what do they want? Is this odd notion tied to the idea that they are actually socialists using climate as an excuse for redistribution of wealth and global central government, or because they are “anti-fossil fuel”? They want to destroy the economy, or keep those in the third world from developing? What is the hidden nefarious motive you are referring to here? There are many cliche choices to choose from, but maybe you have a new one.
      It’s just possible that most of those you vilify actually ARE acting on the belief that the change in climate will cause significant human suffering. I’ve never come across any “believer” for whom this is not the main concern. So who are all these other people?
      ………………………………………………
      Soon uses abuse gratuitously, again and again:
      “I should say categorically that this polar bear fear-mongering is evidence of mass delusion promoted by group think.”
      “In fact, so slowly has sea level been rising that environmental-extremist scientists have tampered with the raw data”
      “‘What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world – that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.'”
      “Notwithstanding the crazy and highly corrupt atmosphere that exists in the climate science theatre”
      …………………………………………..
      “To be comfortable with one’s own skepticism and uncertainty, seems to require a self-image that one is resilient, able to succeed in spite of the apparent odds against such success.”
      These are laudable ideas; I like your message here. Good comment.

      • Kristi Silber
        “So who are all these other people?”
        These people have a public face and no doubt known to you as well. Where to start? those who formulated the question back in the 1960’s of how man is influencing climate without first answering the question: what is natural variation; ie, what is the background climate? Do we include those scientists who, at the last minute rewrote the Executive Summary of AR3 moving the “consensus” from doubt to certainty? Include those of 2009 Climate gate? Include campaigners like Stephen Schneider “…getting loads of media coverage”? or Mann or Schmidt or Immanuel or…and the list goes on and on. Are those to be included whose passion is such that they commit suicide by self-immolation? There is no shortage of names and professions involved in climate science non-scientific behavior. I am reminded of the central character in the book: Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler in the setting of the 1938 Stalinist Purges, confessing to crimes he did not commit for the “good” of the Party: group think. In this case: climate science is bigger than the individual, its a war, and, as you know: “all’s fare in love and war.”

      • Silber sez:
        “Soon uses abuse gratuitously, again and again…”
        .
        .
        My comments:
        Soon attempts to speak the language leftists know best:
        — Alinsky-style ridicule of questions and alternative ideas,
        and character attacks of people who speak them.
        I’ve read both Alinsky books, and his Playboy interview,
        just so I know how to communicate with leftists
        (I used to slap them upside the head
        with a rolled up Sunday New York Times,
        but that paper is too expensive now).
        A good example of this “language”,
        that I assume you know well,
        would be for me to dismiss your comments
        as ridiculous, and call you a ding-bat.
        But I would never do that, because I am
        a libertarian, not a leftist, and I welcome all
        ideas that others want to pontificate,
        or in your case, bloviate.
        .
        .
        Ms. Silber also said:
        “This sentence is predicated on the idea
        that climate environmentalists are not motivated
        by a desire to do good.”
        .
        .
        My comments:
        Demonizing CO2, which is beneficial
        for accelerating plant growth and
        increasing the food supply
        of our planet, is doing bad !
        Ignoring real pollution of the air,
        water and soil in China, and other
        Asian nations, is bad too.
        When it comes to REAL pollution,
        the current “environmentalists” have lost
        track of their senses, which means
        they act as anti-science ding-bats,
        completely unlike environmentalists
        in the 1970s who did good things
        about REAL pollution for our planet.
        Anyone who thinks CO2,
        the staff of life, is “pollution”
        is an anti-science ding-bat
        … and I’m afraid that you
        may be in that category,
        Ms. Silber.
        My climate change blog
        for people with common sense
        … of course that leaves you out
        Ms. Silber, because you believe
        CO2 is an evil, satanic gas !
        http://www.elOnionBloggle.Blogspot.com

    • RiHo08:
      I have to agree that the amount of “abuse”
      was far more than I would expect from any PhD.
      I loved it of course, and generally agree !
      Skeptics are frequently character attacked
      — my comments at climate change cult (believer)
      websites, and blogs, receive huge amounts of
      character attacks, and disappear quickly.
      There is so little REAL science behind the claim
      that CO2 controls the climate, and
      runaway global warming is coming,
      that what is there for a real scientist
      to debate?
      Computer games and wild guesses
      of the future climate — wrong for
      the past 30 years ?
      So instead of Soon taking a lot of abuse,
      which is typical,
      and I’m sure YOU loved,
      it appears Soon is giving the climate
      change cult some of their own medicine !
      Very unusual for a PhD.
      Of course I only have a BS degree, and an MBA,
      — no PhD — and I’ve been retired since 2004,
      so can’t lose my job for believing the planet
      would benefit from a lot more CO2 in the air,
      based on REAL science …
      … so I feel free to abuse climate change cult
      members, any time I’m in the mood,
      and leave the science to REAL scientists,
      like Dr. Soon … who I suspect was heavily
      influenced by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
      this time !

      • Richard,
        I only read Playboy for the articles and interviews too…
        Wait, what were we talking about again?
        😉
        rip

  5. Loved this–read it all, even though I don’t understand it all–thank you for being a scientist! (as opposed to activist!)
    I have a question Dr. Soon (or anyone)
    If the Big Bang was 13.82 billion years ago and that makes us 4 billion years old–then how can the sun’s life be only 5 billion years old and still be active when we meet Andromeda in a few billion years? Doesn’t that mean the sun will be dead in 1 billion? When we meet Andromeda we’ll be dark? Just wondering.

    • The sun will not be dead. Only way to die, is supernova, which it is incapable of doing.
      Sun will change over life of the Universe. And humans can change much quicker. Humans could
      survive the sun changes, and could prevent the doom of planet, Earth.

    • I see nothing contradictory in the numbers you present.
      According to the latest theory, the universe about 13.82 billion years old.
      According to the latest theory, the sun formed about 5 billion years ago.
      The sun did not form when the universe did, in fact it couldn’t have since the sun is a 2nd or 3rd generation star. The first stars would have consisted of only hydrogen and helium, heavier elements hadn’t been created yet.
      According to current theory, the sun is expected to stay on the mainline sequence for another 4 to 5 billion years, at which time it will start to turn into a red giant, and then burn out quietly.
      If the speed of Andromeda has been measured accurately, the sun will still have a billion years or so of life on the main sequence by the time Andromeda arrives.

      • Thank you–Ithink that clears it up. I was referring to “One must even consider our galaxy’s interaction with passing stellar systems, especially the coming merger (in a few billion years) between the Milky Way and the M31 Andromeda galaxy to form the Milkomeda cluster. This very likely event will occur within the five billion years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.”
        I think it should read “This very likely event will occur within the five billion REMAINING years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.”
        I originally thought he was saying th sun’s total life span is 5 billiion.

      • goldminor April 14, 2018 at 6:00 pm
        “So how about the Andromeda Way?”
        I prefer Snickers.

      • Shelly Marshall April 14, 2018 at 4:24 pm

        Thank you–Ithink that clears it up. I was referring to “One must even consider our galaxy’s interaction with passing stellar systems, especially the coming merger (in a few billion years) between the Milky Way and the M31 Andromeda galaxy to form the Milkomeda cluster. This very likely event will occur within the five billion years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.”
        I think it should read “This very likely event will occur within the five billion REMAINING years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.”

        Good eye, Shelly. Dr. Soon has asked me to correct this lack of clarity by inserting the word “next”, as in the “next five billion years”, into the text and I’ve done so.
        w.

  6. “Some 250 million people have been killed by totalitarian regimes of the extreme Left – the Communists, the Nazis and the Fascists – over the century since the dismal October Revolution of 1917. You will understand, therefore, that I disagree with your apparent attempt to assert that President Trump is a fascist:”
    Sorry for the needed links, but these are good responses to the above comment that should add to the conversation.
    Things A Fascist Would Never Do
    Nothing demonstrates the complete and utter ignorance of the progressive movement than their portrayal of fascism, and who they call fascist. Things a Fascist would NEVER DO. Actions disqualifying for a Fascist. A Fascist would NEVER champion the 2nd Amendment. You can’t easily seize the property of peasant farmers if they can shoot back. A Fascist
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/things-a-fascist-would-never-do/
    What Real Fascism Looks Like; It’s Alive and Well in the 21st Century Progressive Left
    Progressives are fond of associating today’s American Political Right/Conservatives with the “Righ-Wing” Nazis and Fascists. Nothing could be further from the truth, and those associations demonstrate an ignorance of biblical proportions. The hallmark of Fascism is a Totalitarian Undemocratic Government. Fascism is the biggest of big Governments, ruled not by the rule of law, but … Continue reading
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/03/03/what-real-fascism-looks-like-alive-and-well-in-the-21st-century-progressive-left/

    • Guess I did not read to the political portion, but as far as i can tell all parties U.S. are an expression corporatism (often confused with fascist or communist) is why they only squabble mostly over social issues and hide behind “Democracy” title that nobody really has a part of.

      • You obviously aren’t very knowledgeable about current American politics.
        From Bloomberg:
        He didn’t win the money race, but Donald Trump will be the next president of the U.S. In the primaries and general election, he defied conventional wisdom, besting better financed candidates by dominating the air waves for free. Trump also put to use his own cash, as well as the assets and infrastructure of his businesses, in unprecedented fashion. He donated $66 million of his own money, flew across the country in his private jet, and used his resorts to stage campaign events. At the same time, the billionaire was able to draw about $280 million from small donors giving $200 or less. Super-PACs, which can take contributions unlimited in size, were similarly skewed toward his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Ultimately, Trump won the presidency despite having raised less than any major party presidential nominee since John McCain in 2008, the last to accept federal funds to pay for his general election contest.
        Clinton and her super-PACs raised a total of $1.2 billion, less than President Barack Obama raised in 2012. Her sophisticated fundraising operation included a small army of wealthy donors who wrote seven-figure checks, hundreds of bundlers who raised $100,000 or more from their own networks, and a small-dollar donor operation modeled on the one used by Obama in 2012. She spent heavily on television advertising and her get-out-the-vote operation, but in the end, her fundraising edge wasn’t enough to overcome Trump’s ability to dominate headlines and the airwaves.

      • On the contrary, KLohrn, corporatism is rarely confused for fascism, although that would only be a small error. The term is ordinarily misused as if it were a synonym for rule by big business interests (corporations).
        I can’t make sense of your claim that all US parties (“all” two of them) are an expression of corporatism. You seem to be aware of what corporatism really is, but do not explain how US society is organized into stakeholder groups that rule by consensus. If this is consensus, what would chaos look like?
        For the most part, the party system in the US consists of two semi-stable coalitions of factions. One is broadly in favor of individual liberty, property rights, markets, and traditional social arrangements, the other is broadly in favor of redistribution of wealth, a stronger hand for government regulation and is increasingly hostile to traditional religion and traditional morality. They are quite different in principle.
        It’s the tendency of the “progressives” toward a totalitarian (nothing outside the state) organization of society that makes them similar to the fascists. They are welcome to their new religion (CAGW) and new morality, but what makes them dangerous is that they have no more tolerance for other people’s beliefs than the worst of the fundamentalist religious fanatics of the past or present.

      • I think that’s a fairly good approximation of the situation. Even those who are the greatest advocates of welfare and national health care can be at the same time dedicated capitalists. Many American socialists identify with the watered-down “socialism” (social democrat) offered by Bernie Sanders, not true socialism.
        But this has nothing to do with the science of climate change. Nothing.
        “Mussolini no more acted upon the fine-sounding sermons he preached than did Hitler, Lenin, Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung. Each of these monsters, whatever they may have preached about the importance of science, showed the same propensity to interfere with it, to politicize it and to wrench it into conformity with some dull but dangerous, ingenious but ignorant, marketable but murderous Party Line as environmentalist International Socialism does today.
        “Such questions, however, are more political than scientific. Beyond saying that science tends to be corrupted by cruel notions such as eugenicism or Lysenkoism under totalitarian regimes, and to prosper in a climate of freedom, I respectfully decline to address your question. >>>>I do not do politics, as the environmentalist socialists do. I do science.<<<<<As Lucretius put it, Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas – happy is he who finds the why of things. Science is my be-all and end-all."
        Then Soon immediately proceeds to talk politics.
        "Some 250 million people have been killed by totalitarian regimes of the extreme Left – the Communists, the Nazis and the Fascists…the totalitarian “Democrats”, with their … regulations intended to destroy the coal, oil and gas industries and the many other industries depending on them,… it should never be forgotten that modern environmentalist socialism was invented by Hitler in Mein Kampf as a method of exercising that fingertip control over every aspect of people’s lives and work that all totalitarians crave.
        Willie just tied environmentalism to a rainbow of evil ideas. It doesn't matter that ""modern environmentalist socialism" is an undefined, intangible group, he gave the greens a taint, a suggestion of political agenda. It's been repeated so many times in skeptic circles that it's taken as obvious truth, to the point that I am regularly called a socialist when I'm a solid capitalist.
        Science that is influenced by politics and economics and agenda. Those who are most convinced it's rampant in others think so because they can understand the temptation through experience.
        To me Soon's social claims seem completely outlandish and disgusting, and they reveal more about him than his enemies.

        • Ms Silber, most of the dedicated greens are also socialists, like Christiana Figueres, and I would argue that a major reason why they are attracted to the AGW theme is to find another rationale for their socialist political beliefs.

      • “It’s the tendency of the “progressives” toward a totalitarian (nothing outside the state) organization of society that makes them similar to the fascists. They are welcome to their new religion (CAGW) and new morality, but what makes them dangerous is that they have no more tolerance for other people’s beliefs than the worst of the fundamentalist religious fanatics of the past or present.”
        It seems to me that this concept of progressives is becoming akin to a religion for many conservatives. It doesn’t matter how close to reality it is, it’s encompasses a number of fundamental beliefs, and people believe it in spite of the evidence to the contrary. This new religion is propounded, proclaimed and propagated on sites like this, in comments like yours.

      • Tom Halla
        Maybe the hard core greens are socialist, I don’t really know. But why does it matter? It’s irrelevant to my main point, which is and will always be that you have to judge the science by the science. Politics can’t come into it. I don’t believe that politics has had such a huge influence on mainstream climate science as to make it untrustworthy.

        • Ms Silber, the politics of the greens does enter into the reasons why they stay with a conjecture with very little predictive value. I am old enough to remember the early days of the environmental movement, and it fits Eric Hoffer’s definition of a mass movement.
          Whether it was industrial chemicals, industry in general, or nuclear power, the desire for some sort of arcadian socialism has been a unifying theme. Writers like Paul Ehrlich or John Holdren have been predicting doom for all my adult life, even if the exact nature of the catastrophe has changed several times.
          CAGW is just the most recent justification for their world saving by themselves taking over nearly everything.

    • co2islife
      Capitalism is the salvation of mankind. It got us to where we are today, and is only interrupted by socialism which is a momentary political aberration.
      Capitalism suffers corruption only at a local level, rarely, and momentarily, it is quashed by free trade.
      Socialism both encourages corruption from the top down as a concept, and corrupts capitalism’s inherent honesty of free trade.
      Isn’t it also strange that free thinking Capitalists, largely occupy the free thinking WUWT?
      Scepticism is a blessing to humanity. Without it, we would still be in caves. Our only mantra is:
      I KEEP six honest serving-men
      (They taught me all I knew);
      Their names are What and Why and When
      And How and Where and Who.
      I send them over land and sea,
      I send them east and west;
      But after they have worked for me,
      I give them all a rest.
      I let them rest from nine till five,
      For I am busy then,
      As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
      For they are hungry men.
      But different folk have different views;
      I know a person small—
      She keeps ten million serving-men,
      Who get no rest at all!
      She sends’em abroad on her own affairs,
      From the second she opens her eyes—
      One million Hows, two million Wheres,
      And seven million Whys!
      The Elephant’s Child.
      Rudyard Kipling.

    • So a party named (in translation) National Socialist German Workers Party is rightist? Only to a Stalinist.

    • Mr Bradley, what part of their program was “right wing”? Labeling various fascisti as far right wing is Stalinist spin.

    • Sure they were, compare anything that defined the National Socialist German Workers Party to today’s political right. They are complete opposites. Socialists are socialists. No getting away from it.

    • You are right, they weren’t the extreme left, they and the murderous communists were simply the left.

    • The left tends to use definitions straight out of “1984”. Anyone opposed to identity politics is “racist” by their standard. All you other claims are of the same sort.

    • ” anything that defined the National Socialist German Workers Party accurately is being practiced by today’s political right liberal-green-enviro-elites:”

      1) Authoritarian
      2) Racist
      3) Xenophobic
      4) Militaristic.
      5) Rioting in the streets and universities when they don’t get their way.
      6) Judicial dictates writing laws from the bench, despite what the law and constitution says
      7) Government agencies being run to support the favored government party,
      8) Government aid and agencies working to favor the political donors of the favorite party
      9) Government agencies ignoring law-breakers of the favored party, but criminalizing members of the hated party, the hated race.
      Today’s liberal-leftist-communist-socialists do bring a few new things to their arguments:
      Crying and demanding toys and coloring books.
      “Safe spaces for my thoughts, but exclusion and repression of your thoughts.”
      Racism and prejudice based on religions and skin color, not thoughts and actual actions.
      Feelings of “perceived potential harm”, not actual violence and harm.

    • @Rob Bradley
      One thing I would agree with is that left-right is not always an adequate way to look at political systems. Any time you try to distill a complex idea into a simple label, you must necessarily lose information. It does not mean that the simplification is never meaningful.
      A better way to look at it is with multiple dimensions such as collectivist-individualist, authoritarian-democratic, elitist-egalitarian, etc.
      Having said that, the National Socialists, Bolsheviks and the Maoists were all collectivists, totalitarians and mass murderers. They all had party lines that they forced everyone under their power to hew to. They all had in-group/other-group dynamics, although some were more focused on race and others on class.
      Where you would be very wrong would be to claim that because Hitler hated Bolsheviks that means National Socialism must be the opposite of communism. Even more malicious would be to then say that since classical liberalism (in US terms, conservatism) to the right of communism, it must be a few steps away from fascism and authoritarianism. That is the better example of where left-right doesn’t “work”.

    • Collectivism does not mean the same thing as socialism or the absence of private property. In National Socialist Germany, the term was Gleichschaltung (switched in the same direction) or a kind of coordination. The needs of the individual always subordinated to the needs of the state. Factory owners who served the state and fit with the ideology could continue to enjoy the benefits of property, but factory owners who did not serve the state, not so much. Under Stalin, formal ownership of factories was with the state, but the benefits of property flowed mostly to the party bosses. Isn’t that a distinction without a difference?
      I did not say that there was no difference between Hitler and Stalin, I said that in matters of great importance, they were very alike At an abstract level, many of their evil traits, though superficially different, were actually of similar kind. One killed millions based on evil theories of race, another killed millions based on evil theories of class. Both killed millions based on evil theories that denied the rights of individuals. Neither placed value on individual lives, both considered individuals to be disposable. In the face of that, who cares where they were different or which one was closer to some theoretical definition of socialism? It’s like arguing which is the better food additive, arsenic or cyanide?

    • Well there you go again, Rob.
      The reason they were Socialists was because of the severe deprivations from WWI rationing, through the economic and currency collapse, emergency rationing of the Wemar Republic, closely followed by the Great Depression.
      But no, they didn’t really mean it when they called themselves “National Socialists”, they were really right-wing nutters, right?
      Rob, the things you think you know, they ain’t necesarily so, truth is a lot stranger than fiction, including all the science theory you apparently think you ‘know’.

    • In N@zi Germany, the state controlled the major industries and most aspects of day to day lives.
      That’s socialism.

    • Interesting attitude there. Pointing out similarities between Germany and the Soviet Union is invalid because we are talking about Germany.

    • According to Rob, the definition of right wing is apparently everything bad.
      1) Authoritarian [Found in every socialist state]
      2) Racist [Found in every socialist state. Especially when the victims are Jews]
      3) Xenophobic [Found in every socialist state.]
      4) Militaristic. [Found in every socialist state.]

    • Fascism is left wing. The state directs the private sector. It is a ‘compromise’ between socialism and a free market economy. Fascism was born out of socialists who grew tired of their movement going nowhere, and socialism was born out of a bunch of marxists who grew tired waiting for marx’s failed predictions to come true. Nazis were not ‘pro business’. They loved business that had to do with manufacturing but loathed financial businesses. They used price controls on manufacturing and regulated the private sector so heavily they ran it into the ground.
      The example of communists and fascists fighting as proof that they are polar opposites is hilariously ignorant. The Reformation in Christian religion set Protestants against Catholics and was a blood bath. Does that therefore mean that Protestants and Catholics on opposite sides of a religious spectrum? Of course not. They are far more similar than they are different. Same with socialism and fascism. The hostility between communists and fascists is example of an ideological civil war within the left.
      It is in the nature of the collectivist left to demonize non believers. Left always results in totalitarianism.

      • Yep, that is 100% correct. Your Catholic Protestant example is golden. Hope you don’t mind me using it in the future. Great insightful comment.

      • This is from “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg:

        Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term “National Socialism”). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities–where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

        It looks like normal left-wing politics to me.
        Jim

    • Rob; the Nazis were most certainly of the extreme left. Please do some research. Hitler first tried to join the socialist/communist party and was rejected. That is when he embraced national socialism as expounded by Mussolini. Mussolini started national socialism as he and the main founders of national socialism felt that global communism was going to take to long and then broke from the later followers of Marx. There are two main forms of the far left: collectivism where the government owns all means of production, and centralism where the government sets the overall financial plan for the country and all businesses must conform. The business owners who did conform to the centralized edicts of Mussolini and Hitler had their business confiscated and most were also then shot. You should really not be commenting on things you obviously have no background about.

  7. I mostly agree with Dr Soon, but sunspot numbers are not that good a fit for the Little Ice Age. The LIA started in the 1300’s, and ended in the mid 1800’s, extending well before and after the Maunder Minimum.

    • Here is what he actually says about it:
      “Though likely responsible in itself for reduced global warming due to solar inactivity, the Maunder Minimum was at the same time locked into an already-existent, unsettled, unusually cold weather dynamic having probable roots in the mid 1400s if not earlier (the LIA interval) and which ended in the late 1800s. The Maunder Minimum found itself within the LIA and it served perhaps as a platform on which even deeper unsettled weather/cold dips of the LIA ran out its course.”
      Indeed, Dr. Soon has a deep understanding of the LIA, which itself contained several minimums -Wolf, Sporer, and Dalton, but the Sporer and Maunder minimums were the most severe.

      • And the Oort which took place in the middle of the MWP was not as severe a gm. I noticed similar when studying what the JG/U 2K tree ring study shows. There is so much value in that one study, imo.

      • @Bruce Cobb (Soon- unsettled, unusually cold weather dynamic having probable roots in the mid 1400s if not earlier)
        That whole era was influenced by the Bray Cycle. The Oort was the first minimum as the 2450 yr Bray cycle bottomed out and started rising again in 1950. There are often clusters of solar minimums during the Bray minimum, as mentioned in several of Javier’s posts.
        I would like to reinforce Dr. Soon’s castigation of politicized science thusly:
        NOAA, NASA, and the IPCC have failed humanity, and we’re all in for a nasty surprise … Abrupt Climate Change. This is a summary and warning i put together:
        The MsM and warmist alarmists are wrong. It is the heighth of hubris and arrogance to think humans, in the space of 150 years, can change thermal cycles that are thousands of years long and have existed for millenia. The thermal mass of the land and oceans is enormous. The temperature of deep, still, parts of the ocean have barely risen one degree in 22,000 years, the last glacial max.
        My reading of the climate tea leaves says we’re already past the interglacial plateau of relatively stable climate.
        For the last three thousand years, Since 1000 BC, the end of the Minoan Warm Period, the global temperature trend has been -0.5 to -0.7 dgC per 1000 yrs, projecting full glacial of 8 dgC in another 7,000 yrs. Another clue, the obliquity dropped below 23.5 degrees around 1300 AD, the onset of the Wolf Minimum. Now the glacial cold lurking in the deep ocean, held in check by obliquity for 10,000 years, has been set free, ending the Holocene Interglacial. We are in the transition zone to glacial cold, expect Finoscandian ice sheets to start in 2000 yrs.
        However, the solar output has been declining since 1986 and this accelerated in 2009 with solar cycle 24, the lowest in over 100 yrs. Cycle 25 will also be low and the beginning of a Grand Solar Minimum, now named the Eddy Minimum. Expect a Little Ice Age lasting 40 yrs, with some winters extremely cold, some wet cool springs to kill crops, some cold summers, and more frequent and severe storms. The storminess index went from 6.5 to 14 during the LIA. This slide into cold is showing up in German weather station records where the last 30 yrs of winter (DJF) are trending -19 dgC per 1000 yrs, much faster than the slow decline to normal glacials. Zugspitze Mtn. Resort, elev 2000m, january temperature has been trending down 1 dgC per 10 yrs.
        I expect in the next ten years one billion will actually starve due to crop failures, and one billion will be eaten by stronger omnivores; feral dogs, cats, and … humans.
        As the legal beagles like to say, ‘Time is of the essence,’ so the sooner you act, the better your chances of survival.
        Sandy, Minister of Future
        *NB- the WHO reports 800 mln suffer from hunger, 10 mln die from starvation each yr, 60 mln die from disease each yr.
        So now thats 70 mln / yr, plus more food stress, weakening immune system, more disease, amplified by cold climate / storm stress, could easily be 100 mln /yr … Thats 1 Bln / 10 yrs.
        X X X

      • Bruce Cobb:
        You quoted Dr.Soon as saying “though likely responsible in itself for reduced global,warming due to reduced solar activity….”
        No, the Maunder Minimum had nothing to do with the Little Ice Age cooling.
        The Little Ice Age cooling was caused by a string of large VEI6 eruptions in 1452-3, 1477, 1580, 1600, 1650, 1783-85, 1809, and a VEI7 eruption in 1815.
        Reduced solar activity just happened to occur when these volcanoes were popping off.
        Since it was not the cause of the cooling them, the current solar inactivity should have no impact on our climate.

      • If solar energy variations were a primary cause of climate
        change, then common sense would say
        we’d see an 11-year solar cycle, which we don’t see,
        and the average temperature during a minimum should be both:
        (1) unusually cold — enough for people to notice, and
        (2) declining over the years, as the minimum continued.
        I know temperature reconstructions are not
        high accuracy, and the only real-time temperature
        measurements in the LIA era were in England …
        … but it appears not one of the four LIA minimums
        had the ideal “signature” of weak solar energy.
        The Maunder Minimum was most likely the coldest
        of the four, but the average temperature did not decline
        during most of that minimum, assuming
        temperature data were good enough for that conclusion.
        In England, the other three minimums were not
        unusually cold at all — people complained a lot about
        the Maunder Minimum,
        but the other three minimums were not so cold
        except, maybe, the beginning of the Sporer Minimum,
        but the average temperature went UP during that minimum,
        which makes no sense if solar energy remained weak !
        There were also some cold periods between minimums.
        Focus on the Maunder Minimum is cherry picking —
        I used to do it years ago, but I was data mining simply because
        I assumed the sun HAD to be important in climate change.

      • Richard, unless the thermal mass of the climate system provides a long enough feedback time to swamp out a mere 11 year signal.

  8. The contrasting political theory was and is known to Chinese thinkers as Confucianism and to us as libertarianism and democracy.

    I’ve seen this all over the internet. It’s garbage. I don’t see how it’s possible to get that meaning from the Analects.

    The Five Bonds are: ruler to ruled, father to son, husband to wife, elder brother to younger brother, friend to friend. Specific duties were prescribed to each of the participants in these sets of relationships. Such duties are also extended to the dead, where the living stand as sons to their deceased family. The only relationship where respect for elders isn’t stressed was the friend to friend relationship, where mutual equal respect is emphasised instead. link

    There are all kinds of libertarians but they all seem to revolve around voluntary association. In Confucianism, most associations are a result of one’s birth. Confucianism is all about duty. Libertarianism … not so much.

    • I partially agree. True libertarian views are like a coin. One side is individual liberty and the other individual responsibility. Never a double headed or tailed coin allowed. Every time you get a liberty you get responsibility.
      So if you substitute responsibility for duty it does seem similar. The difference is, as you pointed out, that the liberties are chosen.

      • Under libertarianism, your responsibilities are things like, doing no harm to others. There is no responsibility to take care of others, unless one voluntarily takes on such responsibility.

      • Under the current system, libertarians can never do well, because they don’t believe in using government to seize other people money so that they can buy votes with it.

      • “KLohrn April 14, 2018 at 1:09 pm
        Problem with Libertarians is they don’t do well in special interest/party politics U.S. its completely in contrast to: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism
        Outcast from inception.”
        One could compare, Libertarians to the Left.
        The Left is dominate force in US, but socialists parties in US are insignificant.
        Libertarian parties are insignificant in US, but Libertarians have always been a dominate force in the US.
        Libertarians are an “anti fascists” force and the Left is fascist. It is said fascism is born in US, but lands elsewhere. The Left was born in US and it’s fascism lands elsewhere. Or the American independence, landed in France giving rise to the Great Terror, which was the Left and is still romanticized by the Left.

      • LIBERTARIANS BELIEVE IN THE US CONSTITUTION,
        designed to limit central government power,
        which has obviously been reinterpreted / ignored
        by Republicans and Democrats.
        It’s that simple.
        I’ve been a libertarian since the mid-1970s,
        and sometimes a member of the Libertarian Party,
        — I was formerly a liberal, back when liberals hated the
        government (during the Vietnam war).
        I thought the 2016 libertarian candidate was
        below par mentally, or smoked a joint before interviews,
        so I didn’t support him … yet he got
        3.3% of the popular vote — triple what Jill Stein got.

  9. I have been concerned about Sigma Xi, who from an apparently made only by executive administrative decision, is this weekend with AAAS participating in the ‘March for Science.’ This came from Lindzen’s paper–Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?—-
    “… another example, I had originally submitted a paper mentioned in the previous section [37] to American Scientist, the periodical of the scientific honorary society in the US, Sigma Xi, at the recommendation of a former officer of that society. There followed a year of discussions, with an editor, David Schneider, insisting that I find a coauthor who would illustrate why my paper was wrong. He argued that publishing something that contradicted the IPCC was equivalent to publishing a paper that claimed that ‘Einstein’s general
    theory of relativity is bunk.’” He published it elsewhere. He nailed it, I lived it, most peripheral to climate, but in marine science.
    Thanks for an intellectually stimulating analysis and references.

  10. I live in New Zealand where we have a newly elected government, headed by a Prime Minster Jucinda Ardern, she is would you believe a total fan of Al Gore and his nonsense, if only there was a way to get her to read this insightful and well put together article. In case the readers are not aware she along with the green party have just banned further exploration for oil and gas around the coast of New Zealand, this will mean loosing about NZD 2 Billion revenue per year in revenue. Ardern wants New Zealand wants to be the poster country for leading climate change, what we produce in terms of emissions with a population of 4.5 million is not even worth considering yet Ardern wants to be seen as the saviour of the planet…give me strength and thank you Dr. Soon

  11. Keep in mind that the strongest advocates for Socialism do not intend to live under that system. They intend to live on top of it, as totalitarian rulers.

  12. What an excellent read. This particular paragraph. Shone a spotlight on exactly what the UN and its “partners in crime” are about!
    “it should never be forgotten that modern environmentalist socialism was invented by Hitler in Mein Kampf as a method of exercising that fingertip control over every aspect of people’s lives and work that all totalitarians crave”

  13. In Galileo’s time, the consensus had the Earth as the center of the universe. They had models, too.

    • “… the consensus …
      Was this a 97% consensus? More? Less? Perhaps those leaders, or even a single leader, of a certain Faith?

  14. When will the culling the polar bear starts? Animal rights activists claim the moral high ground on harm done to wild animals by hunting and eating the meat. However, deep down they are sadists who would like to see the animals die in slow death caused by starvation and malnutrition. The food chain is not a simple linear pyramid but it is a series of feedback in the prey-predator relationship. The only difference is when man used helicopter, rifles and guns. So if there is need to cull the polar bears before they over populate and starts to die from starvation and malnutrition ( naturally alluded to climate change) the culling must be done with the most primitive hunting tool, i.e. flint tip spears. The ultimate challenge.

  15. Reblogged this on The Next Grand Minimum and commented:
    This is a long question and answer post with a discussion of the Maunder Minimum embedded in the middle by Dr. Soon. He wrote a book which honors the insights of the Maunders, E. Walter Maunder (1851–1928) and Annie Maunder (1868–1947). An interesting read for those following grand minimums. Enjoy

  16. I like the that Soon doesn’t split hairs between the various sub types of totalitarian state-ism.

  17. There’s been some news recently about the slowdown of the ocean conveyor (goes by various names including THC, MOC and AMOC). I’ll use MOC. I suspect this is what is behind the temperature changes that have occurred.
    While the usual suspects are trying to blame climate change, it is more likely the opposite. When the MOC slows, the mixed layer of the ocean (the top ~200 meters) is warmed by the sun for a longer time. This warmth is then shared with the atmosphere. When the MOC speeds up the water has less time to warm before it subsides to the deep ocean.
    The solar connection Dr. Soon has been looking for may be one of the drivers in changing the speed of the MOC. How this works is probably multifaceted. But, one way could be through enhanced evaporation. Increases in solar energy (especially near IR) will cause more fresh water to be moved through the water cycle. This leads to areas of higher salinity and other areas of lower salinity. This difference then affects the speed of the MOC.
    We know that solar activity appears to affect global temperatures. This could be the mechanism.

  18. “Should we diagnose Mother Nature with a bipolar disorder?” I read that by the questioner and just about LMAO! Of COURSE it is bipolar — there are two, one is called the North and the other the South. And yes, I KNOW it was a joke – it IS funny!

  19. Great interview. It was interesting to learn just how long Dr. Soon has been studying polar bears. He is a well-rounded astrophysicist! 🙂

  20. @Burl Henry- The Little Ice Age cooling was caused by a string of large VEI6 eruptions …
    This is wrong. The cooling caused the earth to shrink, increasing pressure on magma, and spinning faster, increasing centrifugal force on magma, thus causing more eruptions. Plus the effects are not long lasting.
    According to wiki, Pinatubo eruption in 91, a VEI6, lowered global temp by 0.5 dgC until 93. Two years of cooling.
    Sandy, Minister of Future
    [???? .mod]

    • interzonkomizar wrote, “The cooling caused the earth to shrink, increasing pressure on magma, and spinning faster, increasing centrifugal force on magma, thus causing more eruptions.”
      Ah, the Secret of Climate, revealed at last. 😏
      Or, could it be CPI?

      • @DaveBurton-
        Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale – SAO/NASA ADS
        by J Strestik · 2003 · Cited by 1 · Related articles
        Volcanic activity is generally lower in periods of prolonged maxima of solar … in the period when volcanic eruptions occur more often, a prolonged minimum of the …
        There were several others, this first on google.
        Sandy, Minister of Future
        X

    • interzonkomizar::
      I would refer you to “Abrupt Onset of the Little Ice Age Triggered by Volcanism and Sustained by Sea-Ice/Ocean Feedbacks, G. Miller, et al Geophysical Research Letters, Volume 39, Issue 2, January 2012.
      The Little Ice Age reportedly began with the VEI7 eruption of Mount Rinjani in 1257.

  21. Correlating TSI with water vapour concentrations
    A so far much neglected key variable that is important in understanding
    oceanlandatmosphere climate systems is the total atmospheric water
    vapour. However, a direct measurement of this metric is not available for
    a period of 100 years, and so the record must be constructed by using
    indirect deduction from the so-called climate reanalyses study (Hersbach
    etal. 2015; Kobayashi etal. 2015; Poli etal. 2016).
    Figure 11.3 shows the correlation between the TSI index of Hoyt
    and Schatten and the total column water vapour content, as deduced
    from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
    model outputs. The relationship is close and meaningful, especially
    for the multidecadal variation and modulation. However, we note that
    the inter-annual changes are more closely related to internal oscillating
    components of the climate system, such as the El NioSouthern Oscillation
    (ENSO) or the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) factors. The
    close correlation, perhaps, reflects a real physical relationship between sea-surface temperatures and the atmospheric water vapour, as convincingly
    emphasised in Hersbach etal. (2015).
    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/myownPapers-d/SoonBaliunas17-June8-FINAL-CCTF2017_Ch11_2pp.pdf

    • The paper is very interesting. Another link to show that higher solar energy increases evaporation which can then affect the global ocean currents by changing rainfall partterns.
      I wonder if the correlation they found to water vapor would be even better if they used only the near IR part of the TSI. Since this energy is absorbed closer to the surface of the oceans it would be more likely to enhance evaporation.

  22. The comment about sunlight influencing immunity via genes is interesting. I have been thinking about that in the context of “excess winter deaths” and wondering if the enemy is in fact lack of vitamin D and other immunological factors rather than cold per se.

    • Phoenix44
      Joe d’Aleo and I wrote this article on Excess Winter Mortality:
      https://friendsofsciencecalgary.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/cold-weather-kills-macrae-daleo-4sept2015-final.pdf
      This article references two excellent papers from BMJ and Lancet that may provide you with some good data – see the tables from the BMJ paper and also the figures etc from Lancet.
      Note that the Scandinavian countries and Canada have some of the lowest Excess Winter Mortality Rates of cold countries, and warmer countries like Britain, Spain and Portugal have much higher excess winter death rates. Even warm countries like Brazil and Thailand have significant excess winter death rates.
      I think that adaptation (better home insulation and heating systems) and low energy costs are two of the keys to lower winter mortality.
      Countries that drive up energy costs due to nonsensical green energy policies also increase winter mortality, which especially targets the elderly and the poor.
      The numbers are huge – Excess Winter Mortality in the USA is about 100,000 per year. That is equivalent to two 9-11’s per week for 17 weeks every year.
      Best, Allan

      • It’s not cold (or hot) that kills, it’s deviations from what is considered normal for that area.
        In New York, they are breaking out the shorts and sandals in the spring when the temperatures get up to 50.
        In Miami, if the temperatures ever threaten to get down to 50, they open up the storm shelters so the homeless won’t freeze during the night.
        Ditto, someone from Pheonix would think that 100 degrees is a not that big a deal, and they don’t start curtailing outdoor activity until temperatures get more like 120 degrees.

  23. Science plus philosophical and historical background of this opinion piece gave me a very interesting and convincing insight. Thanks!

  24. Great stuff, many thanks to Soon (and Monckton). I particularly liked “Shut up and calculate!”. An antidote to dark thoughts after the ‘suicide’ post. Similar thoughts;
    ‘Clean up your room!’ (Dr. Jordan B Peterson)
    ‘Get of your a** and go knock on doors’ (Det. Harry Bosch)

  25. The question and answer on the 2nd law of thermodynamics are ill-posed because they refer to Clausius formulation of entropy. That’s for a cyclic process of heat flow between two reservoirs originally intended for heat engines. It’s hard to imagine the sun and stars as cyclic heat engines.
    A cleaner concept for the whole universe is Boltzmann’s formulation of entropy. It simply states that entropy is proportional to the natural logarithm of the number of permutations of particles. It’s easy to understand why stars increase entropy. Nuclear fusion converts mass into radiation and that increases the number of particles (photons). All radiating matter also increases number of photons. So when all the stars burned out and matter cooled to near absolute zero temperature, entropy is maximum.

  26. Given that Roman and Medieval Warm Periods were global. And that in particular the Medieval Warm Period was about 1°C warmer than now (see for a list of some of the many scientific papers http://www.climatedepot.com/2013/03/08/more-than-700-scientists-from-400-institutions-in-40-countries-have-contributed-peerreviewed-papers-providing-evidence-that-the-medieval-warm-period-was-real-global-warmer-than-the-present/ ).
    This leave the Greenies, cAGW activists and advocates, UN-IPCC stooges, etc., with the problem of explaining how all the animals that are here currently, including polar bears, managed to survive the Roman and Medieval Warm Periods.
    Or were the animals so weirdly different back then?

    • All animals, including humans, have 3 possible responses available when faced with adverse ‘climate change’: Adapt, Move, or Die. The animals responses have not changed during the current Quaternary ice age or it’s several interglacial warming periods.

  27. Anthony, I well recall your dismissal (20 Jan.’18) of my attempt at an article explaining climate change with “It seems like cyclomania i.e. chasing cycles.” Now I see in Dr. Soon’s statements reference to “modulation of the seasonal distribution of sunlight” which links to the paper ‘Short-term orbital forcing: A quasi-review and a reappraisal of realistic boundary conditions for climate modeling, R.G. Cionco, Willie W.-H. Soon, Earth-Science Reviews 166(2017) 206-222’. This would seem to describe the very cyclomania that was rejected but now appears on my web site at http://www.climateauditor.com

    • Re-reading it, my opinion hasn’t changed.
      I get these sorts of cycles within cycles submissions all the time. Your inclusions or planetary orbit cycles (Venus, Mars, Jupiter) in the claims pretty much made it into a barycentrism paper, and I’ve learned long ago that sort of claim truly is, cyclomania.
      We just don’t publish that barycentrism stuff anymore. There are places and journals that do. Good luck.

      • Weather and climate is all about the planetary ordering of the solar signal. It drives the noise of weekly to seasonal scale atmospheric teleconnection anomalies. It’s the main driver of our winter cold shots, and of our maritime summer heatwaves.

  28. Where are the “usual suspects” to dismiss Dr. Soon’s entire body of work based on an inability do detect an 11 yr resonance in the temperature record?

  29. i find Willie Soon’s tone calm and studious and reassuring (try applying those qualities to any Alarmist) – and his positions plausible based on the limited detail this interview allows – this was a very welcome respite

  30. Great thanks to Anthony and WUWT team. Marvelous interview and enriching comments, beginning to end!

  31. Thank you Dr Soon for your well thought and reasoned answers.
    “The contrasting political theory was and is known to Chinese thinkers as Confucianism and to us as libertarianism and democracy.”
    You have given me much food for thought. I had not considered Confucianism as equating with libertarianism. I will have to do more reading on the subject.

  32. Dr. Soon’s post highlights the obvious. There are so many variables that affect the earth’s climate. It highlights the earth’s resilience to maintain a temperature within what is in reality a very narrow temperature window. That is why life as we know it can exist. I believe that is the main point of Willis’s many posts. The earth does have a regulatory system that keeps it within this window. It is also obvious that the earth goes from ice ages to moderate ages. What causes these transitions is unknown at this time, but is more than likely a combination of all of the many, many variables in specific combinations that we do not understand or maybe even yet know about. That is, a very random variable that does not occur very often in combination with all of the other variables is the trigger for these transitions. Absolutely none of the current models are sufficient to tell us what that the combinations of these variables are that trigger these transitions. All of the pseudo science from the CAGW crowd is nothing more than advocacy by rent seekers for money and fleeting fame. These advocacy groups range from scientists wanting money and fame to politicians looking for wedge issues, to globalist looking for a one world government. The combinations of these groups are infinite and sadly lack an moral or ethical center. Each will do whatever they deem necessary to succeed. Not a one of them will care about the facts, science or long term economic, social, or governance impact of their pursuit of their personal agendas. All of them are evil and self-serving.

  33. As a writer I am impressed by Dr. Soon’s ability to express himself with superb clarity. He not only expresses his own views with coherency, but quite often he explains the views of those who differ from him more clearly than those who differ seem capable of.
    I got to thinking how odd it seemed that a Dr. Soon could do a better job expressing another’s opposing idea than the “opponent” could. How is this possible?
    Here is my hypothesis: If a man is steadfastly interested in the truth, he is far more able to speak clearly about subjects than a different man is, when the different man must tiptoe around the truth to be “politically correct”.

    • Well, maybe, but that theory doesn’t explain con men who are uniformly articulate; at least the good ones.

      • Very good point, but here is a second hypothesis: A truly great con-artist never speaks a word without first sizing the “sucker” up. He measures the man, and sees where the man has a secret lust to get “something for nothing”. When he meets a truly honest man he meets one who knows getting “something for nothing” is not possible. A great con-artist does not waste his time on such people.
        IE: A card-shark doesn’t bother with men who don’t gamble.

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