False and misleading “fact check” about Connolly, et al., 2021

By Andy May

Dr. Ronan Connolly and his co-authors respond to obvious false claims, in a supposed “fact check” about their latest paper on how solar variability may be affecting the climate. We applaud Dr. Ronan Connolly, Dr. Willie Soon, and Dr. Michael Connolly for rapidly and publicly calling out this fraudulent fact check. Misinformation and opinion articles disguised as fact checks are all too common and when they receive support in the left-wing social media, the situation just gets worse.

Their response follows:

Dear Drs. Vincent and Forrester,

We are writing this open letter to you because it has recently come to our attention that your Climate Feedback website has published an article making multiple false or misleading claims about an Epoch Times newspaper article (by Alex Newman) that reported on a new peer-reviewed paper we co-authored. Your website’s “fact-check”/”feedback” also made false or misleading claims about our paper.

This means your website is effectively spreading the very misinformation that you purport to be trying to fight. Additionally, because your website is currently one of Facebook’s approved “independent fact-checkers”, anybody who shared or tries to share a link to the Epoch Times article now receives a warning like the following:

In other words, not only is your “fact-check” promoting misinformation, but you are effectively hindering the public from sharing important information with their friends and family.

We are writing to you to ask you to immediately correct this erroneous “fact-check” and to inform any groups that may have been using your website as an “independent fact-checker” (including Facebook) of the error.

We are also cc’ing and bcc’ing various parties who are either directly affected by the consequences of this “fact-check” or may be more generally concerned about the arbitrariness of the “fact-checks” offered by websites such as yours, and the problem of “who will ‘fact-check’ the fact-checkers?”

We believe the discussion below is of relevance for everybody given the recent trend of the media, social media and internet search engines towards using “independent fact-checkers” like yourselves for down-ranking, suppressing or even deleting content. Therefore, we have chosen to make this an open letter. We encourage people to share our letter and our accompanying “fact-check fact-check” with the public – although we ask people to first redact the e-mail addresses.

The article in question is this one edited by Dr. Lambert Baraut-Guinet: Link here

Dr. Baraut-Guinet claims to have “fact-checked” an Epoch Times newspaper article by Alex Newman which compared the findings of our recent scientific review paper to the findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group 1’s recent 6th Assessment Report (AR6, link here).

Baraut-Guinet alleges that Newman made false claims that were “incorrect” and “misleading” in his reporting. He similarly asserts that several other media outlets publishing articles repeating some of Newman’s reporting were “incorrect” and “misleading”. Baraut-Guinet also asserts that our peer-reviewed paper makes “incorrect” and “misleading” claims.

Background to Newman’s article:

Our paper that Newman was reporting on is a detailed scientific review on the complex challenges of establishing how much of a role solar activity has played in Northern Hemisphere temperature trends since the 19th century (and earlier). It was co-authored by 23 experts in the fields of solar physics and of climate science from 14 different countries and was published in the peer-reviewed journal Research in Astronomy and Astrophysics (RAA). If you don’t have time to read the full article, here is a short press release summary: Link here

The title of our paper is, “How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere temperature trends? An ongoing debate“, and it was published online in early August. Coincidentally, a few days later, the UN’s IPCC AR6 was published. While the IPCC AR6 had concluded that it was “unequivocal” that recent climate change was human-caused, our findings were much more circumspect and cautious, e.g., from the abstract of our RAA paper:

For all five Northern Hemisphere temperature series, different TSI estimates suggest everything from no role for the Sun in recent decades (implying that recent global warming is mostly human-caused) to most of the recent global warming being due to changes in solar activity (that is, that recent global warming is mostly natural). It appears that previous studies (including the most recent IPCC reports) which had prematurely concluded the former, had done so because they failed to adequately consider all the relevant estimates of TSI and/or to satisfactorily address the uncertainties still associated with Northern Hemisphere temperature trend estimates. Therefore, several recommendations on how the scientific community can more satisfactorily resolve these issues are provided.

That is, the IPCC was offering a remarkably confident claim about the “attribution” of recent climate change, whereas we were explicitly warning that it was too premature to be drawing such conclusions. Our analysis found an alarmingly wide range of plausible estimates for a solar contribution (in the paper itself we elaborate on how plausible estimates for the solar contribution range from 0%-100% of the long-term warming since the mid-19th century!).

Newman was apparently intrigued by the contrast between the two studies both coincidentally published at around the same time. He interviewed several of us to learn more about our findings. He also reached out to the IPCC for their response, as well as to other scientists who might disagree with our analysis as well as some who might agree. If you read his article, his efforts to carefully and openly present multiple perspectives are self-evident.

If you compare Newman’s ‘balanced reporting’ journalistic approach to the framework you provide at Science Feedback for informative reporting (Link here), it is clear that Newman was taking considerable care to avoid any of the aspects of misinformation that you identify as problematic. In contrast, as we will detail in the attached ‘fact-check fact-check’, Baraut-Guinet’s ‘fact-checking’ of Newman’s article is littered with almost all the hallmarks of misinformation which your framework warns against.

Yet, ironically, Baraut-Guinet’s “fact-check” is currently being used by Facebook (and probably other platforms) as a justification for censoring Newman’s article.

According to your website’s “About” page “Our first mission is to help create an Internet where users will have access to scientifically sound and trustworthy information. We also provide feedback to editors and journalists about the credibility of information published by their outlets.” Therefore, we hope you share at least some of our concern about the fact that this article by Baraut-Guinet on your website is now promoting misinformation – and as a result effectively misleading editors, journalists and also several of your partners & funders that you list on your website, e.g., Facebook’s “Third Party Fact Checking program”.

We hope that after reviewing the information in this e-mail, you will get Baraut-Guinet to correct his erroneous analysis, update his flawed verdict of “Incorrect” & “Misleading” to “Correct” & “Accurate”, and also to contact the various groups (including Facebook’s fact checking program) who have mistakenly used his flawed analysis to warn them that your website had posted an erroneous “fact-check”.

Our approach differs from the IPCC

In our “fact-check fact-check” we explain how the approach we took to reviewing the scientific literature in our RAA paper was fundamentally different to that taken by the IPCC. We also explain that our objectives were fundamentally different.

The IPCC explain on their website that they were set up by the UN Environment Program (UNEP) in conjunction with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) with the primary objective of providing “scientific information that [governments] can use to develop climate policies” (https://www.ipcc.ch/about/, accessed 5th September 2021). As we explain in the fact-check fact-check, the specific climate policies the IPCC are interested in are those that will help the UNEP in arranging international agreements to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

On the other hand, our primary objective was “to convey to the rest of the scientific community the existence of several unresolved problems, as well as to establish those points where there is general agreement”.

That is, the IPCC’s scientific assessments are carried out to help governments in implementing the UN’s political goals, while our scientific assessments are carried out to help the scientific community (of which all 23 of us are members) to improve our collective understanding of the causes of climate change.

So, different goals. But we also used different methods.

The IPCC’s approach is a “consensus-driven” one of trying to identify a “scientific consensus” on each of the key issues. This approach works very well when there is indeed universal scientific agreement on the point. However, it is problematic whenever there is scientific disagreement on a given issue. And ironically, most scientific research occurs when there is ongoing scientific disagreement on the subject. Therefore, this is a surprisingly common occurrence. The IPCC’s general approach to dealing with scientific disagreement appears to be to use “expert judgement” to identify the most “likely” perspective on the subject (ideally one which best suits the UNEP’s aims) and then use “expert judgement” to dismiss those studies which dissent from that perspective.

Several researchers have praised the IPCC for this “consensus-driven” approach as they say it allows the IPCC to “speak with one voice for climate science” (e.g., see Beck et al. 2014; Hoppe & Rödder 2019). This is very helpful for the UNEP’s goals, since it allows the governments to focus on their negotiations without being distracted by scientific disagreements within the scientific community. However, we believe that it is unfortunately hindering scientific progress and the process of scientific inquiry.

For this reason, we explicitly avoided the IPCC’s “consensus-driven” approach and instead chose “…to emphasize where dissenting scientific opinions exist as well as where there is scientific agreement“. As noted in the 17th century:

if we begin with certainties, we shall end in doubts; but if we begin with doubts, and are patient in them, we shall end in certainties.” Francis Bacon.

These are different goals and different methods. So ultimately, it is not that surprising that we came to different conclusions on several key scientific questions.

When different scientists come to different conclusions by following different scientific approaches, it is very challenging to decide which one is “factual” and which is not. We appreciate that this can create problems for an “independent fact-checker” like your organization when asked to weigh in on a scientific disagreement. However, as we will discuss later, maybe this is not something that you should even be trying to do.

Science thrives best when scientists are allowed to disagree with each other. Rather than trying to shut down one side of a given scientific disagreement as “incorrect” and promoting the other side as “correct”, maybe we should be welcoming the fact that scientists are still “doing science”. [Ed: Science is not consensus, science is the process used to disprove a consensus.]

Who has been cc’ed and bcc’ed

A major problem with the current set-up of your website is that you purport to provide “fact-checks” or “feedbacks” on articles, but if anybody disputes your “feedback”, the only formal mechanism you currently offer on the website is to submit a comment through your on-line “contact us” form. We were unable to find an e-mail address for Dr. Baraut-Guinet, the editor in charge of the article in question. However, you are currently listed on the Science Feedback website as the Founder & Director (Dr. Vincent) and Science Editor, Climate and Ecology (Dr. Forrester), and we were able to find your e-mails on-line. Therefore, we assume that you are the appropriate people from your website to contact, and that you can contact him.

We have also cc’ed and bcc’ed several people whose professional reputations have been directly attacked by Dr. Baraut-Guinet through his accusations, as well as several people whose reputations have directly or indirectly been used by Dr. Baraut-Guinet to justify his claims.

Specifically, we have cc’ed Alex Newman, since Dr. Baraut-Guinet is (falsely) accusing him of not having carried out his journalistic duties. We have also bcc’ed our 20 co-authors on the research paper in question since Dr. Baraut-Guinet is smearing our scientific reputations by falsely accusing us of making “incorrect” and “misleading” claims in our scientific research.

Additionally, we have bcc’ed Prof. Tim Osborn, Dr. Britta Voss and Prof. Patrick Brown. Dr. Baraut-Guinet has taken quotes from each of them from previous reviews on your website and copied-and-pasted them the “Scientists’ feedback” for his “fact-check” on Alex Newman’s article.

Your Science Feedback framework claims that the “Scientists’ feedback” is needed before the editor can reach a verdict:

Process for deciding on a verdict

The final ruling regarding the verdict attributed to the claim is made by a Science Feedback editor based on suggestions by the scientists contributing to the review.”

Therefore, it should have been a warning flag that none of the three scientists listed in the “Scientists’ feedback” section had contributed suggestions specifically about Alex Newman’s reporting. Instead, their “feedback” was copied-and-pasted from feedback on previous articles or claims.

We appreciate that Baraut-Guinet did include an explanatory note for each of them saying, “[ This comment comes from a previous review…“. But many casual readers would miss this. Indeed, we have already heard from several friends who independently told us about the article and none of them had noticed this caveat.

At any rate, we have bcc’ed these three scientists to let them know that Baraut-Guinet is using quotes from them on different articles to imply that they had also directly commented on Alex Newman’s article.

We have also cc’ed Jonathan Lynn (Head of Communications and Media Relations of IPCC), the representative from the IPCC that provided statements to Alex Newman for his article, since Baraut-Guinet misleadingly implies in his article that Newman failed to present the IPCC’s position on the various points made. This is factually inaccurate as well as misleading, lacking in context and also a Strawman argument (i.e., 4 of the types of misinformation criticised by your framework), since Newman states clearly in his article that he specifically reached out to the IPCC for comment, and reported the IPCC’s responses. This included a clarifying statement from Prof. Panmao Zhai (co-chair of Working Group 1 AR6), who we have bcc’ed.

Finally, we have bcc’ed multiple people who we know are concerned about how influential “fact-checking” organizations like yours have become and are wondering “who will fact-check the fact-checkers?” We think they will find our fact-check of your fact-checker, Dr. Baraut-Guinet’s article helpful. We suspect they will also be interested to see how your organisation will respond to this problem.

Details on our “fact-check fact-check”

The detailed fact check of the fact check can be downloaded here. For convenience, it is summarized below:

Our immediate recommendations to Climate Feedback

         Recommendation 1: We recommend you correct the existing “fact-check”/”feedback” on Alex Newman’s article. Currently, your website asserts that his reporting was “Incorrect” and “Misleading”. This should be changed to “Correct” and “Accurate” immediately.

         Recommendation 2: Those groups that are using Climate Feedback as a “fact-checker” should be contacted to let them know of your website’s erroneous analysis of this article.

         Recommendation 3: All of your editors should be reminded that your “framework for claim-level reviews” was presumably not to be used as an inspiration for what to do, but rather for identifying misinformation.

However, once this is done, we would also encourage you (and others reading this open letter) to consider whether the very idea of “fact-checking” on science reporting is as good an idea as it might initially seem.

Commentary on whether this plan of “fact-checking” is working

Finally, we think that it is time for society to reflect on whether this recent trend in “fact-checking” is wise. We note that a lot of this trend can be specifically traced back to debates over journalistic approaches to the scientific reporting of climate change.

Specifically, in the early 2000s, some researchers who believed that the IPCC reports offered the definitive “scientific consensus” on climate change were frustrated that journalists would still report the perspectives of scientists who disagreed with the IPCC reports. In particular, the Boykoff & Boykoff (2004) paper argued that the journalistic norm of “balanced reporting” was leading to a ‘false balance’ by implying that the supporters of the IPCC reports and the critics represented a 50:50 split among the scientific community (abstract here; pdf here).

This study (and more generally the argument) was highly influential and convinced many journalists that they had a duty to stop carrying out what they assumed was ‘false balance’ and instead only report on the scientific perspectives they believed were “correct”. That is, on any given scientific disagreement, the journalists would be obliged to find out what the “scientific consensus” was. If a scientific study disagreed with this consensus, it was not to be reported on.

This alternative journalistic approach is often referred to by its supporters as “reliable reporting”, although critics might call it “narrative-driven journalism” (or “ideological reporting” if the critic disagreed with the journalist’s political ideology).

A major problem with relying on this “reliable reporting” approach to journalism is that it effectively requires the journalist to act as the arbiter of a complex scientific disagreement. When there is scientific disagreement, this puts a very heavy burden on the journalist. Nonetheless, over the years, the argument about ‘false balance’ has convinced many journalists to abandon the classical ‘balanced reporting’ approach.

Today, it is very rare to find journalists like Alex Newman who continue to apply the ‘balanced reporting’ approach when covering scientific disagreements. As a result, over the last decade or so, it has become increasingly difficult to find open-minded and honest discussions on these scientific issues in the traditional media.

However, until recently, it was still relatively easy to find those discussions elsewhere by using social media and internet searches. Therefore, social media platforms and internet search engines are now being criticised for still allowing people to find out about ongoing scientific disagreements. As a result, these platforms are being increasingly pressured to actively suppress “misinformation”. Essentially, they are being pressured to adopt the same techniques of suppression described above which were applied to the media.

But, since the original premise of most social media platforms and internet search engines was to allow users to share and search for the information they wanted, if these platforms engage in this suppression, it is an especially draconian form of censorship.

To try and justify this censorship as “reducing the spread of ‘fake news’ and ‘misinformation'”, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google/Youtube and others have started relying on “independent fact-checkers” such as Climate Feedback. However, as we demonstrated in our “fact-check fact-check”, attempting to “fact-check” on issues where there are ongoing scientific disagreements (as Dr. Baraut-Guinet did here) is very risky – and can easily result in generating misinformation (as Dr. Baraut-Guinet did here).

Therefore, we suggest that it is time for a re-think on the current reliance on “fact-checkers”, and also for journalists to re-think the “reliable reporting” approach.

Personally, we think that a return to encouraging “balanced reporting” would be a good option. However, we note that there was a recent paper by the Danish philosopher, Prof. Mikkel Gerken, which presents several options: Gerken (2020), “How to balance Balanced Reporting and Reliable Reporting“, Philosophy Studies, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11098-019-01362-5 [The paper is paywalled. However, if you don’t have access, but are comfortable using the controversial “sci-hub” website, you could probably find a copy that way].

Gerken describes the above approaches to journalism when it comes to science reporting as follows:

1.       Balanced Reporting. Science reporters should, whenever feasible, report opposing hypotheses in a manner that does not favor any one of them.

2.       Reliable Reporting. Science reporters should, whenever feasible, report the most reliably based hypotheses and avoid reporting hypotheses that are not reliably based.

He agrees that there are valid concerns about both approaches. The first approach can potentially lead to “false balance”, while the second approach can potentially lead to narrative-driven journalism, or even propaganda.

Therefore, he suggests two potential compromises:

3.       Inclusive Reliable Reporting. Science reporters should, whenever feasible, report hypotheses in a manner that favors the most reliably based ones by indicating the nature and strength of their respective scientific justifications.

4.       Epistemically Balanced Reporting. Science reporters should, whenever feasible, report opposing hypotheses in a manner that reflects the nature and strength of their respective scientific justifications or lack thereof.

He favours the 4th option. However, either the 3rd or 4th option rules out the necessity for the 2nd option of suppressing the existence of genuine scientific disagreements, and also avoids the risk with the 1st option of potentially creating a ‘false balance’.

Arguably, Alex Newman’s approach in his Epoch Times article combines elements of Options 1, 3 and 4.

Importantly, it is only with Option 2 that there is a necessity for “independent fact-checkers” for science reporting. For the other options, the readers are made aware of the existence of differing scientific perspectives and it is up to them to investigate further if they are interested.


Dr Ronan Connolly, Dr. Willie Soon and Dr. Michael Connolly

Andy May lightly edited the letter for brevity.

The more detailed fact check of the fact check can be downloaded here.

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Tom Halla
September 10, 2021 6:14 pm

John Stossel has reported on being “fact checked” by Climate Feedback on forest fires and climate change. Essentially, they labeled his reporting as “missing context” strictly on tone, of not totally buying into climate change as being the major cause. They were the opposite of responsive.

Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2021 12:06 am

It’s too easy to get lost in correcting the science content and to neglect addressing the political process of this kind of willful misrepresentation. The politics rules, so why not ask the liars why they are lying? Who told them to do that? Who told them what the “truth” really is? And what reward (or non-punishment) did they receive for doing that? Call them on being presstitutes bought for 30 pieces of silver (or just chump-change).

Acknowledge that these “journalists” really do know what the right thing to do is, and even how to do it, but that they have been bullied or goaded or incentivized into betraying their otherwise-honorable journalistic ethics and human values. Find out who, how, and who. Now there’s some real journalism. Even anonymous reporting into this void would be a liberation.

Similarly, in all the brouhaha about the Covid manipulations, everyone is lost in the substance and is not asking for the larger picture about what interests and agendas are being expressed, who are the social engineers, and what is their payoff (as well as their incentives for their “useful idiots”). Just vaguely mumbling “Follow the money” is not enough. More detail is necessary.

When crimes result in death, we should be looking at murder and “depraved indifference to life” charges, not at Ivermectin-efficacy data.

Reply to  Alexander
September 11, 2021 12:07 am

That’s “who, how, and why.”

DJ in De
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 11, 2021 11:40 pm

“We applaud Dr. Ronan Connolly, Dr. Willie Soon, and Dr. Michael Connolly for rapidly and publicly calling out this fraudulent fact check. Misinformation and opinion articles disguised as fact checks are all too common and when they receive support in the left-wing social media, the situation just gets worse.

Fact checking by groups such as Climate Feedback, reminded me of this

Thomas Gasloli
September 10, 2021 6:15 pm

Sorry, but, they need to be able to present their rebuttal in a more concise format than this. Otherwise they will get no where.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 10, 2021 7:17 pm

Totally agree with this especially as:

Andy May lightly edited the letter for brevity.

An Abstract or a Summary would be good up-front.

Whatever, the climate fraud is only going to end when the climate liars’ salaries are taken away from them, and they’ll probably still squawk their silly slogans like parrots.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 10, 2021 7:54 pm

I’m hazy on why they could get somewhere anyway.

Has anyone demonstrated a successful strategy for countering a bogus fact check?

michael hart
Reply to  commieBob
September 10, 2021 9:09 pm

Call them a liar?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  commieBob
September 10, 2021 11:58 pm

Has anyone demonstrated a successful strategy for countering a bogus fact check?

Has anyone ever seen a non-bogus fact check? Every time I see a ‘fact check’ I assume that it is pure propaganda. I have not found that an incorrect assumption yet.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 11, 2021 6:34 am

Yes, “Fact check” joins “Scientists say” as warning bells for the following biased comment or article.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2021 7:52 am

“I’m hazy on why they could get somewhere anyway.”

Yes, this commentary will fall on deaf ears at Facebook, imo.

M Courtney
Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2021 10:14 am

Fact Checking costs money. Someone is paying for it.
And chances are that someone is supposedly not-for-profit.
If they are attracting funds for a chartable purpose but instead doing something else they are engaging in fraud.

That’s the way to get accurate fact checking. Arrest the funders of fake fact checking for misuse of charitable donations.

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 10, 2021 8:38 pm

This is all about public opinion. NO-body will read this long winded crap.

Reply to  Ruleo
September 11, 2021 4:11 pm

I read it all the way through. Are you going to tell me that proves I’m a “nobody”?

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
September 12, 2021 11:05 pm

Try sharing this anywhere but here. Try sharing this to anyone that isn’t not already predisposed as you are.

NO-body is reading this crap. DV’s prove me right,

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 11, 2021 1:32 am


The first job of a letter is to be read.

September 10, 2021 6:19 pm

It is not just about the sun, as there are other possibilities. How about this from NASA(!):

“This result shows the increased cirrus coverage, attributable to air traffic, could account for nearly all of the warming observed over the United States for nearly 20 years starting in 1975”


Reply to  Andy May
September 10, 2021 6:55 pm

President Joseph Stolen says it’s an existential threat.

Reply to  Scissor
September 11, 2021 4:01 am

It might melt his icecream. If you’re caring for someone with dementia, never run out of icecream.

Reply to  Andy May
September 10, 2021 7:06 pm

Well, the question if CO2 or contrails is not negligible just because it is both man-made. Rather the implications are huge. Contrails are not a lasting thing, I mean certainly far less than CO2. Also reducing contrails, if that is considered necessary, can be done with relative ease. Aircraft could fly lower, without consuming much more fuel. Or also higher btw., the Concorde hardly produced contrails. Otherwise there are no implications.

And of course that is given the background CO2 can not cause any significant warming, which is specifically true for the warming we have seen since introdution of the jet airliner, starting in the 1970s.


Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 1:40 am

Calculating mankind’s atmospheric CO2 emissions between 1850 and 2021, and judging by the warming that’s occurred over that period (say 1ºC), it would take 20,000+ years for mankind to raise global temperatures by 2ºC.

Assuming, of course, CO2 is the problem.

Last edited 1 year ago by HotScot
Reply to  HotScot
September 11, 2021 4:16 pm

Assuming… Just taking the instrumental record of both surface temperature and atmospheric CO2, we can demonstrate that temperature rose while CO2 rose, temperature fell while CO2 rose, and temperature remained fairly constant while CO2 rose. This alone demonstrates that CO2 is NOT a temperature control knob for this old Earth, if it has any affect at all. Case closed.

Reply to  Red94ViperRT10
September 13, 2021 2:05 am

Agree 100%. What I’m saying though, is that even were CO2 the problem, it would take 20,000+ years for mankind’s contribution to make any meaningful difference.

Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 2:35 am

The IPCC uses the period 1850–1900 for its approximation of pre-industrial conditions, not the year 1850 itself.

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  E. Schaffer
September 10, 2021 9:11 pm


“The Sun is more active now than over the last 8000 yearsAn international team of scientists has reconstructed the Sun’s activity over the last 11 millennia and forecasts decreased activity within a few decades

OCTOBER 28, 2004
The activity of the Sun over the last 11,400 years, i.e., back to the end of the last ice age on Earth, has now for the first time been reconstructed quantitatively by an international group of researchers led by Sami K. Solanki from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany). The scientists have analyzed the radioactive isotopes in trees that lived thousands of years ago. As the scientists from Germany, Finland, and Switzerland report in the current issue of the science journal “Nature” from October 28, one needs to go back over 8,000 years in order to find a time when the Sun was, on average, as active as in the last 60 years. Based on a statistical study of earlier periods of increased solar activity, the researchers predict that the current level of high solar activity will probably continue only for a few more decades.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Andy May
September 10, 2021 8:27 pm

Journalist’s should report the news and and not decide what the news is”

Journalists should too. 😉

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
September 11, 2021 12:02 am


Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 2:21 am

You mention the AFR…..The AFR lost my subscription as well…I was sick of the bias and told them so when questioned why I was cancelling…..There was complete silence on the other end of the phone and no comment…… Some time later, I am sitting beside the CEO of a company at a post AGM luncheon and the phone rings . He answers… it’s the AFR and they want to know about the strikes against director remuneration for a story.. he comments and then asks… but what about the big company changing oilfield we have just negotiated over a number of years and signed a contract to buy?….. We will be netting a few hundred million per annum…..Oh ..not interested in that…we only want the negative headline!………. I have never regretted cancelling that AFR subscription and I noted very recently that the Murdoch press to which I have a number of subs.. has been gaining subscriptions right across their mastheads, whilst others…. (the Fairfax lefties) are losing out badly.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  steve
September 11, 2021 8:10 am

Murdoch’s news outlets are said to be going over to the darkside and are going to get on the Human-caused Climate Change bandwagon.

Societal Psychological pressure trumps science reality.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
September 13, 2021 2:11 am

That’ll be funny when the sceptical Aussie Sky News team announce their acceptance of “The Science”, or resign.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 8:04 am

“That social media is utilizing ‘fact checkers’ is an insidious development. In so doing its becoming a tool of repression.”

Yes, that is what is happening. Fact-checking is a means to control free speech. Fact-checkers in the current form only give one side of the story, and suppress the other side of the story.

My expectation is these social media outfits are in for some big changes in the future because of congressional regulation and because of competition in the market place. They should enjoy their dictatorial powers while they last. That goes for the other radical Democrats, too.

Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 4:21 pm

I have a what-if question… Did journalists (or at least their editors) ever simply report the news, rather than deciding what the news is? It’s my contention that the Lame Stream Media is no mare biased than it has ever been, it’s just that with the advent of the internet, it’s easier to uncover their lies/omissions. Prior to the internet, they were no more honest than they are now, it was just that it was harder to prove their deceit.

September 10, 2021 6:26 pm

I send out a 20-part tweetstorm in response to this disinformation article by ClimateFeedback:

This was my first tweet:

Unfortunately, Twitter shadowbanned the rest of those tweets, so when you view the first tweet you can’t see the replies to it, including the other 19 tweets in the tweetstorm. But if you start at the 20th tweet you can “page up” (back) to see the 19 preceding tweets. So here’s a link to the 20th (last) tweet:

You can also read the whole tweetstorm “unrolled/compiled” here:

September 10, 2021 6:53 pm

The Connolly et al. article is a good example of their own “consensus-driven” approach to the key issue of solar activity possible influence on climate. They omit [among others] reference to the historical reconstruction of TSI now favored by LASP: https://lasp.colorado.edu/lisird/data/historical_tsi/
that shows no upward trend the last 300 years and a small difference [of the order of less than 1 Watt/m2] with the Maunder Minimum which is climatological insignificant.

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
September 11, 2021 11:35 am

“…no upward trend the last 300 years “

Leif there is an upward trend for 1719-2018, the last 300 years of their dataset:
comment image

However the LASP historical TSI dataset is also in error, as the detrended integrated version of it doesn’t track the same function of sunspot number, which it should closely track (red and black lines in the upper panel), meaning there is more work to do on the historical TSI:
comment image

The problem I have with the Connolly et al paper is their view of TSI indicates temperatures track TSI more directly without ocean heat accumulation and lags, which I have found. Further I don’t see support for the larger TSI variation they use with Hoyt/Schatten’s TSI.

The changes in TSI via sunspot activity since the Maunder Minimum caused accumulate of heat in the ocean, which is the important factor that you aren’t taking into consideration. Once my ocean warming threshold is accounted for the solar forcing of the climate since the 1700’s becomes apparent:
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Leif you often show a zero 300-year trend in sunspots but why is “300 years” the magic number for you for the climate re sunspots, not some other time period? What is the justification?

When will you publish your solar minimum floor work?

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
September 12, 2021 5:02 am

Thanks, interesting.

Reply to  Leif Svalgaard
September 12, 2021 7:56 am

“…a small difference [of the order of less than 1 Watt/m2] with the Maunder Minimum which is climatological insignificant.”

Leif, if we consider the recent US drought (and elsewhere), with the high land temperatures, as climatologically significant, which is known to result from La Nina conditions, then we can understand the sun-climate dynamics of the Maunder Minimum much better now, since we now know there is a predictable drop of about 1C in tropical temperatures just from the solar minimum influence between two solar cycles.
comment image

I predicted these conditions in 2018, and said so to Gavin Schmidt after the 2018 Sun-Climate Symposium, and restated it in my 2018 AGU poster.

September 10, 2021 7:22 pm

The IPCC is not corrupt or incompetent? The WHO…the UN….the US gubment? All of man’s organizations evolve towards becoming or achieving what they were not founded for in the beginning. Politics and money become the primary factors guiding the organization.

September 10, 2021 7:26 pm

Socialists are bound and determined to make sure that only government approved information is permitted.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  MarkW
September 11, 2021 12:04 am

Only if the government is a socialist government. If it is anything to the right of Stalin, its information must be suppressed by any means possible.

September 10, 2021 7:50 pm

A quick web search produces tons of hits that describe the negative effects of the social media including/especially Facebook.

Facebook is the devil. Of course, I remember when IBM was the devil, and then Microsoft, and then I quit paying attention. Facebook may survive for a very long time but it may find itself eclipsed by newer technologies. link

I’m guessing that someone will come up with a social media platform that makes people feel wonderful instead of alienated and miserable. We can only hope.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2021 12:06 am

I’m guessing that someone will come up with a social media platform that makes people feel wonderful instead of alienated and miserable.

How about *gasp* actually talking to people? I know I’m fighting a losing battle, but I’m trying….

Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2021 5:02 am

Instagram is owned by Facebook

Reply to  rbabcock
September 11, 2021 5:45 am

Yep. As Clayton Christensen points out, companies are often done in by the disruptive technology they created. Innovator’s Dilemma

Peta of Newark
September 10, 2021 7:50 pm

What both parties are presenting here is ‘belief’
i.e. What they personally believe to be true and will come out fighting if someone disagrees with them. (##)

It can and does get much worse in that either or both parties can/will use computers to reinforce their beliefs.
The problem there is that everyone (scientists and lay-people alike) all believe computers to be infallible.
In some ways yes, computers are ‘much better’ than humans at repeated calculations and the processing of vast arrays of numbers – but that is their limit.

But computers require to be programmed and the only programmers available are ‘believers’
IOW; There is a positive feedback in operation and we all know what happens to positively fedback systems – they blow up

Wrap up all the above and we recognise that: Science has Died

I’ve not read Ehrlich – did he mention that as a precursor to his Main Event?
He should have done as it is the Bona Fide definition of turkeys voting for christmas

## That process is called Magical Thinking and for fairly obvious reasons, is not a normal thing, for humans or any other critter, to do – it is a very dangerous thing to be doing in fact. It puts you at serious risk of self-extermination

So, why?
What was/is the cause of this epi/pandemic of Magical Thinking
Why are sooooo many people affected or, maybe easier to answer, why are some people not affected?

It gets even worse, how could/would a Magical Thinker recognise someone who is not a magical thinker and doubly doubly worse, would they even want to or try?
Inside magical thinking, if something offends your belief, you simply ‘cancel’ that something.
You and your belief plus the maintenance/protection of same are simply so important that The End justifies The Means.

sound familiar?

What Is Up, with this world?

edit to PS
We all know One Person not affected, i.e. ‘The Orange Man’
……and what happened there if not a pretty spectacular ‘Cancellation

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Ed Zuiderwijk
September 10, 2021 7:52 pm

A long but rewarding read. It appears to me that some parts have been written from a legal perspective; the recommendations for instance. Is this a shot accross the bow signalling legal action for libel, reputational damage, against Vincent, Forrester and the site if they do not play ball?

Rory Forbes
September 10, 2021 8:32 pm

I may be irretrievably obtuse and completely out of step with the current world information, but since when did we begin to require “fact-checkers”? Where did these checkers receive their gawd-like powers of absolute knowledge, insight and understanding? In other words who the hell asked them … and why? Who said that face-book, twitter and YouTube had the right, even the knowledge to arbitrate truth and facts … and they’re so obviously partisan.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 11, 2021 12:09 am

It’s the new world order of Social Justice. All ‘fact checks’ that I’ve seen are 100% propaganda. It’s so obvious that it hurts.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 11, 2021 4:09 am

The “Fact Checkers” are not meant to provide clarity or truth, they are a tool to reinforce the delusions of the victims of propaganda. We now live in an age of propaganda. Truth is totally irrelevant in this age of illogic.

Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 6:48 am

A true scientific fact check reports on an attempt to replicate the findings of another researcher, otherwise a fact check is just an op-ed or opposing opinion.”
I’m repeating your comment since it goes to the heart of the controversy.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Andy May
September 11, 2021 10:32 am

It seems as though, in this wonderful new world, the news should all be in the opinion, or preferably, the entertainment section. I believe the new term used is ‘asymmetrical reporting‘ to explain unbalance reporting. In other words they now knowingly publish half truths in place of news.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 11, 2021 11:25 am

They are going to wind up losing their Section 230 exemptions in the good old fashioned Leftist way: Pushing too hard.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Dave Fair
September 11, 2021 12:37 pm

Won’t that be a shock to their shareholders? Imagine that, a business model based on deceit.

Reply to  Rory Forbes
September 11, 2021 1:42 pm

“Fact-checking” used to be what journalists did routinely, before they became political activists.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 11, 2021 5:20 pm

That’s what I thought, too. The standard was at least three unimpeachable sources. Now they just make it up in the editorial room. What gets me most is how quickly the “buzz phrase du jour” is taken up, in unison by every outlet. It’s like they send out a memo … “use these words today”.

September 10, 2021 8:37 pm

WAAAAAaayyyy too long of a response. Facebook will just toss it aside. Wasted effort.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Ruleo
September 10, 2021 8:47 pm

Wouldn’t matter if it was short and to the point. They’d still ignore it.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  Ruleo
September 11, 2021 6:20 pm

Time will tell. My optimistic side says that articulation of a good idea is never a waste. Somebody just might follow up and eventually somebody else might come up with a powerful slogan.

michael hart
September 10, 2021 8:44 pm

Back when I was young, there were these things called truthful reporting, or lies. Sure, some things seem in between.

But who on earth managed to trademark or copyright this apparently new concept of “fact checking”?

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  michael hart
September 11, 2021 12:10 am


Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 11, 2021 12:52 am


Reply to  philincalifornia
September 11, 2021 11:29 am

Socialism is the theory that taking money from people who work and using it to buy the votes of the people who would rather not work, is the best way for those who run government to get rich.

Reply to  michael hart
September 11, 2021 6:52 am

Opinion checking is what it actually is. Facts have a sneaky habit of changing over time unless they are described by a mathematical function. And even those change as new evidence is obtained.

September 10, 2021 10:08 pm

Far too long winded ! thats time

& that’s after “Andy May lightly edited the letter for brevity.”

Few people are going to read (let alone assimilate) all that.
If they must have all that excess verbiage with a view to legal proceedings in the future, at least give a concise summation.

Last edited 1 year ago by saveenergy
Robert of Texas
September 10, 2021 10:23 pm

Just say “NO” to using Facebook.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 11, 2021 12:12 am

They all do it.

Just say no to all social media altogether. It’s one of the most toxic things I have ever come across, and actively destroys what it purports to promote.

Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
September 11, 2021 6:55 am

Notice the word “social” in social media. That tells you immediately its all gossip.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Doonman
September 11, 2021 1:17 pm

True. It’s like having the word ‘Democratic’ in your country’s name means that it is anything but.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
September 11, 2021 11:13 pm

I’d rather stay on FB and take every opportunity to inject truth into a climate conversation. Why let them think they’ve succeeded in getting rid of us?

Philip Mulholland
September 11, 2021 12:23 am

Scince is the process by which we identify error.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
September 11, 2021 12:54 am

Was that deliberate? 😉

Nick Graves
Reply to  Redge
September 11, 2021 2:05 am

I think Phil meant to type ‘Sci-ops’.

That’s the Magical Thinking to which Peta refers.

September 11, 2021 1:11 am

You can also submit a complaint to the IFCN who are the long-established (2015) body for fact-checking organisations

Not that it will do any good

September 11, 2021 3:34 am

For fact check read replaced with acceptable facts that are politically approved

Ed Nalton
Reply to  fretslider
September 11, 2021 12:50 pm

Ref. to the contrails remarks above. I seem to remember back when 9/11 occured,all flights were banned for a number of days.When flights resumed,it was noticed that measured temps. went up, and a discussion occured that perhaps the contrails added to the Albedo fraction,and so reflected sunlight,and produced cooling.

Captain climate
September 11, 2021 5:37 am

Way to go. Why don’t you just do what Mann does and sue them? I think legal action is the only way to stop these totalitarians.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  Captain climate
September 11, 2021 6:23 pm

That would depend on your faith in the court system or more particularly your ability to use the court system to achieve your desired outcome.

September 11, 2021 6:43 am

The article in question is this one edited by Dr. Lambert Baraut-Guinet: Link here

Whenever I see something written by a person who has decided they need to adopt a hyphenated last name, it tells me all I want to know about that person before I read their opinion.

Apparently, they are so distressed with their given identity that they feel the need to identify with other appendages as if that will cure them of some family curse they inherited. It’s either that, or they are so woke with modern identity labeling that they must advertise that fact in every place they appear using a hyphen.

One wonders why they don’t just make up a stage name and use that publicly since the entire charade is to present themselves as someone other than who they are anyway.

September 11, 2021 6:51 am

“Fact-checkers” will say whatever is necessary to ensure a continuing supply of fat checks.

Eric Brownson
September 11, 2021 6:51 am

Did anyone else notice how the text and screen jump around because of intermittent advertisements?

Reply to  Eric Brownson
September 11, 2021 8:39 am

Get an ad blocker. I am using “adblock plus”.

Forrest Gardener
Reply to  Eric Brownson
September 11, 2021 6:26 pm

Not until I used a computer which did not have an ad-blocker installed. The advertisements make many if not most web sites not worth the effort.

September 11, 2021 8:10 am

Don’t feel bad. At least 14k people have died in the US from COVID vaccines. Countless others injured and you can’t discuss it on Facebook. Their families can’t form support groups either. I don’t know how you crack the veil of censorship in that particular town square. I assure you this won’t work, but I guess it sets the record straight.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Pittzer
September 11, 2021 2:03 pm

At least 14k people have died in the US from COVID vaccines. “

citation please

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 11, 2021 2:15 pm

So you reckon that of the millions who have received vaccines there would not have been a great many who would have died ANYWAY in that time period ?
Yet you ascribe in an ideological way that they therefor have died BECAUSE of the vaccine.
It’s a waste of breath, I know, but it is staggeringly stupid to make that connection.


“The idea is that we are vaccinating millions of people,” Mazo said, “and, unfortunately, when you look at 96 million people, some of them might die, and they would have died if they hadn’t been vaccinated.”
The fact that medically vulnerable individuals have had the earliest access to COVID-19 vaccines in the United States has also impacted the rate of post-vaccine deaths, Mazo said.
As reported here by Reuters in January, healthcare workers and people in nursing homes have been at the front of the line, followed by older members of the general population and people with pre-existing conditions ( here , here ).
In a WebMD interview here , Dr. Joël Belmin, head of geriatrics and vaccination coordinator at l’hôpital Charles-Foix in Paris, said, “In older people, due to their great frailty, a significant amount of spontaneous mortality is expected. In a retirement home, one in five people die each year. It’s therefore difficult to directly attribute these deaths to the fact that these people were vaccinated.”
The CDC estimates that about 1.3 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were administered to residents in long-term care facilities as of Jan. 18, 2021 (here). By comparison, VAERS had received 129 reports of deaths following COVID-19 vaccination in long-term care facility residents as of January 18, 2021.
Reuters Fact Check has previously debunked false social media claims misinterpreting VAERS data here , here and here .
VERDICTMisleading. This video takes VAERS death reports out of context to falsely claim that thousands of U.S. vaccine recipients who died after getting the vaccine died as a result of getting the vaccine.”

Do try to come up from your rabbit-hole for air occasionally.
The world is not one big conspiracy.
It’s just one big cock-up.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 12, 2021 7:39 am

So what is a legitimate source of data for deaths and adverse effects in the worlds largest science experiment? Why don’t we have data from 14k autopsies that should have been performed? Those were real people and their families have real death certificates. Where’s the data?! I don’t just assume they died because they were going to anyway.

Perhaps if we had some transparency, I could come out of my rabbit hole and presumably be awakened to your Reuters reality.

Reply to  Anthony Banton
September 11, 2021 3:40 pm

VAERS. Look it up yourself.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Pittzer
September 14, 2021 2:21 pm

I have done thanks …. Some weeks ago, with reference to it also in my post.

Old people die all the time.
Including those who have had the vaccine.

They died because they were old and were about to reach end of life anyway, and not because of the vaccine.

But don’t stop me believing the world is out to get you.
Be my guest in fact.

Last edited 1 year ago by Anthony Banton
September 11, 2021 3:16 pm

You have reviewed previous papers by the Dr Connolly’s could you provide links please.
Thank you.

Ulric Lyons
September 11, 2021 6:51 pm

I don’t agree with Connolly, Soon and Connolly. The AMO index changes inversely with changes in the solar wind strength (via the NAO/AO), as opposed to directly with changes in solar irradiance. That is why the AMO and Arctic are normally warmer during centennial solar minima.

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September 11, 2021 7:01 pm

Your tossing your peals to swine when it comes to these fact checkers. They live in a bubble of their personal opinions that they can’t break free from. It’s hard to be open minded to really try to dig into real science when your brainwashed into a belief system such as this. I’ve been looking at the climate change issue on an off over the years and have not been presented with real science on the side of man-caused climate change. It’s all opinion. It’s also easy to see that all the real science isn’t settled. There are still a lot of questions and studies are still being done to answer them.

Keith B
September 19, 2021 11:01 pm

Seems to me no one is tackling the obvious. Given that the greenhouse effect is already about +33 degrees and is largely driven by carbon dioxide, why would we not expect an increase in that 33 degrees when we have increased the CO2 by almost 50%?

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