Willie Soon speaks at the University of Chicago

By Andy May

Dr. Willie Soon gave a great presentation at the Federalist Society Chapter at the University of Chicago Law School on November 18, 2022. The title of his talk is:

“The Corruption of Environmental Rulemakings at the US EPA: Climate Change, Mercury Emissions, and Air Quality”

Willie Soon, 2022

Dr. Soon’s slide deck is excellent reading and he has kindly sent it to me, you can download it here. If you prefer to watch his presentation, you can do so on YouTube here. Soon’s presentation starts about 22:46 minutes into the video.

Soon’s key points:

  • Given the daily, seasonal, and annual range of temperatures around the Earth, the warming of the past 125 years is trivial.
  • Except for ENSO variations, the global average surface temperature has hardly changed in over 20 years.
  • Willie humorously dismantles the article on him in Wikipedia and Gavin Schmidt’s criticisms, these slides are worth the download!
  • Willie plugs the article he wrote with 23 co-authors entitled: “How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere Temperature trends? An ongoing debate.” Seriously, this is probably the best climate change article written in the last thirty years in my humble opinion, I refer to it all the time. The bibliography alone is worth it. If you never read another climate article in your life, you should read this one. Download it here.
  • He destroys the Mercury pollution nonsense that is permeating the media. Possible spoiler, don’t drink Coca Cola!
  • Is it air pollution or weather?

Finally, President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about “public policy [becoming] the captive of a scientific-technological elite” was correct:

“It is time to face a hard truth: the seventy-year experiment to federalize the sciences has been a failure. The task now is to prevent the Big Science cartel from further dehumanizing society and delegitimizing science. There is a second hard truth: the necessary reforms will not come from within. Rather, it will be the people and their representatives that will have to impose them. To restore science to its rightful and valuable place, break up the Big Science cartel.”

(J. Scott Turner, Professor of Biology (emeritus), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, December 10, 2021)

I wish I had said that.

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November 19, 2022 11:53 pm

You said:
Willie plugs the article he wrote with 23 co-authors entitled: “How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere Temperature trends? An ongoing debate.” Seriously, this is probably the best climate change article written in the last thirty years in my humble opinion, I refer to it all the time”
No, it is a terrible paper. It gets the long-time variation of solar activity wrong [based on obsolete ‘data’].

Right-Handed Shark
Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 3:44 am

I think I speak for all here when I say that if you have more recent or better evidence that Prof Soon and his colleagues refer to, then we would like to see it. Otherwise your claim that it’s a “terrible paper” is conjecture on your word alone. Proof please.

Reply to  Right-Handed Shark
November 20, 2022 8:15 am

The Connelly et al. paper is peddling the Hoyt and Schatten Group Sunspot Number which solar physicists now know is wrong. There is growing evidence that solar activity has not increased the last 300+ years, so cannot be the major cause of warming over that period.

Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 8:42 am

here is a very simple explanation: the Hoyt and Schatten [H&S] reconstructed solar activity, they assumed that Wolf and Wolfer could see the same number of sunspot groups although Wolfer used a larger telescope than Wolf [the two people here are the original constructors of the sunspot series]. Reassessment of the original observations show that Wolfer could see 65% more groups than Wolf. This means that the H&S series is 40% too low before 1882 [which is roughly the time when the primary observer changed from Wolf to Wolfer]. This mistake was acknowledged by Schatten [who is a coauthor of the modern reconstruction that fixes the error]. Simply correcting for the error removes the upwards trend over the centuries.

Rich Davis
Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 11:22 am

I don’t know the answer to this question but would be curious to hear evidence. Was there any overlap period where both observers recorded what should have been the same data? If there was such a period, that should give evidence for or against the idea that the earlier observations are 40% lower due to the limits of the telescope resolution.

Another approach would be to reanalyze the later observations so as to count only those sunspots that were large enough to have been observed using the smaller telescope. (Much as we look at major storms to establish a trend not tainted by sparse observations in the early record). Has anything like that been attempted?

I would otherwise argue that we simply don’t have the data to conclude one way or another.

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 20, 2022 7:38 pm

The problem with Leif’s argument is that, if I understand the paper correctly, it does not rely on the sunspot data for its solar irradiation estimates. I assume Leif is right about the sunspot data, but its irrelevant to their argument.

Reply to  Rich Davis
November 20, 2022 7:57 pm

This is similar to the CO2 causes everything concept except that it is Sunspot cause everything. There seems to be evidence that there is a awful lot about the sun that cannot be deduced from sunspots.

Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 12:42 pm

Interesting. Now let’s compare the defects of the retinas and lenses of Wolf and Wolfer’s eyes to understand what they actually saw through their telescopes as well.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  doonman
November 21, 2022 5:01 pm

Adjusting the focus would correct differences in acuity between the observers.

Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 7:17 pm

However, if I understand the article correctly, it does not rely on the sunspot data for estimating variability. I assume you are right about the Hoyt and Schatten estimates on sunspots, but that does not affect their argument. They are explicit in the paper that these are two separate issues and that they are not relying on the sunspot estimates for variability estimates.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 6:07 am

I’m no scientist but I wonder how data can be obsolete.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 20, 2022 8:17 am

data not. interpretation of data yes.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
November 20, 2022 8:55 am

It doesn’t fit with the “climate change” agenda.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 20, 2022 9:27 am

Right, they feel a need to adjust the data to fit with the model(s). Science turned upside down.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 20, 2022 10:25 am

It doesn’t fit with lief’s agenda..

… which is to flatten the solar series.

Rich Davis
Reply to  bnice2000
November 20, 2022 11:05 am

I don’t think that’s a fair comment. We should have some evidence of that before just accepting the idea that Dr. Svalgaard is pushing a false narrative that he knows is a lie.

When we see people hyperventilating about more tornadoes we rightly argue that there haven’t been more, just better detection with Doppler radar. That is the crux of this argument. We need to be intellectually honest here and not just go ad hom on someone who unless I’m mistaken has the respect of our gracious host as a distinguished scholar.

If the observations are taken under different conditions it is reasonable to argue that there isn’t a real trend. Or at least that there isn’t evidence of that trend.

Javier Vinós
Reply to  leif@leif.org
November 20, 2022 11:44 am

As usual, Leif is not telling the truth. Connolly et al. 2021 compare:

2.4. Sixteen Different Estimates of Changes in Total Solar Irradiance since the 19th Century and Earlier

As anybody can see in section 2.4 of the paper.

By contrast, Leif only uses one, his own. Obviously, he claims it is the best one, but others disagree.

Reply to  Javier Vinós
November 20, 2022 12:31 pm

Hence the title of Connolly et al paper: “How much has the Sun influenced Northern Hemisphere Temperature trends? An ongoing debate.”

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Andy May
November 25, 2022 2:45 pm

it is not the strength of the solar output that matters, it is what the climate system does with it”

During stronger solar wind states the AMO is colder, as in the 1970’s, and during weaker solar wind states the AMO is warmer, as from 1995.
It also matters that solar variability discretely drives heat and cold waves in the mid latitudes.

Ulric Lyons
Reply to  Andy May
November 26, 2022 7:44 am

The AMO was actually warmer during the Gleissberg solar minimum.

November 20, 2022 6:11 am

I recall asking a few years ago
“why a thirty year average”. for temperature…
Glad to hear Willie Soon making this point clear, finally

I like that Willie Soon never gets involved in the BS
Gavin Schmidt was the scientist who defended the hiding of the medieval warm period when climate gate first happened. He thought it horrid that some of the fakers hiding data and lying were hacked!
He also left the model projections to be perceived as predictions.
So his record on straight forward unbiased non political involvement in all of this goes back a long way.
Still dining out on his links with NASSA, but there are hundreds of NASA scientists who don’t subscribe to the AGW gravy train

Doug S
November 20, 2022 6:31 am

Dr. Soon starts off this talk explaining how big the EPA has grown over the years. Something like 50,000 employees and a 9 Billion dollar budget. So we’ve just seen how Twitter’s employee headcount has been reduced down to just 50 percent of it’s previously bloated size and some analysts believe Elon will get this down to just 20 percent. Can you imagine how bloated the EPA and the other government agencies must be? Keep up the great work Dr. Soon!

Reply to  Doug S
November 20, 2022 6:51 am

I don’t know what the precise figures are, but the majority of federal workers are still “working” from home. The majority of government workers are proven to be “non-critical” and whatever reduction in emissions have been achieved from the reduction of commuting is more than exceeded by the wastes of utilities being used for mostly empty buildings.

In the private sector, company officers are ultimately closer to and beholden to investors that don’t want to lose money. Eventually, governments face austerity because the math for rolling over debt continually will blow up.

Reply to  Scissor
November 20, 2022 5:46 pm

I work for DoD Navy as a civilian. Few of our people are working from home. Keeping our big cranes running, 2 full shifts, 6 days a week, requires a lot of maintenance and engineering. Navy has a lot of heavy equipment… Can’t do that from home.

Rick C
November 20, 2022 9:02 am

Willie Soon is a very brave man. I like his calling out EPA on mercury and PM2.5 regulations which are based on totally invalidated claims of health risks from highly flawed and secret studies. It is astonishing that the “scientific community” has perpetuated the myth that elemental mercury and lead are deadly poisons when it is only these metals combined with other elements (methyl mercury, organic lead) that are metabolized and thus poisonous. It is insane that if someone breaks a mercury-in-glass thermometer it’s treated as a “hazmat” incident in the workplace.

EPA has justified extreme and expensive regulations on all kinds of products and industries by citing the same mythical mass deaths from PM2.5 in every rule making from automobile emissions to wood stoves to second hand cigarette smoke. As a former smoker who drives an SUV and heats with wood, I should have died 40 years ago. In fact, if PM2.5 was as deadly as EPA claims, most smokers should die within a couple of years after starting.

Last edited 2 months ago by Rick C
Reply to  Rick C
November 20, 2022 1:37 pm

If PM2.5 is as deadly as claimed, then evolution of the human must not have happened, so those claiming that are evolution deniers.

For man to advance while living in caves after mastery of fire, he would have needed to also evolve to metabolize small particulates.

These PM2.5 a$$es must be required to testify to their creationist beliefs.

November 20, 2022 8:15 pm

I do take issue with the position that all energy input is from the sun unless there is evidence that the sun, rather than the planet, is responsible for tectonic plate movement. Moving continents and raising mountain ranges surely involves more than a trivial amount of energy.

Reply to  AndyHce
November 21, 2022 4:25 am

I’m an avowed non scientist; how much does tectonic movements contribute to temperatures on earth? ( serious question, 100% not sarcastic)

Alexander Rawls
November 22, 2022 7:20 pm

Solar warming deniers are STILL claiming that a continued high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming, haha

Leif: “There is growing evidence that solar activity has not increased the last 300+ years, so cannot be the major cause of warming over that period.”

Leif thinks that is not the level of the flame under a pot of water that determines how fast the pot warms, or even whether it warms. Leif thinks that it is the rate of the change of the flame that causes heating or cooling, at least that is how he talks.

I am going to have to write another article on this. I have tried to correct Leif and several other solar scientists on this junior high school level physics mistake many times, to no avail.

Using Leif’s own data, notice that the 400 year period of cooling called the Little Ice Age manifested a quite low average sunspot number of about 40, and that the subsequent 300 years of warming manifested a comparatively quite high average sunspot number of about 80:

Plot from Wu et al. 2018. (If I can’t figure out how to embed I’ll add below.)

From Wu et al. 2018. Look starting in about 1260 (when ssn crosses to below 60). It crosses back to above 60 in about 1715 and averages about 40 between those dates. Then after 1715 ssn averages about 80. Here are temperature records for comparison:

Graph of 1000 yr temp records (ditto)

1260-1715 was 455 years of on average somewhat steady sawtoothed cooling while 1715 to 2015 was 300 years of on average somewhat steady sawtoothed warming.

If the pot of water is big compared to the changes in forcing, this is exactly what we would expect: that extended periods of relatively high forcing would create extended periods of warming. In what possible world, Leif, can an extended period of high forcing not cause continued warming?

When I put it to Mike Lockwood and a host of other “continued high forcing can’t cause continued warming” climate scientists that they must be assuming rapid ocean equilibration to the new level of forcing, they mostly said yes, that is what they are assuming (even though none of them had been saying that previously), and their attempts to belatedly justify this highly counter-intuitive assumption don’t hold up to scrutiny.

My 2011 exchange with Lockwood here:

My 2912 exchange with Isaac Held here:

Held was making the same mistake as those who claim that atmospheric CO2 can’t possibly warm the planet because a cooler object can’t warm a warmer object, he was just making it in reverse, saying that once heat is mixed into the deep oceans it can’t be gotten back out. Yes, but just as CO2 can warm the surface by reducing the rate of heat loss, so too can the warming of intermediate layers of ocean keep heat from the surface layers of ocean from being mixed down into the deep oceans in the first place. Held and the anti-greenhousers are both failing to properly account insulative effects.

These guys try to back up their junior high physics mistakes with some high school physics mistakes, but it’s still obvious mistakes all the way down.

In Leif’s case I don’t think it has anything to do with personal politicization. He’s just stubborn (to put it mildly). But the fact is that for forty years now almost every dollar of climate science funding has come from the government (Willie being a very rare exception), and the funding system that Al Gore and the alarmist Malthusian fake climate scientist Stephen Schneider set up is still to this day refusing to ever give another dollar of funding to any researcher who does not support their anti-CO2 line. If Leif had been stubborn on the other side he would have been banished long ago.

So yes, Willie is very right on this: government must be gotten out of science, just as it needs to be gotten out of the schools, because government involvement means politicization, which is always fatal to truth.

Government is supposed to be the slave. That is the definition of republicanism: voter sovereignty. The people are master, but government funding inverts that. Government becomes the master and the people become the slave: bought, owned, and if they disobey then they get Holodomored (cut off from their livelihood).

This politicized phony science is now being used to unplug our energy systems with no alternative even in prospect, never mind in place. It’s the damned Malthusians, with their religious belief that people are the problem and must be dramatically reduced. Climate alarm is being driven not by climate science at all but by an utterly wrong and long outdated economic theory from 1800.

Wu et al. 2018.png
Alexander Rawls
Reply to  Alexander Rawls
November 22, 2022 7:22 pm

1000 yr temp records:

1000yr temp records.png
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