Thursday 30 June 2016


The piece below is a fitting summary of the campaign to leave the EU. Please read it and relish the language that describes it. Let us hope that our politicians live up to its full aspirations.

The Daily Telegraph, 25 June 2016

Andrew Roberts
On Easter Sunday, May 6 1867, the Reform League pressure group had a difficult decision to make. Would they obey the diktat of the Home Secretary, Spencer Walpole, and not hold a huge meeting in Hyde Park to call for Reform, or would they defy him?

Founded only two years before, they campaigned for the franchise for all ratepayers, as well as secret ballots and an equal numerical distribution of seats in parliament, the basis of our modern democracy. Yet the police were padlocking the gates to the Park, which in those days was surrounded by high iron railings.

The Prime Minister and Cabinet urged caution and predicted dire consequences if the meeting went ahead; the police were called out en masse, and there was a run on the pound. With 200,000 supporters of Reform marching towards the park, the decision was nonetheless taken by the League’s leaders simply to pull down the railings and allow the vast surge of humanity to hold their (in the event, entirely peaceful) meeting.

The role of bloody-minded insurgents willing to do the opposite of what they’re told by the authorities has long been central to great political events in British history

Spencer Walpole burst into tears under the pressure and resigned; 10 speakers addressed the crowds, and the Second Reform Bill was passed later that same year. The railings never went back up.

The role of bloody-minded insurgents willing to do the opposite of what they’re told by the authorities has long been central to great political events in British history, and the 17,410,742 people who voted to leave the European Union can certainly be ranked among their number.

Almost every single agency of the international Establishment was deployed to thwart them – the CBI, IMF, Bank of England, OECD, big business, Goldman Sachs, all but one party leader, the World Bank, Presidents Obama, Hollande and Abe, the EU Commission, two-thirds of the cabinet, the Treasury, The Guardian, Davos, The Times, and so on – yet over 17.4 million people told them precisely what they could do with their expert opinion.

It is the British people who have now sent Obama “to the back of the queue”.

In Melvyn Bragg’s fine novel about the Peasant’s Revolt, Now is The Time, one sees a template for the uprising of ordinary people that resulted in the Brexit vote, much as the pro-EU Lord Bragg might like to deny it. The huge groundswell of ordinary people’s opinion led rather than followed their own leaders.

Today’s insurgent leaders were themselves a ragbag bunch: a half-albino Classicist whose friends called him “the truffle-pig”; a German-born female Labour MP; a beer-drinking, cigarette-smoking man of the people; and an infinitely courteous intellectual with a razor-sharp brain, who had nevertheless been sacked as education secretary a few years earlier. It wasn’t much to set against the combined forces of the Establishment, yet they won.

Just as the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (founded in 1897) and its more militant offshoot the Women’s Social and Political Union (founded 1903) took on the Establishment and won, and as the Anti-Corn Law League had a generation earlier, so the Brexit movement enlisted armies of supporters across the country whose motives were traduced and posters defaced and supplications ignored, until the vote was taken and their voices finally had to be heard. 

The popular uprising campaign was therefore not like the Poll Tax riots of 1990 but much more firmly in the mainstream of the long British tradition of legitimate peaceful protest.

In this way, too, it was a more impressive achievement than the French Revolution, soaked as that was in blood. This popular uprising has toppled the established order without calling upon the tumbrel, the scaffold and the guillotine. It will secure its place in history as a result. 

And when that history of the Brexit movement comes to be written later this century, there will be a number of people who are by no means household names but who kept alight the torch of British independence ever since it was so nearly extinguished by Ted Heath in 1973.

Michael Ivens, Douglas Jay, Alan Sked, Patrick Robertson, Jimmy Goldsmith, Bill Cash, Robert Oulds, Nigel Lawson, Rodney Leach, the McWhirter twins, Bill Cash and many others did as much to keep the popular insurgency alive over more than four decades as Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, who had the honour of lighting the blue touchpaper this year.

Their contribution should not go unmarked, even though not all of them are famous

Wednesday 29 June 2016


Below is something to cheer readers up. Are we at last seeing a shift in the world-view of the climate change hypothesis and all that flows from it. We can only hope!

EurActiv, 24 May 2016

James Crisp

Boris Johnson, a leading Vote Leave politician who has cast doubt on global warming.

Leading figures in the Vote Leave referendum campaign to take Britain out of the EU have links to a controversial climate-sceptic think tank and question the science behind global warming.

The group’s three leaders Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and figurehead Lord Nigel Lawson have cast doubt over man-made climate change, which is backed by most of the world’s credible experts…

Gove – who tried to stop climate change being taught in schools – and in particular Johnson are seen as Conservative leadership frontrunners should a Brexit vote topple UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who backs Remain.

There are so many influential politicians and donors that are both euro and climate-sceptic that it has raised fears over the future of UK climate policy if the UK votes for Brexit on 23 June…

A spokesman for the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign said, “They deny the scientific evidence on climate change, just as they deny the economic evidence that leaving the EU would wreck the UK economy and cost around 820,000 jobs.”

Vote Leave didn’t return requests for comment yesterday (23 May). But the Global Warming Policy Foundation did.

Director Benny Peiser said the foundation had no view on the EU referendum and was not involved in any shape or form in referendum activities. “So far as I know, our trustees are divided on the referendum debate,” he added.

Peiser said the foundation and its members had a broad range of different scientific and economic viewpoints on climate change.

Tuesday 28 June 2016


The Daily Caller, 24 June 2016

Michael Bastasch
When British voters chose to leave the European Union Thursday night, they weren’t just voting against Brussels’ immigration policies, they were also voting against Europe’s growing list of green mandates.
The EU’s allowance of millions of refugees and open borders policy did play a large role in the “Brexit” vote, but it was also a repudiation of global warming policies Brussels has imposed on the U.K.

“The decision by the British people to leave the European Union will have significant and long-term implications for energy and climate policies,” Dr. Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Conservative pollster Lord Michael Ashcroft surveyed 12,369 Brits voting in Thursday’s referendum and found 69 percent of those who voted to leave the EU saw the “green movement” as a “force for ill.”

“By large majorities, voters who saw multiculturalism, feminism, the Green movement, globalisation and immigration as forces for good voted to remain in the EU; those who saw them as a force for ill voted by even larger majorities to leave,” Ashcroft wrote.

Britons have been struggling under high energy prices for years, in part due to rules passed down from EU bureaucrats. Environmentalists opposed leaving the EU for precisely this reason. The Brexit vote signals the U.K. is lurching right, and will likely reject heavy-handed climate policies.

“It is highly unlikely that the party-political green consensus that has existed in Parliament for the last 10 years will survive the seismic changes that are now unfolding after Britain’s Independence Day,” Peiser said.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation after the vote, since he supported the staying in the EU. Cameron was one of the main forces behind the so-called “green consensus” in Parliament, which supported green energy subsidies and energy taxes to pay for them.

“The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected,” Cameron said Friday. “The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered.”

Cameron’s government did begin to cut back subsidies for solar panels and push for hydraulic fracturing. Conservative Party lawmakers voted against more handouts for wind power as well as to bring down the costs of electricity. Green taxes cost U.K. residents $6.6 billion every year.

Brits also paid some of the highest energy costs in Europe, thanks in part to green taxes added to their electricity bills.

The man that may take Cameron’s place is not committed to keeping the U.K.’s “green” image.

Ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson, who was the face of the Brexit movement, could take Cameron’s place as prime minister in the coming months. Johnson is a global warming skeptic, and even criticized alarmist claims that human emissions caused England’s unseasonably warm winter.

“It is fantastic news that the world has agreed to cut pollution and help people save money, but I am sure that those global leaders were driven by a primitive fear that the present ambient warm weather is somehow caused by humanity; and that fear – as far as I understand the science – is equally without foundation,” he wrote in December.

“There may be all kinds of reasons why I was sweating at ping-pong – but they don’t include global warming,” he wrote.

Johnson is unlikely to revive the “green consensus” in Parliament. That doesn’t mean Johnson won’t keep in place some EU environmental rules, but the regulatory regime will probably be less onerous than the one Brussels had in mind.

“But perhaps the most important aspect of the EU referendum has been the astonishing self-determination and scepticism of the British people in face of an unprecedented fear campaign,” Peiser said.

Monday 27 June 2016


One of the best blogs on climate data and trends is Paul Homewood's "Not A Lot of People Know That" and he has yet another excellent post here on snowfall trends in New York. While climate alarmists try to make out their case by picking out short term trends that are simply unrealistic Paul seeks out and publishes the full data and it invariably shows no such trend. When will the general public be told the truth? It is time for the government to undertake a thorough review of the evidence before wasting yet more billions of ponds on trying to prevent something which isn't happening.

Sunday 26 June 2016


This article explains how this comes about. In short the EU and UN hierarchy don't like the result of our referendum - another reason to cheer. It seems there were more good reasons to vote for Brexit than most of us even realised. It feels good to be independent, though I have no doubt that our political masters are plotting at this moment to put us back in the pen, like some awkward sheep that has somehow eluded the shepherd.

Saturday 25 June 2016


This post and the comments show how strong the support for the UK decision is (to leave the EU). I admit that I feel very proud of the voters who withstood a barrage of fear-mongering propaganda. I believe it will make us stronger as voters, if we now prove that this propaganda does not come true. Our political leaders will now have to make our decision work, or if they do not then they will lose the next election, and that would be catastrophic for the party and the country. 

Friday 24 June 2016


Here we see the link between rising CO2 and temperature - there isn't one at the south pole. Much of the temperature increase that has been observed in the parts of the world inhabited by man is caused by the urban heat island effect, which is due to man made cities having vast amounts of concrete and tarmac and buildings which act like a giant storage heater, plus all the heat from cars and heat put into buildings adding to the sun's heat. None of this applies to the Antarctic.

Thursday 23 June 2016


This report is a summary of a new report by Greenpeace of Germany into what requirements are needed to comply with the Paris climate change agreement. The requirements are so completely absurd that surely no one could take them seriously. Of course no one has costed this, as to do so would be to underline to its madness. I wonder when the people will rise up against this? I reckon it will be when the State starts to get nasty and demand they hand over their cars or their heating system.

Wednesday 22 June 2016


This article explains the case for leaving the EU in order to regain control of our energy policy. Of course even if we vote to leave the EU we can only benefit if our own government decide to do something different, and so far they have shown very little or no sign of doing so.

Tuesday 21 June 2016


This piece looks at how clouds are treated in the climate computer models compared with the new study revealing how they actually perform. The result means that the models are even worse than previously thought.

Monday 20 June 2016


This article explains how the new rules to make appliances more energy efficient are also making them perform worse, with all sorts of unforeseen consequences. In some cases the rules do not even result in much savings in CO2 emissions at all, but they simply cost the consumer a lot of money for no purpose. The same thing is happening in the EU.

Sunday 19 June 2016


This report explains the reason for the Indian government's decision which is based on the immediate need to alleviate poverty in the country. This can only be done by giving priority to increasing the supply of affordable energy throughout the country, which is simply not compatible with reducing CO2 emissions when burning coal is the best way to produce affordable energy. No sensible government would leave its people in poverty in order to combat something that is unproven and in any event not going to happen for many decades, if at all. 

Saturday 18 June 2016


This article explains an ingenious new investment that some climate sceptics are putting together. It appears to rely on the eventual demise of the CO2 hypothesis and all that flows from it. While I remain convinced that it is greatly exaggerated, I suspect it still has some way to go before it is completely debunked and so I will not be investing myself as I need to get a reasonably quick return on my investment 

Friday 17 June 2016


This piece tell us the kind of people who are so desperate to convince us of their cause that they believe it is acceptable to lie.

Thursday 16 June 2016


Business Standard, 10 June 2016

Nitin Sethi, New Delhi
Neither the US nor India has committed to a formal ratification of the Paris agreement by the end of 2016 in the much-hyped joint statement on climate change. The political imperatives before outgoing US President Barack Obama, domestic legal requirements in India and the procedural complications of the Paris agreement collectively ensured that the two didn't.

The statement, issued during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, reads: “The United States reaffirms its commitment to join the Agreement as soon as possible this year.” The US has shied from using the word ‘ratification’, as it would require approval from the US senate, which President Obama is unlikely to secure from the Republican citadel.

During the negotiations between the two countries, preceding Modi’s tour, the US had insisted that India should commit to a joining the Paris agreement as well by 2016-end, India, however, stopped short of such a commitment in the bilateral statement.

Consequently, the joint statement reads, “India similarly has begun its processes to work toward this shared objective.” Indian negotiators insisted upon this insertion to replace the single and asymmetric sentence that the US had offered, binding only India to ratification by the end of this year, sources told Business Standard.

The Paris agreement provides four options for the countries to adopt the global deal. Article 21(1) of the pact permits countries to ratify, accept, approve or accede. Each term has different implications in different countries’ domestic, constitutional and legal framework. For the US, a ratification of a non-trade agreement necessarily requires approval from the Senate, which President Obama is keen to avoid. But other terms, which provide options for the US President to adopt the agreement through an executive order, also leave the door open for the future US Presidents to walk out.

The option available to the US, to easily walk out of the deal, worries many developing countries, including India. The fact that the US had kept out of the Kyoto Protocol after negotiating till the last moment, as well as the current election rhetoric by the Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has threatened to pull out of the Paris agreement, have impacted the negotiations between key developing countries and the US.

“President Obama is pushing hard to get the Paris agreement going as his legacy. But he can only join the agreement. He can’t ratify it. What if developing countries ratify it, helping the Paris agreement come into force by 2016-end, but the next US President walks out of it with a simple executive order? We have to be mindful of the possibilities,” said one of the negotiators.

The Paris agreement would come into force only when at least 55 countries — accounting for at least 55 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions — ratify, approve, accept or accede to the agreement. India accounts for only 4.01 per cent of total global emissions.

Domestically, India needs to undertake inter-ministerial consultations for ratifying any international agreement that has economy-wide implications. But the Modi government is not required to secure a Parliamentary approval before ratifying an international treaty.

“Broadly speaking, India would have to undertake inter-ministerial consultations, consult with states, and ensure that legislative requirements are in place for implementing the pact before the Union Cabinet ratifies the Paris agreement,” said J M Mauskar, member of the Prime Minister’s council on climate change and a former senior negotiator for India.

“I think it was a mature decision between the two allies, based on acknowledgement, appreciation and understanding of each other’s domestic and constitutional imperatives,” Mauskar said, referring to the India-US statement on climate change.

The process has already begun in India, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar explained during his briefing in Washington. It will require the Union government to ensure that laws pertaining to environment, forests and energy are equipped with provisions to implement the various provisions of the Paris agreement.

A current Indian negotiator also noted the complexity that lies ahead in operationalising the Paris agreement. The crucial rules for transparency, reporting and verification under the Paris agreement and many other issues are yet to be negotiated in detail. These negotiations are to now take place between all 196 member countries of the over-arching UN climate convention. If the Paris agreement comes into force before these rules are finalised, then only those countries which join the pact would have the right to negotiate the rules. The others would be only observers — a clear disadvantage to developing countries with disparate capacities to come on board in time.

An option has been floated to bring the Paris agreement into force, permitting Obama to claim it as his legacy, and then allow all the 196 countries to negotiate the rules by putting the agreement in a technical suspension. But many developing countries, including India, are unsure of the consequence and worth of such an exercise, only to allow Obama his legacy gift.

“Do we want to sign an agreement we don’t know the full contours of? Do we want to be stuck in a situation where allied developing countries are not sitting on the table to negotiate these rules? These are questions we must address before we decide to ratify the agreement,” the Indian negotiator said.

Wednesday 15 June 2016


This article shows the attitude of the UK Green Party to democracy - they don't agree with it, preferring the rule by the EU which cannot be voted out.

Tuesday 14 June 2016


The Australian, 11 June 2016

Graham Lloyd
When marine scientist Peter Ridd suspected something was wrong with photographs being used to highlight the rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef, he did what good scientists are supposed to do: he sent a team to check the facts.

James Cook University’s Professor Peter Ridd on Townsville’s Strand. Picture: Cameron Laird

After attempting to blow the whistle on what he found — healthy corals — Professor Ridd was censured by James Cook University and threatened with the sack. After a formal investigation, Professor Ridd — a renowned campaigner for quality assurance over coral research from JCU’s Marine Geophysics Laboratory — was found guilty of “failing to act in a collegial way and in the academic spirit of the institution”.

His crime was to encourage questioning of two of the nation’s leading reef institutions, the Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, on whether they knew that photographs they had published and claimed to show long-term collapse of reef health could be misleading and wrong.

“These photographs are a big deal as they are plastered right across the internet and used very widely to claim damage,” Professor Ridd told The Weekend Australian.

The photographs were taken near Stone Island off Bowen. A photograph taken in the late 19th century shows healthy coral. An accompanying picture supposedly of the same reef in 1994 is ­devoid of coral. When the before-and-after shots were used by GBRMPA in its 2014 report, the authority said: “Historical photographs of inshore coral reefs have been especially powerful in illustrating changes over time, and that the change illustrated is typical of many inshore reefs.”

A healthy Stone Island reef in 1890

The Stone Island reef in decline in 1994.

Stone Island reef in decline in 2012.

The Stone Island reef appears healthy again in 2015.

Professor Ridd said it was only possible to guess within a kilometre or two where the original photograph was taken and it would not be unusual to find great coral in one spot and nothing a kilometre away, as his researchers had done. Nor was it possible to say what had killed the coral in the 1994 picture.

“In fact, there are literally hundreds of square kilometres of dead reef-flat on the Great Barrier Reef which was killed due to the slow sea-level fall of about a meter that has occurred over the last 5000 years,” he said. “My point is not that they have probably got this completely wrong but rather what are the quality assurance measures they take to try to ensure they are not telling a misleading story?”

A GBRMPA spokesman said last night “the historical photos serve to demonstrate the vulnerability of nearshore coral reefs, rather than a specific cause for their decline.

“Ongoing monitoring shows coral growth in some locations, however this doesn’t detract from the bigger picture, which shows shallow inshore areas of the Great Barrier Reef south of Port Douglas have clearly degraded over a period of decades.” Centre of Excellence for Coral Studies chairman Terry Hughes did not respond to questions from The Weekend Australian.

Professor Ridd was disciplined for breaching principle 1 of JCU’s code of conduct by “not displaying responsibility in respecting the reputations of other colleagues”. He has been told that if he does it again he may be found guilty of ­serious misconduct.

A JCU spokesman said it was university policy not to comment on individual staff, but that the university’s marine science was subject to “the same quality assurance processes that govern the conduct of, and delivery of, ­science internationally”. [...]

About a quarter of the Great Barrier Reef has died and could take years to rebuild. The damage is concentrated in the northern section off Cape York. The scientific response to the bleaching has exposed a rift ­between GBRMPA and the JCU’s Coral Bleaching Taskforce led by Professor Hughes over how bleaching data should be treated and presented to the public. Conservation groups have run hard on the issue, with graphic ­images of dying corals. All sides of politics have responded with ­increased funding to reduce sediment flow and to combat crown of thorns starfish.

University of Western Australia marine biologist Carlos Duarte argued in BioScience last year that bias contributed to “perpetuating the perception of ocean calamities in the absence of robust evidence”.

A paper published this year claimed scientific journals had exaggerated bad news on ocean acidification and played down the doubts. Former GBRMPA chairman Ian McPhail accused activists of “exaggerating the impact of coral bleaching for political and financial gain”. Dr McPhail told The Weekend Australian it “seems that there is a group of researchers who begin with the premise that all is disaster”.

Monday 13 June 2016

Sunday 12 June 2016


Financial Times, 29 May 2016

Barney Jopson and Pilita Clark
Donald Trump is sowing doubt over the Paris climate change pact as his hostility towards the deal and the growing swagger of his campaign focus attention on how he could undermine it as president.

The Republican candidate last week vowed to “cancel” the painstakingly negotiated agreement, a threat experts said was unrealistic. But his comments put a spotlight on its slow ratification and weak spots in President Barack Obama’s climate legacy.

While Mr Trump could not single-handedly scrap the agreement — which Washington and Beijing had rallied more than 190 countries to join — he could withdraw the US, the second largest greenhouse gas emitter after China, or block the action needed to cut emissions to the levels promised by Mr Obama.

But if Mr Trump used the presidency to cast doubt on the need for climate action, he could weaken the resolve of other leaders sceptical about the deal.

Attacks on the Paris agreement could occur at three different levels under a Trump presidency.

No single country can “cancel” the deal because it would require each of the nearly 200 nations that negotiated it to agree to abandon it. Once the agreement is in force it is also impossible for a country to withdraw overnight…

The Paris accord cannot take effect until it is formally ratified or joined by 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions. So far, only 17 countries representing 0.04 per cent of emissions have ratified it.

China and the US have said they plan to join this year but they account for only about 40 per cent of emissions. Even under the most optimistic scenarios, the agreement may not start until 2018.

Saturday 11 June 2016


This piece looks at the investigation by Rep. Lamar Smith into the research methods of the taxpayer-funded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  He has been vilified for doing this, but it seems that he has good grounds for his investigation.

Friday 10 June 2016


This article gives the details. It would seem that India is holding back in the hope that the West will give it more finance to induce it to sign. I expect Western leaders will fall for this as they seem to have done in the past. What it shows is how the image of getting India on board is much more important than actually cutting emissions of CO2, since the Paris agreement will not lead to that anyway.

Thursday 9 June 2016


This article on Joanne Nova's blog shows how the international interest in the UK's EU Referendum is building, as the momentum swings towards voting to leave. So many last minute voters were trying to register that the website collapsed as midnight approached. Were they surging to vote remain or leave? We cannot be sure, but with just over two weeks to go it may be very close. If we vote leave, which I am hoping we will, then it will cause panic within the EU, as the UK is the second largest economy in there, and contributes a significant amount of money, not to mention the trade. They would like to punish us, but could they afford it?  Freed from EU constraints the UK could, if it chose the right government, cut back on its ridiculous climate change policies.

Wednesday 8 June 2016


Windfarms Chief Admits England Is Not Windy Enough For More TurbinesDaily Mail, 6 June 2016

Liz Hull
ENGLAND is simply not windy enough to justify more onshore wind turbines, the head of the industry’s trade body admitted yesterday.

Hugh McNeal, the chief executive of RenewableUK, said that – while there was still a case for more onshore farms elsewhere in the UK – wind speeds in England were just not strong enough for new turbines to make economic sense.

Critics said his comments proved what they have argued all along – that wind farms are an expensive and ineffective power source.

Dubbing wind power a ‘failed medieval technology’, they said that Mr McNeal’s remarks called into question the viability of ‘several thousand’ new turbines currently in the planning stages which are still set to go ahead – as well as England’s existing 1,200 turbines.

Mr McNeal, who joined the industry body from the Department of Energy and Climate Change two months ago, said that new wind farms in England would not be able to compete with the price of electricity produced from gas plants. ‘We are almost certainly not talking about the possibility of new [onshore] plants in England,’ he said.

‘The project economics wouldn’t work; the wind speeds don’t allow for it.’ His comments came after the Government’s decision that from this month wind farms will no longer be eligible for generous taxpayer-funded subsidies – know as Renewable Obligation Certificates – which are offered to renewable energy projects. Britain has invested £1.25 billion in wind power, making it the country’s biggest renewable energy source.

But opponents point to figures which reveal that on some days wind farms meet as little as 0.5 per cent of the nation’s electricity demand – and are only profitable because of massive subsidies paid to operators.

Last year the UK’s 5,300 onshore wind turbines cost taxpayers £800 million – equivalent to an extra £10 a year on energy bills – in Government handouts, but generated less than 10 per cent of all the country’s energy.

Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum, said Mr McNeal’s comments were a ‘cry by a desperate lobbyist who is conceding that wind turbines can only survive if the Government continues to hand out the cash’. He added:

‘But it is ordinary families that are paying for these subsidies and they continue to rise – renewables are predicted to cost us £8billion in subsidies by 2020.’

Despite the subsidy scrappage, ‘several thousand’ turbines that have been granted planning permission will still qualify. And ministers remain committed to wind as part of their green energy strategy, which aims to produce 15 per cent of all energy from renewables by 2020. [....]

Tuesday 7 June 2016


The Sun Has Gone Completely BlankVencore Weather, 4 June 2016

Paul Dorian
The sun has gone completely blank. There are currently no visible sunspots – a sure sign of an approaching solar minimum – and this is the first spotless day on the sun since 2014. In fact, there has been only one spotless day on the sun since 2011 – until today that is.

There are no visible sunspots on the most current solar image; courtesy NASA/SDO,

The current solar cycle is the 24th since 1755 when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. Solar cycle number 24 is the weakest solar cycle in more than a century with the fewest sunspots since cycle 14 peaked in February 1906.

Sunspot numbers for solar cycles 22, 23 and 24 which shows a clear weakening trend; courtesy Dr. David Hathaway, NASA/MSFC
Sunspot numbers for solar cycles 22, 23 and 24 which shows a clear weakening trend; courtesy Dr. David Hathaway, NASA/MSFC

Info on the maximum phase
We are currently more than seven years into Solar Cycle 24 and it appears the solar maximum of this cycle was reached in April 2014 during a spike in activity (current location indicated by arrow above). Going back to 1755, there have been only a few solar cycles in the previous 23 that have had a lower number of sunspots during its maximum phase. The peak of activity in April 2014 was actually a second peak in solar cycle 24 that surpassed the level of an earlier peak which occurred in March 2012. While many solar cycles are double-peaked, this is the first one in which the second peak in sunspot number was larger than the first peak. The sunspot number plot (above) shows a clear weakening trend in solar cycles since solar cycle 22 peaked around 1990. The last solar minimum phase lasted from 2007 to 2009 and it was historically weak. In fact, it produced three of the most spotless days on the sun since the middle 1800’s (bar graph below).

Top "sunspotless" days since 1849; last solar minimum produced 3 of these years
Top “sunspotless” days since 1849; last solar minimum produced 3 of these years

Consequences of a solar minimum
Contrary to popular belief, solar minimum is not a period of complete quiet and inactivity as it is associated with numerous interesting changes. First, cosmic rays surge into the inner solar system with relative ease during periods of solar minimum. Galactic cosmic rays coming from outside the solar system must propagate upstream against the solar wind and a thicket of solar magnetic fields.

Solar wind decreases and sun’s magnetic field weakens during solar minimums making it easier for cosmic rays to reach the Earth. This is a more dangerous time for astronauts as the increase in potent cosmic rays can easily shatter a strand of human DNA. Also, during years of lower sunspot number, the sun’s extreme ultraviolet radiation (EUV) drops and the Earth’s upper atmosphere cools and contracts. With sharply lower aerodynamic drag, satellites have less trouble staying in orbit— a good thing. On the other hand, space junk tends to accumulate, making the space around Earth a more dangerous place for astronauts.

Consequences of weak solar cycles
There can be important consequences from weak solar cycles; especially, if they are part of a long-term pattern. First, this particular weak solar cycle has resulted in rather benign “space weather” in recent times with generally weaker-than-normal geomagnetic storms. By all Earth-based measures of geomagnetic and geoeffective solar activity, this cycle has been extremely quiet. However, while a weak solar cycle does suggest strong solar storms will occur less often than during stronger and more active cycles, it does not rule them out entirely. In fact, the famous “superstorm” Carrington Event of 1859 occurred during a weak solar cycle (number 10). In addition, there is some evidence that most large events such as strong solar flares and significant geomagnetic storms tend to occur in the declining phase of the solar cycle. In other words, there is still a chance for significant solar activity in the months and years ahead.

Second, it is pretty well understood that solar activity has a direct impact on temperatures at very high altitudes in a part of the Earth’s atmosphere called the thermosphere. This is the biggest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere which lies directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation and are highly dependent on solar activity.

Monday 6 June 2016


This article by Christopher Booker highlights the bias of the BBC towards renewable energy. The broadcaster fails to report the subject in an even-handed way, instead trying to make out that renewables play a much more important part in the total energy output than they actually do. Is it any wonder the public are so badly informed when given such information?

Sunday 5 June 2016


This post looks at the latest announcement from the Republican presidential candidate, and as far as global warming policy is concerned he appears to have come up with the most sensible approach I have seen. Let us hope he has a good campaign and gets elected so he can put his policy into action.

Saturday 4 June 2016


This post gives the details of how the Shell shareholders were asked to vote on the company becoming based on 100% renewables. The result was as emphatic as it was predictable. Shell shareholders will vote for the best profits for the company, giving the best dividend for shareholders. They are not idealistic fools. If only our governments were equally fixed on giving the voters the best deal instead of paying lip service to the powerful green lobby.

Thursday 2 June 2016


This article grabbed my attention when reading my copy of the Mail on Tuesday. Although it relates to Scotland, the idea behind it could easily be taken up by other nations. The worrying aspect of this is that a government could easily use this method of spying to try to control the views and attitudes of those such as parents and that could easily include sceptical views on climate change.

Personally I doubt if there are enough people willing to undertake this role of Named Person to cover all children, though there will always be some willing to act in this way.

Wednesday 1 June 2016


This report gives the details which demolish the myth put forward by some alarmists that this is due to global warming. It is in fact part of a natural cycle as the report explains.