Global warming: It wasn't us!

Rather, it is the sun. And the clouds. Or lack there of.

In an article in the UK Telegraph Richard Gray reports on a brand new theory that might explain global climate change a little better then the tiny amount of CO2 in the atmosphere (and the tiny percentage we humans add to that already tiny amount).
Man-made climate change may be happening at a far slower rate than has been claimed, according to controversial new research.

Scientists say that cosmic rays from outer space play a far greater role in changing the Earth's climate than global warming experts previously thought.

In a book, to be published this week, they claim that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.

How cosmic rays could seed clouds diagram

High levels of cloud cover blankets the Earth and reflects radiated heat from the Sun back out into space, causing the planet to cool.

Henrik Svensmark, a weather scientist at the Danish National Space Centre who led the team behind the research, believes that the planet is experiencing a natural period of low cloud cover due to fewer cosmic rays entering the atmosphere.

This, he says, is responsible for much of the global warming we are experiencing.

He claims carbon dioxide emissions due to human activity are having a smaller impact on climate change than scientists think. If he is correct, it could mean that mankind has more time to reduce our effect on the climate.
A somewhat longer article in The Times puts the thing into perspective, including observations that put a dent in the man-made global warning hypothesis, like the growth of ice mass in the Antarctic:
Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.

[...]

The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.
That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.
So it does seem like we might as well enjoy it while it lasts, as the Washington Journal implored some time ago. Donald Sensing of One Hand Clapping has more, including pretty pictures for the more visually inclined. Read it all.

It'll be interesting to see what will happen with this new theory on climate change. It'll probably be ignored for as long as the IPCC can get away with it. Then it will be ridiculed. And then the man-made CC camp will really get nasty. But for the time being I am more willing to put my money on a theory that has been experimentally verified over an hypothesis that is based on an observed correlation (and data manipulation).

And if it turns out Svensmark is more then just a little right, all the eco-taxes and economy-crippling measures to reduce CO2 emissions will have been money wasted. Money that could have been spent on feeding the hungry, curing the sick (AIDS, malaria) and quenching the thirsty.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is worthwhile to take care of the shape our planet is in. I am very much convinced humankind has the duty of stewartship over this planet. Not just for ourselves, but also for future generations. But the man-made climate change meme has become something quite a lot more sinister then that in the hands of environmental crypto-marxists.

These people would have us believe, that we are to blame and we must bleed. And bleed in a way that is prescribed by them. It is a variant of marxism in the sense that oppressor and oppressed are juxtaposed, with our climate and our planet as the oppressed and (how original) western, capitalist individualism as the evil oppressor. It is a mode of analysis that has been adjusted and tranformed many times. But all those times it just served one purpose: It is just another means of imposing their will and wresting our individual freedom from our hands for their own misbegotten ideas on the blessings of collective society and their ruling place within it.

And whether in the form of the EU, the UN or that cute hippy babe with the large blue eyes, it must be resisted tooth and nail.

(h/t Gates of Vienna and Power and Control)

[UPDATE001] On a related note: Brussels Journal has some common sense quotes from Vaclav Klaus. with a link to the translation of the entire interview. My personal favorite:
[W]e know that there exists a huge correlation between the care we give to the environment on one side and the wealth and technological prowess on the other side. It’s clear that the poorer the society is, the more brutally it behaves with respect to Nature, and vice versa.

It’s also true that there exist social systems that are damaging Nature - by eliminating private ownership and similar things - much more than the freer societies. These tendencies become important in the long run. They unambiguously imply that today, on February 8th, 2007, Nature is protected uncomparably more than on February 8th ten years ago or fifty years ago or one hundred years ago.

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