The vast and overblown Lorne Gunter
As might be expected, Gunter criminally misrepresents the findings of
the CERN experiment. See
lts-are-surprisingly-interesting/ for a discussion of the actual
Even if Gunter was right about the cosmic ray - cloud connection being
significant, the fact that cosmic rays are modulated by TSI and are a
mirror-image of solar activity on the 11-year sunspot cycle (see the
graph in the link above) should have been enough to tell him that it's
his own interpretation that's 'vastly overblown'.
Unsettling science; New research suggests mankind's effects on climate
have been vastly overblown
Fri, 2 Sep 2011
(c) 2011 National Post . All Far-Right-Wingnuts Reserved.
Suppose an ossuary - an ancient burial box - containing the skeletal
remains of Jesus of Nazareth was discovered. Its contents would prove a
challenge to the central fact of Christianity, that Jesus was God made
man who ascended to Heaven whole - bones and all - after his
That would be big news, right? The significance of it would be debated
in religious circles around the world, as well as in newspapers and on
24/7 news channels. Or, it would be if the remains didn't come under the
control of some Christian organization whose leaders had a vested
interest in suppressing reports about the discovery.
One way or the other, though, some faithful Christians would deny the
find was real. Then when that position was no longer defensible, they
would continue to insist the bones were immaterial.
Something similar may be happening in the climate change debate, whose
basic premise - that man-made carbon dioxide emissions are causing
dangerous climate change - has become religious dogma to many
scientists, politicians, activists and fundraisers.
Last week, 63 scientists from CERN, the unimpeachable European
Organization for Nuclear Research, published a paper in the journal
Nature that would seem to prove that the sun, and not humans, is the
main "driver" of climate on Earth.
In short, cloud cover is the most important determinant of global
warming or cooling. Tiny changes in the percentage of the Earth shielded
by clouds (or not) can cause a variation in global temperatures of
several degrees, down or up. Cosmic rays are the main cause of cloud
formation - the more rays from outer space reaching our planet's
atmosphere, the more clouds form and the cooler the surface becomes.
In turn, the amount of cosmic rays penetrating our atmosphere is
determined by the sun's activity. When our sun is particularly active,
its magnetic field diverts cosmic rays away from our atmosphere. This
reduces cloud formation, permits more solar rays to reach Earth and
increases global temperatures.
By comparison, the CERN team found human CO 2 emissions have little or
no impact, or at the very least their impact as been greatly
overestimated in the computer models that global-warming alarmists rely
on to show dangerous future climate changes.
So why hasn't this been headline news around the world? After all,
global warming and what to do about it has been perhaps the biggest
public policy issue of the past decade, with the possible exception of
the worldwide financial crisis. (Both revolve around whether more
government intervention and spending is the best way to solve
In part, the lack of attention is due to the lead author's inherent
caution. Like all good scientists, Jasper Kirkby, the British
experimental particle physicist who heads up CERN's CLOUD project, is
reluctant to run ahead of his data. At present, he is only prepared to
assert that the CLOUD results are "a very important first step" to
demonstrating the sun's impact on global climate.
But even that assertion is a major challenge to the climate orthodoxy
promoted by the UN's IPCC and much of the eco-science establishment. For
years, warming alarmists in the environmental science community
pressured CERN not to fund the CLOUD experiment, which recreated the
Earth's atmosphere in a controlled chamber, then tested various theories
about the sources of clouds.
Beyond Kirkby's modesty and prudence, CERN director general Rolf-Dieter
Heuer ordered the scientists who worked on the project to "present the
results clearly, but not to interpret them." Interpretation of the
results - i.e. explaining how the experiment indicates that the sun and
not mankind causes global warming - "would go immediately into the
highly political arena of the climate change debate." He instructed them
in all public statements "to make clear that cosmic radiation is only
one of many parameters."
It's hard to imagine, though, the CERN scientists being similarly gagged
if their experiment had supported the politically correct belief that
human activity is the main cause of climate change. Scientists whose
work backs the alleged scientific consensus feel free to interpret their
results all the time. They frequently claim their findings prove the
need for urgent, expensive and intrusive government regulation of
private decisions and actions. So why the muzzle on the CERN crew?
If nothing else, the CERN study demonstrates that claims that
climate-change science is "settled" are premature.