EnviroViews: My Second-Most-Remarkable Moment


Churchville, VA–I had my second-most-remarkable moment while at the Heartland climate skeptics’ conference in Chicago last week. The conference was terrific, for climate scientists, geologists, economists, NASA engineers, and interested attendees. The highlight for me, though, was Sebastian Lunning, who co-authored Germany’s best- selling new book The Cold Sun:Why the Climate Catastrophe Won’t Happen.

Lunning’s co-author, Fritz Vahrenholt, made the headlines. He’s a veteran German leftist who has now publically renounced man-made global warming. Vahrenholt protested chemical factory residues in the 1970s, and has lately managed a big wind farm array. But when he was invited to advise the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he tried to correct some of the IPPC’s reporting errors. They told him to kiss off.

Miffed, he looked more closely at the UN and its claimed climate evidence. He found it didn’t hold up.

The Cold Sun is already a best-seller across Germany, as that country learns firsthand the shortcomings of “renewable fuels.” The German public is now deeply worried that its manufacturers will flee, taking their jobs to lower-cost electricity in China or India.

I don’t speak German, so all I knew about The Cold Sun came from the press reports. They were dominated by Vahrenholt’s statement, “I feel I’ve been duped on global warming!”

Lunning gave us the back-story. He’d come to New York City to run in the annual marathon, and wandered into a book store. A geologist who is fascinated by the earth’s long climate cycles, he was struck by the book I co-wrote with astrophysicist Fred Singer: Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years. Lunning took the book back to Germany, read it, and essentially he and Vahrenholt produced an expanded, updated version. It’s complete with the hundreds of peer-reviewed paleoclimate research reports, and the praise for Willi Dansgaard, Hans Oeschger, and Gerard Bond of the Lamont- Doherty Earth Observatory.

It has a chapter for Denmark’s Henrik Svensmark and his discovery that clouds are the earth’s thermostats, modulated by the number of cosmic rays that sneak past the sun’s solar wind to create more or fewer “cloud seeds” in the lower atmosphere. The German authors needed 600 pages to tell the story compared to our 276, but they offer 800 peer reviewed studies, outranking our 500.

The title of The Cold Sun comes from their prediction–again shared with Fred, me and many researchers–that the global temperatures will now trend down for the next 25- 30 years. The sun has entered a quiet period, with fewer sunspots and a receding solar wind. More cosmic rays will hit the earth and create more heat-deflecting clouds. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation shifted cool in 2007, and the PDO’s history traced back four centuries in tree rings says we’ll get two decades’ more cooling.

Do I feel like the German authors “stole” our idea? No way! Fred and I could never have reached the German audience with an American book. Worse, in its five years, Unstoppable has gotten only two major newspaper reviews, and one was in the U.K. The major media have absolutely refused to touch our book (a fate shared by other skeptics.) But it was on the NY Times best seller list.

Vahrenholt’s left credentials, in contrast, have hit the German media full on. He’s had big-time interviews in Der Spiegal and Die Welt, and a TV production. Now the whole of Europe has been forced to look again at the 1,500-year cycle–in a period when the earth’s temperatures are no longer rising. The climate models’ predictions have been blown out! Does the solar-cloud theory now sound more plausible? What a remarkable turn of events!

Oh, the most remarkable moment of my life? My first date with my cherished wife, Anne.

Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., is an environmental economist. He was formerly a senior analyst for the Department of State. He is co-author, with S. Fred Singer, of Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1500 Years. Readers may write to him at PO Box 202 Churchville, VA 2442; email to [email protected]. Visit our website at www. cgfi.org

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