Sunspot update: A minor uptick in sunspot activity in April

It is that time of the month again. Yesterday NOAA posted its monthly update of its graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I have done now for every month since I began this website in 2010, I have posted this updated graph below, with several additional details to provide some larger context.

In April the number of sunspots on the Sun went up somewhat, the count rising to the highest level since the count hit its peak of activity last summer. The sunspot number in April, 136.5, was however still significantly less than the 2023 peak of 160. Thus it appears the Sun is likely still the middle saddle of a doubled-peaked relatively weak solar maximum, with the Sun doing what I predicted in February 2024:
» Read more

Salomé’s Dance

An evening pause: Music by Charles Barber. This comes from the 1913 silent film, Salomé, based on an Oscar Wilde play. Rarely seen, the movie represents a very early attempt to do something “edgy”. It succeeds about as well as modern “edgy” films, showing us a very shallow representation of human existence. But the visuals give us a glimpse into that early film world, when sets and costume were usually the only way to show something strange and striking.

Hat tip Judd Clark.

Remember: The climate data foisted on us by NOAA is based 30% on nonexistent weather stations

The uselessness of the global temperature record

A story yesterday at Zero Hedge noted once again that the yearly global data that NOAA inflicts on us, each year claiming that a new record has been set as the hottest year ever, is all based on fake data, with about one-third of the data created from weather stations that no longer exist.

The problem, say experts, is that an increasing number of USHCN’s stations don’t exist anymore. “They are physically gone—but still report data—like magic,” said Lt. Col. John Shewchuk, a certified consulting meteorologist. “NOAA fabricates temperature data for more than 30 percent of the 1,218 USHCN reporting stations that no longer exist.”

He calls them “ghost” stations.

Mr. Shewchuck said USHCN stations reached a maximum of 1,218 stations in 1957, but after 1990 the number of active stations began declining due to aging equipment and personnel retirements. NOAA still records data from these ghost stations by taking the temperature readings from surrounding stations, and recording their average for the ghost station, followed by an “E,” for estimate.

This is not a new story. » Read more

Sunspot update: The weak solar maximum continues

NOAA yesterday posted its updated monthly graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I do every month, I have posted this graph below, with several additional details to provide some larger context.

The sunspot activity in March dropped, continuing the pattern of the last five months, where the Sun appears to be in a stable plateau after reaching a high peak in the summer of 2023. It continues to appear that we are in the middle low saddle of a double-peaked relatively weak solar maximum, with the Sun doing what I predicted in February:

If we are now in maximum, sunspot activity throughout the rest of 2024 should fluctuate at the level it is right now, with it suddenly rising again near the end of the year for a period lasting through the first half of 2025. After that it should begin its ramp down to solar minimum.

» Read more

Sunspot update: The Sun continues what appears will be a weak maximum

As I have done each month since 2011, I am now posting an annotated version of NOAA’s monthly graph, tracking the solar sunspot activity on the Earth-facing hemisphere of the Sun. The NOAA updated graph was posted at the start of March, covering activity through the end of February, so this report is a little later than normal.

That graph is below. In February sunspot activity remained essentially steady, only slightly higher than the activity from the month before. Those numbers also hovered at about the same level seen since August 2023.
» Read more

Local county now in full support of SpaceX land swap

According to a local Cameron county judge, who had previously expressed opposition, county officials including himself are now in full support of the proposed land swap, giving SpaceX 43 acres of Boca Chica State Park land in exchange for 477 acres at a national wildlife area about 10 miles away.

A special meeting of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission to vote on this land swap is now scheduled for March 5, 2024 in Austin, and it appears it is ready to approve. That meeting however should be entertaining, because it also appears that the small minority of leftist activists organizations in the area that oppose everything SpaceX is achieving are organizing carpools to attend the meeting. Expect them to perform the typical shennigans of the left, screaming and shouting and attempting to take over the venue to prevent the vote.

What these activists of course refuse to recognize, or simply don’t care, is that the change of opinion by local officials is because the local community and in fact the majority of Texans support what SpaceX is doing. It has revitalized the Brownsville area, bringing billions of new investment capital and tens of thousands of new jobs to the region. It has also demonstrated repeatedly it is being a good steward to the environment at Boca Chica, and will do much as a launch site to help preserve the coastal wildlife there, just as NASA has done at Cape Canaveral for three quarters of a century.

Sunspot update: The Sun in January acted like solar maximum is here

In my monthly sunspot update at the start of January, I asked in the headline “Are we now in the next solar maximum?”

The Sun’s sunspot activity in January since then has apparently answered that question. NOAA this week posted its monthly update of its graph showing solar sunspot activity on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere, and as I do every month since 2011, I have posted that graph below, with annotations to provide a larger context.
» Read more

Sunspot update: Are we now in the next solar maximum?

Time for my monthly update on the Sun’s sunspot activity has it proceeds through its eleven-year sunspot cycle. NOAA has released its update of its monthly graph showing the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere, and I have posted it below, annotated with further details to provide a larger context.

In December sunspot activity increased slightly for the second month in a row, but only by a little bit. The number of sunspots for the month was still significantly below the highs seen in the summer, and continue to suggest that the Sun has already entered solar maximum (two years early), and like the previous two solar maximums in 2001 and 2013, will be double peaked.
» Read more

Environmental groups file another complaint attempting to stop SpaceX launches at Boca Chica

In what is now becoming a routine process of harassment, several environmental groups have filed another complaint against the FAA and Fish & Wildlife for eventually issuing a second launch license to SpaceX, permitting it to do its mid-November second orbital test launch of its Starship/Superheavy rocket from Boca Chica, Texas.

In the supplemental complaint, the groups — Center for Biological Diversity, American Bird Conservancy, Carrizo/Comecrudo Nation of Texas, Inc., Save RGV and Surfrider Foundation — allege the FAA failed to properly analyze the environmental impacts of the first Starship launch before issuing a revised license for the second launch that took place Nov. 18.

That new licensing process included an environmental review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding a pad deluge system that SpaceX installed on the pad to prevent damage like that the pad suffered during the first launch. The FWS concluded that the deluge system would produce no significant environmental changes.

The environmental groups argue that both FAA and FWS fell short of what was required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to review the environmental impacts of Starship launches. The FAA, it stated in the complaint, “once again failed to take the requisite ‘hard look’ at the impacts of the Starship/Superheavy launch program through a supplemental NEPA analysis.”

Let me translate what this complaint really says, and I can do it only a few words: “Your review didn’t come to the conclusions we want — which is to block all work by SpaceX — so that we can do what we want!” Both the American Bird Conservancy and the Surfrider Foundation simply want unlimited access to the region for their own recreation, while the Center of Biological Diversity is only interested in stopping all human development anywhere — until it can settle its frequent lawsuits against the government and pocket its payoff.

As for Carrizo/Comecrudo Nation of Texas and Save RGV, both are bogus organizations. The first is for a almost non-existent Indian tribe that never even lived in this area (they were based in Mexico), and the second claims it represents the people of the south Texas region who want SpaceX’s work stopped. Since almost everyone in Brownsville and throughout the region is celebrating the new prosperity brought to them by SpaceX, it is essentially a front group for the Marxist environmental movement that hates all prosperity. It doesn’t represent anyone really in south Texas.

As before, this complaint will have to be fought, wasting time and money.

Sunspot update: October activity drops almost to predicted levels

NOAA today posted its updated monthly graph tracking the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I do every month, I have posted this graph below, with several additional details to provide some larger context.

In October the sunspot count dropped so much from the activity in September that the total count was for the first time since the middle of 2021 actually very close to the predicted numbers first put forth by NOAA’s solar science panel in April 2020.

» Read more

Scientists: The solar cycle was only 8 years long during the Maunder Minimum in the 1600s

Using archival records gathered in Korea during the 1600s when the Sun was undergoing a long period of almost no sunspots — called the Maunder Minimum — scientists have discovered evidence that the solar cycle during that time was only 8 years long.

You can read their paper here. Since almost no sunspots were visible at that time, the scientists used reports of aurora in Korea to determine periods when the Sun was more active. From their abstract:

By analyzing the variations in solar activity-related equatorial auroras recorded in Korean historical books in the vicinity of a low-intensity paleo-West Pacific geomagnetic anomaly, we find clear evidence of an 8-year solar cycle rather than the normal 11-year cycle during the Maunder Minimum.

This 8-year cycle is shorter than the 9-year cycle that other researchers had estimated based on the few sunspots that did appear during this grand minimum. Both conclusions however challenge what is known of the Sun. Since the 11-year cycle resumed in the 1700s, short cycles have generally been associated with very active periods, the opposite of what has been found during Maunder.

In other words, we know better what happened, but have no understanding of why. Since the Maunder Minimum appears associated with the Little Ice Age of the 1600s, and fits other data that says the climate cools when the Sun produces few sunspots, gaining some understanding of this process is important for understanding past and future changes to the global climate.

Satellite data shows this year’s ozone hole one of the biggest on record

The uncertainty of science: New data from Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has determined that the ozone hole this year over the south pole was one of the biggest on record.

The hole, which is what scientists call an ‘ozone depleting area,’ reached a size of 26 million sq km on 16 September 2023. This is roughly three times the size of Brazil.

The size of the ozone hole fluctuates on a regular basis. From August to October, the ozone hole increases in size – reaching a maximum between mid-September and mid-October. When temperatures high up in the stratosphere start to rise in the southern hemisphere, the ozone depletion slows, the polar vortex weakens and finally breaks down, and by the end of December ozone levels return to normal.

Despite the claims of scientists that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were creating the hole, requiring their ban in refrigerators, air conditioning, and aerosol sprays in 1987, the arrival of the ozone hole each year is actually a normal seasonal occurance caused by the interaction of the Earth’s tilt and the impact of solar radiation on the upper atmosphere. More interaction, and oxygen molecules break-up into ozone. Less interaction, and there is less ozone.

Thus, despite the ban of these products now for almost forty years, the size of the ozone hole continues to fluctuate significantly from year to year, for reasons that are not yet understood entirely. Some scientists attribute this year’s large size to a volcanic eruption in 2022, but this is merely a theory, not yet proved.

It also must be noted that when the ban was imposed in 1987, we only had data of the ozone hole going back a decade or so. Environmentalists posited then that the hole hadn’t existed before CFCs, but they really hadn’t known that. It will likely take a century of research to really get a good idea of the hole’s normal behavior from year to year. We might find that there was no reason to ban CFCs, that the hole is a natural seasonal occurance like snow in winter and heat in summer.

Sunspot update: Activity rises in September but not significantly

Another month has passed, and it is once again time to post my annotated graph of NOAA’s monthly update of its graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. The new graph is posted below, with several additional details to provide some larger context.

Last month we saw a drastic drop in August of sunspot activity, suggesting that the next maximum might possibly have been reached, though many months earlier than predicted. This month’s graph below, which shows an increase in activity in September but still well below the highs seen in June and July, strengthens that conclusion.
» Read more

Environmentalists appeal dismissal of their lawsuit against the FAA and SpaceX

The two environmentalist groups and Indian tribe that sued to get SpaceX’s Boca Chica spaceport shut down have now appealed the dismissal of their case by a Texas judge.

Two environmental groups and an Indigenous tribe on Wednesday will present appeals in their lawsuit over the repeated closures of a border beach to allow neighboring SpaceX to conduct test flights and other activity. The Sierra Club, Save RGV, and the Carrizo Comecrudo Nation of Texas are scheduled to present oral arguments before the 13th Court of Appeals on Wednesday morning in Edinburg.

Last summer, the groups filed a lawsuit accusing the state of not upholding the Texas Open Beaches Act, but a district court judge in Brownsville ruled against their lawsuit, saying they couldn’t sue the Texas General Land Office or Cameron County, where the popular beach and SpaceX are located. The Texas Constitution grants the public rights to all public beaches. At issue, however, is whether private groups have a constitutional right to sue.

Though I am not surprised that the lawsuit was dismissed because these groups have no standing, this the first I had heard of that dismissal. I suspect their appeal will fail as well, especially as the hearing is being held in the state courts, which are generally very sympathetic to SpaceX and the economic rebirth it has brought to south Texas.

The American Geophysical Union shows off its ignorance of the scientific method

Recently a climate scientist caused an uproar among scientists and peer-review journals when he admitted in an op-ed that the only way he could get his climate paper published in the journal Nature was to fake his results in order to fit them to the narrative that human-caused global warming is causing all our environmental problems.

In my paper, we didn’t bother to study the influence of these other obviously relevant factors. Did I know that including them would make for a more realistic and useful analysis? I did. But I also knew that it would detract from the clean narrative centered on the negative impact of climate change and thus decrease the odds that the paper would pass muster with Nature’s editors and reviewers.

While that op-ed brutally exposed the political biases at Nature that make it impossible to get honest research published, it only told a part of the story. Nature is only one journal, and if it was the only place this corruption of science was occurring, the problem would be manageable.

In truth it is only one example of a far more widespread problem, because it is now practically impossible for any skeptic of global warming to get his or her work published in almost any scientific journal. Worse, most of the major science organizations worldwide no longer simply favor pro-global warming climate research, they act aggressively to promote only one kind of result, to the point that the things they publish sometimes are little different than Soviet propaganda.

The American Geophysical Union, where science is no longer practiced
The American Geophysical Union, where
science is no longer practiced

As a prime example, I want to focus today on the American Geophysical Union (AGU), an scientific organization initially formed as an umbrella group to help American scientists publish and publicize their research on the study of the Earth, its interior, and its nature as a planet. To do so the AGU publishes a wide range of peer-review journals, all intended as fair-minded outlets for new research.

Sadly, in the past two decades the AG abandoned that primary function. For example, it has made its global-warming biases clear for several decades, essentially telling every climate scientist worldwide that if you submit any paper that raises any questions about global warming, it will be rejected outright.

More recently however the AGU has become even more up front and public about its close-minded approval of the as-yet unproven theory that humans are causing the climate to heat up. » Read more

The sunspot count in August demonstrates fully the utter uncertainty of science

In doing these sunspot updates every month since I started Behind the Black thirteen years ago, one of the repeated common themes has been noting how little we really know about the basic fundamental processes within the Sun. We know the process involves nuclear fusion combined with fission, and that process also creates a powerful magnetic field that every eleven years flips in its polarity. We also know that this eleven year cycle corresponds to an eleven year cycle of rising and then falling sunspot activity.

The devil however is in the details, and we know very little about those details. How those larger processes link to the specific changing features on the Sun remains little understood, if at all. The sudden and entirely unexpected steep drop in sunspot activity in August, as noted in the release yesterday of NOAA’s monthly update of its graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere, demonstrates this level of ignorance quite starkly.
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Reviewing a book blacklisted by Amazon because it dared say things Amazon doesn’t like

The Plague of Models, blacklisted by Amazon
The Plague of Models, blacklisted by Amazon

They’re coming for you next: Last week I posted an essay on the over-use and misuse of computer modeling in today’s scientific community, focused specifically on the unreliability of all climate models to successfully predict any actual climate trends.

One of the individuals who read my essay, Kenneth Green, immediately commented here on Behind the Black to note that he had just published a book on this very subject, entitled The Plague of Models: How Computer Modeling Corrupted Environmental, Health, and Safety Regulations, describing how the misuse of models has resulted in the proliferation of government regulations based not on actual data but on computer models that in many ways are nothing more than the opinions of the computer programs.

Green also noted that Amazon has refused to make his book available for sale, essentially banning it for no justifiable reason. As he explained to me in an email,

My publisher, who is a start-up small Canadian publisher specializing in public policy books, tried to upload The Plague of Models to Amazon, as he had previously done with half a dozen other books while working at previous institutions as in-house publisher.

This time, unlike his previous experiences, the book was taken down shortly after it was uploaded (and we know the upload process worked, since the book was available briefly for preview, so there was no technical issue with the manuscript file). The publisher got a form-letter email saying that the book had been taken down because it may have violated some (non-specific) Amazon Term of Service. When he sent a note back requesting clarification/appeal, he got another form letter, this one repeating that the book may have violated some term of service, and warning that any attempt to re-upload would get his entire account terminated.
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It is time to devalue the software research of climate models

When the table of contents of the most recent issue of the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) Geophysical Research Letters was released on August 16, 2023, I could not help noticing it contained a string of papers repeatedly showing that the models used to prove the coming fire of global warming continue to remain untrustworthy and unreliable. All of the following papers indicated biases and uncertainties of both climate models as well as the data they used, and each did so in their titles:

All of these papers considered the models valid for future research, and were instead focused on refining and increasing the accuracy of the models. All however showed once again how little we should trust these models.

What makes the publication of these papers significant is that it was the AGU that published them, even though the AGU has a decidedly biased editorial policy in favor of global warming. Despite the AGU’s insistence that “realistic and continually improving computer simulations of the global climate predict that global temperatures will continue to rise as a result of past and future greenhouse gas emissions,” it still cannot avoid publishing papers that repeatedly disprove that conclusion.
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Scientists: Neptune’s clouds appear to ebb and grow in conjunction with sunspot cycle

Graph showing correlation between Neptune's clouds and the sunspot cycle

Scientists have now discovered what appears to be a link between the coming and going of clouds on Neptune to the Sun’s 11-year-long sunspot cycle, despite Neptune receiving only 1/900th the sunlight of the Earth.

To monitor the evolution of Neptune’s appearance, Chavez and her team analyzed images taken from 1994 to 2022 using Keck Observatory’s second generation Near-Infrared Camera (NIRC2) paired with its adaptive optics system (since 2002), as well as observations from Lick Observatory (2018-2019) and the Hubble Space Telescope (since 1994). In recent years the Keck Observatory observations have been complemented by images taken as part of Keck Observatory’s Twilight Observing Program and by Hubble Space Telescope images taken as part of the Outer Planet Atmospheres Legacy (OPAL) program.

The data revealed an intriguing pattern between changes in Neptune’s cloud cover and the solar cycle – the period when the Sun’s magnetic field flips every 11 years, causing levels of solar radiation to fluctuate. When the Sun emits more intense ultraviolet (UV) light, specifically the strong hydrogen Lyman-alpha emission, more clouds appear on Neptune about two years later. The team further found a positive correlation between the number of clouds and the ice giant’s brightness from the sunlight reflecting off it.

“These remarkable data give us the strongest evidence yet that Neptune’s cloud cover correlates with the Sun’s cycle,” said de Pater. “Our findings support the theory that the Sun’s UV rays, when strong enough, may be triggering a photochemical reaction that produces Neptune’s clouds.”

The graph to the right shows the correlation between the clouds and the sunspot cycle. The paper is available here.

This conclusion remains uncertain because of the overall sparseness of the data. Yet, it is intriguing, and also underlines the importance of the Sun on the Earth’s climate. If the solar cycle can impact Neptune’s climate so significantly from 2.8 billion miles away, it certainly must have a major impact on the Earth’s climate at only 100 million miles distance.

Sunspot update: In July the Sun continued its high sunspot activity

Today NOAA released its monthly update of its graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I have done every month for the entire thirteen years I have been doing this website, I have posted that updated graph below, adding to it some extra details to provide some context.

Though the sunspot count in July was slightly less than the very high numbers in June (the highest seen in more than two decades), the decline was almost inconsequential. Except for June’s activity, the activity in July was still the highest sunspot count in a month since September 2002, when the Sun was just beginning its ramp down after its solar maximum that reached its peak in late 2001. From that time until the last two months, the Sun had been in a very prolonged quiet period, with two solar minimums that were overly long and a single solar maximum that was very weak with a extended double peak lasting almost four years.
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Scientists increasingly put politics over uncertainty in their research papers

The modern scientific method
The modern scientific method

The death of uncertainty in science: According to a paper published this week in the peer-review journal Science, scientists in recent years are increasingly abandoning uncertainty in their research papers and are instead more willing to make claims of absolute certainty without hesitation or even proof.

If this trend holds across the scientific literature, it suggests a worrisome rise of unreliable, exaggerated claims, some observers say. Hedging and avoiding overconfidence “are vital to communicating what one’s data can actually say and what it merely implies,” says Melissa Wheeler, a social psychologist at the Swinburne University of Technology who was not involved in the study. “If academic writing becomes more about the rhetoric … it will become more difficult for readers to decipher what is groundbreaking and truly novel.”

The new analysis, one of the largest of its kind, examined more than 2600 research articles published from 1997 to 2021 in Science, which the team chose because it publishes articles from multiple disciplines. (Science’s news team is independent from the editorial side.) The team searched the papers for about 50 terms such as “could,” “appear to,” “approximately,” and “seem.” The frequency of these hedging words dropped from 115.8 instances per 10,000 words in 1997 to 67.42 per 10,000 words in 2021.

Those numbers represent a 40% decline, a trend that has been clear for decades, first becoming obvious in the climate field. » Read more

All UN climate models vastly over-estimate warming in the U.S.

climate models vs observations

According to a direct comparison between actual data and the three-dozen climate models used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the models all overestimate the warming that has happened, sometimes by ridiculous amounts.

The graph to the right shows “the 50-year area-averaged temperature trend during 1973-2022 for the 12-state corn belt as observed with the official NOAA homogenized surface temperature product (blue bar) versus the same metric from 36 CMIP6 climate models [red bars].”

This story isn’t new, and in fact to me has become somewhat boring because the results are always the same. The computer models that global warming climate scientists have pushed at us for decades have been consistently wrong. They routinely have over-predicted the amount of warming. Since such models are expressly designed to provide us reliable predictions, and these models are not reliable or correct, I find it absurd to pay any attention to them.

At the same time, this repeated and continuing failure needs to be mentioned periodically, because politicians and climate warming activists (I repeat myself) continue to ignore this failure as they wave these models around like red flags that must to be obeyed. Not only should these models be ignored, our governments and science community should stop funding these people. Their work is a failure. They don’t deserve further grants.

Let me add one more important note: The observations show an increase of about 0.2 degrees Fahrenheit per decade. This increase is almost a rounding number, considering the amount of random fluctuations that is routinely seen in the global climate temperature. Even if the trend was extended for a century (something that is not guaranteed at all), the increase would still be only two degrees, hardly a worry.

SpaceX and FAA seek dismissal of lawsuit against Starship at Boca Chica

Both the FAA and SpaceX have now submitted their response to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other environmental and leftist political groups, requesting a dismissal of their lawsuit demanding no more launches at Boca Chica until the federal government completes a new environmental impact statement.

In a filing Friday, the FAA said the groups lack legal standing for their claims against the agency that granted a launch license to SpaceX’s Starship rocket program. Separately, a SpaceX filing said the first Starship launch on April 20 provided no cause for the FAA to conduct a new environmental assessment, a process that could halt further test launches for years. “For the foregoing reasons, defendants request that the court dismiss the complaint in its entirety,” Todd Kim, assistant attorney general for the environment and natural resources division of the U.S. Department of Justice, wrote in the filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

In a sane world, this lawsuit would have been thrown out of court almost instantly. There is no evidence the test launch of Starship/Superheavy caused any environmental damage. Furthermore, launches from Cape Canaveral for the past seven decades have proven this fact repeatedly.

We no longer live in a sane world. There is no guarantee the court will rule in favor of the FAA or SpaceX.

Sunspot update: June saw the most sunspots in more than two decades

Time for our monthly sunspot update, based on NOAA’s monthly graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. I have posted that graph below, but have added some extra details to provide some context.

June saw the highest sunspot count in a month since September 2002, when the Sun was just beginning its ramp down after its solar maximum that reached its peak in late 2001. From that time until now, the Sun has been in a very prolonged quiet period, with two solar minimums that were overly long and a single solar maximum that was very weak with a extended double peak lasting almost four years.
» Read more

Greta Thunberg: All humanity is now extinct on Earth, because we didn’t do anything about global warming

Greta Thunberg speaks!
Greta Thunberg speaks!

How dare you! On June 21, 2018, Greta Thunberg informed us — as shown in her tweet to the right — that we only had five years left to stop using fossil fuels, and if we didn’t “climate change will wipe out all of humanity.”

I am hardly the only person to note this example of global warming fraudulence. Numerous reporters have also gleefully noted it, with this essay today at American Thinker by Andrea Widburg probably the most damning, not so much for noting the ignorant rantings of this uneducated high school drop-out whom the left made their icon of knowledge and top global warming expert, but for the list she provides of the endless number of other failed doomsday predictions by global warming activists and politicians.

That list was compiled in 2019, and thus it did not yet include Thunberg’s absurd prediction. Nor did it include the endless string of additional false doomsday predictions that this crowd has continued to issue in the years since, all of which I guarantee without any uncertainty will all fail, just as their hundreds of past doomsday predictions have failed.

You see, the point of those predictions was not to educate, but to instill fear, so as to then justify a power grab by the government. As Widburg concludes:
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Sunspot update: May activity once again far above prediction

With the start of the month it is time once again for our monthly sunspot update, based on the new data that NOAA today added to its own monthly graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. I have posted that graph below, but have added some extra details to provide some context.

In May the number of sunspots zipped upward again, ending up at the second highest monthly count during this ramp up to solar maximum, and the second highest count since the last solar maximum in 2014.
» Read more

SpaceX files to join FAA as defendant in lawsuit trying to shut down Boca Chica

SpaceX on May 19, 2023 submitted a motion to become a defendant in the lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and others that demands its Starship/Superheavy launchsite at Boca Chica be shut down.

“SpaceX’s Starship/Super Heavy launch program hinges on the FAA’s review and licensing decision challenged here. If the Court were to rule in Plaintiffs’ favor, the FAA’s decision could be set aside, and further licensing of the Starship/Super Heavy Program could be significantly delayed, causing severe injury to SpaceX’s business,” the company said in the motion, which was filed on May 19.

The full motion can be read here [pdf].

SpaceX’s motion notes that it has followed all government regulations in the decade since it established its Boca Chica launch site, and invested more than $3 billion in doing so. The motion points out that “the FAA does not adequately represent SpaceX’s interests” and that the company must participate because the lawsuit will have direct financial impact on its business.

In other words, the big guns are now being hauled out against this lawsuit, which on its face is somewhat weak. We shall see if it can withstand the much more aggressive fight that SpaceX is certain to put up.

Rocket Lab successfully launches two NASA hurricane monitoring cubesats

Rocket Lab’s Electron rocket today successfully placed NASA’s two Tropics hurricane monitoring cubesats into orbit, lifting off from New Zealand ((May 8th New Zealand time).

This is the first of two Rocket Lab launches to get the entire four-satellite Tropics constellation into orbit, with the second schedule for two weeks from now.

The leaders in the 2023 launch race:

29 SpaceX
16 China
6 Russia
4 Rocket Lab

American private enterprise now leads China 33 to 16 in the national rankings, and the entire world combined 33 to 28.

Sunspot update: April activity drops steeply

NOAA this week once again published an update of its monthly graph that tracks the number of sunspots on the Sun’s Earth-facing hemisphere. As I do every month, I have posted this graph below, with some additional details included to provide some context.

In April the number of sunspots dropped again, for the second time in the past three months. The high activity previously had suggested that the solar maximum was going to be much higher than predicted, or possibly would come sooner than expected. The drop however now suggests that the fast rise in sunspot activity that we have seen since the beginning of the ramp up to solar maximum in 2020 might finally be abating.
» Read more

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