Era of ‘Unquestioned and Unchallenged’ Climate Change Claims Is Over

From the Epoch Times

New studies undercut the ‘scientifically empty’ warming narrative, says astrophysicist and aerospace engineer.

Era of ‘Unquestioned and Unchallenged’ Climate Change Claims Is Over
(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images)

By Alex Newman

|Oct 11, 2023

News Analysis

Leading voices in the climate community are in an uproar as their warming hypothesis comes under fresh assault by new scientific papers.

The authors of the papers are being attacked and say that “activist scientists” threatened by the new findings are “aggressively conducting an orchestrated disinformation campaign to discredit the papers and the scientific reputation of the authors.”

Indeed, from insults on social media and furious blog posts to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests demanding emails from a journal editor and federal scientist, the controversy is getting heated.

Several scientists who spoke with The Epoch Times expressed shock at the tactics used against those whose latest research is casting renewed doubts on the official climate narrative.

William Happer, Princeton professor emeritus of physics and former climate adviser to President Donald Trump, wasn't surprised by the response to the new findings.

“Of course the climate cult will be dismissive of any information—no matter how scientifically correct—that is politically incorrect," he told The Epoch Times, noting that the new findings made important and valid points.

The reason that climate activists are so upset is that the findings of the new papers—a trio of peer-reviewed studies by astrophysicist Willie Soon and dozens of other scientists from around the world—are casting further doubt on the narrative of man-made global warming.

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The papers are also fueling even more public skepticism about the U.N Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which the authors say ignores the facts as well as climate science more generally.

The rhetoric employed by taxpayer-funded scientists with a vested interest in the climate change narrative to attack the new research was profoundly unscientific, multiple scientists told The Epoch Times.

Atmospheric science professor Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, for instance, denounced the authors of one of the new papers as “a group of climate denier [clown emoji]” on X.

Mr. Mann, famous for the now-widely ridiculed “hockey stick” graph purporting to show massive man-made warming, also described the editor of the journal Climate as a “denier clown.”

Gareth S. Jones with the UK Met Office ridiculed the new studies as "nonsense," while smearing the journal publisher for supposedly being "popular with the science denial community."


(Left) Atmospheric science professor Michael Mann is famous for the now-widely ridiculed “hockey stick” graph (L) purporting to show massive man-made warming. The blue curve is the original “hockey stick” with its uncertainty range in light blue. (Right) Scientist Michael Man (L) and director Josh Fox attend the New York Screening of the HBO Documentary

Mr. Jones also denounced the guest editor of Climate’s special issue, Ned Nikolov, for having a "bit of a reputation, so much so that other climate contrarians distance themselves from him."

Mr. Nikolov authored an earlier paper arguing that atmospheric pressure, not greenhouse gases, plays a primary role in temperatures on Earth and on other celestial bodies.

Also chiming in to attack the new papers and the scientists behind them was Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, who's using a FOIA request to demand all of Mr. Nikolov’s emails with relevant scientists.

Mr. Schmidt mocked Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore, one of the authors, saying on X that there was “mo[o]re [expletive] going around” before posting a highly edited version of Mr. Moore’s post on social media.

Willie Soon, astrophysicist with the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences. (Courtesy of Willie Soon)
Willie Soon, astrophysicist with the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences. (Courtesy of Willie Soon)

“The only point of this paper (which every climate denier and their dog has jumped onto), is to launder dirty ‘science’ into a clean made-for-Fox meme,” Mr. Schmidt wrote on X before publishing a more detailed rebuttal on his blog Real Climate.

“The latest contrarian crowd pleaser from Soon et al (2023) is just the latest repetition of the old ‘it was the sun wot done it’ trope[1] that Willie Soon and his colleagues have been pushing for decades,” argued Mr. Schmidt, whose federal salary is almost $200,000 per year. “There is literally nothing new under the sun.”

Scientists Respond

The blog post by Mr. Schmidt “is dismissive in an insubstantive way,” said climatologist Judith Curry, who wasn't involved in the new papers but previously served as chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

“The response by Schmidt, Mann, and others, particularly with regard to the FOIA request regarding editorial discussions on this paper, reflects their ongoing attempts to control the scientific as well as public dialogue on climate change,” she told The Epoch Times. “In my opinion, their behavior not only reflects poorly on them but is damaging to climate science.”

Ms. Curry, author of "Climate Uncertainty and Risk," who has a post by the lead authors on her blog Climate Etc. to provide a forum for discussion, said the new paper raises “an important issue that is swept under the rug by the IPCC and many climate scientists.”

In particular, it has major implications for how 20th-century climate records are interpreted, she said.

“Further, the issue of the urban heat island effect on global land temperatures remains unresolved, which is also highlighted in the Soon et al. paper,” she said, calling it “a useful contribution to the climate science literature.”

Mr. Soon, the main author of the paper and a principal with the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences (CERES), explained that the three new papers by CERES scientists are a major threat to powerful vested interests.

“For over three decades, the claims and conclusions by U.N. IPCC reports reigned supreme, unquestioned and unchallenged,” Mr. Soon, who was previously with the solar and stellar physics division of the Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, told The Epoch Times. “Our latest series of three published papers show that those claims are scientifically empty.


The new paper shows “very strong evidence” that a global “warming bias is built into the records from urban areas,” according to an expert. (Victor He/Unsplash)

“Our results appear to rock the weak foundation of IPCC, and this must be the reason why you are seeing such instantaneous rejection and outright complaining by activists like Schmidt and Mann.”

Mr. Soon and some of the other scientists involved in the new papers published another groundbreaking study in 2021 showing that solar activity could explain all observed warming.

In a highly unusual development for complex scientific studies, that paper has been downloaded more than 55,000 times since it was published.

“The high level of attention to this paper by people hungry for truth might be the real threats that Schmidt and Mann are worrying about,” Mr. Soon said, pointing to a detailed response to the attacks from critics published on, titled "The orchestrated disinformation campaign by to falsely discredit and censor our work."

Mr. Happer noted that the new paper by Mr. Soon and the other authors, headlined “The Detection and Attribution of Northern Hemisphere Land Surface Warming,” is indeed significant.

The two important and valid points are that there are “huge uncertainties” surrounding how much warming there has been since 1850 and how much of that might be due to human activities, he said.

“The paper presents very strong evidence that a warming bias is built into the records from urban areas,” Mr. Happer told The Epoch Times after reviewing the paper, which he wasn't involved with.

“This extra warming of urban versus rural areas is not caused by increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. It is caused by humans, but it cannot be reversed by ruinous net-zero policies.”


A groundbreaking study in 2021 had shown that solar activity could explain all observed warming. (David Gannon/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr. Happer, who believes that human CO2 emissions are responsible for “a relatively small contribution” to the “modest warming” that has been observed, agreed with the paper’s conclusion that available data isn't good enough to determine how significant the various factors, such as volcanoes, solar irradiance, and greenhouse gas emissions, are to the warming.

Marc Morano, editor of the popular website Climate Depot, told The Epoch Times that the aggressive reaction to the new papers was an effort to silence dissent from the U.N.-backed narrative.

“The climate establishment is mimicking the same coercive tactics that we saw in COVID,” he said. “If you present any scientific challenge to the official narrative, you are the deplatformed, canceled, censored, and silenced.”

Indeed, the United Nations and other powerful groups are actively working to silence other views on the issue. U.N. Undersecretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming is waging war on what she calls climate “disinformation.”

During a World Economic Forum event last year, Ms. Fleming, claiming “we own the science,” boasted of the U.N. partnership with Google to suppress information online contradicting the U.N. perspective on climate issues.

Mr. Morano, one of the leading communicators in the climate skeptic community, sounded the alarm.

“We are witnessing scientific research being distorted to support only 'The Science'," he warned.

The IPCC, which describes itself as the U.N. body for “assessing the science related to climate change,” declined to comment on the new papers.

“The IPCC does not comment on individual studies or on matters outside the scope of IPCC assessment reports,” the U.N. body’s media team told The Epoch Times in an email. “At the beginning of the assessment process, each IPCC Working Group sets cut-off dates by which time literature has to be accepted for publication by scientific journals, if it is to be included in the current assessment.”


Marc Morano, editor of the popular website Climate Depot. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Why the Fierce Reaction?

The new papers that have scientists such as Mr. Mann and Mr. Schmidt speaking out so vociferously show that almost half of the warming recorded in recent decades is actually the result of what's known as the “urban heat island” effect.


Because so many temperature stations around the world are in areas that have become urbanized over time, the temperature records that they produce show artificial, localized warming, while rural stations show far less warming.

The rest of the recorded warming can be explained by changes in solar activity documented by NASA, according to the papers.

Scientists behind the new studies, who led a team of almost 40 researchers from 18 countries, told The Epoch Times in a series of interviews that their findings undermine the fearmongering being pushed by governments and the media.


The studies also jeopardize the massive policy changes and trillions of dollars’ worth of government spending worldwide that have been justified by the warming narrative, experts said.

This isn't the first time that these questions have been raised. The new studies build on an earlier paper published by a coalition that includes some of the same scientists that shows that changes in solar activity, as recorded by NASA, can account for as much as 100 percent of the observed warming of recent decades.

All of that contradicts the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide, which make up a fraction of 1 percent of all “greenhouse gases” present naturally in the atmosphere, are primarily responsible for the observed warming of recent decades.

Smoke rises from the coal-fired power plant of STEAG on a cold winter day in Oberhausen, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2017. (Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from the coal-fired power plant of STEAG on a cold winter day in Oberhausen, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2017. (Lukas Schulze/Getty Images)

The man-made warming hypothesis is supported by the United Nations and many of its member governments, including the current U.S. administration. It's being cited to justify sweeping public policy changes across a range of fields along with spending hundreds of billions of tax dollars per year.

Led by scientists including Mr. Soon and Ronan Connolly of CERES, the global team behind the papers and their findings represent a mortal threat to the entire climate industry.

Already, polling data show that most American adults reject the man-made warming hypothesis.


Less than half of Americans believe that climate change is caused by human activities, according to an AP-NORC survey released earlier this year.

The same poll showed that just 38 percent of the adults surveyed would accept paying even $1 extra per month on their energy bill to fight alleged man-made global warming.

With the climate community and the governments that fund it seeking trillions of tax dollars and a total restructuring of energy systems and even the global economy to deal with climate change, the stakes couldn't be higher.

A number of climate scientists contacted for comment by The Epoch Times declined to respond on the record.

Saying that what passes for climate science had been deeply corrupted, several warned that advocates of the man-made-warming position would retaliate against them if they spoke out publicly.


Street artists paint a mural as part of the Grantham Climate Art Prize 2021 on a wall near the COP26 climate summit venue in Glasgow, Scotland, on Oct. 13, 2021. (Andy Buchanan/AFP via Getty Images)

Retaliation and Debate

One of the scientists facing what critics believe is retaliation is Mr. Nikolov, a federal scientist who also served as guest editor of the journal that published one of the key new studies.

Mr. Nikolov expressed surprise and dismay when Mr. Schmidt and Dan Vergano, a senior opinion editor at Scientific American, demanded his emails under FOIA.

"I was rather surprised by the content of the request, since it’s quite unusual to ask to examine the email correspondence between authors and the guest editor of a special issue of a science journal, when there has been no indication of a malpractice or a dispute between authors and the editor resulting in an unfair treatment of a manuscript,” Mr. Nikolov told The Epoch Times.

Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. (BGilbert/Public Domain)
Gavin Schmidt, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. (BGilbert/Public Domain)

At first, Mr. Nikolov thought Mr. Schmidt was simply upset by the topic of the special issue of Climate that focused on “natural drivers” of climate, “since his views are heavily biased toward anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change,” Mr. Nikolov said.

Based on the email, it's clear that Mr. Schmidt is hoping to investigate his “activities” to seek out evidence of unethical or biased behavior, Mr. Nikolov said.

“However, I later realized that this FOIA request was part of a much bigger smear campaign conducted by Mr. Schmidt against a research group called Center for Environmental Research and Earth Sciences.”

Apparently, Mr. Nikolov said, Mr. Schmidt didn't like the findings because they “refute the claim by IPCC that the warming of the past 150 years was primarily due to human emissions of ‘greenhouse gases.’”

But instead of engaging the authors of the paper in a scientific debate using the normal peer-review publication process, Mr. Schmidt “decided to embark on a disinformation, smear campaign against the CERES group through his non-peer-reviewed blog,” Mr. Nikolov said, adding that the blog “uses condescending and ridiculing language that is reprehensible with respect to academic standards.”

Mr. Nikolov also accused Mr. Schmidt of misrepresenting the CERES papers to “discourage curious readers” from reviewing the actual findings.

People protest ahead of a climate change rally in Sydney on Sept. 20, 2019. (Jenny Evans/Getty Images)
People protest ahead of a climate change rally in Sydney on Sept. 20, 2019. (Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

“It's disappointing to see a government scientist and director of a NASA research institute engaging in distortion and misrepresentation of scientific information published in the peer-reviewed literature through a non-peer-reviewed blog,” he said, calling it a “violation of accepted academic standards of ethics.”

“If Dr. Schmidt has objections to the results published by the CERES group, a normal response would be to write and publish a paper that refutes these results through new and improved data analysis. Trying to discredit the authors and the guest editor of a journal by finding ‘dirt’ through a FOIA request is definitely not a part of the standard scientific process.”

Professor Demetris Koutsoyiannis with the National Technical University of Athens, who has also published findings contradicting the man-made warming hypothesis, told The Epoch Times that if he didn't know the context and history, he would welcome the recent critique by Mr. Mann and Mr. Schmidt.

However, considering the context and history—especially the infamous "ClimateGate" emails that exposed leading climate scientists conspiring to silence opponents and hide data as well as flaws in their own models—Mr. Koutsoyiannis believes that the critics are being "hypocritical."

"They resort to critique only when the attempts to silence and censor different views fail," he said, noting that the same tactics exposed in the ClimateGate revelations continue to be used.

"It is ironic that such cliques present themselves as world saviors from climate threats. What they do, either intentionally or unintentionally ... is to promote a politico-economic agenda that is very dark."

Neither Mr. Schmidt nor Mr. Mann responded to a request for comment by press time.