Ron Johnson’s explanation for global warming: sunspots!

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who’s not a believer in all that man-made global warming mumbo jumbo, has a simple explanation for the extreme weather linked to global warming: sunspots!

A global warming skeptic, Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as many scientists believe.

“I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

Johnson, in an interview last month, described believers in manmade causes of climate change as “crazy” and the theory as “lunacy.”

“It’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time,” he said.

Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow,” said Johnson.

Average Earth temperatures were relatively warm during the Middle Ages, Johnson said, and “it’s not like there were tons of cars on the road.”

Ron Johnson’s “sunspots are the cause of global warming” statement reminds me of the time former Republican Senate candidate Terrence Wall said the earth’s climate has been changing for billions of years, only to turn around and say 45 minutes later that the Earth was only thousands of years old.

Next we can expect to hear Ron Johnson explain how dinosaurs and men roamed the Earth at the same time, just like in all those episodes of The Flintstones we all watched as kids.


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13 thoughts on “Ron Johnson’s explanation for global warming: sunspots!

    1. You mean like how they blame it on cattle emissions today?

      The sunspots theory seems to make as much sense, if not more, than anything Al Gore has come up with.

  1. Ok, I’ll bite. Let’s forget for one moment that the predominance of scientific evidence all points to global warming with the main cause shaping up to be humans. Just one moment.

    Now, look at what Johnson (graduate of the James Inhofe School of Climatology) says is causing global warming. Sun spots. That’s right, sun spots. Any evidence to back that claim up, much less an explanation of a mechanism for such warming? No, of course not, that would require….RESEARCH. Something clearly optional with deniers.

    So (hope you’re still ignoring the real truth here, just another moment), we’ve been studying sun spots for at least the last 80 years, with very careful data recording about every aspect of what sunspots are and what they do. And, we have very detailed climatological data from at least the last 200 years from all over the world. All Mr. Johnson has to do, is very simply show the correlation between sunspot activity (which runs on more or less an 11 year cycle), and temperature variations over the same period of time. If the sunspot theory were to even have a shred of validity, we should see an 11 year pattern in climatological records.

    Now, before you deniers get all up on all of the other crackpot theories (and I’ve seen them all), remember that Mr. Johnson’s claimed cause of global warming is…..sunspots.

    Okay, time’s up, back to the real world. Unless and until the deniers acknowledge the baseline facts and the (nearly universal) consensus on the causes of global warming, there can be no dialogue on how to solve the problem. And it’s crystal clear that as long as the deniers maintain their position, then they will have no interest whatsoever on how to solve the problem.

    Oh yeah, peer reviewed research only, please.

    1. Just goes to show whether it’s 80 years of data or 200 (that’s pushing it for reliablility though), we don’t have any idea about climate patterns over BILLIONS of years.

      1. Really. That’s the best you could do.

        Marginalize the careers of tens of thousands of scientists, hundreds of thousands of published papers documenting the history of this planet, all with a dismissive, irrelevant wave of the hand? Then do us all a favor. If all you want to do is politicize a real threat to this world and support it with absolutely NO evidence, then fine….get the hell out of the way so that those of us who know better can try to do something about it.

        I like the reality of my world better than the fantasy of yours.

      2. Climate patterns for billions of years…I thought the earth was only 6,000 years old?

    2. One more thing. The whole “things were warm in the middle ages” canard. It is believed that there was indeed a period of warming during that time (and others, there is no dispute that natural warming has happened), but it becomes a big red herring when you try to explain away current global warming because of it, and for two reasons. One, humans had yet to invent the thermometer. That makes climate estimates a rather imprecise science. We can get a decent ballpark of data by (among several means) studying ice core samples and the fossil record. It’s a good guess, that’s all. Second, when you compare climate trends from those eras that demonstrated warming with climate records from the last century, those early periods don’t come within and ORDER OF MAGNITUDE in amplitude. It’s not even remotely close.

      Finally, we can fairly precisely, calculate carbon dioxide levels at many points in history and pre-history. And the data is very clear that there is far more CO2 in our atmosphere now than can possibly be natural. You can’t burn forests fast enough to pump the amount of CO2 into the atmosphere that has been observed in the last 175 years.

      But what do I know. I’m only a Meteorologist, not a Climatologist. And I’m pretty sure I just wasted the last 30 minutes.

      1. But there was an ice age wasn’t there? And then the climate magically heated up. Hmmm.

        I’d happily let you do something about it, except that “something” will be forced on all of us. It’s rather funny that you think you can change the entire climate of the earth by driving a Prius and recycling a plastic bottle.

  2. I love to hear liberals try and explain global warming. Frankly the evidence is laughable. Rich reports correctly that CO2 increase can be mapped to a warming climate. This is a association and is not “evidence” of global warming. That would be like stating socioeconomic status is linked to early mortality. In reality obesity, tobacco abuse… account for almost all mortality associated with poverty.

    We do not have the tools to prove global warming and many of the tools have been purposely bias in favor of proving an association. Remember associations do not prove anything. That said we cannot prove that global warming is not happening and that should be the premise we unite under.

  3. Just to be clear, I am a progressive liberal and would not vote for Ron Johnson if I lived in Wisconsin, but there was a great documentary made for the BBC. It interviewed scientists and brought forth a lot of scientific evidence, and I wouldn’t be surprised if most of Johnson’s opinions are shaped by this film. There was some pretty convincing stuff in there, so I wouldn’t attack his character on this alone.

    You can read about the film here, and there is a list of the scientific issues raised:

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