Incoming Transmission From Planet Flat Earth!

In an alternate universe, where up is down, planets are flat, and hot is actually cold, lives a certain Republican Senator named James Inhofe. He has been known to travel to the US Senate and hold climate change hearings in which science fiction is introduced as “evidence” that climate change is a “hoax”, and in which individuals with questionable scientific judgment are called upon to profess their agreement with his views.

One tired argument that he and his oily friends have consistently brought up is that global warming is cyclical, and is caused by sunspots. Regardless of the fact that the “sunspots and cosmic rays” theory of global warming has been conclusively disproved (multiple times), Inhofe brought it up in today's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting, citing the Farmer's Almanac as his “research” source.

Regarding the mark-up on the bills being considered, Inhofe said :

A few of the bills also address global warming. I would like to point out that according to the new Farmers’ Almanac released this week and its time-honored, complex calculations that it uses to predict weather, they predict we will be in for a colder than normal winter. In addition, they suggest that based on a study of solar activity and corresponding records on ocean temperatures and climate that we will be in for a cooler, not warmer, climate, for perhaps the next half century.

Wikipedia gives a good description of the Farmer's Almanac as:

… an annual North American periodical that has been in continuous publication since 1818. Published by the Almanac Publishing Company, of Lewiston, Maine, it is famous for its long-range weather predictions and astronomical data, as well as its trademark blend of humor, trivia, and advice on gardening, cooking, fishing, and human-interest crusades.

Click here to see for yourself. It's a quaint publication, with a “top secret ” formula (and forecaster) used to predict long-term weather. Mainstream meteorologists and meterological researchers tend to question the accuracy of the Almanac.

What is absolutely without question is that the Farmer's Almanac is a great source of global warming skepticism. For example, we have well-known skeptic Joseph D'Aleo writing the climate change section of the Almanac. His introduction ends with:

There is another possible explanation for—or, at least, influence on—climate change. This involves natural factors, most notably the Sun and Earth's oceans. We at the Almanac are among those who believe that sunspot cycles and their effects on oceans correlate with climate changes. Studying these and other factors suggests that a cold, not warm, climate may be in our future.

He continues his discussion with classic skeptic stuff, including the pieces “Is Global Warming on the Wane? The Case for a Cool Climate” and “Is Global Warming on the Wane? How Solar Goes Polar”, the latter being a treatise on the abovementioned “sunspots cause global warming” theory.

Not surprisingly, Inhofe quoted D'Aleo in one of his rants on the Senate floor a year ago:

“If the atmosphere was a 100 story building, our annual anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor,” D'Aleo wrote

Doubtless, the Farmer's Almanac occupies a prominent spot on Senator Inhofe's desk. And given who's writing for their global warming section, it's no surprise that Inhofe thinks the Almanac is a solid scientific source.

Who knows. Maybe on Inhofe's planet, it is.


Oh OK… that changes quote a good lot, especially the part about whether the formulae being used are top-secret.


Oh wait… the formula is still secret. Part of it anyway.