Book Review of The Neglected Sun: ‘Buy This Book, Our Future May Depend On It’

Published July 9, 2015

In the words of George Devries Klein about The Neglected Sun:

In both my opinion and experience, this book is by far the best book I have encountered and read on the issue of climate change and anthropogenic global warming. Anyone interested in this topic should read a copy. It’s that definitive.

The book is a translation of the German version,Der Kalte Sonne, published in 2012. Thus, some of the policy discussions are set in a German context. They do provide a glimpse of what could happen if similar policies are adopted elsewhere as one sees today in the UK.

Here are some critical things I learned from the book (this is an incomplete list):

  • The sun, including its magnetic cycles, and inner dynamics, exerts the major control on climate variability and climate change.
  • Six different cycles of solar activity are documented. The climate history of the earth, including the last 150 years, correlate closely with these cycles which range from 11 to 2300 years. Moreover, some are amplified long term by Milankovich orbital parameters.
  • The sun’s quantitative influence on climate change exceeds the influence of anthropogenic CO2, although the authors acknowledge that anthropogenic CO2 has a minor role to play in raising global temperatures (I concur with this interpretation). The supporting arguments are well-buttressed and convincing
  • The current temperature “Pause” is explained in terms of solar cycles and decreasing solar radiation. Likely, a period of cooling is ahead as solar radiation entering a diminished phase.
  • Chapters 5 (Has the IPCC really done its homework?), 6 (The misunderstood climate amplifiers), and 7 (A look into the future) provide the most detailed and accurate critique of the UN-IPCC’s reports I have read (I call it a withering dissection). Thus, projected future temperature increases are expected to be much less than the UN-IPCC infers and the climate ‘crisis’ is overblown far too much. These chapters are incisive.
  • The last two chapters deal with German climate and energy policy. They are instructive because the policies are failing, particularly as electricity costs have skyrocketed since implementation. This is becoming a universal problem.
  • A trivial (or perhaps not) fact I did not know. Before Angela Merkel became Chancellor of Germany, she was the minister of the environment. It appears she was co-opted by the green movement well before her rise to global prominence.

Summary recommendation: Buy this book. Our future may depend on it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: George Devries Klein is a geologist who earned his MA from the University of Kansas and his PhD from Yale University in that field. He worked for Sinclair Research, Inc., and taught at the Universities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Illinois @ Urbana Champaign. He is now Professor Emeritus, Geology, University of Illinois @ Urbana Champaign.

Between 1996 and 2014, he was president of SD-STRAT Geoscience Consultants, Inc, a geological consulting firm in the petroleum field. He is now retired in Guam.