Guest essay by David Archibald

The people of Canberra are the richest in Australia so they voted in a provincial government that proved how virtuous they were by increasing the proportion of their power supply that came from wind and solar sources. As a consequence, the cost of power went up and the people of Canberra have responded by seeking out warm public buildings in the current southern winter. Respiratory disease load increases in winter and so no doubt there will be some deaths caused by the government’s virtue signalling.

Hundreds of thousands of people in first-world-country Germany have gone off grid because they can’t afford power any more. Of course heat kills too and the biggest heat-related, first-world die-off in recent years was in Europe in 2003. As Dave Rutledge wrote in 2015, “During the great European Heat Wave of 2003, 70,000 people died, most of them indoors. This is a horrible way to die. The people who were indoors could have been saved by a $140 Frigidaire window unit, but only if they could afford to pay for the electricity.”

All the energy that drives the Earth’s climate system comes from the Sun. So could there have been a solar component to the 2003 event? A number of solar parameters suggest there might have been:

Figure 1: Solar Wind Plasma Temperature 2000 – 2017

Figure 2: Solar Wind Plasma Speed 2000 – 2017

Figures 1 and 2 show a big excursion in 2003, the year of the killer European heatwave. Supporting evidence comes from the F10.7 flux plotted against sunspot area:

Figure 3: Hemispheric Sunspot Area and F10.7 Flux 1985 – 2016

The F10.7 flux closely follows sunspot area except for an excursion in 2003 during which the F10.7 flux peaks much higher. What could have caused Europe to have had its own heat wave and not affect most of the rest of the planet? Climate does respond to higher levels of solar UV as described by this paper by Haigh, in 2005 which states:

The results clearly show a weakening and poleward shift of the jets when the sun is more active, again, as predicted by the model studies. The GCMs also predicted a response to higher levels of solar UV in the tropospheric…