The scientists at NASA (Motto: It's not rocket science...hell, what we do isn't even science) have announced that there has been a curious absence of sunspots for the past few years and this absence has been the most prolonged in the past 100 years....and there is hand-wringing at NASA that this may just be the calm before the Sun unleashes solar storms on a epic level. This last is pure douchery as there is no clear idea as to what drives the sunspot cycle within the Sun...but NASA climate change dogma requires it be said.
Lack of sunspot activity is by no means unprecedented. The sixteenth century marked the beginning of systematic astronomical activity and the presence or absence of sunspots received a great deal of attention. Astronomers through the next three hundred years noted periods of unusually low sunspot activity. These periods were even named after their discoverers, the Sporer Minimum (1425-1575), the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), and the Dalton Minimum (1790-1820). Long periods of low sunspot activity are well documented and yet, NASA, in its hand-wringing report of a couple of years without sunspots, fails to even mention these precedents. Why?
There is really no big mystery here. Large portions of the NASA budget are dependent on climate change research and by "climate change" we mean "catastrophic anthropogenic global warming threatening life-as-we-know-it that will require massive government funding (to NASA) in order to save us from ourselves". Historical sunspot minima are especially inconvenient in the present context for NASA climate doomsayers because low sunspot activity correlates to reduced solar luminosity and the previous minima coincide with the coldest periods of the so-called "Little Ice Age" that occurred between roughly 1380 and 1850. Imagine that...variations in solar intensity being a primary driver of climate changes. Note that the NASA report implies that sunspot activity has been high for the past 100 years. Hmmm...increased solar intensity over the same period of time that mankind has supposedly been raping the planet with carbon emissions? Coincidence? I think not.
Imagine the budgetary disaster at NASA if they started talking about 30 to 60 years of cooling temperatures ahead. James Hansen might actually have to start doing real science instead of just making shit up.