guess which of the following two grants will get funded and which won't: 1) man is not the cause of global warming/we're along for the ride on a system controlled in large part by solar output and other effects, give us money to study what they are, or 2) MAN IS DESTROYING THE PLANET, WE MUST BE STOPPED, WE WILL ALL DIE IF YOU DON'T FUND THIS RESEARCH.
If either of those grant applications would get funded in your country, then the entire grant system needs to be scrapped and rebuilt - they are both putting the conclusions before the research. Science is very different to lawyering - with lawyering your conclusions come first (i.e. your client is innocent) and you gather as much evidence for your conclusions as possible. Scientists on the other hand have the luxury of adapting their conclusions to fit the data. Sometimes this means a null result, but often this is worth publishing too and will get you more grants.
A variation on your first suggestion that doesn't imply bad science would be "to investigate the effect of solar flares on Earth's temperature and climate". In fact there has been a lot of publicly funded science on this topic, and I think a significant connection was pretty much ruled out back in the 90's (though I haven't checked).