Archive for the ‘Scepticism’ category

Germans Give Climate Science The Big Thumbs Down

August 8, 2010
Reading all the climate doom and gloom in the more prominent German online papers like Der Spiegel, Die Welt, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, etc., you’d think by now readers would have long since barricaded themselves inside their homes and crawled under their beds in angst, in order to hide from the dreaded Klimakatastrophe

So frequent are the alarmist climate stories. Normally such stories would be better placed in the comics section. But in Germany newspapers don’t have a comics section, and so they get mixed in with the news.

Day after day normally respectable papers are filled with worst-case reports, often extracted from press releases dribbled out by tax-payer funded panic-houses like the authoritarian Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

But, hardly anyone believes them anymore:  90% to 10%.

Yesterday I read yet another rehashed panic story in Die Welt, whose title translates: Heat Waves Threaten With Increasing Frequency.

Very revealing are the reader comments. Judging from them, a majority of German readers scoff at the claims the planet is heating up catastrophically, and do so with a whoppingly huge majority. 

At Die Welt, readers who write comments can be rated by other readers with either a “thumbs up” if you agree with the comment, or a “thumbs down” if you don’t. So I counted up the number of “thumbs up” and the number of “thumbs down” for the first 20 reader comments that appeared after the above mentioned piece. The result (Saturday, 5:15 pm): 

Number agreeing with the sceptics:   1864  (90.2%)
Number agreeing with the warmists:  203  (  9.8%) 

Wunderbar! Alarmist climate science has lost its credibility, authority and trust, it seems. There’s hope for real climate science after all. Yes, a broad majority of informed Germans, at least Die Welt readers, believe climate science forecasts fundamentally are rubbish. Sure this is not a real survey. But to me it’s a clear signal.

 Some online papers have even given up allowing readers to have their say, having grown tired of being told their “news” are rubbish. So give Die Welt some credit for allowing readers to have a voice.

Interestingly, the Germans have a wide selection of words that mean “nonsense”, and one finds them used regularly in reader comments about climate. Here are some: Unsinn, Bloedsinn, Quatsch, Unfug, Dummheit, and Humbug

Now we can add another to the list of synonyms: Klimawissenschaft (climate science). So now when my son worries about a minor matter, I simply tell him: “Don’t worry, it’s all climate science”.

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Hans von Storch Speaks Out On CRU, IPCC And Climate Science

August 3, 2010

Here is an outstanding interview given by Prof. Hans von Storch, one of Germany’s leading climate scientists, in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt
(Germany’s equivalent to the Wall Street Journal) yesterday. Although a warmist, Professor Hans von Storch, much to his credit, has always kept an open ear and mind to serious climate sceptics. Here are some paraphrased excerpts of yesterday’s HB interview.HB: Are today’s hot and cold extreme events a sign of global warming?

HvS: It’s important to keep weather separated from climate. The media have certainly been focussing more on the weather. And unfortunately there are plenty of activists who like to connect heat waves and storms with climate change. And then these activists wonder why sceptics do the same when there’s a cold winter, using it as evidence against warming. It’s intellectually low. The fact of the matter is that it is trending warmer.

HB: Who recommends the scientists for participation in the IPCC?

HvS: In Germany it’s the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Protection and Reactor Safety and the Ministry of Research and Science in Bonn.  Here one can apply to participate, and this is what I’ve done. I offered to be a part of WG2. That’s where most of the errors occurred and I’d like to help out this time around to prevent such errors from happening again. My name has been sent, along with 80 others, to the IPCC in Switzerland.

HB:  The IPCC has come under fire because it dramatised climate change. How can we prevent such errors and what should quality control look like?

HvS: We have to look very closely at the literature that is handed to us. We have to be very careful with grey literature. It has to meet the highest scientific standards. Under no circumstances can literature from interest groups like reinsurers, coal industry or environmental groups be accepted.

HB:  And what about the WWF’s Amazon Rainforest report?

HvS: One cannot claim that this was a neutral scientific report. The IPCC made that mistake, and it cannot be blamed on the WWF, who have legitimate interests.

HB:  Could there be a benefit in allowing studies from interest groups?

HvS: I would not agree to that. In WG2 it would not be necessary to include material from interest groups. There’s already enough scientific literature at hand.

HB: And what about critical opinions from the scientific community? In the wake of the hacked e-mails from the CRU, some scientists complained that their publications had been blocked.

HvS: Here we have to differentiate between 2 kinds of gate-keeping. In the case of the Climate Research Unit, it is alleged, or indeed it was attempted, to keep an article with a contrary opinion from being published. Thus it was possible to assure that some results would not flow into the IPCC report.

In the IPCC report itself, minority opinions also must be allowed to be shown. We have to determine just where there is consensus, and where there are contrary opinions. This has to be done scientifically, without any prejudice.

HB: A report for the political decision makers probably has to be summarised: But isn’t that walking on a tight rope between what is scientifically exact and what the politicians understand?

HvS: A summary by the scientists for the politicians is in my opinion, not necessary. The summary emphasis takes place at a later time when the decision makers wish to present the matter to their clientel. The politicians that I’ve been involved with know what climate research is about –and especially on questions of adaptation. Personally I’m quite impressed by their competence.

HB: Last fall after errors were found in the IPCC report and the disclosure of the CRU e-mails,  climate science skidded off track and came under heavy fire.. What does this branch of science need to do in order to regain respect?

HsV: There are two strategies – and I’m afraid not much is happening for the most part. It is simply being claimed that evil media outlets and the fossil fuel industry are behind the unjust discrediting of the science. But this assertion simply is not sustainable. In the past, climate science attempted to work too much with catastrophe reports. But that bubble blew last fall. As a result, trust suffered immeasurably.

We have to take a critical view of what happened. Nothing ought to be swept under the rug. Some of the inquests – like in Great Britain – failed at this. They blew an opportunity to re-establish trust.

The second strategy us scientists have to consider is what role it is we wish to play. Are we supporters of a certain political process, or supporters of a certain brand of politics? I’m emphatically for the first, whereby we are the providers of special knowledge. We must not say that this is right, and that is wrong. This is not the competence of a climate scientist. We are merely experts in climate dynamics, and not specialists for competing political or ethical problems. Fundamentally a debate has to take place. That’s what climate scientists want, and that is what is expected from the public.

HB: Is there a danger that climate science falls on the wayside because the sceptics take up very popular slogans against the subject of anthropogenic climate change?

HsV: Many alarmists do the same– both sides don’t hold back much. We have to accept the challenges the sceptics present and step into the debate with them in order to win them over.

Many physicists, chemists, engineers or geologists have open questions about climate change which they view as unanswered. Here there is a considerable and legitimate potential at hand, which unfortunately is not addressed often enough. Instead, they sometimes get attacked and called sceptics, which only serves to aggravate them. It’s no way to build trust. We have to find a way back to a reasonable discussion.

HB: Do you have any hope that progress can be made with the next IPCC report with respect to climate protection, especially after the spectacular failure of Copenhagen?

HsV: I don’t expect that the next IPCC report will significantly improve the chances for a comprehensive climate protection program. The last report was already so emphatic that there is no way to top it. The concept that science tells politics what’s necessary has failed. We have to give up on the idea of making an agreement from top down for 150 countries, and that they will abide by it. Change has to come from the bottom.

 

Chicken Little Was a Calamitologist – by Ed Caryl

July 22, 2010

Last week I asked readers to submit their own essays: Wanted! Readers As Guest Writers. Well, I’m happy to present the first one! Ed Caryl observes that skeptics tend to have more training and real life experience in the art of forecasting than warmists do. So who should we believe? Yeah, it’s a tough question. 

Chicken Little Was A Calamitologist
By Ed Caryl 

Many writers have been unsatisfied with the terms used to classify the two sides of the climate debate. Warmist and skeptic seem unsatisfying for the first, and demeaning for the second. The warmist label is also a bit narrow, in that those on that side also preach ocean rise and acidification, severe storms, floods and droughts (on alternate days), and other disasters. Many of these predictions take on a “the sky is falling” tone. The warmists call themselves climatologists, but that term is a job description, not a degree. A better description would be calamitologist – one who envisions climate calamities. Let’s look at a few resumes of some famous calamitologists. 

Dr. Michael Mann: received his Doctorate from Yale, the Department of Geology and Geophysics in 1998. His undergraduate degrees are in Physics and Math.
Dr. Phil Jones: holds a BA degree in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster, and a Masters and PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Dr. James Hansen: holds a BA degree in Physics and Mathematics, an MS in Astronomy, and a PhD in Physics, all from the University of Iowa. Early in his career he spent almost 20 years studying Venus. His calamitologist creds are based on that work.
Dr. R. K. Pachauri: studied at North Carolina State University, where he obtained an MS in Industrial Engineering in 1972, a PhD in Industrial Engineering and a PhD in Economics, a native of India.
Dr. Gavin Schmidt: BA (Hons) in Mathematics at Jesus College, Oxford University, PhD in Applied Mathematics at University College London. 

The calamitologists, we notice, tend not to be trained and experienced in the actual science of forecasting. Just the seasonal forecast track record of the Met Office says it all. 

What about the other side, the skeptics?
Many among the “skeptics” are meteorologists who, unlike most calamitologists, are formally trained in forecasting and have gathered years of experience doing so. Some examples: 

Dr. Roy Spencer: B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Michigan; M.S. and Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Joe Bastardi: BS in Meteorology from Penn State University, a practicing meteorologist with AccuWeather.
Anthony Watts: practicing meteorologist, AMS Seal holder.
Joe D’Aleo: Weather Channel founder, practicing meteorologist.
Dr. Richard S. Lindzen: Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A.B in Physics, S.M. in Applied Mathematics, Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at Harvard 

These are just a few of the names known in this controversy, but can you see the trend? Although the calamitologists have advanced degrees, usually in natural sciences, they lack training and experience in forecasting. That’s probably the reason why they often forecast long-shot calamity scenarios. 

On the other hand, the meteorologists are real forecasters, and their success depends on the accuracy of their forecasts. Every time they make a forecast, they put their reputations on the line. Sure, some will argue, weather forecasting is not the same. But if you can’t forecast a week or two ahead, can you reliably forecast 50 or 100 years ahead? Be honest. 

Indeed the more a person is trained in the science of forecasting, the more skeptical they appear to become of the AGW hypothesis and the ability for models to predict longterm climate. Real forecasters seriously doubt CAGW

Perhaps in the future we ought to refer to the two sides as calamitologists and real forecasters.

Germany Guide: Who’s Who In Climate Science?

June 20, 2010

Josef H. Reichholf - harsh critic of AGW science.

 I) WHO ARE THE SCEPTICS IN GERMANY?
The real “troublemakers” in Germany are:
1. Professor Hans von Storch of the GKSS (warmist, but scientific and welcomes debate).
2. Prof. Josef H. Reichholf of the Technical Univ. of Munich.
3. Hans H.J. Labohm (Dutch), journalist.
4. Prof. Augusto Mangini, U. of Heidelberg (maybe not a sceptic, but critical of AGW science).
5. Dirk Maxeiner, journalist German blog.
6. Matthias Storx, journalist.
7. European Institute for Climate and Energy EIKE blog.
8. Readers Edition blog.
9. Klimanews blog.
9. Die Welt newspaper, which sometimes publishes sceptical pieces.
10. Der Spiegel magazine, which sometimes publishes sceptical pieces.
11. Petition of 77 sceptical German scientists
(And maybe some day this here blog may make it to the top 100!) 

II) WHO ARE THE ALARMISTS? 

Schellnhuber

1. Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research PIK. Government funded.
2. PIK Director Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber – visionary of the Great Transformation (a dangerous social engineering experiment). He’s the no. 1 climate advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel (yikes!). Has tried to shut down debate read here.
3. Prof. Stefan Rahmstorf, gatekeeper, attack-dog. Notorious for efforts to stifle dissent and to marginalize sceptics. Calls sceptical media reports irresponsible and disinformation.
Famous for publishing alarmist scenarios just before climate conferences.
4. German media, almost unanimously. Perfect example here and here.
5. Munich Re Reinsurer, purveyor of catastrophic scenarios.
6. The German school system, which repeatedly shows AIT to children uncritically.
7. A host of well-funded environmentalist groups like BUND, NABU, WWF, Greenpeace, Germanwatch, etc.
8. An array of companies set to make tons of money in trading CO2 certificates.
9. A vast majority of politicians, conservatives and environmentalists alike. 

III) HOW IS AGW VIEWED HERE?
Germany is a country that has a powerful green movement. Environmentalism has become a religion for many. Probably has something to do with atonement for past sins. Environmentalism is pounded daily into the German psyche by the public-funded media, the state school system and other institutions. What you as a person does to “protect the climate” is a measure of how good you are. It’s like Karma. (So, I’m quite the naughty boy here). 

IV) ARE ATTITUDES CHANGING HERE?
Yes!  Thanks to the little but vital  information the media allowed to drip out about Climategate, the recent bitter winter and a small group of concerned but very active citizens, there’s been much success in educating the public. Recent polls have alarmed the massive Green Establishment. They’re in panic. The sceptics have the momentum. Indeed the dreaded “tipping point” may have been reached. Just a couple of years ago, the media promoted the notion of universal consensus, and Mann’s depiction of the last 1000 years as fact. Today they can no longer maintain that. 

V) GERMANY’S POLITCAL PARTIES – HOW GREEN? 
There are five significant parties in Germany.
1. CDU/CSU – center right. Equivalent to the US RINOS. Led by a centrist Angela Merkel. They like cap & trade and believe in AGW. Favour use of nuclear energy.
2. SPD – socialists. Equivalent to the US Democrats.
They love cap & trade, regulation and are in love with Barack Obama and the US Democrats. Against nuclear power. Led by Sigmar Gabriel – Fan No. 1 of Al Gore. He distributed 6000 copies of AIT to advanced secondary schools for indoctrinating university-bound children.

Sigmar Gabriel distributed 6000 copies of AIT to German schools.

3. The Greens. Made up of enviro-zealots, treehuggers and elitists. Vehemently against nuclear power.
4. FDP – Free Democrats – libertarian. Supporters of free markets, nuclear energy. But pay much lip service to green alternative energy, but not real big supporters.
5. Die Linke – The communists.
They like anything that gives the state absolute power. Ought to be viewed as a threat to democracy. 

Currently a coalition of the CDU/CSU and FDP are in power. But they are weakening. Elections may have to be called. 

VI) WHAT IF ELECTIONS WERE HELD TODAY (June 20, 2010)?
– CDU conservatives- 33%
– SPD socialists – 32%
– Green treehuggers – 15%
– Die Linke communists – 11%
– FDP libertarians – 6%
That means there’d possibly be a Socialist/Green/Communist government, and thus a huge push by Germany for a global climate treaty. So, although there’s been much progress, there’s still much to do in Germany when it comes to educating the public.

Note: I’m sure I’ve forgotten some names and other information. Your tips would be welcome.

Der Spiegel: Climate Scepticism? There Was None.

June 11, 2010

The German Der Spiegel has just come out with a piece called: The Myth of Climate Scepticism. You know all that scepticism you’ve been hearing about? Well, it never really existed. It was all just a myth, so says Der Spiegel.

You see, it’s all been disproven by a study coming out of Stanford. All those polls conducted earlier were simply misinterpreted! That’s right, there really isn’t any scepticism at all out there. It was all just a big miragee.

Climategate really has had no effect on what people think about climate change. In fact, there never really was a Climategate. The Oxbourgh report has proven that too.

Indeed last winter in Europe was actually very warm – the warmest we are allowed to remember. Didn’t we all go swimming in the Baltic Sea last February? Shit! A new study shows that too. Just ask Finland.

And weren’t all them potholes we had in the streets in March all caused by the blistering heat of last winter?

I guess all us sceptic bloggers have been just wasting all our time, and we really ought to stop blogging about all that scepticism. The Stanford report says so. Der Spiegel says so too.

A new reality is being manufactured and pulled over our eyes.

Stories Are Getting Out

June 4, 2010

Blogging never ceases to amaze me. I started this blog simply as a daily journal of thoughts, which others could read if they cared to. Just for fun. So I am a bit surprised, and of course delighted, when a syndicated columnist like Cal Thomas at the Washington Examiner makes use of my stuff.

I was just checking out Marc Morano’s  Climate Depot and happened to run across Cal’s piece there.

Cal Thomas, an evil conservative, quotes (using my exact words in bold, but I don’t have anything against that):

The German online news magazine Focus recently carried a story, “Warm Times Will Soon Be Over!” Commenting on the “new NASA high temperature record,” which may be set, the magazine blames it on El Nino.

Meteorologists, like Joe D’Aleo of the Weather Channel, are publicly distancing themselves from the false doctrine of global warming. D’Aleo says, “We’ll have La Nina conditions before the summer is over, and it will intensify further through the fall and winter. Thus we’ll have cooler temperatures for the next couple of years.”

These are the exact words, which I translated from the original German, I used in my post here.

My 6th grade English teacher, Mrs. Emma Brown at the Barton Academy, would be proud, I think. The best I could do in her class was a C+.

Just yesterday I wrote that I’d continue to focus on writing about stories that readers might otherwise not hear about. Well, I think it’s safe to say that at least some of us now have heard about the FOCUS story.

77 Non-Anonymous Sceptical German Scientists

May 18, 2010
 

Schellnhuber

77 German scientists have signed an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel casting their doubt on the hypothesis of manmade CO2 emissions causing considerable global warming. The letter, drafted in 2009 by EIKE, continues today to gather signatures from scientists in Germany. Here is the German Letter with signatures, and here’s the English translation.

The open letter states:

…humans have had no measurable effect on global warming through CO2 emissions

and

More importantly, there’s a growing body of evidence showing anthropogenic CO2 plays little measurable role. Indeed CO2’s capability to absorb radiation is almost exhausted at today’s atmospheric concentrations. If CO2 did in fact have an effect and all fossil fuels were burned, then additional warming over the long-term would remain limited to only a few tenths of a degree.

The letter is also signed by more than 300 concerned citizens, many with doctorate, engineering and other professional titles.

Recently the online Franfurter Rundschau published some comments made by German über-alarmist Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and an advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, implying that sceptics were hiding in anonymity and that scepticism was anti-scientific, saying:

Most of them [sceptics] operate from the safety of anonymity in the internet. They don’t try at all to do it successfully through a factual debate; rather they attempt to sow scepticism on science being an instrument to explain reality.

Perhaps the open letter will convince Herr Prof Dr Schellnhuber that the sceptics are not as anonymous as he would like to believe. Furthermore when it comes to debate, Schellnhuber employs the same tactic as Al Gore – running and hiding. Still, he is surely welcome to debate the issue at the  ICCC now taking place in Chicago. But don’t expect him to show up. He’s too busy scrambling to keep his science alive in Germany.