Friday, July 18, 2014

Diethard Tautz : "Neuer Turm in Babel"?

"Publizieren und Zitieren sind die Währungen der Wissenschaft. Aber lesen wir noch, was andere schreiben? Ja, verstehen wir uns überhaupt noch?" fragt der Direktor am Max-Planck-Institut für Evolutionsbiologie Diethard Tautz in seinem Beitrag "Neuer Turm in Babel?" im

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

New blog: Circling the Square

As reported earlier, the University of Nottingham hosted a conference at the end of May with the title 'Circling the Square: Research, politics, media and impact'. It was organized by the Science, Technology and Society Priority Group which I am leading.

The conference explored the role of knowledge in policy making, bringing together international scholars in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, practitioners at the science-policy interface, the public and the media.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Tool boxes and road maps for decision makers

I think blogs can be used to gather information as well as disseminate it.  As such I am asking for the help of readers of this posting. I was asked recently to comment on a proposal for a sustainability tool-box for decision makers and a roadmap to creating a well balance socio-eco system.   On Google, a search for “climate change roadmap” produces “about 5,110 results”; "decision makers toolbox climate change" produces “about 962,000 results”. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Climate science: the shrinking middle / Wissenschaft in der Klimapolitik: Die Mitte in der Zange der Extremisten

Hans von Storch had been invited to publish in the new journal Technologist the op-ed
Climate science: the shrinking middle. Not online, but in the print version there are also available German and French versions:  Klimapolitik in der Zange der Extremisten and Science et changement climatique – les scientifiques pris en tenaille. The original manuscript was in German, and was edited by the publisher.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"Climate Change and Virtue: An Apologetic" (Mike Hulme)

Mike Hulme is one of the most innovative thinkers in the climate debate. He is a critic of the natural science monoculture that dominated climate discourse for so long; with his work, he has constantly and consistently shifted the center of the debate towards the humanities. In his seminal book "Why we disagree about climate change", he argued that instead of focusing on solutions for the climate problem we should ask what climate change can do for us. This is the starting point for his new article, "Climate change and virtue: an apologetic" (free download).

He takes up a line of arguments from the fringes of the scientific climate debate and develops it further. For example, Sheila Jasanoff pleads in a Nature article for more "humility" in the climate debate, or climate scientist Mike Flannery ends his recent book with the words  "if we do not strive to love one another, and to love our planet as much as we love ourselves, then no further progress is possible here on Earth”. But what do these appeals to love and humility actually mean? When, as Mike Hulme says, "in all the climate models I have examined, used and criticised over 30 years I have not yet come across a variable for love or an equation for calculating humility"? In this article, he provides an answer. Alongside with wisdom, integrity, faith and hope, humility and love are "virtues", and those virtues mark "the most enduring response" to the challenge of climate change.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Posthumane Sommerlektüre

Auf Deutschlandradiokultur ist ein schönes Interview mit Eva Horn zu  hören, das auf ihr neues Buch "Zukunft als Katastrophe" neugierig macht.

"Ob auf der Leinwand oder in der Literatur, Untergangsszenarien haben Konjunktur. In der Fiktion, aber eben auch in der Realität. Klimakrise, Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise, Natur- und Technikkatastrophen wie Tsunami oder Fukushima, längst scheinen sich Menschen nicht nur auf apokalyptische Szenarien einzustellen, sondern sich auch eine Welt nach dem Menschen vorzustellen. Welche kulturellen Prägungen und Tiefenkräfte beim Entwurf posthumaner Lebenswelten am Werk sind, warum uns diese - so angstbesetzt und schrecklich sie sind - auch unwiderstehlich anziehen, das hat die Wiener Kulturwissenschaftlerin Eva Horn untersucht." (Ankündigung DLF)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Misrepresentation of Bray and von Storch survey

On May 26, the Online version of the Wall Street Journal posted an opinion piece  titled ‘The Myth of the Climate Change '97%' What is the origin of the false belief—constantly repeated—that almost all scientists agree about global warming?’  It was written by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer. The brief bio informs the reader “Mr. Bast is president of the Heartland Institute. Dr. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite.”  The posting contains the statement “Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch —most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.”

Since the time of publication, the opinion piece, or parts thereof, has been widely distributed, more often than not verbatim, in the blogosphere.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Deutsche Zusammenfassung von IPCC WG 3

Am Sonntag, 18. Mai 2014 in der WELT am Sonntag Vorwürfe über eine Informationsbroschüre von Bundeseinrichtungen zum Thema IPCC (Nachtrag 4. Juni 2013 -";vollständige Fassung). Da es immer gut ist, Betroffene mit O-Ton zu lesen, habe ich Christiane Textor von der Deutsche IPCC-Koordinierungsstelle und Harry Lehmann vom UBA angeschrieben mit ein paar Fragen. Nach etwa 14 Tagen gab es von Christiane Textor diese (vermutlich abgestimmten) Antworten:

Monday, May 26, 2014

Circling the Square - an experiment

Last week the conference 'Circling the Square' took place at the University of Nottingham. I was one of the main organisers. The conference wanted to bring together speakers from the worlds of research, politics, the media, and civil society. Have a look at the list of speakers here (there is also a list of panels with abstracts, and the programme brochure can be seen here). The aim of the conference was twofold:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Another effort for bridging between camps: Climatedialogue

Marcel Severijnen aus den Niederlanden schreibt mir dies:

Der Vorgang mit Bengtsson bestätigt noch immer die Existenz einer breiten Spalte zwischen den beiden Seiten der Klimadebatte. Ein kleiner Funken Hoffnung zum Abdichten des Spalts ist die Wiederbelebung nach neun Monate Funkstille des Climate Dialogue.

Die neue aktuelle Debatte: Klimaempfindlichkeit mit Autoren wie James Annan, John Fasullo and Nic Lewis mit sehr unterschiedlichen Ansichten darüber, wie groß die Klimasensitivität ist, verspricht eine sehr interessante Diskussion zu werden. Climate Dialogue wird in Zusammenarbeit betreut von Bart Strengers, PBL-Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, und Marcel Crok, Wissenschaftsjournalist.