Sunday, October 31, 2010

ARD Film 21. Mai 2007 - mit Tol, Lomborg und Calder

 So sah eine kritische Berichterstattung zum IPCC vor mehr als 2 Jahren aus:

Immerhin äusserte sich das IPCC hier explizit zuu Vorwürfen.

Rosponse to a seminar: David Rayner from Göteborg on bicycles and more

This is a reaction  to a recent seminar given at the department of Earth Sciences in Göteborg (Sweden). With David's permission, I reprint his comment here:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oliver Geden in FTD

Oliver Geden schreibt zum Thema "Gipfel in Cancún" den Kommentar Vergesst die große Klimarettung!. Geden argumentiert, dass "der Weltgipfel in Cancún wird genauso scheitern wie die vorherigen Einigungsversuche. Statt weiter auf den großen Wurf zu warten, sollte die EU kleine Schritte machen."

A quote provided by Mathis Hampel

Mathis Hampel, who writes a dissertation on "cultural contingency, social and epistemic authority of climate knowledge production" at the University of Venice, Italy, suggested to publish this quote without further discussion.

"Climate is a constitutional government, whose organization we see and understand...but weather is a red-hot radical republic, all excitements and uncertainties, a despiser of old rules, a hater of propriety and order. Climate is a great stately sovereign, whose will determines the whole character of the lives and habits of its retainers, and is therefore so little felt that it seems like liberty, but weather is a cruel capricious tyrant who changes his decrees each day and who forces us by his ever varying whim, to remember that we are slaves. Climate is dignity, weather is impudence."

Frederic Marshall in "Weather" (1875), taken from Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazin of the same year

Sunday, October 24, 2010

How many angels can dance on a Medieval Warm Period ?

The Medieval Warm Period seems to play the role of climate porn, attracting lots of attention but actually distracting from more interesting periods in the recent past climate, from which we could learn more about the future.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rob Maris' survey among skeptics

Skeptics Survey Analysis

From September 26th until October 11nd, a survey has been run with the focus on “Skeptics”: what do they think etc. The survey was responded to quite well, with almost 500 full responses and another 173 partial responses. After validity/plausibility checking of all records, 578 records are left as useful.

It must be emphasized that this is not a representative survey; to begin with, we have no generally accepted definition of what a “skeptic” constitutes. Instead we have simply asked in the introduction “Do you consider yourself a skeptic?”, and invited for responses only if this question was positively answered. However, we consider our survey useful, as it provides a number of hypotheses about this unknown population of “skeptics”, and it is hoped that social scientists may have a starting point to seriously engage in research about this socio-political phenomenon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Silke Beck on Lomborg: A climate change of mood? Lomborg’s turn from a skeptical environmentalist to an honest broker?

The German magazine DIE ZEIT just published an interview with Bjørn Lomborg;  (see also Lomborg is a statistician at the Copenhagen Business School and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming. In former controversies, Lomborg advanced to the role model for a “skeptical environmentalist” (TSE) and to the “bogeyman” for climate activists.
Bjorn Lomborg is in the news again. In interviews with the Guardian and the ZEIT (that do not differ very much), Lomborg appears to make a surprising about turn in his views:

Monday, October 18, 2010

values in science

In GAIA 3/2010, p. 175-177, one of the co-publishers, Hans-Jochen Luhmann, asks “Auf welche Wissenschaft beruft sich die Politik beim Zwei-Grad-Ziel?“ and summarizes his answer like this: Die multilaterale Politik bekennt sich zum Zwei-Grad-Ziel, um den Klimawandel zu begrenzen. Sie stützt sich dazu explizit auf Empfehlungen „der Wissenschaft“. Bemerkenswert ist, dass sie sich dabei nicht – was doch naheläge – auf das IPCC beruft. Dieses Gremium hat sich nämlich explizit versagt, „Werturteile“ wie das Zwei-Grad-Ziel zu formulieren. Da die Politik aber nach solchen Urteilen verlangt, bedient sie sich pragmatisch an anderer Stelle – bei einer Wissenschaft, die nicht strikt zwischen Fakten und Werturteilen trennt. Letzteres sollte auch ein Kennzeichen einer Wissenschaft von der Nachhaltigkeit (sustainability science) sein.

After having been confronted with a similar analysis by S. Keller in “Poiesis & Praxis”, Dennis Bray and I wrote a rebuttal of this approach in this journal Poiesis & Praxis (2010; 7:211–219 DOI 10.1007/s10202-010-0085-3; open access)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Nico Stehr and Reiner Grundmann on Expertenwissen

For those able and willing to read German, this new book might be of interest: 
Expertenwissen: Die Kultur und die Macht von Experten, Beratern und Ratgebern, Velbrueck Verlag 2010 (English version will be published by Routledge in March 2011)

IPCC WG II informs its lead authors about Busan

Having the privilege of being a lead author in Working Group II of AR5 IPCC, I got after the Busan meeting the following information. It deals with the response to the Interacademy Council (IAC, see Klimazwiebel reporting and discussing) report on the IPCC published earlier this year. The IAC is independent of the IPCC.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Changing course towards Hartwell

Subsidize research in clean technologies through a carbon tax. It seems that the ideas in The Hartwell paper are gaining some traction

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Climate change in the media

I have just published an article, together with my colleague Ramesh Krishnamurthy who is a linguist. We analysed full text coverage of newspaper coverage on climate change in the USA, the UK, France and Germany over a 20 year period, using special software. We found some interesting results, for example, that different terms invoke different associations. Key concepts like 'global warming' and 'climate change' have different collocates in different countries. Some countries are emphasizing the scientific dimension whereas others are stressing political or moral aspects. You can read the full article here
Bear in mind that this is a pilot study based on uncleaned data downloaded from Nexis-Lexis, Our dataset stops in 2007. We are working on an updated and cleaned dataset, with a much more refined analysis. Watch this space!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Law and order in paleoclimate

Unfortunately, lawyers are again making forays in the realm of climate science, which is distracting to say the least and probably only damaging. It is clearly not helpful.
I am not acquainted with legal terms and definitions and so this post is just an account, from an interested lay person, of my thoughts about two cases that have grabbed my attention in the last days/months. In both cases I have some background knowledge, though probably not complete.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Spam filter

Dear readers and contributors,

a few months ago Blogger introduced a spam-filter, which apparently cannot be switched-off. The spam-filter seems to be too restrictive sometimes. Interpreting Blogger's description of the spam-filter it seems that it runs on  a learning algorithm, and hopefully, as time progresses, the algorithm will learn to tell spam from non-spam. I will try to look into the spam-filter often, but if you suspect that a comment has been unduly arrested, drop me a line, and I will bail it out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Jerry Ravetz - a reply to various comments

Response from Jerry Ravetz to several comments in this blog

There is so much to discuss here, that I am nearly overwhelmed. That did happen to me after my first post on Wattsupwiththat. Hundreds of comments, of every possible variety and attitude, came pouring in. Just going through them was a full day’s work; I couldn’t begin to sort them, to say nothing of making a systematic reply. One result of this was that I was drawn too much into the debate as it developed around me, and quite forgot some key points of my own scheme of things. Just now I have a big stylistic problem: if I pick off points from the discussion it will be disjointed and incoherent, and if I give my own synthesis it will be just another essay! I have read and re-read the discussion, and hope to have something worthwhile here.

Reiner Grundmann on decarbonization

Already under discussion on Roger Pielke jr.'s  blog, here you can see an interview with our klimazwiebel contributor Reiner Grundmann from Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Filmed in a nice British campus setting, this video also serves as a great example of one of the many ways how social scientists approach the issue of climate change and climate policies (here via media analysis).
Reiner elegantly develops his argument for decarbonization and explains why we should put less emphasis on science - in the end, it is too often used as an excuse for political inaction:
"If you put the science at the centre, it seems as if there is some rational voice that knows it all and tells us what to do. But this is a political issue, essentially."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Still no reaction to Richard Tol's assertion about incorrect statements by Edenhofer in ZDF

Here on the Klimazwiebel we had a detailed account Richard Tol challenges assertion by Ottmar Edenhofer in ZDF -  Richard Tol claimed that WG III Chair Otmar Edenhofer had given a false account in that TV program.

I had informed the IPCC secretariat (as well as Otmar Edenhofer) about Richard's Tol claim. After having not received a response, I inquired at Renate Christ, IPCC secretary on 17 Setpember 2010:

I informed you a few days ago that there have been published claims about false conclusions about consensus in the WG III report of AR4, and about misleading public statements of IPCC representatives. So far, you have not responded to this information; I assume that you do not intend to do so in future. Thus, I have to inform you that I will begin to include this case into my background exchanges with media and policymakers. Also I will point out that your office is still unable to deal professionally with such claims, even after the recommendations of IAC. Indeed, I had been told by journalists before that your office has a reputation of being reluctant in communicating.

This reminder gave a response after a few days, on 20. September 2010

Dear Mr. von Storch,
I acknowledge receipt of your message dated 17 September as well as a message from you to Mr. Edenhofer dated 11 September 2010. Both messages were received during my vacation and therefore I did not reply earlier. Mr. Edenhofer is currently traveling but I will get in touch with him and the appropriate IPCC bodies on the matter raised by you.

Allow me also to inform you that the recommendations of the IAC and their implementation will be considered by the upcoming Plenary Session of the IPCC.

Best regards,

Dr. Renate CHRIST
Secretary of the IPCC
IPCC Secretariat

Since then - nothing.
The Interacademy Council writes about the IPCC on p. 53 of its report:
Developing an effective communications strategy. In the wake of errors discovered in the Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC has come under severe criticism for the manner in which it has communicated with the media. The lack of an ongoing media-relations capacity and comprehensive communications strategy has unnecessarily placed the IPCC’s reputation at risk and contributed to a decline in public trust of climate science.

Nothing learned so far. The same arrogance as before.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Erinnerung an eine Wolke

Der Schriftsteller Lars Gustafsson erinnert sich an eine Wolke vom 4. Juli 1953, die zu einem Hagelunwetter führte:
"...warum diese unerhörte Energieentwicklung, warum dieser Hagel, der von extremen Aufwärtsströmen immer wieder in eisbildende Höhen gehoben wird, so dass sich das Eis Schicht um Schicht anlagert? Warum entwickeln sich nicht alle Regenfronten so? Warum sind manche Lieben anders als andere?"