'I Feel Duped on Climate Change'

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Namewithheld, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Namewithheld

    Namewithheld 2,500+ Posts

    Same theme different prespective:

    In reply to:
    [hr]Will reduced solar activity counteract global warming in the coming decades? That is what outgoing German electric utility executive Fritz Vahrenholt claims in a new book. In an interview with SPIEGEL, he argues that the official United Nations forecasts on the severity of climate change are overstated and supported by weak science.

    The articulate utility executive is nervous at the beginning of the conversation. He is groping for words -- not a common occurrence for the practiced provocateur. After all, Fritz Vahrenholt, 62, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, has been a rebel throughout his life. "Perhaps it's just part of my generation," he says.

    He is typical of someone who came of age during the student protest movement of the late 1960s, and who fought against the chemical industry's toxic manufacturing plants in the 1970s. His party, Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party (SPD), chose him as environment senator in the city-state of Hamburg, where he incurred the wrath of the environmental lobby by building a waste incineration plant, earning him the nickname "Feuerfritze" (Fire Fritz). He worked in industry after that, first for oil multinational Shell and then for wind turbine maker RePower, which he helped develop.

    Now, as the outgoing CEO of the renewable energy group RWE Innogy, he is about to embark on his next major battle. "I'm going to make enemies in all camps," he says. He wants to break a taboo. "The climate catastrophe is not occurring," he writes in his book "Die Kalte Sonne" (The Cold Sun), published by Hoffmann and Campe, which will be in bookstores next week.

    He has only given the book to one climatologist, Jochem Marotzke, the director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, to read prior to its publication. Marotzke's assessment is clear: Vahrenholt represents the standpoints of climate skeptics. "A number of the hypotheses in the book were refuted long ago," Marotzke claims, but adds, on a self-critical note, that his profession has neglected to explain that global temperatures will not increase uniformly. Instead, says Marotzke, there could also be phases of stagnation and even minor declines in temperature. "This has exposed us to potential criticism," he says.

    While books by climate heretics usually receive little attention, it could be different in Vahrenholt's case. "His fame," says Marotzke, "will ensure that there will be a debate on the issue." The book is a source of discomfort within Vahrenholt's party. No one with the SPD leadership is willing to comment on the theories of their prominent fellow party member, from former Environment Minister and current SPD Chairman Sigmar Gabriel to parliamentary floor leader Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was given an advance copy of the book.

    SPIEGEL: Mr. Vahrenholt, in the week before last, you made the surprising announcement that you are resigning as head of RWE Innogy. And now your book "Die Kalte Sonne," in which you deny the climate catastrophe, is appearing. Were you forced to step down because your ideas could damage RWE's new green image?

    Vahrenholt: No. My contract would have expired at the end of the year, anyway. Besides, I will continue to be a member of the company's supervisory board for another three years.

    SPIEGEL: How have your fellow executives responded to your provocative prediction that it will get colder instead of warmer in the coming decades?

    Vahrenholt: This is not an RWE book. Aside from CEO Jürgen Grossmann, I didn't give an advance copy to anyone in the company. Grossmann, at any rate, found it so engrossing that he read the entire book in one night.

    SPIEGEL: Nevertheless, your precipitous withdrawal from RWE management is reminiscent of the scandal surrounding Thilo Sarrazin, who was forced to resign from the board of Germany's central bank in 2010 following the publication of his controversial book on immigration and integration.

    Vahrenholt: This isn't a precipitous withdrawal. Besides, I don't need Thilo Sarrazin as a role model. I also didn't need a role model when I drew attention to risks in the chemical industry in my 1978 book "Seveso ist überall" (ed's. note: Seveso is Everywhere -- a reference to the infamous Seveso chemical spill in 1976 in Italy). Today, I want new scientific findings to be included in the climate debate. It would then become clear that the simple equation that CO2 and other man-made greenhouse gases are almost exclusively responsible for climate change is unsustainable. It hasn't gotten any warmer on this planet in almost 14 years, despite continued increases in CO2 emissions. Established climate science has to come up with an answer to that.

    SPIEGEL: You are an electric utility executive by profession. What prompted you to get involved in climatology?

    Vahrenholt: In my experience as an energy expert, I learned that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is more of a political than a scientific body. As a rapporteur on renewable energy, I witnessed how thin the factual basis is for predictions that are made at the IPCC. In one case, a Greenpeace activist's absurd claim that 80 percent of the world's energy supply could soon be coming from renewable sources was assumed without scrutiny. This prompted me to examine the IPCC report more carefully.

    SPIEGEL: And what was your conclusion?

    Vahrenholt: The long version of the IPCC report does mention natural causes of climate change, like the sun and oscillating ocean currents. But they no longer appear in the summary for politicians. They were simply edited out. To this day, many decision-makers don't know that new studies have seriously questioned the dominance of CO2. CO2 alone will never cause a warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) by the end of the century. Only with the help of supposed amplification effects, especially water vapor, do the computers arrive at a drastic temperature increase. I say that global warming will remain below two degrees by the end of the century. This is an eminently political message, but it's also good news.

    SPIEGEL: You make concrete statements on how much human activity contributes to climatic events and how much of a role natural factors play. Why don't you publish your prognoses in a professional journal?

    Vahrenholt: Because I don't engage in my own climate research. Besides, I don't have a supercomputer in my basement. For the most part, my co-author, geologist Sebastian Lüning, and I merely summarize what scientists have published in professional journals -- just as the IPCC does. The book is also a platform for scientists who apply good arguments in diverging from the views of the IPCC. The established climate models have failed across the board because they cannot cogently explain the absence of warming.

    SPIEGEL: You claim that the standstill has to do with the sun. What makes you so sure?

    Vahrenholt: In terms of the climate, we have seen a cyclical up and down for the last 7,000 years, long before man began emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. There has been a warming phase every 1,000 years, including the Roman, the Medieval and the current warm periods. All of these warm periods consistently coincided with strong solar activity. In addition to this large fluctuation in activity, there is also a 210-year and an 87-year natural cycle of the sun. Ignoring these would be a serious mistake …

    SPIEGEL: … but solar researchers are still in disagreement over whether the cycles you mention actually exist. What do you think this means for the future?

    Vahrenholt: In the second half of the 20th century, the sun was more active than it had been in more than 2,000 years. This "large solar maximum," as astronomers call it, has contributed at least as much to global warming as the greenhouse gas CO2. But the sun has been getting weaker since 2005, and it will continue to do so in the next few decades. Consequently, we can only expect cooling from the sun for now.

    SPIEGEL: It is undisputed that fluctuations in solar activity can influence the climate. Most experts assume that an unusually long solar minimum, evidenced by the very small number of sunspots at the time, led to the "Little Ice Age" that began in 1645. There were many severe winters at the time, with rivers freezing over. However, astrophysicists still don't know the extent to which solar fluctuations actually affect temperatures.

    Vahrenholt: Many scientists assume that the temperature changes by more than 1 degree Celsius for the 1,000-year cycle and by up to 0.7 degrees Celsius for the smaller cycles. Climatologists should be putting a far greater effort into finding ways to more accurately determine the effects of the sun on climate. For the IPCC and the politicians it influences, CO2 is practically the only factor. The importance of the sun for the climate is systematically underestimated, and the importance of CO2 is systematically overestimated. As a result, all climate predictions are based on the wrong underlying facts.

    Not surprising
    Statalyzer likes this.
  2. dheiman

    dheiman 1,000+ Posts

    This is preposterous. No one would believe this phony, regardless of how many scientific accolades adorn his mantel. Just listen to Al Gore and move along.
    Statalyzer likes this.
  3. HammerOfTheHorns

    HammerOfTheHorns 100+ Posts

    He's one of those sinister Germans as well. Clearly untrustworthy.
  4. RomaVicta

    RomaVicta 5,000+ Posts

  5. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Who is going to save us from these lunatics?

  6. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Video of media reaction to climate deal being reached
    They act like it's the first moon landing or it was just announced the war ended
    What sane person could argue they are objective, or unbiased?
    Whatever happened to the press' skepticism of people of power and political agreements?

  7. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    This is why I'm a climate change agnostic.
    Statalyzer, mchammer and Hollandtx like this.
  8. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    This Paris deal will have the US paying $42,000 per MINUTE for "Climate Research Spending"
    Enough to pay 67,000 researchers $365K salaries

  9. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

  10. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    I guess we did it?
    Well done people

    UTChE96 and Horn6721 like this.
  11. WorsterMan

    WorsterMan 10,000+ Posts

    Al Gore was and is full of ****.
    geewago, Statalyzer, UTChE96 and 2 others like this.
  12. BevoBeef

    BevoBeef 250+ Posts

    I recently talked to my doctor who just returned from a trip back to India. His comments reflect that there is a sharp rise in the population numbers and that there is a a much stronger interest in the people in regards to basic necessities like electricity and water availability. The USA's leadership in global warming is like an ant crossing a 6-lane freeway to get to the other side during rush hour traffic. Nobody is willing to stop the traffic to let the ant get across and meet his goal. It does not matter in practical terms whether there is an Obama waving a flag to stop the traffic.

    SO, THEREFORE, LET US only STOP THE CANADIAN TAR SANDS OUTPUT FROM BURNING HERE INSTEAD OF IN CHINA !! Obama's leadership in rejecting the pipeline will only redirect the thick oil to travel west instead of south to the USA. He has succeeded in shutting down one ramp to the freeway while others are entering it via a dirt access without his permission.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  13. mop mop

    mop mop < 25 Posts

    so funny that everyone is still convinced about climate change after almost 30 years of very little change.
    geewago, mchammer, mb227 and 2 others like this.
  14. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    "Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are now confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, overdevelopment and ecosystem destruction.

    This possibility was first suspected in 1985 by Charles Keeling, the scientist whose meticulous record of the content of the air atop Mauna Loa in Hawaii first alerted the world to the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Mr. Keeling's famous curve showed not only a year-by-year increase in carbon dioxide levels but a season-by-season oscillation in the concentration.

    During summers in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth breathes in carbon dioxide as green plants (most of which are north of the equator) absorb the gas and turn it into carbohydrate. In the northern winter, the Earth breathes the gas out again, as the summer's leaves rot.

    Mr. Keeling and colleagues noticed that the depth of the breathing had increased in Hawaii by 20% [by 1995] since the 1960s: The Earth was taking in more carbon dioxide each northern summer and giving out more each winter. Since the inhalation is done by green leaves, they reasoned, the amount of greenery on the planet must be growing larger. In the 1980s forest biologists started to report striking increases in the growth rates of trees and the density of forests: in Douglas firs in British Columbia, Scots pines in Finland, bristlecone pines in Colorado and even tropical rain forests.

    Around the same time, a NASA scientist named Compton Tucker found that he could map global vegetation changes by calculating a "Normalized Difference Vegetation Index" (NDVI) from the data produced by a satellite sensor. The data confirmed Mr. Keeling's suspicion: Greenery was on the increase. At first, this was thought to be a northern phenomenon, caused by faster growth in the great spruce and birch forests of Siberia and Canada, but the satellites showed it was happening all over the world and especially strongly in the Amazon and African rain forests.

    Using the NDVI, one team this year reported that "over the last few decades of the 20th century, terrestrial ecosystems acted as net carbon sinks," i.e., they absorbed more carbon than they were emitting, and "net greening was reported in all biomes," though the effect had slowed down in recent years. see also here.

    The latest and most detailed satellite data, which is yet to be published but was summarized in an online lecture last July by Ranga Myneni of Boston University, confirms that the greening of the Earth has now been going on for 30 years. Between 1982 and 2011, 20.5% of the world's vegetated area got greener, while just 3% grew browner; the rest showed no change.

    What explains this trend? Man-made nitrogen fertilizer causes crops to grow faster, but it is having little effect on forests. There are essentially two possibilities: climate and carbon dioxide itself. Warmer, wetter weather should cause more vegetation to grow. But even without warming, an increase in carbon dioxide should itself accelerate growth rates of plants. CO2 is a scarce resource that plants have trouble scavenging from the air, and plants grow faster with higher levels of CO2 to inhale.

    Dr. Myneni reckons that it is now possible to distinguish between these two effects in the satellite data, and he concludes that 50% is due to "relaxation of climate constraints," i.e., warming or rainfall, and roughly 50% is due to carbon dioxide fertilization itself. In practice, the two interact. A series of experiments has found that plants tolerate heat better when CO2 levels are higher.

    The inescapable if unfashionable conclusion is that the human use of fossil fuels has been causing the greening of the planet in three separate ways: first, by displacing firewood as a fuel; second, by warming the climate; and third, by raising carbon dioxide levels, which raise plant growth rates."

  15. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 5,000+ Posts

  16. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

  17. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    As I've said before, I'm a climate change agnostic. However, regardless of the issue, if your position is truly incontrovertible, then you shouldn't have to do things like this.
    I35 and majorwhiteapples like this.
  18. ProdigalHorn

    ProdigalHorn 10,000+ Posts

    quote]Mike Rosen, who introduced the resolution to the school board, also leads a project focused on environmental curriculum standards, but put that work on hold.

    "I have become concerned about its ability to make progress and not have a conflict with being a school board member," Rosen told the Portland Tribune. "I don't want there to be a conflict between my school board work and this nonprofit."[/quote]

    WELL THEN! Problem solved. No further questions, no conflict there whatsoever. Moving along...
    Mr. Deez likes this.
  19. Monahorns

    Monahorns 1,000+ Posts

    The climate change scare is a plan for government to convince the populace to give over to them more power over the economy. They are whittling away at excuses for not have a planned economy. What a better way to gain complete control over us and the economy than by dictating exactly how much power can be generated and then rationed strictly to whom they deem acceptable.
  20. VYFan

    VYFan 2,500+ Posts

    On the radio today they were discussing a large RICO lawsuit against the big oil companies for selling a defective product--defective for lack of a product warning that global warning was a side effect. Kind of like the tobacco litigation.

    Maybe you guys have discussed it already; I stay off West Mall these days.
  21. Monahorns

    Monahorns 1,000+ Posts

    I have read about the RICO law suit. Attorney's general from several states are using private law firms to investigate oil companies for "generic wrongdoing". The law firm also has a conflict of interest in that they will be paid by the States for finding and prosecuting these companies.
  22. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez 5,000+ Posts

    I actually think the tobacco litigation had much more merit.
  23. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    This is one of the next great waves for them -- criminalizing everything they disagree with.
    mchammer likes this.
  24. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

  25. mchammer

    mchammer 2,500+ Posts

    I've studied CAGW (catastrophic manmade global warming) for about 10 years now. I'm every bit as qualified as the lunatics (climate scientists). Bottom line: 40 yrs of satellite data shows the earth warming 1 C per century, which is pretty much the same since the end of the little ice age. The effect of CO2 could be as low as 0.5 C per century. Sea level rise has been going since the end of the last ice age. There has been no "acceleration". Anyone who claims otherwise or predicts catastrophe is using magical thinking. That is all.
  26. Joe Fan

    Joe Fan 10,000+ Posts

    Global Warming Expedition Stopped In Its Tracks By Arctic Sea Ice

    "A group of adventurers, sailors, pilots and climate scientists that recently started a journey around the North Pole in an effort to show the lack of ice, has been blocked from further travels by ice.

    The Polar Ocean Challenge is taking a two month journey that will see them go from Bristol, Alaska, to Norway, then to Russia through the North East passage, back to Alaska through the North West passage, to Greenland and then ultimately back to Bristol. Their objective, as laid out by their website, was to demonstrate “that the Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks back so far now in the summer months that sea that was permanently locked up now can allow passage through.”

    There has been one small hiccup thus-far though: they are currently stuck in Murmansk, Russia because there is too much ice blocking the North East passage the team said didn’t exist in summer months, according to Real Climate Science....
  27. Seattle Husker

    Seattle Husker 5,000+ Posts

    I have to ask...what's your day job?
  28. iatrogenic

    iatrogenic 1,000+ Posts

    He's obviously a con man.
  29. I35

    I35 2,500+ Posts

    I think people don't realize just how big our solar system is. If they did they'd realize we are just one grain of sand on a beach. No way we affect global warming or climate change at all. There isn't any proof that the climate is changing. Yes slightly one way or other but that's called the weather. This is more laughable than when they use to think the world was flat.
    geewago and Hollandtx like this.
  30. mchammer

    mchammer 2,500+ Posts

    I have studied CAGW as a hobby for the past 10 years. I have PhD in Chemical Engineering from UT where my thesis was in SO2/NOx removal from coal-fired power plants. My skills and background (e.g., chemistry, fortran programming, kinetic modeling, heat transfer, etc.) makes me more qualified on a skill basis than many climate scientists (although they do have more experience in the field). In certain key aspects, such as global dimming from aerosols, they are making **** up. I can see through their BS. Does that answer your question?

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