Monday, May 31, 2010

Changing Attitudes?

Uncertain Science Bickering and defensive, climate researchers have lost the public’s trust.

Rebel scientists force Royal Society to accept climate change scepticism

Royal Society to publish new guide to the science of climate change

Maybe Some Inconvenient Similarities

A recent commenter (the only one to date concerning Uncle Joe and the Watermelons) seemed to have trouble making the link between the posting concerning Stalin’s reign and the antics of the AGW + Green crowd. In the previous posting I didn’t realize the need to be so explicit concerning what I thought to be the obvious.  In the following I have tried to make these inconvenient similarities a little more explicit. Each point could be the basis of a lengthy essay but responses here are kept much shorter.

I should make one point clear here. I am not a raving skeptic. I am not at all in favour of raping and plundering the planet on which we live for the sake of short term gains. But I am in favour of informed rational thought and rational action. I guess I have a rather moderate view concerning climate change. But if once in a while the parties involved would step out of the box and put the climate change issue (and all that surrounds it) into the perspective of a political philosophy (as opposed to a plitico-scientific issue) they might see things a little differently.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Guest post by Bo Christiansen: On temperature reconstructions, past climate variability, hockey sticks and hockey teams

Bo Christiansen from the Danish Meteorological Institute works actively on the development of statistical methods for climate reconstructions, a field of intense debate in the past few years. Hopefully we will enter a phase in which scientific debates remain .. well, in the scientific realm. Enjoy his post.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Uncle Joe and the Watermelons

Recently Stalin seems to be threaded through a number of entities on this blog so I thought maybe I could add a few comments for further thought. I think most readers are aware of Uncle Joe. The watermelon: green on the outside, red in the middle. This is not by any means a coherent argument but rather 10 loosely related comments. I have made no allusions to the connection between Stalin’s reign and climate change. In fact, I have made no comment about climate change whatsoever.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Casus Belli

To invoke war or the danger of war to justify other political means is not really new. It has been often, and recently, used to curtail citizens rights and/or to limit the extend of democratic control of governments. In this interesting pod-cast (13 MB, duration 28 minutes) by the BBC, the tension between climate policy and democracy is discussed, among others, by James Lovelock, Mark Lynas and Michael Jacobs, advisor on climate change to the former UK Prime Minister Brown.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Para-normal? Post-science? Post normal? Para science?

Let’s begin with an old paper: ‘Science for the post-normal age’ (Funtowicz and Ravetz, Futures, 1993). While elaborating on the concept of post-normal science it is difficult, from the paper, to ascertain the features of a ‘post-normal age’ in which post normal science would feature. Some 15 years later Ziauddin Sardir welcomes us to ‘post normal times’ in his article ‘Welcome to postnormal times’ (also in Futures, 2009).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sheila Jasanoff in 'science': Testing Time for Climate Science

Sheila Jassanoff, from Harvard University, discusses in the journal 'science' the issues of  integrity and accountability of contemporaryclimate sciences.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lysenkoism - science in a postnormal context?

When science becomes important for stakeholders, when decisions are urgent, when social values are affected, and uncertainties large - then science is confronted with a number of challenges. Science operates in a postnormal situation. Some people, among them me, then speak of "post-normal" science, even if the terminology is not very well defined.

Climate science is in such a post-normal situation; other contemporary examples refer to BSE and other environmental issues.
I wondner, are there other, bigger cases? Cases, which may allow us to study how a scientific community liberates itself from the limitations and constraints of a post-normal situation?

Oliver Geden: Abkehr vom 2 Grad Ziel

I got another document "Abkehr vom 2-Grad-Ziel - Skizze einer klimapolitischen Akzentverschiebung", which may be of interest for the readers of the Klimazwiebel. Again, posting this here does not imply my endorsement, but merely my recognition that it may be worth to discuss the arguments and hypotheses.
- HvS

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A new direction for climate policy

A group of 14 authors from Asia, Europe and North America has just published a paper outlining a radically new approach for climate policy after the political failure in Copenhagen and the loss of credibility of climate science. I am one of the co-authors and you can read the paper here in full. This is the press release:

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Himalaya claim significantly used by IPCC vice chair in November 2009

The ppt presentation Policy-relevance of the Working Group II Contribution to IPCC AR4 (Fourth Assessment Report) by Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (IPCC Vice-chair) "with the kind collaboration of Chris Field, IPCC WGII Co-chair, and the IPCC Secretariat" at a UNFCC conference in Barcelona, 3 November 2009, contains "cases studies on impacts", among them on page 5 an assessment of the Glacial retreat in the Himalaya

•receding and thinning of Himalayan glaciers can be attributed primarily to the global warming; in addition, high population density near these glaciers and consequent deforestation and land-use changeshave adversely affected these glaciers

•the total glacial area will likely shrink from the present 500,000 to 100,000 km2(or disappear entirely) by the year 2035

•the 15,000 Himalayan glaciers form a unique reservoir of water which in turn, is the lifeline of millions of people in South Asian countries

•it is likely that glacial melt will turn the big Asian river systems into seasonal rivers and affect economies in the region

The reason for having this desinformation still on the web may be an attempt for keeping the documents historically in order - the talk has seemingly given in this way, and the original, unchanged material is provided on the IPCC web-site. This reason would have to be applauded. However, it shows that the false claim of a consensus view in this matter was not just somewhere hidden in a technical document, but used prominently by leading IPCC persons, namely a vice chair of AR4, and - as it seems - the new chair of WG 2.

I have asked Chris Field for an explanation.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Ozone Hole -- 25 years

Nature has an article by Jonathan Shanklin who (together with Joe Farman and Brian Gardiner of the British Antarctic Survey, BAS) published results about abnormally low ozone concentrations over Antarctica (Halley Bay) in May 1985. The BBC has a story and a summary of the Shanklin arcticle here.

Monday, May 3, 2010

På Norsk: Klimapanel i krise

The blog has published an assessment about a Norwegian debate initiated by Det Norske Vitenskaps-Akademi; the position of several people has been summarized by Bjørnar Kjensli - demonstrating a remarkable level of discussion in Norway ...
Tysk klimaforsker mener folk begynner å miste troen på klimaforskning, og peker ut klimapanelet som en hovedårsak. Norske IPCC-veteraner er uenige om hva organisasjonen bør gjøre.

Climategate revisited

spiegel-online posted today a review article about climategate:  'Forscherskandal. Heißer Krieg ums Klima'. Why today? No idea. Supposedly, they have read ALL the hacked emails. It's a strange mixture of hyped drama, information and sometimes interesting comments by the sociologist Peter Weingart. And it is in German.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The billions and billions of funding...

The 7th Framework Research Programme of the European Union will launch its first call for project proposals soon, and this gives us an excuse to critically examine the 'billions and billions' of euros from the tax payer that go to fund climate research. 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I put a spill on you (cause you're mine)

It's catastrophes that give for a moment an insight into the workings of our societies. We are used to discuss energy problems in abstract terms. We easily forget how deeply the cultures of coal and oil are ingrained in our reality - in the soil, the sea, the rivers, the infrastructures, the bodies, the minds, the institutions, the economy, the media. This short article shows it in a nutshell.