The cloud pushers (“Die Wolkenschieber”)

The left-leaning weekly German magazine Der Spiegel has in its 29 Mar 2010 edition (no.13) a large 10 page article “Die Wolkenschieber” on climategate, hockey stick, Phil Jones, IPCC….  The tone is skeptical, what is something of a revolution in the German media world, where climategate was poorly treated until now. A noticeable exception are the skeptical journalists Maxeiner and Miersch from “Die Welt”, which fight since many years a caustic and humourous battle against climate hysteria. “Der Spiegel” is noticed more for embracing (in typically German Weltangst manner) gruesome scenarios and continuous remorse over the modern human’s environmental footprint.

The article has nothing really new to say, but there are some gems. For instance this result of a public poll of 1000 people who were asked “Do you personally fear climate change?”. In 2006, 62% said yes, in 2010 only 42% do.

This clearly shows that climate fear has passed its zenith, and that environmental groups wanting to lock people in Umwelt-angst should change the subject (would’nt biodiversity be a good follower?).

The authors tell us that the Bundesforschungsministerium (ministry for research) has granted 250 million Euros for German climate science alone in 2010;  these extravagant amounts validate the comment of  Dr. Sonia Boemer-Christiansen (editor of Energy & Environment:

“Some university research units have almost become wholly-owned subsidiaries of Government Departments. Their survival, and the livelihoods of their employees, depends on delivering what policy makers think they want.”

Concerning sea-level rise, the authors write that most experts think that the 4AR IPCC estimation of 18 to 59 cm for 2100 are too low. Does “most experts” mean Stefan Rahmstorf from the PIK ?
The hurricane scare is well laid out. Trenberth’s correlation between hurricanes power index and global warming has not survived the skeptics (prominently Chris Landsea) enquiries. Also the arbitrary 2°C warming limit for avoiding a planetary catastrophe is presented as an exercise to hand out a single number for the politicians, even if that number has no scientific merit.

Hans von Storch is cited several times ( the authors call him “Storch”, may be the “von” is too much to swallow for a left leaning writer…); the article closes with von Storch saying ” Angst machen gilt nicht” (there is no need for panic). How true, and how sad that the German media did not follow this simple advice over so many years.

I recommend the lecture of this article. For copyright reasons I can not give a link, but you may buy the full edition (3.80 EUR) as an e-paper (PDF format) here.

Update 05Apr10: Full English test here (thanks to Marcel S.,  see comment)

One Response to “The cloud pushers (“Die Wolkenschieber”)”

  1. Marcel Severijnen Says:

    The whole article can been read in German at:
    http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/0,1518,druck-686437,00.html

    Prof. Hans von Storch comments afterwards:
    “Angst machen gilt nicht”, sagt Storch. “Der Klimawandel passiert ja nicht von heute auf morgen. Wir haben noch genug Zeit zu reagieren.”. Der letzte Satz ist leider mißverständlich, und ich hätte mir stattdessen diese ausführliche Formulierung gewünscht: “Wir sollten unsere Emissionen herunterfahren, um den Klimawandel zu begrenzen, aber wir müssen auch daran denken, unsere Verletzlichkeit zu reduzieren. Das können wir auch, und Zeit dafür haben wir.“
    (source: http://coast.gkss.de/staff/storch/ under news, 2 april 2010)

    You may find an English version at:
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,686697,00.html

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