Home > AGW, Catastrophism, Climate Change, Global Warming, Omniclimate, Policy > AGWers Of The World Unite!

AGWers Of The World Unite!

Some people are a bit reluctant in making it clear that the AGW efforts are a political attempt at social engineering on a massive scale, perhaps with one idea or two about a World Government.

That’s definitely not the case for Professor Claus Leggewie, Director of the Institute for Scientific Culture for the State of Essen (Germany), and Member of the Scientific Advisory Group for the German Federal Government on all topics Global Environmental Change.

Professor Leggewie writes on the Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Mar 23) in the aptly-titled “Political Economy As Climate Defence” (SZ, 23 March):

The contemporaneous crisis of the Economy and the Environment requires a radical new way of thinking in a global dimension. It necessitates a structural change of great depth and long duration. If [such a change] is not thought and dared today…we will lose the still-feasible move towards a Low-Carbon Economy. […]

It is clear that Leggewie sees the economical crisis as a good chance to avoid the climate crisis. The latter is the goal, the former just a means to force everybody in the “right” direction…

A “Climate Marx” must surely be in the offing…

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  1. 2009/04/13 at 22:06

    I appreciate the posting. The whole point of the IPCC and others pushing THEIR AGENDA, has always been to convince others. Some of the objectives I like (less emissions would also mean less pollution), it’s just too bad that they’re using blatant demagoguery so often, which repulses me. Sadly, the credibility of science itself is also undermined through this political process.

    In this whole thing, the KEY PHRASE of the the Working Group I (The Physical Science Basis) of the last (2007) IPCC report, AR4 (Assessment Round #4), is that the IPCC declares a > 90% confidence (in the media often translated as ‘certainty’) that most of the observed warming over the past half-century is caused by human activities. In short:
    According to the IPCC it is >90% likely that >50% of warming is due to human activity.

    Then they proceed to attribute the antropogenic aspect to be primarily due to greenhouse gas emissions, in particular CO2 (carbon dioxide), but also NH4 (Methane) and NO3 (Nitrous Dioxide). And then from there on forward come the predictions and the policy recommendations. The seriousness of all the IPCC recommendations is build upon the authority manufactured by the “90% likely”, which appears politically near-unquestionable.

    The “over 50%” comes from tinkering with computer models, in which this value did a great job of corresponding with the warming of the second half of the 20th century. (Note: The computer model used considers climate variations caused by cosmic ray flux, and other possibly major parameters, as negligible, completely ignoring many recent scientific findings.). My question was: how did they arrive at the 90%? First thing I found out is that the “90% likely” or “90% certainly” are expressions of confidence. Second I found is that this expression of confidence what not arrived at through tests, calculations or statistics, but simply expressed “the expert judgment of the authors”. In other words, it reflects the subjective opinion of the authors about their own work. Since most people, expert or not, tend to be fairly confident when they publish something, this isn’t saying much, unless of course we’re dealing with a very large group of experts. So, then I wondered how many people we were talking about here…

    There were 619 contributing authors for the IPCC AR4 WG1, of which 152 lead authors. It’s the lead authors that determine the confidence level. While 152 people isn’t exactly overwhelming, or particularly difficult to come to consensus with (particularly given the fact that the IPCC is by-invitation-only and the greatest expert critics of the IPCC findings aren’t invited), the picture is actually worse…

    The” >90% likely >50% of warming is antropogenic” is arrived at over 3 chapters:
    In Chapter 7, “Couplings Between Changes in the Climate System and Biogeochemistry”, the link between greenhouse gasses and temperature is established. In Chapter 8, “Climate Models and Their Evaluation”, the used climate model is covered and Chapter 9, “Understanding and Attributing Climate Change”, deals with attribution.

    C7: Coordinating Lead Authors + Lead Authors: 18
    C8: Coordinating Lead Authors + Lead Authors: 13
    C9: Coordinating Lead Authors + Lead Authors: 9
    C7+8+9 = 40 people

    So, when the IPCC’s “thousands of scientists from all over the world” declared “in unison” their “consensus” that humans are “the main cause of the warming” of the climate over the last 50 years, it actually boils down to thousands of scientists and politicians having FAITH in the subjective confidence of less than 4 dozen “experts”. That’s all it means. All the rest is demagoguery.

  2. George Carty
    2009/04/03 at 05:25

    I worry about a climate Hitler just as much as a climate Marx.

    Actually I worry more about a climate Stalin (who uses intrigue, rather than demagogery, to gain absolute power)…

  3. George Carty
    2009/04/01 at 19:38

    For the other 90% the climate has remained consistently at about 10C warmer than present and 15C warmer than this ice age’s mean, with absolutely NO polar ice caps and no detriment to life. In fact most paleontologists would claim that life is much easier with a warmer climate.

    Isn’t the climate scenario feared by the warmists not the Cretaceous scenario (with no polar ice caps at all, and almost all land environments friendly to life), but the Oligocene scenario (with Eastern Antarctica still icebound, and huge deserts including all of today’s United States)?

  4. geoff chambers
    2009/04/01 at 11:36

    alexjc38 wonders how the AGW movement comports itself globally, and outside the realm of the guilt-ridden Western middle classes. Climate Resistance have had some good articles on this, analysing the anti-CO2 propaganda of Oxfam and I think the WWF. There was a bizarre item on Oxfam’s webpage about encouraging people in Tanzania to paint images of global warming, for all the world like 19th century missionaries bringing enlightenment to the benighted natives.
    On the other hand, the Independent had an article about an international cartoon competition on environmental problems which was very revealing. All the 20 winning entries were about issues like smog and deforestation – not a drowning polar bear in sight – possibly because the artists were from Eastern Europe, China and South America, places where people have real environmental problems to tackle

  5. geoff chambers
    2009/03/29 at 20:31

    Climate Resistance seem to suggest in their comment above that the watermelon theory is resuscitating a parody of Marx. In fact it seems to be simply a cheap insult used by American conservatives about “progressives” of all kinds, from hippies to Democrats, with no intellectual content at all.
    I think Maurizio’s point is that the intellectual posturing of academic warmists like Professor Leggewie seems to be a plea for someone to come forward with a Unified Theory of Everything We Radicals Worry About, from banking to icecaps. How long did Marx labour over das Kapital? 30 years? We’ll be well past the tipping point by then.
    Süddeutschezeitung wants 1€50 for the Leggewie article, but he has another one free and in English at:
    http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2008-11-21-leggewiewelzer-en.html.
    It basically says democracy isn’t working because we can’t put up wind farms as fast as the Chinese build coal-fired power stations. I’d like to believe Paulus when he says the Bavarians are immune to this kind of thing, since I found Munich to be one of the most civilised cities I’ve ever visited, but the folly seems to be really Europe-wide.

    • 2009/03/30 at 08:15

      Have been away for a long weekend (you would never guess where, Geoff…) so I will reply in a better way later today or tomorrow. Just a quick note to say that in Munich there is a climate conference or speech every other day. Have been to none of them (there is some work to do here for me, alas!) but the titles don’t strike me as particularly alarmist.

      Another point to notice is that every Country has its own fringe thinkers and politicians. It depends then what role they actually have, apart from being there to provoke feelings (and thoughts) into others.

  6. Crowcatcher
    2009/03/28 at 20:52

    Not sure where to put this comment but this appears to be the latest contribution.
    In my small town in rural England it is very noticeable that all those “tweeny greenies” who keep telling me that AGW is a real threat are all middle class, live in big houses, drive big cars, regularly fly on foreign holidays and don’t have two elementary science quilifacations to ‘rub together’ amongst them.
    Two points that worry me a about the statements of AGW catastrophists is that AGW takes it data from only the last half million yaers or so – about .01% of the Earth’s overall gelogical history.
    We are currently living in an ice age. If you take the last 4 billion years then all four ice ages total less than 10% of Earth’s geological history. For the other 90% the climate has remained consistently at about 10C warmer than present and 15C warmer than this ice age’s mean, with absolutely NO polar ice caps and no detriment to life. In fact most paleontologists would claim that life is much easier with a warmer climate.
    So where does all the rhetoric come from about “tipping points”, “runaway” and “catastrophic” come from?
    Trouble is that the likes of “Stop Climate Chaos” and “Friends of the Earth” fall for it without any knowledge of any sort of scientific history

  7. 2009/03/27 at 22:56

    I’d also be interested in knowing more about how the AGW movement comports itself globally, and outside the realm of the guilt-ridden Western middle classes. Like Geoff, I think this is one of the few sites that addresses this kind of issue.

    Roger mentioned the internet’s ability “to allow opinions to masquerade as facts” – a very apt phrase, especially when applied to stories about doomed polar bears, climate refugees and monster hurricanes. Yes indeed.

    And “we need action”. Oh yes. One action I’ll be performing is writing to Ed Miliband, our Minister for Climate Control, to remind him not to sign up to any futile and unnecessary climate treaties if he finds himself in Denmark later this year.

    And another action will be to keep my lights burning tomorrow during Earth Hour.

  8. Luke Warmer
    2009/03/27 at 10:45

    I worry about a climate Hitler just as much as a climate Marx.

    The localism, protectionist, food miles etc agenda could really result in a “nationalist” and “socialist” type of thinking i.e (Godwin’s law duly noted) Nazi.

    Jonathan Porrit’s OPopulationT arguments are another case in point.

    We have to be honest enough to ensure that the real science and facts don’t get perceived as politicised, that’s my key concern about watermelon.

    The reality is that many from the left and right should be anti-totalitariansim of whatever flavour.

  9. Paulus
    2009/03/26 at 17:22

    I’ve often wondered how much of “catastrophic warmism”, as Geoff Chambers puts it above, is being driven mainly by the Anglo Saxons. The developing nations, for example, seem to think rescuing their people from poverty is of far more importance.

    I live in Germany, south of Munich. What strikes me is that although people are far more greener here than in the UK, there’s none – or very little, at least – of the hysteria that you find in the UK. People recycle as a way of life, without any fuss, and it’s been many years since you could get free carrier bags from the supermarkets. Nobody thinks twice about it.

    Sure, there’s the odd report in the press or on TV, but I have to admit I’ve never come across anybody who is particularly interested in Global Warming here. My son is 19 years old, in his last year at Gymnasium. He tells me his classmates are completely indifferent, with the exception of 1 girl who’s a member of the Green Party.

    And last year I read an article in the local freebee newspaper actually welcoming Global Warming. The argument was that Bavaria is already the best place to live in the World (!), and Global Warming would make the climate even more pleasant. Not like the Germans to do irony, I thought, while I was reading the article. Turned out I was correct – there was no humorous punchline, and the article wasn’t being ironic.

  10. 2009/03/26 at 17:16

    ‘A “Climate Marx” must surely be in the offing…’

    That rather depends on which way you look at Marx. If Marx intended to liberate workers from the constraints of bourgeois economics, then a climate Marx might intend to liberate workers from bourgois ecology. Ecology can be seen more easily as a means to rescue capitalism than as an argument to topple it.

    One thing that bothers me about the red=green kind of commentary is that Marx is supposed to be dead, but nowhere is he more alive than in the arguments made by people making exactly that claim. That kind of argument has no more substance than his ghost.

  11. 2009/03/26 at 06:49

    One of the blessings of the internet is its ability to allow opinions to masquerade as facts. We don’t need an OPINION on climate change; we need action. Thisis regardless of the economic crisis. The environmental crisis we will face will make this economic crisis look like a teddy bear’s picnic.

    • 2009/03/26 at 06:54

      very nice to hear that Roger…so please let me understand…are you recommending to shut down this blog? Why am I not surprised?

  12. geoff chambers
    2009/03/24 at 23:54

    One of the most useful things that could be done in the AGW sceptic blogosphere, it seems to me, would be to compare the state of the AGW movement in different countries. The simple fact that catastrophic warmism is weak, as far as I can see, in France and Italy, demolishes the “watermelon” theory beloved of conservative American sceptics, according to which greens are simply reds in disguise. After all, France and Italy were the two Western countries with powerful communist parties which have all but disappeared, yet their millions of ex-marxists haven’t been reborn as global warmists.
    In the USA and Australia there’s a clear left-right demarcation between warmists and sceptics, while in Britain the two sides transcend political boundaries. Germany must be an interesting case, because of their active and still flourishing Green Party. Only you and Benny Peiser bring any news from there. How about setting up some kind of loose network to compare notes across national and cultural boundaries?

    • 2009/03/25 at 05:45

      Geoff – actually in Italy the reds/non-reds divide is a-building as we speak. I’ll try to dig a couple of news about it. In Germany, as far as I can understand, climate change is a post-political issue, and in Munich for example there is something going on about it at least twice a week.

  1. 2009/03/24 at 15:39
  2. 2009/03/24 at 15:38

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