On March 17, Germany’s Helmholtz Association held a podium discussion in Berlin. The title: “What can we believe? The climate debate and its impacts”.
Climate science and policy panel discussion in Berlin, March 17, 2014. Photo: Helmholtz Association
I wrote about this almost 6 weeks ago, read here. What’s a bit special about this podium discussion is that one skeptic, Dr. Peter Heller of Science Skeptical, was allowed to take part on the panel of 5 experts.
The five experts discussed climate science and the uncertainty surrounding it. The Helmholtz Association has since released a report on the event.
There is no concensus
On the claim there is a consensus, the Helmholtz Association panel discussion clearly dumps cold water on that in its article right off the bat, writing in the introduction:
Experts dispute the extent, consequences and causes of climate change.”
Hans von Storch, a critic of science actively telling policymakers what to do, however then said:
Global warming is a fact and cannot be scientifically explained without the observed increase in greenhouse gases.”
But this is statement that everyone agrees on, including skeptics. Unfortunately von Storch does not say how much of the warming is due to greenhouse gases, which is not a surprise because no one knows the answer to that question. Is it 5%? 20% 50% or 95%?
Andreas Hense, Professor for Climate Dynamics and the University of Bonn, reminds that there is uncertainty involved in the science and adds:
But what we do know with a relatively high accuracy, with high probability, is that certain climate variables such as the upper air temperature over the last 100 or 120 years have changed due to man-made influences, but not only because man-made influences but also volcanic influences or solar influences.”
So natural factors are being acknowledged after all. The Helmholtz article writes that the panel member opinions on the magnitudes the different factors have on climate “diverged”, thus confirming that there is no consensus.
Von Storch fears a role for science in policymaking
The Helmholtz article also writes that many scientists feel they are being crowded into a role in which they do not feel comfortable:
Hense said that he now avoids all discussions with the media. Von Storch said he even fears science taking a role in the political decision processes which they are not entitled to take.”
Schellnhuber’s approach roundly rejected
Werner Krauss at Klimazwiebel also reports on the podium discussion, and writes that the 2°C target of was rejected unanimously by the panelists (4 of 5 of whom were warmists) and that “a Herr Schellnhuber was sorely missed and thoroughly dissed – everyone agreed on the rejection of the scientifically dubious limits such as the 2°C target or measures that are not democratically legitimized.”
So all of us here in Germany can breath a sigh of relief in that even warmists think the Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber’s master plan for a great transformation of society and its calls for a watering down of democracy is going too far.
Hopefully the Helmholtz Association will post the video of this worthwhile event in the days ahead.