The online German flagship daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) conducted an interview with Australian astrophysicist and Nobel Prize laureate Brian Schmidt, revealing that so far only 36 of 65 Nobel laureates attending the Lindau Nobel laureate conference have signed the so-called 2015 Mainau Declaration, a document urging world leaders to act quickly on climate change.
The FAZ interview bears the title: “The evidence that must not be distorted.”
In the interview conducted by Joachim Müller-Jung, Schmidt gives the impression that there is an almost universal consensus and certainty on the science, that the IPCC is 99% sure that humans have been responsible for the recent climate change.
When Schmidt is asked by the FAZ directly why he is so sure about the science, Schmidt says he relies on the models…”extremely complex models“, and adds that although they do not know whether things in the future will happen exactly as the IPCC says they will, Schmidt tells the FAZ “we can say that most of the model calculations lead to a serious change in the atmosphere that will be unacceptable. This change puts everything in doubt – it leads to perhaps the greatest crisis for mankind. […] I would say that we can be 99 percent certain that a dangerous and man-made climate change is taking place.”
Consensus? Only 56% signed
And it turns out that not many Nobel laureates are as sure as Schmidt. The FAZ asks why “just a bit over half” of the laureates attending the Lindau conference signed the document, i.e. only 35 of 66 Nobel laureates. Schmidt replies first by claiming that there is actually only one person who steadfastly refuses to sign (Ivar Giaever) and that:
Most of the others simply had to leave the conference earlier or had second thoughts about signing because it was beyond their expertise.”
When asked by the FAZ what would happen if it turned out they are all wrong, Schmidt answers: “Then I am the first to admit that I was wrong. But I am 99 percent sure that this will not happen.”
Here Schmidt may want to look at the comparison of the model projects and the real observed data (see IPCC chart above).
At the end Schmidt says that U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Royal Society President Paul Nurse played key roles in authoring the Mainau manifesto.