Top German Scientist Bluntly Criticizes Splinter Branch Of Science Attempting To Hijack Global Policymaking!

At his Klimazwiebel website, Hans von Storch, a climatologist for more than 40 years and a director of the Institute of Coastal Research for over 20 years, writes of how last June at a symposium in Nottingham he was asked to comment on his view of the role of science in society.

A dean of German climate science, von Storch has long been a vocal critic of a cabal of climate scientists who are venturing beyond their fields and attempting to seize the role of deciding policy for society. He maintains that scientists are simply not qualified to run the world, even though many have deluded themselves into thinking that they are. Lately a limited group of climate scientists have been demanding a rapid and radical transformation of global society.

Von Storch warns that science is always on the verge of error: “Scientific knowledge represents a resource for the public, in making-sense of complex developments and perspectives, in decision making.” He also says that science must always “be prepared to revise its understanding when new observations arrive, or if contradictions in the present understanding are unveiled“.

He warns against dismissing those who challenge science: “Attempting falsification is a necessary step to add plausibility of scientific knowledge”.

He warns of the consequences of abusing science to promote personal agendas: “…by renouncing attempts of falsification, by failing to implement the scientific method (and norms a la Merton), by using the knowledge for the promotion of specific societal interests, this capital science is spent“.

Von Storch says scientists should not venture beyond their fields because in truth they are “Fachidioten” [nerds], a German term for “narrow specialists, i.e. nerd”, and that scientists should not let their arrogance get the best of them. He says these nerds “know their narrow field particularly well; their understanding of other fields, which are also of great importance for a societal problem, {but that it] is as good as that of as any hairdresser, taxi-driver and journalist“.

The veteran German climatologist reminds us that scientists are also just normal citizens and so they “should not use the capital of science as an argument supporting own preferences“. He describes an environment where some scientists are abusing their status and how the public “is getting ‘resistant’ to the cacophony of newest scientific claims that this-or-that catastrophic development if this-and-that is not done“.

He says there is a need for “improving the relationship between science and policy” and that science needs to be “re-scientized” and policy needs to be “re-politicized”.

On the role of science in society, Hans von Storch writes

Science is supposed to provide best explanations of complex developments, independent if these explanations support one political preference on another. Policy, on the other hand, is supposed to take decisions, with all consequences for all aspects of the real world, which are acceptable for the public – in terms of values, preferences, and perceptions.”

In other words, scientists, like everyone else, have the right to express their opinions on issues, but they must avoid actively deciding policy, and threatening terrible consequences if policymakers decide otherwise.

At the end von Storch says “Different scientific quarters provide constraints for different components of the real world. Eventually, however, political decisions are balancing societal preferences and values, and the role of science is and must be limited“.

Read his comment in full here.


23 responses to “Top German Scientist Bluntly Criticizes Splinter Branch Of Science Attempting To Hijack Global Policymaking!”

  1. DirkH

    “He says these Fachidioten “know their narrow field particularly well; their understanding of other fields, which are also of great importance for a societal problem, {but that it] is as good as that of as any hairdresser, taxi-driver and journalist“.”

    Unfortunately I do not see any indication that climate scientists even KNOW about the limitations of modeling, or of the intricacies of the floating point arithmetic they use in their programs. They are at best, code monkeys. “Fachidiot” implies deep knowledge about one field. The climate modelers do NOT know their field.

    Mosher once gave me a link to a lecture of one of them who rested his hope for better models on future computer architectures that reintroduce analog computing on a transistor level. Well as I am quite used to coping with computer illiterates I didn’t fall of my chair.

    They do not have the slightest grasp of technology.

    1. DirkH

      …or of mathematics, or thermodynamics, as their mistakes seem to be evenly distributed across computer technology, mathematics, and physics. Include their statistical errors in the maths compartment.

      They are not “Fachidioten” but UNIVERSAL idiots. You can hire them for any job! They will always fail equally hard!

    2. Graeme No.3

      I am not sure about “analogue transistors” but the old style analogue computers might well be a better choice for climate research, in that they could be set for cycles, coupled to variables. Their inherent errors were probably far less than in current models.
      I suggest a budget of $0 and a reward of $100,000 once they’ve solved the climate variables. It is the reverse of the current process but more likely to take less time.

      1. DirkH

        Analogue computers have a higher resolution per computing element; but as any user of an old analog synthesizer can confirm, they are fickle beasts depending on part tolerance, temperature, moisture (well at least that would not be problem in a chip), operating voltage, noise on all connections, noise produced by EM interference.

        What’s the reliable resolution even if the disturbances are compensated for? 8 bit? yeah, so you get one computing element doing what a binary digital computer needs a hundred for? That’s a factor of a hundred. That’s what Moore’s Law gets you in 7 steps each step 18 months, 7 doublings, about one decade into the future. In one decade the binary digital computers will be where a hypothetical perfect analog computer with current density would be now. And? 4 decades have passed and climate modelers did not improve their track record. This ONE hypothetically gained decade would make a difference? I don’t think so.

        There is nothing magical about analogue computing elements that you can’t simulate with the simplest of Turing machines. THAT was the genius of Turing; proving the universality of machines once they are Turing complete. From there it’s only performance factors.

    3. Bernd Felsche

      Numerical representation of the physical world is always problematic. Especially when one uses iterative calculations with small deltas relative to the magnitude of dimensions. People who don’t understand that should not be let near a pocket calculator, let alone a scientific model.

      Believing in Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and Climate Models is an hour-long presentation by Christoper Essex on the subject.

      1. David Appell

        “Numerical representation of the physical world is always problematic.”

        Yes — look what a poor job NASA did of landing people on the Moon.

        1. AndyG55

          “Yes — look what a poor job NASA did of landing people on the Moon.”

          Then they employed the likes of Hansen, Schmidt, et al…. and now the Russians launch the satellites for them.

          You really shouldn’t hold NASA’s progress up to scrutiny, bozo !! It’s too funny. 🙂

  2. David Appell

    “Lately a limited group of climate scientists have been demanding a rapid and radical transformation of global society.”


    1. DirkH

      Schellnhuber for one. Reviving old Technocracy Inc. plans. David I thought you used to be a science journalist. The WBGU report. Have you left the writing business?

      1. David Appell

        Never heard of the WBGU report. Seems there wasn’t much to it, since it didn’t make its way out of Germany.

        Do you dislike this?

        “The 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes it unmistakeably clear: unacceptable climatic consequences, which are likely to escalate beyond the 2°C guard rail, can only be avoided if further increases in greenhouse-gas concentrations are halted as soon as possible. The WBGU therefore recommends reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2070 at the latest.”

        1. AndyG55

          The 2C farce was INVENTED by Schellnhuber..

          There is ABSOLUTELY NO SCIENTIFIC BASIS for it.

          None what-so-ever.

          The WBGU obviously want all plant lie on Earth to die from lack of food.

          They have struggled at “bread and water” levels for such a long time.. FFS give the world’s biosphere a break.

          Not that it matters what these non-scientific , agenda driven fools say, because in a decade or so this moronic CO2 hatred will be gone the way of the dinosaurs, with only the political agenda hanging in there like a fetid pestilence……

          Oh wait.. happening already !!

  3. cementafriend

    Agree DirkHand I have agreed with many of your past comments.
    I wonder if you are an engineer (not civil) who has understanding of mathematics, thermodynamics, heat&mass transfer, and fluid dynamics which no so-called “climate scientist” understands.

    1. DirkH

      I am a computer scientist and an amateur in all the other areas. My education included more maths and theoretical EE than I would recommend to anyone.

  4. Oliver K. Manuel

    I have been connecting the dots over most of my research career, and the image that emerges is of Joseph Stalin emerging victorious from WWII to rule the world by deceit, just as George Orwell predicted in the book he started writing in 1946: “Nineteen Eighty-Four”.

    Here’s the evidence: Thanks to scientific (Climategate), economic and political scandals, the 1945 plan to rule the world by deceit is now unraveling:'S_SCIENCE.pdf

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