Von Storch & Steyr: “UN Durban Climate Conference Was A Swan Song – Scientists Fixated On Conceitedness”

The online Der Spiegel yesterday published a piece by Hans von Storch, Director of the GKSS-Research Center in Geesthacht, Germany and Nico Stehr of the Karl-Mannheim-Professur for Cultural Sciences at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen. The title:”The world of the the world-saving professors has failed

Their conclusion on Durban: “The conference in Durban was a disappointment; environmental policy is stuck. Climate scientists are to blame because they are fixated on conceitedness and missionary zeal for reducing CO2 emissions.” They add:

The UN Climate Conference in Durban was a swan song.”

The attempt by scientists to guide a successful climate policy has failed. […] The cause for this is a false understanding of the role of climate science and the simplification of the climate change problem.”

For years, science professors had taken on the role of saving the planet, their arrogance exploding faster than CO2 emissions in China. It wasn’t long ago that everything appeared to be in order for the climate scientists. Physicist and chancellor Angela Merkel even allowed herself to be advised by leading scientists of a renowned institute, one was even allowed to use the title: “Advisor to the Chancellor”. Von Storch and Steyr write:

 Their views were accepted throughout the world as fact and their suggestions taken as correct.

Politics was to be guided by science – the science of a few men. Since then climate policy has failed, and CO2 emissions have risen unabated.

They led to failed climate policy. The leading figures in climate science are now suffering from withdrawal syndrome because no one wants to listen to them any longer, let alone celebrate them.”

Citing James Hansen, von Storch and Steyr are calling for a new direction in climate communication policy, pleading that policymakers move away from “Hollywood scientists”, who are naively portrayed as playing the lead roles as “world rescuers”.

What’s needed, the two authors say, is a more open discussion and not “autocratic government forms as solutions to the climate problem” or “great transformations of society” backed by the authority of scientists.

Von Storch and Steyr write that all the scare-mongering has had a devastating impact. Claims that climate change will lead to climate wars, death, disease, refugees, etc. are “not only perceived as attempts by single groups of scientists to gain recognition and financing, but also lead to perceptions that everything is connected to climate change.” Von Storch and Steyr write:

This either gets understood as absurdity or leads to the acceptance of an inevitable fate.”

Von Storch and Steyr cite recent US surveys that show society no longer trusts scientists.

Factual discussions hardly take place between climate science, civil societal organizations, and politics. The acceptance of climate science as a competent, objective interpreter is disappearing.”

They conclude:

It’s time for scientists to devote themselves to science once again. The societal climate debate has to open up.”

If anything else can be concluded, it is that something has gone terribly wrong and that major overhauls of the entire process are long overdue and in dire need. And when Der Spiegel, who started this whole mess 25 years ago, starts bringing it up, then you know something is afoot.


21 responses to “Von Storch & Steyr: “UN Durban Climate Conference Was A Swan Song – Scientists Fixated On Conceitedness””

  1. ArndB

    If you think after reading the following (from Klimazwiebel): that HvS knows “what climate is”, then it time to listen carefully:

    “Dennis Bray said… 14
    @ all those who seem to have trouble with the definition of climate. Isn’t it a 30 year statistical mean? I really didn’t think it was necessary to elaborate as it is the word ‘skeptic’ that was being scrutinized.
    November 2, 2010 8:21 AM

    Hans von Storch said… 15
    This term “30 year mean” is not really helpful, as it my be misunderstood as the mean value across 30 years (or an estimate thereof).

    It is meant as – a statistical parameter estimated form 30 years of data (why 30 years is a nother story) – and most estimates are formed by (weighted) sums, such as variance. Obviously, variance (or standard deviation) is a climate component as well; in this catgeory are also correlations (in time, in space) – even spectra if you resort to power spectra; if you refer to maxima, percentiles, extreme values, L-moments or EOFs, CCAs etc however, this link to “(weighted) sums over 30 years of data” breaks down.

    No, the “definition” “30 year statistical mean” is not reasonable. The climate is the statistics of 30 (or any other interval) years of meteorological (oceanographic etc) data, which includes co-variability across time, space and variables.
    November 2, 2010 8:32 AM

    More on „What is Climate“ at: http://www.whatisclimate.com/

  2. DirkH

    “And when Der Spiegel, who started this whole mess 25 years ago, starts bringing it up, then you know something is afoot.”

    Ah well. Every few months they let von Sorch write something, and inbetween they merrily continue with CAGW alarmism. They’re like the NYT; hoping to sell units by stirring up panic. CAGW won’t shift many papers anymore, but still, they will use their “science” section for CAGW anyhow. Der Spiegel are leftists;for them, the end justifies the means, and lying is their day job.

  3. Ulrich Elkmann

    “…lying is their day job.” It’s only lying if they know better: with Der Spiegel, as with most leftist papers that’s reserved for the political arena. With science (any aspect of it) or economics, they either have swallowed the “current narrative” hook, line, and sinker, or they simply don’t care. Given the typical age span of the Spiegel team (25-40 years), what concepts of “truth” they were exposed to in their studies likely consisted of unintelligible regurgitations of Nietzsche by way of Derrida, Lacan etc, which basically told them that the very idea of “truth” is a) daft and b) an imperialist weapon. Just the work ethic any journalist needs if he/she/it/[etc.] wants to survive the rat race with moral integrity.

    1. DirkH

      Ulrich, they decide how to “frame” facts into a story; this involves discrediting contradictory information. It’s journalism 101; you want to guide your reader through a narrative that you have planned for him. The ordinary Spiegel wimp doesn’t decide about how to frame it, he gets his orders from the collective (they are self-owned and decide by consensus; in other words, a classical Animal Farm situation).

      They are neither CONVINCED by the warmist narrative nor do they not care; but they see how they can create a narrative from it that is useful for their political goals. Yes, objective truth is something they don’t care for. (Only the geology guy seems to stick to it; the reports about the volcanic eruptions in Ethiopia were very good. Maybe the only guy with a hard sciences degree in the house)

      1. Ulrich Elkmann

        It’s also telling that in any society where the Thought Police are in operation and the ad libitum spinning of Revolutionary Science is the order of the day, geology – and to a certain extent archaeology – are usually the last refuges of reliable fact-finding.
        There’s a old joke – and a sober truth – in German academic circles about Der Spiegel that goes back at least 30 years: ask anyone who knows anything about any facet of reality and they will tell you that Der Spiegel keeps you very well informed about the world – “except for my own speciality: there they print only rubbish – but that’s just a tiny slice of the whole, isn’t it?”

        1. John F. Opie

          After being a subscriber for close to 20 years, I stopped reading Der Spiegel about three years ago and cancelled my subscription. The only quality to be found in the magazine is their command of the German language and the ability to turn some lovely sentences. Stylistically they are on par with the language crafting abilities of the New Yorker for being able to write well.

          But the ability to write well does not correlate with similar reporting skills. Repeated errors that were avoidable with even the most simple of research skills – if actually used to do anything but support a confirmation bias – undermine the best of stories. They has a point once, but today? Scarcely. I still go to their web site daily to see what their current bias is like.

          I keep on getting calls from them wanting me to return to the flock, but I always point out that I am an American living in Germany and don’t need any additional anti-American reporting, thank you very much. I get enough of that from the daily newspapers (with exceptions) and TV news. They have never, ever been willing to refute this and indeed are generally speechless when I tell them that is the reason I no longer subscribe.

  4. Edward.

    Nice one Canada!

    “The timing of the announcement is interesting. Radical environmentalists are already down in the dumps over the failure of COP17, and now they’ve take a kick to the plums from the Canucks. That sound you hear is David Suzuki’s head exploding. No doubt he’ll want to toss the government in jail for this.”


  5. Björn

    Ha ha! what a gold nugget quote from above:
    ” For years, science professors had taken on the role of saving the planet, their arrogance exploding faster than CO2 emissions in China.”
    Does it from the original Spiegel article , or should it be attributed to our website host her.

    1. DirkH

      You can thank Pierre – the word “China” doesn’t appear in the text.

      1. DirkH

        … in the Spiegel article text, to clarify.

  6. Ulrich Elkmann

    Keep in mind that the Germans are True Believers, not cynics or opportunists who jumped on the bandwagon while the funds were ladled out – at least in the public sphere: the political arena and the mainstream media (if it’ still possible to differentiate between the two: I doubt it).
    Also, what German politicians fear most is loss of face: having to admit that “all we did in the last 20 years was wrong” looks like public suicide to them; again, a doubtful stance: any high-ranking politician who were to stand up and roundly denounce the climate scam, the Euro, the current EU pp., could be sure to become a favorite, at least with the informed public. (And be denounced as evil incarnate by the media: Thilo Sarrazin and, to a lesser degree, Frank Schäffler, come to mind.)

  7. DirkH

    Kyoto-Caving Canadians cause Carbon credits collapse:

    1. Edward.

      Sounds good to me, a collapse of carbon credit trading is the desired effect and another nail in the coffin of the UNCCC bloodsuckers.

  8. DirkH

    Burning truck tyre causes wind turbine nacelle to burn out, during a transport, near Hannover on the A7. Video.

    The driver managed to decouple the hanger in time and suffered no harm.

  9. Dmitri

    Der Spiegel – some mistake surely?

    Should not it be named “Der Zerrspiegel” (distort mirror)

    In Russia there used to be a propaganda sheet called “The Truth” (Pravda) whose job it was to tell nothing but lies about tractor production, agriculture success and so on, and demonize the West. That paper was close down by Boris Yeltsin in 1991. Other incarnations of the Pravda are unrelated, except some old journalists and editors continue.

    1. Edward.

      We have a ‘Pravda’ in Britain, it is printed on recycled toilet paper [how green……. and ‘natural’] and called the ‘Grauniad’: full of hot putrid gaseous emissions.

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