Intellectually Insolvent U. Of Osnabrück Shuts Down Debate – Calls Skepticism “Provocative”

What do the intellectually challenged do when they’re out-matched in debate and fully exhausted of arguments?

You do what the University of Osnabrück has done: you prevent the opponent from entering the debating arena. You call it off and closed-mindedly insist you’re right.

Hat-tip: Die Achse Des Guten

This is what is happening today with the University of Osnabrück and Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, who had been invited by the university to give a speech on February 8.

It’s a vivid look into the cowardice of today’s German academia and it’s intellectual depletion.

The problem is that Vahrenholt has just written a controversial climate skeptical book (Die kalte Sonne) together with geologist Dr Sebastian Lüning – a book that is politically incorrect because it doubts the climate catastrophe fairy tale. The book is already near or at the number 1 position in bestseller list for environment and ecology books, and is thus causing the warmists to scurry in panic. The sense of alarm and fear that have gripped the climate establishment is so strong that the University of Osnabrück decided it would be improper to have Vahrenholt as a speaker.

Vahrenholt got his dis-invitation 2 days ago. Openly questioning the dogma of catastrophic global warming is not welcome. The University prefers to stay in the Dark Ages.

Here’s the public invitation:

In the series of presentations “University Speeches” of the University of Osnabrück, Prof. Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt – RWE Innogy, Essen will hold a speech titled “The Climate Catastrophe is not Taking Place”.

The IPCC is wrong. The climate debate has to be restarted. In contradiction to prognoses, there has been no global warming in over 10 years. Even with rising CO2 emissions the warming for this century will not exceed 2°C. The warming effect of CO2 is over-estimated. The latest findings show that ocean cycles and the sun, which recently entered a longer-term period of quite activity, has played a greater role in the course of climate than previously assumed.

Date: 08 February 2012
Time: 18.00 h
Location: Schlossaula (Osnabrück)”

Here is the incredible letter of cancellation:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we invited Prof. Vahrenholt in May, 2011, it was done with regards to a very good speech he had given in Greifswald (Greifswald Speeches – a Foundation of the Alfried Krupp College Greifswald) on the topic of “Options for the Future Energy Supply of Germany”. This topic and the speaker also were accepted by the Osnabrück University Professorium.
When we invited him, we suggested this topic, which he did not object. When we asked him to provide us with the exact title of his speech 3 weeks before it was scheduled to take place, he surprised us with the provocative title ‘The Climate Catastrophe Is Not taking Place’. The reactions to this announcement range from positive to critical, and to negative. Independent of these reactions, we have become convinced that such an assertion requires ‘a counter speech’ from a climate scientist and that the subsequent discussion be led by a competent moderator. Because it is not possible to organize this before February 8, we will search another date in 2012, in agreement with Prof Vahrenholt and the 2 yet-to-be-named individuals. We will inform you on a timely basis.

Yours sincerely,
Prof. Dr. Karlheinz Altendorf
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Asholt”

So unhindered, free dissent and questioning are unwelcome. Not believing that the world is on the road to catastrophe is “provocative”. Sorry, but this is the kind of insecure behaviour ones sees from dictatorial regimes. It’s intellectual insolvency.

Things really are that bad in Germany’s academia today – at least at the University of Osnabrück.

Two questions to professors Altendorf and Asholt: What are you afraid of? Does a movement steeped in fear and insecurity have any chance of victory? Your letter is as clear an admission one could get that the answer is “definitely no”.

Your decision is as about as remote as one can get from the true spirit of academia.


20 responses to “Intellectually Insolvent U. Of Osnabrück Shuts Down Debate – Calls Skepticism “Provocative””

  1. Harry Dale Huffman

    You are overreacting, in an emotional, knee-jerk manner, just as the promulgators and defenders of the incompetent climate consensus have been doing for too many years now.

    The debate is not about pushing one’s currently favorite scientist to the front (just because his consensus-skeptical book seems to have momentum now). Granted, it is, most immediately for the wider world, about stopping the political tyranny being thrust upon the public, worldwide, due to an incompetent and even fraudulent IPCC; and you are right to bring attention to Dr. Altendorf–but in a positive, reasonable manner, please. And the SCIENTIFIC debate is about correcting the incompetent scientific consensus, which is being championed by a generation of FUNDAMENTALLY MISEDUCATED students, including the present generation of scientists in positions of authority.

    1. DirkH

      No, Pierre is right. Everywhere in Germany, and at every time, you can listen to talks given by the heroic pioneers of renewable energy and their proponents; all the time they give awards to each other; it’s so boring I’d rather watch paint dry.

      Under normal circumstances, if this was not the political science of CAGW and its political offspring, renewable energy, a university would welcome something new.

      This is clearly a political decision; notice that they do want to let him speak later, WHEN THEY HAVE A WARMIST TO COUNTER HIM. Why is that necessary? Everybody knows the point of view of the warmists; the TV and radio has been blaring it for decades. How about letting warmists speak only when there is a skeptic to counter them?

      And by the way, I hereby predict that, regrettably, they will find no warmist that will be willing to appear. They never do.

      This is a warmist university, living on wamist grants, playing for time.

    2. Charles Higley

      It is not so much that generation of miseducated people are pushing junk science. It is a group of insidious people pushing a political agenda and using money and power to force it on the world with the goal to even greater money and power along with a permanent domination of the world.

  2. George Alexander

    Having given talks myself, I know that the University often wants one to give a talk that was already given at a different venue and it seems that the folks at Osnabruck wanted the same.

    OK I understand that and I also understand politics, human nature and the fear of real free speech at universities. These are the situations where sometimes you have to tease the audience.

    So, Prof. Vahrenholt would reprise his previously given and anticipated speech, and at the end, provide elements of his new book as it would be more than logical for a speaker to provide some snippets of a book he has just co-authored and published. A few establishment feathers would be ruffled, but the real message would have been delivered, at least in part, and curiosities would have been piqued.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

  3. DirkH

    Angela Merkel wants some feedback from her citizens, as reported here:,3672,8468109,00.html

    You can give her suggestions here (website only in German, it seems):

    This is not a joke. I will suggest an orderly breakup of the Eurozone, an end to the decarbonization of Europe and widespread use of shale gas.

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Don’t forget about building nuclear plants as quickly as possible and getting the safe reactors back online.

      Suggest that Germany should invest in a partnership with the Czech-Australian consortium developing molten-salt throium breeder reactors which will, being plausibly the best candidate) dominate electricity and process heat generation over this half century.

  4. archaeopteryx

    Pretend you live in 1516 A.D. in a medieval town where selling indulgences is a significant component of local GDP, the sole source or revenue for the powerful local church, a decent source of tax revenue for the local chieftain and a good export business too. The church has been preaching salvation of the Soul as a basic objective and all good churchgoers believe in it, or else they are burned at the stake. The only way to save your Soul is by buying indulgences.

    And here come a monk who says “hey, wait a minute, this isn’t right, there is no hard evidence and this is an unfair transfer of funds to the undeserving based on a fallacy.

    What will happen to the monk?

    1. DirkH

      Yes, but there was a thing called the Enlightenment in between; and we have developed a thing called the Scientific Method…

      1. mindert eiting

        More importantly, Dirk, we have had in between a separation of Church and State. It is fascinating to see at present the mixture of Science and State.

        1. Ulrich Elkmann

          Not so much science but a Political Religion in the guise of science – just as psychoanalysis and socialism claimed to be scientifically proven paths to salvation, with their respective catechisms disguised to look like scientific monographs (anyone who has taken a closer at Freud’s published case studies is in for a surprise). In the case of Osnabruck, they had hoped to get a High Priest of the Church of Global Warming – and now they find out that he is going to celebrate a black mass, or declare that their God Is Dead… Bureaucracies always react awkwardly when faced with bad surprises, and academical bureaucracies especially so.

          1. mindert eiting

            Famous were Freud’s case studies about woman hysteria. The problem was that this hysteria (unlike global warming hysteria) was never seen again after Freud. His patients were upper-class women and it is now believed that they had a kind of poisoning by gas lamps in the homes were they were living the whole day.

    2. Paddy

      What happens to that monk will probably be the same as what happened to Martin Luther.

      1. DirkH

        You mean he’ll have a bestseller?

      2. Bruce of Newcastle

        I was thinking Jan Hus myself, who was catastrophically anthropologically warmed in Konstanz.

      3. Bruce of Newcastle

        Oops, I meant anthropogenically warmed.

        At least with the invention of blogs and email, nowadays you only get flamed not fried.

        1. Ulrich Elkmann

          On the plus side: that auto-da-fé was carbon neutral.

  5. matti

    “Options for the Future Energy Supply of Germany”. This topic and the speaker also were accepted by the Osnabrück University Professorium.
    When we invited him, we suggested this topic, which he did not object. ”

    And the good professor chose instead to talk about “‘The Climate Catastrophe Is Not taking Place’

    I can see why the University would object . However ,the two topics are really the same in my opinion . You cannot intelligently talk about options for the future energy supply for Germany on the asumption that unprecedented global warming will take place for the next 100 years when in reality the global climate has been flat and actually cooling for the last decade .You have to talk about what is current and real and not what is posssible based on ” smoke and mirrors “type of unproven science nor about a problem that may exist 100 year from now that may never materialize. Why would anyone soundand prudent individual recommend to the populus that they should stock up on air conditioning units for the expected warm weather only when they may also need more furnaces for the colder weather [like now] unless I was in the air conditioning business only. That is where the problem lies .

    It would appear to an outsider that the scientific method is almost dead in Germany[ also in many other countries, I might add] as one of the cardinal rules of science is being openly waived in climate science and other scientists sit idle and let it happen . If other scientists are not allowed to present their comments and findings about the original hpothesis and are unable to verify the scientific work of the originating group for the hypothesis, then we now have science by edict which is not science at all but totalitarianism in science

    1. DirkH

      “It would appear to an outsider that the scientific method is almost dead in Germany”
      Science in the EU is dictated by the “Framework Program”; and entirely politicized.
      “Cordis” of course let’s one think immediately of Discordianism; which is a good start for understanding the basic concepts of the EU.

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