With the book out 6 days, parts of the the German mainstream media and green activists are finding the the whole affair really tough to digest. Some of the reactions have been downright nasty and Medieval.
The left wing German online TAZ here has a weekend article called “Climate Skeptics Are Like Viruses“, which looks at the controversy swirling about Vahrenholt’s and Lüning’s new skeptic book “Die kalte Sonne“.
TAZ’s message is clear: In climate science, scientific scrutiny and enquiry are mental disorders coming from viruses. We all know what needs to be done with viruses.
IPCC lead author: skeptics no longer need to be heard!
In the TAZ piece, IPCC lead author Petra Döll is quoted as saying that skeptics don’t need to be heard. Lüning and Vahrenholt respond at their Die kalte Sonne site:
The attitude of refusal by the IPCC with respect to open scientific discussion and debate is now conspicuous. This is demomstrated by IPCC lead author Dr. Petra Döll in the German online taz in claiming that “climate skeptics” no longer need to be heard. Indeed it is questionable just how long this weird scientific approach can be maintained. Should we not expect a professional demeanor from scientists who are paid and supported by German tax revenue? Döll’s dubious reasoning: The climate skeptics ”just keep repeating the same arguments”. Could it be that the so-called climate skeptics are forced to keep repeating because the current climate science establishment has yet to provide a satisfactory answer? There’s a lot that indicates this is the case. An assessment of the media one week after the launch of the book “Die kalte Sonne” has clearly shown: The media are relying on a hand-full of prominent experts whose arguments are showing to be everything but scientifically convincing. The statements of many experts and activist editors are characterized by misrepresentations, intentional omissions and errors.
Politicians have become aware of this problem. SPD socialist party Chairman writes in the the Sunday edition of the TAZ sonntaz that in all cases we have to hear the climate skeptics out, ‘and even if it is sometimes very difficult to do so.’ Perhaps he’s beginning to realize that something is amiss within the IPCC. Politicians have blindly relied on the IPCC for too long. Whatever the IPCC said, was law. When one considers how high the stakes really are in the climate debate, then one has to conclude that an independent review of the IPCC’s basic assumptions is essential, even just for the sake of transparency reasons. To avoid conflicts of interest, such a review should be conducted by neutral parties who are not involved in the climate debate. Of course this should be done by scientists, but the more they are from outside of climate science, the better. Climate science is not rocket science. An independent review by a commission is possible with independent scientists. In the event members come from a large research facility, then it must be assured that there is no sister institute that is dependent on climate science funding. The most important tool of such a commission is natural science common sense, which has been increasingly missing in the climate sciences over the last years.”
That’s a reasonable response. A commission to conduct a review of the IPCC is long overdue, as it is well-documented that the IPCC house is a mess.
But scrutinizing science is mentally ill – the TAZ wants to tell us
There’s another part of the TAZ report, which Lüning and Vahrenolt did not respond to (probably because of its sheer absurdity). Here’s what the end-of-the-world-obsessed TAZ adds:
Also psychologist Marius Raab asks that climate skeptics be listened to. Their ‘house of thoughts’ in the end fulfill many criteria for conspiracy theories, which Raab studies at the University of Bamberg. ‘A conspiracy theory is foremost a good story,’ he wrote to the sonntaz, “in structure and argumentation it is especially compelling and holds the invitation to get involved and thus to spread the word. Argumentation is one-sided, not scientific.'”
Reminds me of the old Soviet tactic of admitting political opponents to mental institutions in order to eliminate them. With the TAZ’s “virus” remark and adding the comments from shrink Raab, it’s clear that the TAZ has no interest in arguing the science and is perfectly content to engage in gutter journalism.
Finally, here’s an objective radio report (in German) Inforadio rbb on the book “Die kalte Sonne” .