A new working paper titled Climate Skeptics In Germany And Their War Against The Energy Revolution by the Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna, written by Dr. Achim Brunnengräber of the University of Berlin Department of Political Science, has just been released.
What’s a bit surprising is that the Catholic Theological Private Institute of Linz contributed to this hate-tinged, highly confrontational, intolerant working paper, which is designed to further demonize those with a different opinion. Obviously elements of Catholicism have regressed back to the good old Galileo days when doctrine was not to be challenged. You could view it as a Redeclaration of War on Skeptics.
Moreover, what is especially frightening is that Brunnengräber appears to be totally unaware of the massive body of recent scientific research and data refuting the IPCC climate science.
Indeed, a stunning blow was delivered to the author, and the overall renewable energy movement, just days ago when Angela Merkel’s Environment Minister Peter Altmaier announced that the German transition to renewable energy would end up costing citizens a spectacular 1 trillion euros by the end of the 2030s, de facto confirming the project is a colossal flop that threatens the existence of the nation. He is now working to put the brakes on.
The paper’s introduction (p. 7) states that the public is getting increasingly unsettled about the burdens coming from Germany’s energy revolution, and writes that “people who deny man-made climate change, play down its impacts, or fundamentally question climate policy appear to be gaining ground in this atmosphere. In Germany, their voices are becoming increasingly louder and are getting greater attention from politics, media, and the broad public.”
Paper’s “surprising results”:
The introduction presents the paper’s three main results:
1. There are more and more signs that the climate skeptics in Germany are gaining political ground and attention.
2. The denial of climate change is, however, no longer the central issue. The skeptics are focussing their criticism increasingly on the political consequences that resulted from climate change.
3. This leads to questioning the transition to renewable energy. Thus the positions of the climate skeptics are gaining acceptance and are finding support – also from prominent figures.
The report then asks if a similarly strong debate like the one that has long been found in the USA could appear in Germany. Brunnengräber advises that the skeptics should not be taken lightly, and suggests the possibility of that happening is real, and that there are “substantial reasons against ignoring them“.
Brunnengräber begins by defining and fingering out the skeptic forces, putting focus on The Heartland Institute, CFACT and Fred Singer in USA; and the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Fritz Vahrenholt, journalists Dirk Maxeiner, Ulli Kulke and Günter Ederer in Germany, and claiming that climate skepticism is based on the findings of “dubious” scientists, all designed to spread doubt and uncertainty among the public. The report drags out the old, worn-out claims that skeptics are being massively funded by “the oil industry, its think tanks, and massive financial resources“.
Brunnengräber accuses the skeptics of defamation. In section 7.5 on page 44, he describes the skeptic network in Germany as:
…”a colorful heap of blogging amateur climatologists (most being retired professors), a handful of lobbyists, politicians and hobby scientists. Singer here plays an important role at the EIKE events in Germany, and is always a welcome guest. Among the speakers are Christopher Monckton, a conservative politician from Great Britain and Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”
Through the conferences…
…with the international guests – the network of climate skeptics in Germany is spreading more and more. Moreover, there is contact with the Global Warming Policy Foundation.”
Skepticism in Germany “increasingly a problem”.
The report writes at the end of section 7.5:
Climate skeptics are being viewed by many German politicians and scientists increasingly as a problem (Hornschuh 2008: 149). Yet, there is little or no direct contact between climate deniers and their opponents. The conflicts are playing out via the media. The one exception confirms the rule: In May 2011, there was a meeting between EIKE members and representatives of the Potsdam Institute (PIK), but whose content was not released to the media. An open discussion appears to be impossible because the “absolute skepticism of the climate skeptics immunizes against counter-arguments.”
Here, Brunnengräber forgets to mention that it was the PIK who requested that the meeting’s content not be released, and that it is the PIK’s scientists who refuse to debate in public.
In the paper’s summary, Brunnengräber concludes (concedes) that the skeptic movement in Germany is now “well-embedded institutionally” with groups like EIKE, the Manhattan Institute, TvR media Publishing, the blog Achse des Guten, and some professors at various universities. One expert team suggests that “the strength and success of the skeptics does not come from prominent, renowned scientists or experts, but from a network of climate skeptics that connects protagonists from science, media, private industry, and politics“.
Brunnengräber also points out that presence of skeptical positions in the media has increased since the 2009 Copenhagen conference. Stefan Rahmstorf once ostracized (p. 43) the German mainstream media, e.g. Spiegel, FAZ, Die Welt, RTL, etc., for giving the skeptics attention, accusing them of “unfiltered presentation, poor quality control, and referring to skeptics as “experts”.
Brunnengräber’s paper claims to welcome scientific debate (so long you don’t disagree) p 11:
Here a healthy measure of skepticism is essential for every scientific step forward and for the process of gathering knowledge. Doubt belongs to human thinking […] without which science is unimaginable. However, criticism must be factual, sound and based on science. But here this appears not to be always the case. The German science skeptical debate on climate change is not only an unhealthy skepticism, but it is characterized by an absolute negation and rejection of all data showing an anthropogenic, i.e. man-made climate change.”
The source of that quote used here by Brunnengräber is radical environmental group Germanwatch.
Merkel fears a planet with 9 billion people…
Even Angela Merkel shows hints of being unconvinced by the climate science, and supports the transition to green energy moreso because of an irrational fear she has of a planet inhabited by 9 billion humans all wanting to be prosperous, which she recently revealed at a WBGU meeting. Page 10 of the report quotes Merkel:
I always lump climate change and resource efficiency together as one issue because I have no desire to argue with doubters on whether or not climate change is so bad or if it will be that bad. Just the fact that we are approaching 9 billion people on the planet shows that those among us who don’t believe in climate change have to change their thinking.”
Stunning. Based on that, for Merkel, the discussion is over.
Her big worry seems to be the 9 billion people we will soon have on the planet, and making sure there is enough Lebensraum…a seemingly incurable, neurotic obsession among many Germans in power.
Finally on the author, Brunnengräber, one Dutch expert wrote in an e-mail to me: “These Austrian authors (political scientists and sociologists, I
presume) have still not understood that climate scepticism is based on evidence and science.”
It’s what one calls: expertise based on ignorance.