We have to at least give credit to MDR for even inviting a real skeptic – indeed a rare event in German public media.
The MDR moderator begins by claiming that the new IPCC report warns of galloping climate change and accelerating sea level rise. Christiana Figueres says that it’s a wake up call for the world.
What follows is an excerpt of the interview.
Moderator: Is it a wake-up call for you?
FV: I see big progress in the new climate report towards more realism and more openness. First of all the IPCC recognizes that the Medieval Warm Period was just as warm as it is today. That had always been disputed. That means that without CO2 we had situations in the past, in history, that were similarly warm. There has to be a reason for that. There are natural factors for warming, which the IPCC had always played down. Secondly, the IPCC for the first time has taken into account that it hasn’t gotten warmer in 15 years. It recognizes that, and acknowledges that the climate models are not correct. That is a very important success by the critics…
FV: …and it is far more important that the science here stood its ground when the German government, the employees of [Environment Minister] Herr Altmaier tried in Stockholm to have the 15-years of no warming deleted from the report because they feared the people would see that it hasn’t gotten warm in the last 15 years, and so then you can’t…
FV: …push through such a massive energy transformation. I think it’s wonderful that the scientists resisted that.
Moderator: I have the impression that we’re discussing different papers here. Just let me summarize what I just told you: Climate change is progressing more rapidly and with more strength than expected, and, you can read it in the report, man bears the main responsibility for the warming through GHG emissions. What you’re saying sounds completely different.
FV: Well you see, when you really look into the report, you’ll find that it states that man is responsible for more than 50%.
Moderator: I agree.
FV: But I’m saying that it’s going to be maximum 50%. But the real question is: what’s behind the other 50%? The other 50% is nature itself. It’s the sun. It’s the large-scale ocean currents. We have to admit that there has not been any warming in 15 years. There’s no explanation for this. The IPCC can’t explain it. I can explain it. Many critics can explain it: it’s because on one hand the sun has weakened since 2000; because the major ocean cycles have tipped to their cold phases. We are going to experience it. In The next 10-15 years we are going to see a further modest cooling; we aren’t going to see any warming and…
FV: …here at least the IPCC has signaled that it at least sees this. But it cannot interpret this. On the outside it is saying everything is going to get worse.
The moderator then asks Vahrenholt if we no longer need to care CO2 emissions at all. Vahrenholt replies that of course that we should, but that it isn’t necessary to rush madly into it and economically shoot ourselves in the foot. Nature gives us the time to work on a sensible CO2 policy. “Every additional year of no warming shows that the models are wrong. The models that cannot reproduce the last 15 years of no warming, how are they supposed to correctly give us the temperature for the next 100 years?”