Hans von Storch “Fears Science Taking Role In Political Decision Processes” … German Expert Panel Rejects 2°C Target

On March 17, Germany’s Helmholtz Association held a podium discussion in Berlin. The title: “What can we believe? The climate debate and its impacts”.

Helmholtz panel discussion

Climate science and policy panel discussion in Berlin, March 17, 2014. Photo: Helmholtz Association

I wrote about this almost 6 weeks ago, read here. What’s a bit special about this podium discussion is that one skeptic, Dr. Peter Heller of Science Skeptical, was allowed to take part on the panel of 5 experts.

The five experts discussed climate science and the uncertainty surrounding it. The Helmholtz Association has since released a report on the event.

There is no concensus

On the claim there is a consensus, the Helmholtz Association panel discussion clearly dumps cold water on that in its article right off the bat, writing in the introduction:

Experts dispute the extent, consequences and causes of climate change.”

Hans von Storch, a critic of science actively telling policymakers what to do, however then said:

Global warming is a fact and cannot be scientifically explained without the observed increase in greenhouse gases.”

But this is statement that everyone agrees on, including skeptics. Unfortunately von Storch does not say how much of the warming is due to greenhouse gases, which is not a surprise because no one knows the answer to that question. Is it 5%? 20% 50% or 95%?

Andreas Hense, Professor for Climate Dynamics and the University of Bonn, reminds that there is uncertainty involved in the science and adds:

But what we do know with a relatively high accuracy, with high probability, is that certain climate variables such as the upper air temperature over the last 100 or 120 years have changed due to man-made influences, but not only because man-made influences but also volcanic influences or solar influences.”

So natural factors are being acknowledged after all. The Helmholtz article writes that the panel member opinions on the magnitudes the different factors have on climate “diverged”, thus confirming that there is no consensus.

Von Storch fears a role for science in policymaking

The Helmholtz article also writes that many scientists feel they are being crowded into a role in which they do not feel comfortable:

Hense said that he now avoids all discussions with the media. Von Storch said he even fears science taking a role in the political decision processes which they are not entitled to take.”

Schellnhuber’s approach roundly rejected

Werner Krauss at Klimazwiebel also reports on the podium discussion, and writes that the 2°C target of was rejected unanimously by the panelists (4 of 5 of whom were warmists) and that “a Herr Schellnhuber was sorely missed and thoroughly dissed – everyone agreed on the rejection of the scientifically dubious limits such as the 2°C target or measures that are not democratically legitimized.”

So all of us here in Germany can breath a sigh of relief in that even warmists think the Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber’s master plan for a great transformation of society and its calls for a watering down of democracy is going too far.

Hopefully the Helmholtz Association will post the video of this worthwhile event in the days ahead.


23 responses to “Hans von Storch “Fears Science Taking Role In Political Decision Processes” … German Expert Panel Rejects 2°C Target”

  1. DirkH

    “The Helmholtz article also writes that many scientists feel they are being crowded into a role in which they do not feel comfortable:”

    But I’m sure they enjoyed the funding.

    “everyone agreed on the rejection of the scientifically dubious limits such as the 2°C target or measures that are not democratically legitimized.”

    Ooooh Aaaah; suddenly we’re all democrats. Bit of panic maybe?

  2. Kurt in Switzerland

    I have two problems with statements attributed to a “scientific panel”:

    1) Hense’s comment about “high accuracy and high probability that certain climate variables have changed” [over the course of the past two centuries due to both human and natural factors].
    2) “rejection of scientifically dubious limits such as the 2 deg C target and measures that are not democratically legitimized.”

    The first one is incoherent unless one can actually separate the natural from the man-made.

    The second one conflates policy and science. It is correct to point out that the 2 deg C figure is arbitrary and largely void of any scientific basis (let alone achievable or desirable); but it is out of the realm of a scientific panel to whine about democratic legitimacy! They should stick to what has scientific rigour and what does not. Leave the politics to the voters! By conferring a value to democratic decisions, they play into the “scientific consensus” trap which has so many lay people confused about what is ‘sound policy.’

    Kurt in Switzerland

    1. Mindert Eiting

      Agree Kurt, but I would call the first statement totally meaningless. High accuracy: how accurate? High probability: how high and how established? Certain climate variables: what variables? Have changed: how much and in what direction? Due to both human and natural factors: what factors?

      Yesterday my doctor said: ‘With high accuracy and high probability I have established that certain body variables of you have changed over the course of the past two years due to both your own behaviour and everything else’. I will keep him as my doctor because he has a sense of humour.

  3. Ed Caryl

    I have a problem with the statement that “global warming is a fact.” we know that GISS, GHCN, and the other agencies that feed off their data, have been adjusting the past down and the present day up for a total difference of at least 0.5°C and perhaps more. One study is found here.
    Another here, that names names:
    There are many more discoveries like these.
    There is no proof that the 1930’s weren’t just as warm as the last 15 years. So global warming is only a fact based on the adjustments. In that sense only is it “man made”.

  4. NoFreeWind

    Satellites show no significant global warming from 1978-1997. Global warming from 1880-1940 is not blamed on CO2. There has been no global warming since 1998. The only global warming that we can be sure of is the warming that occurred during the 1998 El Nino which is surely a natural process. If there was a slight warming in the two decades before that, it could be easily explained, again, by the influence of El Nino’s

  5. DirkH

    A Green politician and Energiewende minister from Schleswig Holstein claims in socialist paper Die Zeit that the Energiewende makes us independent from evil authoritarian regimes (by which he basically means Russia; he does not mention muslim states in this regard; no wonder; as the Greens want to attract the muslim vote in Germany.)

    I read through all of it. At no point does he mention the lack of energy storage or need for backup generation.
    Also, he claims that the “decentralized” electricity generation makes for a more equal society.
    He mentions neither saving the planet from Global Warming nor environmental protection as motivations for the Energiewende.
    His argument that cutting off trade with Russia will lead to more political stability is of course entirely backwards.

    1. Kurt in Switzerland


      The way to ensure energy and heat next winter for large areas of Europe is to come to an agreement with Putin in the meantime. Barring that, there’s gas from Iran or from N. Africa and some other Middle East sources. (And, of course, the “evil” nuclear power option). I could bring up coal, but that would just anger some.

      Windmills and Solar Panels are hopelessly incapable of delivering to full capacity on demand. Especially during the Winter. If a politician doesn’t know that, he should be summarily voted out of office.

      Kurt in Switzerland

  6. Kurt in Switzerland

    Excellent questions by the interviewer in this summary:


    Pörtner and Settele are believers (in manmade catastrophe). They are also biologists – therefore not particularly qualified to scientifically address cause-effect of supposed anthropogenic global warming.

    Andreas Hense, who’s been studying circulation models for two and a half decades, can’t do any better than to compare uncertainty in climate science to the danger in crossing the Autobahn vs. a corn field.


    He, too, is a believer. Suffering from modelitis.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  7. Buddy

    If the politicians are going to sit on their hands and ignore science, then you will see scientists become more and more outspoken.

    And quite frankly…..I think that is more than appropriate. I think they learned their lesson from the tobacco industry debacle, where they watched as the tobacco companies…..with the help of The Heartland Institute, and others……….lied for decades.

    Whether the issue is tobacco, global warming, comets endangering the earth, food, water issues, or a myriad of other scientific issues…..it is quite appropariate for scientists to get involved. We obviously don’t want to leave it up to the lobbyists…….THAT MUCH WE KNOW.

    1. DirkH

      21. März 2014 at 12:45 | Permalink | Reply
      “We obviously don’t want to leave it up to the lobbyists…….THAT MUCH WE KNOW.”

      With “we”, Buffy talks about himself and his rent seeking buddies. He is trying to profit from the renewables subsidy gravy train, as should be obvious from his previous comments.

      When I was working at a German solar company they constantly had managers travel to Brussels to lobby the EU commission for new subsidies. Basically the solar industry at that time invested nearly all their profits into lobbying; far mor than they invested into product development.

      This HAS to be so in a political market; as the policy changes influence your profitability MUCH more than technical merit of your products.

      The Solar Industry in my experience EPITOMIZES the word lobbyism.

      1. Buddy


        “With “we”, Buffy talks about himself and his rent seeking buddies.”

        I don’t have “rent seeking buddies”. Only home owners. Sorry about that Dirk:)

        It’s too bad that you always have to try and “sling arrows” instead of attack the actual issue with facts and science. Your methods of “argument” are those that are used by someone who doesn’t have facts or science on your side.

        You might want to grow up and stick to the issue at hand instead of using childish statements like that…….

        You see…..in many ways…..global warming is NOT a political issue. The climate doesn’t care one iota whether someone is a conservative or a liberal, or an Independent like myself. The climate only changes based on the inputs…..pure and simple. PHYSICS and science.

        Which is probably why you never post any scientific facts, any scientific studies, and instead resort to childish retorts.

        Global warming is an important issue. I think it’s about time that you should treat it as such…..and zero in on the physics and science of the issue.

        1. DirkH

          Buffy. I still think you’re either a Brussels bureaucrat lardass or an unpaid OfA operative. Because the Global Warming movement is such a giant feeding trough. Nothing personal. Nearly everyone on your side sits at the trough.

        2. DirkH

          22. März 2014 at 15:58 | Permalink | Reply
          “Which is probably why you never post any scientific facts, any scientific studies, and instead resort to childish retorts.”

          Buffy, I’m long past the point of trying to refute the rubbish sciencedaily press releases you link to; as I’ve long recognized that the Global Warming movement is a political power grab and a huge taxpayer looting at the same time, and that the climate scientists are simply the bought and paid for tools enabling that theft.

          And why should I care for your pseudoscience when this suffices to debunk CO2AGW and the computer models:

          1. Buddy


            Pseudoscience? Really? Here is some NASA pseudoscience:




            That’s a good start for you Dirk. If you look at science data like that, even you can see what is happening…..


  8. Lawrie Ayres

    A small step toward common sense. But the small steps are coming more frequently and from more people. At this rate by 2015 the small steps will be running. And running the hardest will be scientists who want to be employable in the future. A few politicians will be running for cover and trying to correct “misquotes” about AGW.

  9. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?

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