Swedish climatologist and meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson, former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, one of the most eminent climate scientists, has joined the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and an impressive roster of skeptic scientists and experts.
The move has sent shock waves across the climate science community, blogosphere, and into parts of the major media, for example Spiegel.
Science journalist Axel Bojanowski at Spiegel conducted an interview with Bengtsson to find out more about the motives behind the move. What follow are some excerpts.
A need to open the debate
On why Bengsston joined the skeptical GWPF, he says that he saw a need for more debate in climate science:
I think it is important to enable a broad debate on energy and climate.”
He also felt compelled to join the GWPF because he wants to contribute his meteorological knowledge “to open the debate“.
Debate in climate science is something that has been horribly lacking and it has been the target of massive suppression and censorship efforts.
Climate science consensus is senseless
Bengsston is also harshly critical of the efforts to enforce consensus:
I see no necessity on the part of the IPCC to make efforts to usher a consensus. I think it is essential that society has areas where a consensus cannot be enforced. Especially in an area like the climate system, which is incompletely understood, a consensus is senseless.
Climate models in need of review
Another aspect swaying Bengsston to speak up has been the abject failure of climate models. In the interview Bengsston maintains that he’s a friend of climate prognoses, but that they are now due for major review in order “to secure their credibility“. He says the IPCC has not been critical enough over the models:
It is frustrating that climate science is not able to validate their simulations correctly. The warming of the Earth has been much weaker since the end of the 20th century compared to what climate models show.”
Solving problems of future generations “pointless”
Many policymakers claim that it is our generation’s responsibility to solve the problems of future generations. Bengsston characterizes this notion as senseless and pointless. To illustrate why, he asks readers to look back to 1914 and asks if it is reasonable for the people back then to solve the problems of 2014. “It would be pointless!”
On the future Bengsston says civilization…
…will require twice as much primary energy as today. We need to promote new science and technology. We need a more open approach, especially here in Europe, which includes the issues of nuclear energy and genetic engineering so that the growing world population can be supplied with energy and food.”
Policymakers instead are creating problems for future generations
Right now as Bengsston sees it, global policymakers are totally on the wrong path and they risk leaving behind a planet that will not be able to cope with the needs of future generations. In trying to solve the future problems, they are only going to succeed at causing great big ones.