Some days ago I wrote about how German news weekly Der Spiegel had resorted once again to catastrophe-hopping when it recently rolled out its print edition whose front cover featured a burning planet caused by human climate change.
Skeptics in Europe reacted harshly, but at the same time dismiss the doomsday piece as a desperate sensationalism stunt in a bid to stem its hemorrhage of readers.
Alarmist views “wrong, completely naïve”
Some criticism even came from rather hefty figures in the climate scene. For example Swedish professor Lennart Bengtsson, former IPCC climatologist and former head of the German Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.
Hat-tip: Hans Labohm
Bengtsson posted a commentary concerning the Spiegel doomsday piece at the Swedish Anthropocene site here. He calls the alarmist views of book author Naomi Klein, which Spiegel cited in its article: “not only wrong, but also hopelessly naïve.”
No basis showing weather has gotten more extreme
Bengtsson, who has gravitated from being an regular alarmist to a non-alarmist luke-warmer over the years, thinks that the growing emission of greenhouse gases is a problem over the long term, but that it is not an urgent problem. He writes there is no scientific basis showing the weather has become more extreme.
The storms are not worse than before, and they will be fewer in a warmer climate as a result of the polar regions warming up.”
On sea level Bengtsson writes that it is now rising at about 3 mm per year, but has not accelerated over the past 23 years. It makes no sense to rush and to make “hasty and inaccurate decisions“. He writes:
The reason for the increased emissions of carbon dioxide is the increasing earth‘s population and the desire of all the poor to live a life that is a little better and more hopeful, and perhaps someday even take a taxi at any time – surely among some of Naomi Klein’s environmental sins.”
Bengtsson calls the belief that a non-capitalist system can solve the earth’s energy and environmental problems “completely naïve” and uninformed, citing past failed experiments in socialism.
If anyone ought to be familiar with the costs needed to solve the problems left behind by communist East Germany, it is Spiegel. The Elbe River was a dead river at the time of the German reunification. Now, thanks to the capitalist system, it has returned to life.”
As an example of a successful approach to lower CO2, emissions, Bengtsson uses the United States: “In fact, one of the few countries that has significantly reduced CO2 emissions are the United States, through its growing gas exploration!”
The only hope to solve the planet’s long-term environmental problems is via the open and free society, not least of all by a socialist dictatorship on a global scale. This at least Spiegel’s editors ought to know.”