At Die kalte Sonne site here, geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt comment on the controversy surrounding allegations of Big Oil “covering up” knowledge of the impacts their products could have on climate.
For example on April 16, 2018, renowned German weekly Spiegel reported on how “a confidential Shell study” showed the oil company “kept knowledge over climate change secret” and how “Shell knew already in detail 30 years ago about the greenhouse gas effect – and decided to keep silent.”
Now just a couple of weeks later, we find out that back then oil companies like Shell in fact didn’t know any more about climate change than other climate experts. The clandestine “Shell study” summarized:
–A thorough review of climate science literature, including acknowledgement of fossil fuels’ dominant role in driving greenhouse gas emissions. More importantly, Shell quantifies its own products’ contribution to global CO2 emissions.
–A detailed analysis of potential climate impacts, including rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and human migration.
–A discussion of the potential impacts to the fossil fuel sector itself, including legislation, changing public sentiment, and infrastructure vulnerabilities. Shell concludes that active engagement from the energy sector is desirable.
–A cautious response to uncertainty in scientific models, pressing for sincere consideration of solutions even in the face of existing debates.
–A warning to take policy action early, even before major changes are observed to the climate.”
At the time of the Shell study, the history of the earth’s climate over the past 2000 years had been poorly understood, and so Lüning and Vahrenholt find the cover-up accusations against Shell a bit strange. Overall the two German scientists say the whole story tells us just how weak the accusations of the activist side really are.
Natural factors have been proven
Some three decades later, the two German scientists note that far more is known today: for example the important roles played by natural ocean cycles and the global phenomenon of the Medieval Ice Age, which now is acknowledged and make the climate models look obsolete. Moreover, CO2 climate sensitivity has been dialed back with each passing year.
Lüning and Vahrenholt add:
Over the coming months and years the IPCC will have to admit to some changes in its understanding of the climate.”
The real scandal is the cover-up of natural factors
But the real intent of the climate activists turning to litigation is about generating publicity, as plainly admitted by German site Klimafakten on 16 April 2018:
Going to court for more climate protection – and for more transparency
Everywhere across the world activists are fighting against climate change by using litigation. Experts already count about one thousands court proceedings in 24 countries. For the litigants it’s not only about getting a ruling, but about publicity: The suits are a means for strategic communication.”
The real deal, say Lüning and Vahrenholt, is that natural climate factors have been known as real drivers for over a decade, and activists, scientists and the IPCC continue to cover them up.
In fact, Lüning and Vahrenholt say that this is the real story that needs to be the subject of litigation. The real scandal is
How activists and the IPCC covered up knowledge of natural climate change.”