At the February 20th hearing of the Bundestag Environment Committee on CO2 reduction targets for heavy commercial vehicles, Prof. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, EIKE press spokesman (science), urged that reasonableness be maintained in climate policy.
Six experts were asked to provide their assessment before the Committee.
By EIKE editorial staff / Pierre Gosselin
Source: Image cropped from Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrDoeg3-Vpw).
IPCC sends the world on a wild goose chase
While all other experts welcomed the prescribed reduction of emissions by 30% by 2030 or described it as a little too difficult, Lüdecke requested that we first check if CO2 would really have this effect that the IPCC has been claiming for decades and doing so without providing a trace of evidence. As to William von Ockham (Ockham’s razor or law of parsimony), the simplest explanations should also be sought in natural sciences. And experience has shown that these are almost always the right explanations.
Changes of last 150 years within natural variability
Applied to the temperature increase of the last 150 years, this means first comparing these changes to earlier natural variations of the climate. If one does this, one finds that the changes of the last 150 years are exactly within the natural variations of the climate. An additional CO2 effect is not needed.
Hundreds of billions for a few hundredths of a degree
Prof. Lüdecke previously had made all these arguments, and many more available to the committee members in a comprehensive statement. It is thus stored in the database of the Bundestag (here). Prof. Lüdecke finished his remarks on the absurdity of these “savings targets” with pinpoint accuracy.
When asked at the 12:30 mark (video below) what effect Germany’s draconian plans to reduce CO2 would have on the global climate, Prof. Lüdecke stated that is “relatively easy to estimate” using even the IPCC’s worst case scenarios and knowing that Germany’s share of global CO2 emissions is merely about two percent and Europe about 10%.
It is only in the hundredths of a degree. It’s not more than that. These are facts that are not being being registered – okay, good. But these are facts that are there. Now it comes down to, in my naive opinion, that for every measure, for every political measure, the principle of reasonableness applies. That means the reasonableness in terms of benefit to cost. When the benefit is zero and the cost is great, then such a measure is not reasonable. It may be religious, it may be ideological, but in terms of rationality it’s mad. That has to be said.”
High risk of an energy folly
Lüdecke next reminded the Committee that China, India and Africa are adding coal-fired power on a scale that is 10 times, or even 100 times, that of Germany and that Germany’s costly efforts ultimately will be meaningless globally. He characterizes the German CO2 reduction plan as a huge illusion, and hints there’s a high risk it will turn into a folly.
More on this topic in German at EIKE here.
30 responses to “Climate Scientist Prof. Horst Lüdecke Tells German ‘Bundestag Environment Committee’ CO2 Reduction Policy Is “Mad””
I suspect the folks listening had glazed-over eyes.
Will he be sent to a re-education camp?
At least they cannot say in the near future that they weren’t told.
Oh what fun … invite a climate disinformer and you get stuff like this. Surprise!
What kind of logic is that? “Hey look, over there some variable has changed like it has changed before, therefore it is most likely that it changed for the same reason” … something like that? That’s called a logical fallacy and not how the famous razor works.
There are benefits from demonstrating that a highly industrialized country like Germany can (slowly) switch away from fossil fuels. It’s not only about reducing our own CO2 emissions. Not doing that because Germany as a country only emits a small percentage of the global CO2 emissions, is Kindergarten talk. Surely it wont matter that much if he/she ate a little bit more of the candy, afterall he/she is only one of hundreds of children.
You appear to have a problem with logic. In the past there have been variances in the climate that occurred without any change in CO2 – these ‘natural’ changes are no different to the current day change that ‘sebastians’ claims is due to CO2. So now there needs to be some proof, that it is due to CO2. We can go back into the past and see that CO2 changes from 10 times the current atmospheric concentrations to lower concentrations are not precursors to temperature changes in the same direction. Indeed, CO2 changes lag all temperature changes at all timescales. Effect cannot precede cause – therefore you have a significant burden of proof to rescue your falsified hypothesis.
Natural variation and natural feedbacks would seem to be more powerful than any claimed effect from CO2.
Sorry, I can’t take someone seriously who writes this and then commits the same logical fallacy again. You don’t get to conclude that the cause is the same for two similar looking variable changes. Otherwise you’d probably come to the conclusion that you are experiencing gravity when stationed at the outer ring of a rotating space station. Do you see the problem with that kind of “logic”? Or something else … I feel particular warm today, so maybe the Sun is shining on the badly insulated roof and heats up the room (like it happened before) or the room below is on fire. Who knows?
We know this for over a century now. It is CO2.
Yes, CO2 lags temperature since the CO2 concentration usually doesn’t change by itself. Introduce an event that changes the CO2 concentration dramatically and you get temperature lagging behind CO2 for a while. As is very much in agreement with physics.
You have to understand that CO2 does both. It leeds temperature by the mechanic of the greenhouse effect and it lags temperature (mainly) by outgasing/absorption of the oceans. If you don’t believe that both mechanisms are real, I’m happy to answer further questions about this.
They surely can be, but we aren’t experiencing a natural variation right now. In fact it should be getting cooler now, but instead the hottest years are all in the 21st century with no sign of impending global cooling ahead.
So now there needs to be some proof, that it is due to CO2.
No proof needed. Just say it’s true, and then it is.
Meanwhile, we have no real-world physical measurements that show how much warming is caused in a water body when the CO2 concentration in the air above it is increased by 10 ppm, 50 ppm, 100 ppm.
But I have a guess: the temperature of a water body warms by 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001 Kelvin when the CO2 above it is increased by 10 ppm. Try to prove this guess wrong.
If you can’t, it becomes true.
This is how the modern version of “climate science” works after all.
All the last century has been is a partial return to the climate “normal” of the last two millennia. The only “unusualness” in the last few hundred years was the anomalous cooling during the Little Ice Age, as shown here.
There’s been a warming of only 0.1°C in the last 50 years, and just 0.02°C since the mid-1990s. These “trends” are not an indicator of what’s going to happen in the future considering the overall change in the last 200 years is “below detection limits” when compared to natural variability.
“We know this for over a century for now. It is CO2” – tedious tendentious treacherous troll
The problem for them is that everything they claim to “know” is wrong.
And, no, the warmists cannot disprove my source by attacking him personally. They need to show that his facts are wrong. But they can’t, so they just concoct nonsense which they present ad nauseam with bluff and bluster.
SebH I just see that you cemented the picture that I had from you with some interesting but mindless rambles in the first part of your reply.
As for the possibility to make the cause the effect (Temperature rises –> more CO2) and then also to assume that they can swap places and the effect can also be the cause (More CO2 –> Temperature rises) I am a bit sceptical.
In your experience, which other system displays the same behaviour where cause and effect can be exchanged for each other without derailing the physics or the system behind it?
Apparently I am not allowed to reply to Kenneth, maybe I am allowed to reply to you.
You are rightfully skeptical, because that is not what I wrote and how it works. They can not “swap places”. CO2 outgassing and absorption (following temperature) will very much continue even if one artificially increases the CO2 concentration and thus causing a climate change due to changes in the radiative balance of the system.
What “swaps places” is the net result of both mechanisms acting at the same time.
Not a single one, since that is not what is happening. Nobody says cause and effect can be exchanged. These are two different mechanisms. Think of it like cooling down water caused ice to appear but adding ice to water also cools down the water. Do the “mindless rambles” now make sense for you?
“Think of it like cooling down water caused ice to appear but adding ice to water also cools down the water.”
It is indeed a good example. But not quiet so. Would you agree that not all water that cools down would turn into ice, but ice thrown into water certainly will reduce temperature a bit?
For the possibility that a raised water temperature promotes more out gassing and in return more CO2 would promote a temperature increase, where does it end?
It could be either that the CO2 outgassing reduces at higher temperature or that the CO2 temperature increase is limited for higher concentrations.
The logarithmic function of CO2 Absorption makes the latter a feasible option to prevent a runaway effect. So it seems within the boundaries of physics you were right.
Only the formation of ice is not a given for a cooling and certain quality of cooling has to occur.
As for the out gassing of CO2 from the oceans, you agree that this increases with higher temperature. Why are we surprised that there is more CO2 nowadays, if we assume the oceans are warming?
How do we distinguish that the cause of the warming is indeed from CO2? What other sources of warming could there be?
As you wrote in the following paragraph, the effect that causes temperatures to rise by an increasing CO2 concentration is logarithmic. Therefore no runaway process can occur if the oceans get warmer. Or in other words, the CO2 from outgassing doesn’t cause enough warming to result in outgassing of an equal amount of CO2.
Because it is not what is happening nowadays. Yes, higher ocean (surface) temperatures also cause more outgassing, but the net result (there is always absorption happening in cooler regions) is that the oceans are taking up CO2 from the atmosphere because the partial pressure in the atmosphere is higher than in the oceans (on average).
We increase the CO2 concentration due to our emissions but the concentration only increases at half the rate we are emitting CO2, the other half gets absorbed by the biosphere and the oceans (net result, nature isn’t really looking at human CO2 and chooses to absorb half of it).
The source of the energy involved is the Sun obviously. We know it is CO2 and other GHGs because of the basic physics of how they absorb and re-emit radiation at certain wavelengths. This acts like and insulation layer and increasing concentrations strengthen the effect.
Internal variability is just a redistribution of heat (think ocean cycles and changing ocean/wind currents). Cloud cover changes seem to be a feedback mechanism of temperature (https://authors.library.caltech.edu/92140/ and https://www.caltech.edu/about/news/high-cosub2sub-levels-can-destabilize-marine-layer-clouds ), and seem to amplify cooling/warming of the system a bit. Some skeptics like to rather attribute cloud cover to cosmic rays, amplifying solar output variations, but that doesn’t seem to correlate with what can be observed in the last decade (less cloud cover with less solar output and thus more cosmic radiation?).
I’d go with the famous razor here and attribute warming to the obvious cause (CO2). Of course this effect could be entirely compensated for by some unknown other effect and the warming comes from something else entirely, but that sounds quite a bit fantastical to me.
Sorry, the two caltech links in my reply to you are about CO2 causing clouds to disappear, not the temperature cloud feedback.
Use this link instead:
Why did you edit out which … [Because it’s irrelevant, and it is you who is practicing distraction. -PG]
I have to agree with Ian, that it’s not the skeptics responsibility to prove it’s natural variance. It’s the alarmists, that make the claim, that current warming is “unprecedented” and attribute it to CO2.
We all know for quite some time, that “unprecedented” is not the case, therefore we need direct proof, that CO2 is the key factor here. One way to do it is to make predictions. In this case alarmists already lost, because all of their predictions failed horribly. Another would be to create a model, that fits reality. Another fail. Perhaps there are other means to allow the theory to be falsified, because without the option to falsify it it’s not even a theory.
The problem is then, that proofs are a mathematical construct. In physics you can’t prove something to be true. You collect evidence that hints at your theory being true, but one situation where it doesn’t work as expected is enough to be done with a theory and throw it away or make adjustments.
It’s the job of science to find either. It is the job of skeptics to focus on the latter one.
The hypothesis or theory says CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas. The physical properties have been known for over a century now (shown in laboratory settings) and it is argued that the molecules don’t magically lose those properties in the atmosphere. That’s the claim. Show us that it works different “in the real world” and you may go around and tell everyone “told you so” as much as you like. I’ll be the first who congratulates you on that scientific discovery.
We do? That must be a skeptics niche thing. I haven’t noticed that “we all know” this. In fact it is rather the opposite “we know”.
Did they? I am sure you can name a few and I am sure you could agree that those are not “all of their predictions”, right? But if it works this way, i can tell you about a few skeptics predictions that failed horribly. Does that mean you lost?
Models do a reasonable job trying to simulate reality. I agree that we aren’t yet at a complete physics simulation for a whole planet, but it’s accurate enough to make predictions that are more or less in the right direction (as opposed to skeptics predictions). Here is a 2017 blog post about various climate models and how well they predicted the future: https://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-how-well-have-climate-models-projected-global-warming
Could be worse, if you ask me.
Hmm, as written above. The claim is CO2 acts as a greenhouse gas. That claim is falsifyable, just find an instance where is doesn’t hinder radiation of a certain wavelength to escape to space. Another claim is that we are responsible for the increased CO2 concentration. That is also falsifyable, just find out where exactly human CO2 goes to if not the atmosphere.
I am curious, some skeptics have a theory that it’s going to cool. Would that be falsified by no cooling in the timeframe we are talking about? Would skeptics then change their mind and apologize for years of distractive behaviour or would they just predict cooling for the next decade? I am asking because this is exactly what is currently happening. If you don’t believe me, look up skeptic prediction around the year 2007/2008 when surface temperatures decreased for a while as well 😉
“…one situation where it doesn’t work as expected is enough to be done with a theory and throw it away…” – SebH (shoots self in vital organ)
That graph shows:
NO dependence of temperature on CO2.
NO “runaway” warming, EVER!
Everything warmists “know” is wrong.
Slink away in shame, troll. You lose. And the funniest part is you have admitted it yourself.
Scientists wholeheartedly disagree.
SebH, are you saying that there always has to be a different cause for the same thing to happen?
You argue: “Hey look, over there some variable has changed like it has changed before, therefore it is most likely that it changed for the same reason” and call this a logical fallacy.
Can you support your argument with facts and examples? Because I would like to see why you would not have to assume that the same cause is at work.
You did not improve the picture of yourself here. Just read again what you have written and maybe re-phrase it.
I am not.
Sure I can.
1) the logical fallacy is called “affirming the consequent”, see Wikipedia’s excellent explanation and view more examples of this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirming_the_consequent
2) why is something different the cause for the variable change today? Because we are observing an increase in the GHE and have a physical mechanism that explains the increase in heat content (and thus temperature). Going with the Wikipedia example of the room being dark because the lamp is broken, attributing the modern climate change to natural variability is akin to stating that the lamp is broken despite our knowledge that some just switched off the lamp.
I’d say this perception problem is based on a bias of skeptics against anyone outside their bubble. There is a level of willfull misunderstanding happening here that I have not observed anywhere else in my personal and professional life. I’ve learned to cope with it over the years, but it can get aggravating from time to time …
Except that during 1992-2014, we didn’t have an increase in the greenhouse effect. There was a hiatus or slightly declining GHE trend (-0.04 W m-2 / yr) during this period despite the concomitant dramatic rise in CO2 emissions. The physical mechanism explaining the heat increases are largely natural oceanic oscillations and decadal-scale changes in cloud cover, modified by the Earth’s geomagnetic activity.
Why did the CO2 greenhouse effect get overwhelmed or cancelled out during 1992-2014? As Song et al. (2016) explain, it was due to the decreasing trend in cloud cover, which is also responsible for driving the melting of the Greenland ice sheet over this same period.
It’s good that we have this physical mechanism (cloud cover changes) to explain the forcing responsible for climate changes.
I assume you can understand that we tend to view your willful misunderstanding of the mechanisms of climate change to be rather misinformed. We will continue tolerating your misunderstanding, however.
Hmm … for a brief moment it looked like the blog worked with cookies again (it displayed the info that comments would be in moderation). Now this isn’t working anymore. Well, I replied to this … let’s see if it reappears or is gone forever 😉
This logical fallacy is only valid if (a) an alternative explanatory causal agent for a physical effect has been affirmed by real-world experimental physical measurements, and (b) a null hypothesis is generated that creates parameters for falsification of the proposed mechanism at the 95% confidence level.
Neither (a) or (b) have been satisfied.
As I can agree there are benefits switching away from fossil fuels (or if you will, reduce energy consumption), the current Climate Fiction is all about, nothing else than about and only about “reducing our own CO2 emissions”.
That’s what the con artists use as a sales argument, anyway.
It is certainly more of a logical fallacy that it has changed for other reasons…..
SebastianH27 seems to be working with a small subset of knowledge regarding global warming and CO2. His statement “Yes, CO2 lags temperature since the CO2 concentration usually doesn’t change by itself. Introduce an event that changes the CO2 concentration dramatically and you get temperature lagging behind CO2 for a while. As is very much in agreement with physics.” is untrue. CO2 has always lagged temperature and doesn’t change. A reasonable alternate explanation for the increase in CO2 is the Medieval Warm period which NASA and man Have erased only to make today’s warming seem worse. Dr.Willi Soon states that for CO2 to come out of solution in the oceans takes approximately 800 to 1000 years. That would mean CO2 is coming out of solution now. In order to improve Sebastian’s knowledge I would highly recommend he read “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels” by Alex Epstein. While it covers global warming it is mostly about the good fossil fuels do as opposed to the bad. It’s actually good reading by everyone. Us skeptics can feel much better about the use of fossil fuel considering how important it is to human life. Getting back on subject. I believe that Sebastian suggests that there is no historical analogy with regard to global warming and again he lacks knowledge. You only have to look at The Holocene to see one after another long global temperature changes. Ever since the Holocene Optima each global warming spike has been less than the previous including this most warming spurt which coincides with the Modern Grand Solar Maximum just as the “Little Ice Age” coincides with the Maunder Grand Solar Minimum. Some would argue that correlation does not mean causation which is what we saw with CO2 and temperature up 1998. Sebastian, did you know that the temperature is more than 0.4 C less now than in 1998 and did you know all the models that the IPCC has used known of them predicted this. So for the past 20 years temperature has gone down slightly and yet the hysterical warmers are still shouting “Climate change crisis.” That seems like they are ignorant or disingenuous or both. We have now entered the Eddy Grand Solar Minimum which will undeniably crush the warmers. All the unusual weather events we have seen over the past several years can be contributed to a less active sun. Seen more snow recently?
Eugen, I am actually glad that I seem to lack the specific knowledge you refer to. Is this a joke reply/comment meant to troll me (you mention me by name, so you are trying to converse with me and I should be able to reply)?
CO2 lags temperature, yes. And the CO2 concentration did change dramatically in the history of this planets many times and that wasn’t because the temperature changed before those events.
Where do you get ideas like that?
Nope. See this CO2 graph? http://woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2
It is not continuously increasing, is it? Those variations are seasonal variations caused by the seasonal changes in the biosphere, as well as the changing ocean surface temperatures which leads to more or less absorption by the oceans. The current increase in CO2 concentration is not an 800 year lagged response of some ocean warming in the past as the oceans are currently a net sink, e.g. they absorb more of the CO2 we emit to the atmosphere than what they outgas due to warming. Google “partial pressures” for more information.
Skeptics and their fantasies of “crushing” and what not. At best it will somewhat compensate the warming curve for a while. I don’t know how that would “crush” warmers? Even if the Sun would suddenly half its output and we would all freeze to death, that wouldn’t “crush” how man made global warming works or that the CO2 emissions are causing the globe to be warmer than it would be without them.
Really? That must be this special knowledge you are talking about then. Where do I get (dis)information like that?
Global warming would seem to indicate that it has gotten warmer. The IPCC picked 1960 to start history, while NASA and Mann rewrote the global history all the way back to the Holocene Optima. The truth of the matter is that the IPCC can’t explain why the temperature today is less than it was in 1998 so they ignore it and at their last get together they came out and set what if the temp increases 1.5 C without explaining why this would happen. According to them the oceans are going to rise causing loss of valuable property and yet the rate of sea level rise hasn’t increased and sea level continues to increase at about 1.1 mm/year and probably will begin to go down -Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner. He’s an expert on the subject. As the winters continue to get colder and longer more ice will again grow in Greenland and continue to grow in the Antarctic. The seas will cool and both of those conditions will cause the sea level to drop. Nobody is going to drown. As this mini ice age proceeds more snow will become permanent in Canada and other northern lands. This will cause more sun to be reflected resulting in an accelerated cooling until people can ice skate on the Thames.
The Speaker had to say the irrationality is indeed mad. That is exactly the point. To willfully reduce the relative population density is worse than mad.
What needs to be addressed is where such irrationality stems from. This might be a little unsettling for most here – it is from Kant.
See Heinrich Heine’s Religion and Philospohy in Germany for the real case of the the omni-destructeur, Immanuel Kant, a warning for the French at the time.
The Speaker had to say the irrationality is indeed mad. That is exactly the point. To willfully reduce the relative potential population density is worse than mad.
What needs to be addressed is where such irrationality stems from. This might be a little unsettling for most here – it is from Kant.
See Heinrich Heine’s Rel-i-g-ion and Philosophy in Germany for the real case of the the omni-destructeur, Immanuel Kant, a warning for the French at the time.
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