Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Climate change as a wicked social problem

I have a short piece in Nature Geoscience with the title 'Climate change as a wicked social problem'. Here is the link http://rdcu.be/jvEI.

I argue that climate change has been defined as a problem with a solution, following the successful example of the ozone layer. Applying the conceptual pair of tame and wicked problems I make the case that whereas ozone protection can be seen as a tame problem (which has a clearly specified solution), climate change cannot. It is a classical wicked problem that only can be managed better or worse. But influential actors who applied the same logic from ozone to climate were ignorant of social science research that could have prevented this colossal error of framing. This framing error has led to the belief that scientific consensus drives policy and that any distraction from 'the science' is the reason for a lack of progress.

It is high time the social sciences (not only economics, who have been the only visible social science discipline in the IPCC) start engaging with the issue of climate change on their own terms. All too often they have been defining the issue of climate change in terms of climate science, forgetting the unique contributions they can make.

144 comments:

Harry Dale Huffman said...

The social sciences should refrain ENTIRELY from engaging in the war of words (and suppression of "skeptics" and "deniers") over the idea of "climate change", because they don't know what they are doing, at all. They take the climate scientists' word that the "science is settled", when the truth is just the opposite. I know, after all this time, that no words alone can make you see that you are part of the insanity, not part of the solution, so long as you take the "global warming greenhouse effect" and "carbon dioxide is pollution" as received gospel from the "experts".

Werner Krauss said...

Reiner,

I completely agree with your definition of climate change as a wicked problem, as well as with your critique of the dominance of "the science". I guess it is 20 years or more now since for example HvStorch and Nico Stehr argued that social sciences should engage more with the issue of climate change. And indeed, social sciences and humanities produced many studies ever since in fields like science studies, philosophy of science, sociology, anthropology, history, geography, religious and literary studies, landscape research and many other disciplines. To paraphrase your statement: maybe it is high time the natural sciences start engaging with the issue of climate change in terms of social sciences and humanities - instead of dismissing them as "not scientific", "ideological" or simply "opinion based". The problem is that Science lost its "rightful place", as Benessia, Funtowicz, Ravetz, Pereira, van der Sluijs and others argue in the recent publication "Science on the verge". Instead of building a Malignot line in defense of science, the authors of the book suggest to open science to other forms of expertise such as extended peer review or citizen science. The study of the huge body of existing social science / humanities literature on climate could help a lot in achieving this goal and in understanding the wicked problem of climate change in new ways.

Anonymous said...

Of course, it is a wicked problem. Our society is "based" on energy, mostly from fossil fuel. It has been so since the Industrial Revolution, at least.

A change of this dependency is a disruption. Such a disruption is frightening, maybe painful, and will change a lot, everywhere.

However, I want to introduce another point. Not sure, if it was discussed here. The energy sector is not the only part, not even the biggest one, that is changing. I see MUCH BIGGER changes induced by "google and co". Mobile Internet, huge internet companies, giant data collections about everything, interconnections everywhere, machine learning, do change our lives gradually more and more. It is changing the complete societies. These changes are so deep and much more severe than different power from sockets or an electric car powered by wind turbines.

And this Internet, the exchange of opinion, algorithms that "publish" opionions, the marginalization of traditional medias, etc. does also change the "science". This "citizen science" (a misnomer, because scientists are citizens) is only possible because of the Web, the social web, the huge amount of open information in Web.

I think, you have to include the complete change of transformation of Knowledge, Science, News, Information by the Internet. I think these changes are part of current revolution which is comparable with the Industrial revolution. I really think, you have to include it.

Best, WAIIMHN

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Werner,

I guess my argument is a historical one, pointing to the lasting influence of a dominant framing that was provided by natural scientists. It is true that in the meantime social scientists have joined the research landscape on climate change but I would say this was too late to correct the initial mistake. What is more, many social scientists would not even recognize the initial framing mistake, repeating the mantra of climate scientists.

When you say "To paraphrase your statement: maybe it is high time the natural sciences start engaging with the issue of climate change in terms of social sciences and humanities - instead of dismissing them as "not scientific", "ideological" or simply "opinion based" -- this is likely to fall on deaf ears with most climate scientists given their unique disciplinary orientation and skills. And when it come to that, it has to be said that the climate scientists' narrative has been more compelling to social scientists than vice versa.

So when I wrote it is high time the social sciences take their rightful place in this debate, it is first and foremost a critical reflection on their difficulty, even failure, to do justice to their disciplinary expertise.

...and Then There's Physics said...

I'm not entirely convinced that a meaningful discussion about this is possible (apologies for the tone of that and more than happy to be proven wrong) but - as Reiner already knows - I've written about his article.

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/less-science-more-social-science/

EliRabett said...

Were you at all involved in the discussions about the ozone issue?

Not only were the same people who are trying to stop action on climate change involved, but the arguments were pretty much the same, well, ok everybunny is a lot older than in 1985.

You might learn something by looking up the involvement and positions of Sherry Rowland, Susan Solomon and Mario Molina on both issues and on the other side Fred Singer and Fred Seitz just to name two or three.

Amusingly the base argument, contrary to what you say, is the same, on the one side that the world will end without fossil fuels (CFCs) on the other that renewables (HFCs) can take up the slack with a bit of time and subsidy. The CFC phaseout was driven by putting a social cost on CFCs.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

The last two commentators have been involved in a twitter thread yesterday which had some comments about my Nature correspondence. I could not see an engagement with the argument I put forward. Instead, distractions from the argument via fantasies and sweeping statements were made, such as Gavin Schmidt's who said about me: "His standard conclusion is that scientists are to blame for everything."

These commentators also seem to think that I am against advocacy in climate change discourse and would now ironically adopt an advocacy position. Perhaps it is news to them that I as a co-author of the Hartwell Paper have long made clear what kind of advocacy I subscribe to.

I would hope that they have another look, read and think a bit more before giving in to their impulses.

BTW, it seems a bit rich to ask if I was involved about the discussion about the ozone issue.

...and Then There's Physics said...

I would hope that they have another look, read and think a bit more before giving in to their impulses.

Suggesting that we're simply giving in to impulses is a bit unfortunate. I'll summarise the point I made in my post and you can respond to them, or not.

1. I think you're wrong about this being a wicked problem, at least in terms of how you defined it in your article. There are clearly aspects of it that are very complex and difficult to resolve, but that doesn't make it wicked. The key factor in anthropogenically-driven climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases - mainly CO2. Addressing this requires reductions in emissions, ultimately getting them to zero - or very close. This is the case whether you cast this as a temperature target, or a carbon budget. We don't have to choose to reduce emissions, but that is what is required if we do choose to reduce the risks associated with anthropogenically-driven climate change.

2. You seem to object to Gavin's sweeping statement about your standard conclusion being that scientists are to blame for everything. It might be slightly hyperbolic, but it doesn't seem unreasonable given what you were arguing for in your article. You weren't simply arguing that there were other contributions that could be made by social scientists; you were explicitly arguing that the problem was how it's been defined in the past, mainly driven by natural/physical scientists, that it is a social, not a scientific, problem and that the contribution by social scientists must recognised and assembled. You are advocating for a reduced role for physical/natural scientists and an enhanced role for social scientists.

3. As Chris Hope pointed out on Twitter, you appear to have largely ignored what is already being done. There are social scientists working on Integrated Assessment Models and much of the work related to Representative Concentration Pathways involves social scientists, in addition to much other related work by social scientists. In fact, some of what you were dismissing in your article (consensus messaging, for example) is largely work done by social scientists. So, it certainly appears that you're not really arguing for more involvement by social scientists in general; it appears that you're arguing for more involvement by social scientits with whom you identify.

I've written this a bit quickly as I have to go and catch a train. Hope it makes sense. I also hope that you will have another look, read and think a bit more before giving in to your impulses. :-)

Hans von Storch said...

When I am thinking of social sciences dealing withb the issue of climate change, then I am less thinking of Integrated Assessment Models - these are essentially natural and economic science concepts filled with some numbers provided by social scientists. These models serve their purpose, but they do not add conceptually to the ideas of natural scientists that essentially everything may be put in numbers and be computable. Eventually this leads to a form of climatic determinism, albeit disguised in modern terminology.
What we should ask is - what is the unique addition which social sciences could contribute to a better understanding of ... what? Not of the link between emission and weather stats change. Maybe obout how the impact is filtered by social change? Or by change in the social and economic world? Another significant topic is the social (cultural) construction of climate change. For instance, where does the idea come from that physicists would be able to model the social world in mathematical terms? There is much more, which can be added, which is related to social dynamics, to dynamics of perceptions, of power of one group of supposedly knowledgeable people with limited scope over other social actors. What is the role of profound insight into a narrow segment of problems but lack of depths in other fields, in forming views?

There are indeed some efforts in studyiing issues of that sort; they are usually not very welll known - but it would be good if such analysis would be better considered in the process of forming preferences and will and taking decisions.

...and Then There's Physics said...


What we should ask is - what is the unique addition which social sciences could contribute to a better understanding of ... what?

Agreed, but this isn't - IMO - what Reiner's article did. It was an explicit attempt to delegitimise the role of natural/physical scientists and an argument that social scientists must be recognised and assembled.

Well, as far as I can tell, there is nothing stopping those interested, from studying what they think we should understand better. There's also nothing wrong with trying to highlight what these things things that we should understand better are. What it does not require - IMO - is arguing that the role of natural/physical should be diminshed, and that the role of social scientists should be enhanced. It simply requires doing work that is actually worth recognising.

Hans von Storch said...

And Then There's Physics - I noticed that you wrote "You are advocating for a reduced role for physical/natural scientists and an enhanced role for social scientists". I am a bit puzzled. First, which role in doing what? Not in disentangling the remaining issues in natural climate science, I guess. Certainly in studying the role of social dynamics and framing of the climate change issue, right?
Second, would "argueing" instead of "advocating" a better wording? There must be a difference - one may be that "advocating" is pointing to a hidden a-priori set agenda, while "argueing" is more of an open exchange of arguments - or is my understanding of the English language insufficient?

...and Then There's Physics said...

Hans,
Have you read Reiner's article? It is explicitly arguing that climate change has been incorrectly defined by natural/physical scientists, that it is a social, not a scientific problem, and that we need to recognise and role of social scientists and assemble them. This seems to be explicitly arguing for a reduced role for natural/physical sciencists, and an enhanced role for social scientists.

No, I think "advocating" is fine, although I don't think "advocating" implies a hidden agenda and I'm certainly not suggesting the agenda was hidden, it appeared blatantly obvious.

Hans von Storch said...

Thanks, TTP -
may I ask you to explain me
a) the difference between "argueing" and "advocating"
b) what "role" you are referring to. [I guess Reiner will explain himself, what he has in mind.]

The fomer is just to educate me; the second is possibly a critical issue; I have the impression that the word is loaded with different meanings (a challlenge for social sciences?): maybe - role in
a) interpreting/educating/teachingwarning the public/policymaker?
b) guiding climate policies?
c) completing knowledge about the dynamis and sensitivities of the climate system?
d) completing the knowledge about the significance of climate for social life and organisation?
e) disentangling the function and agenda of interested parties?
f) disentangling the social and scientific constructions of climate change and impact?

Certainly there are more possible roles.

For me, climate change is no longer a scientific problem; the basic mechanisms have been suffficiently explored; various details (such as change of storms, dynamcial role of clouds and radiation, a narrow window for the sensitivity of the climate system, to name a few) have not been sufficiently understood, and will not be sufficiently understood for quite a while; climate change has for sure entered the social and political arena; its social and political dynamic needs to be studied by social scientists much more than so far. Societal decisions are taken in the political arena; scientists have provided the knowledge needed to assess the problem and the available options. Scientists are no longer needed for political decisions. These decisions will depend on processes of negotiations, balancing interestes, comparing wth other problems and other real-world aspects.
In other words: physicists (and other natural scientists), back into your baracks! If you individually want to be part of the social processes of choosing among options and of deciding, come back without the attiitude of knowing better than others of what is an appropriate response to the problem. The same applies for social scientists, even if their field of knowledge is different from that of natural scientists but also important.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Hans,
Advocating for something typically requires making an argument. You can use, "argue for" if you wish, but that's just another way of saying "advocate".

I don't know what role Reiner was envisaging, but - in my view - anyone who undertakes research has a role to play in informing the public and policy makers. That's really all I would mean by the term in this context. In my view, noone has any right to be involved in the actual decision making process other than as someone who provides information to those who have a mandate to actually make decisions.

In other words: physicists (and other natural scientists), back into your baracks!

This is problematic, IMO. Arguing for the inclusion of others is, of course, fine (although I'm still not sure how they're being excluded). Arguing that there are relevant views that are not being heard is fine. Arguing that some should now go back into their barracks is - IMO - not.

If you individually want to be part of the social processes of choosing among options and of deciding, come back without the attiitude of knowing better than others of what is an appropriate response to the problem.

I don't think you really get to define how others should behave in order to be part of the social process; we're all part of it whether you like it, or not. Also, I think the above is a bit of a strawman. If someone says "if you do X, Y will probably happen", they're not telling you not to do "X". It's not, for example, arrogant to point out that there are risks associated with continuing to emit CO2 and that addressing this would require reducing emissions. That doesn't mean that we have to do so. It doesn't specify how we should do so if we do choose to do so. It doesn't even mean that the consequences can't be benign, or even positive; it is simply indicating that there are potentially negative consequences associated with continuing to emit CO2 and avoiding these would require reducing emissions. We, as a society, can - of course - choose not to do so.

I must admit that I do find it ironic that your response to a sense that physicists (and other natural scientists) are arrogant is to argue for their exclusion.

David Young said...

This I think goes to Bertrand Russell's dictum that science cannot say anything about values. Science can tell us what will happen (or in this case give us a broad range of possible outcomes). We then can choose what if anything to do about it. Perhaps where this gets problematic is when scientists try to imbue their values with the authority of science, or imply it by their activism. It is not hard to find scientists like Hansen who have tried to use their authority as scientists to advance their political views.

Consider your doctor in 1990 telling you to curtail your saturated fat intake to reduce your cardiac risk. He has the science establishment behind him. First of course, the science establishment was almost certainly biased in their views at the time. But the doctor then falls back on: "you will feel better and loose weight even if it doesn't improve your cardiac health." OK, but the patient is still the ultimate decider about his own choices. The doctor who tries too hard to dictate to the patient will simply destroy his credibility. Perhaps that's what Reiner is saying.

However, I'm not sure social scientists are any better qualified to do much except as facilitators. This issue must be resolved in the political arena and it will be a very messy process with the outcome being almost certainly a muddle through one.

Anonymous said...

TTP:
" It's not, for example, arrogant to point out that there are risks associated with continuing to emit CO2 and that addressing this would require reducing emissions."
Is this is all what can contribute climate scientists? It's well known and there is no reason that theire role in the following process could be a special one. What would matter: How great are the risks, what would mean a tighter interval for TCR ( ECS). But we didn't see some progress in this central question since the 1st IPCC report!! So indeed: I can't see some substantive contribution to the "wicked problem" from climate science anymore.
Perhaps it would be better ( as Hans said): go home to your barracks and deliver the field to others!

ourchangingclimate said...

Hans von Storch (13) wrote:

"physicists (and other natural scientists), back into your baracks! If you individually want to be part of the social processes of choosing among options and of deciding, come back without the attiitude of knowing better than others of what is an appropriate response to the problem."

This sounds equivalent to "scientists, go back into the ivory tower!" Is that what you meant? I for one am happy that scientist are no longer confined to the ivory tower (though they mostly can if they wish to). I'm happy, as a scientist-lecturer, to be part of the public debate about science. I wouldn't claim to know better than others what is an appropriate response to the problem, but I do think that scientists can play a useful role in the public debate by highlighting what's known about the issue (the diagnosis so to speak), since many people in the public debate misdiagnose the problem and thereby come to incorrect conclusions and misguided response strategies.

Just as a health scientist would rightly point out the health benefits and side effects of vaccinations, thereby preventing as much as possible certain myths (misdiagnoses) from propagating. or would you rather that scientists not speak up agt all when anti-vaxxers claim that vaccinations cause autism and when others would claim that smoking isn't harmful? Back into your baracks, health scientists!?!

I sure hope not. Please join the public debate, scientists, to make sure this debate remains as reality based as realistically possible! But of course, be aware of your position as a scientists and distinguish when you talk about your area of expertise vs when you're just giving your personal (policy) opinion.

Bart Verheggen

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TTP -

I do not see how you can misconstrue my argument as one which wants to delegitimize the climate sciences. The point in my piece is a historical one, about applying lessons from one case to the other. Ozone was the exemplar, applied to climate change. This was done not only by scientists, but also by policy-makers, activists, and even social scientists. My 2011 book bears the marks of this view as I had been influenced by these actors who were visible in both cases.

The conclusion I draw is that this framing mistake led the discourse down a very unproductive path. I offer a conceptual tool to understand the difference between both cases, tame and wicked problems. Contrary to what you are saying, we do not know when we will have succeeded in solving climate change as a problem. No matter what progress we make with regard to anthropogenic climate change, climate change will still be observed and we cannot assume that all natural change will be benign. You focus on anthropogenic aspects only and even here it is not clear what would count as problem solution. Zero emissions will not limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

I completely agree with Hans in calling upon the social sciences to make clear what their contribution can be (apart from repeating what the physical sciences are telling us). My point is that we need to re-frame climate change as a social problem, not a problem for science. People who care about practical solutions realize that desirable goals or targets need to be implemented and this is a process in which expertise from the social sciences is required.

Willard said...

> I do not see how you can misconstrue my argument as one which wants to delegitimize the climate sciences.

AT did not speak of any argument's "want," only what it *does* - "an explicit attempt to delegitimise the role of natural/physical scientists and an argument that social scientists must be recognised and assembled."

This attempt is made explicit here:

[I]nfluential actors who applied the same logic from ozone to climate were ignorant of social science research that could have prevented this colossal error of framing.

Compare and contrast with a more recent attempt above:

The last two commentators have been involved in a twitter thread yesterday which had some comments about my Nature correspondence. I could not see an engagement with the argument I put forward. Instead, distractions from the argument via fantasies and sweeping statements were made, such as Gavin Schmidt's who said about me: "His standard conclusion is that scientists are to blame for everything."

***

Even if we can’t derive policies from scientific insights, scientific insights sure suffice to establish policy conditions. For more on this, see:

https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/less-science-more-social-science/#comment-83824

This should suffice to cut through the whole "but it's a wicked problem" mess, as both in the case of CFC and AGW, "scientific insights" can offer us conditions that have to abide by any rational policy.

The whole "derive policy" line of argument is first and foremost a caricature, and the usual "reframe all the things" move is underwhelming to say the least.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

I do not see how you can misconstrue my argument as one which wants to delegitimize the climate sciences.


Possibly because I don't think I did?


The conclusion I draw is that this framing mistake led the discourse down a very unproductive path.


Even if true (and I'm not convinced) how does framing it in your article as you did help to lead it down a more constructive path? Antagonising an entire research community seems unlikely to be particularly effective.


Contrary to what you are saying, we do not know when we will have succeeded in solving climate change as a problem.


How do you know this? I think many regard the basics as pretty robust and pretty simple; reduce emissions, aim to get to zero - or close. Of course, solving may be the wrong word, as we will probaby be dealing with aspects of it for a long time, but that doesn't mean that we don't understand what would be required to do so.


No matter what progress we make with regard to anthropogenic climate change, climate change will still be observed and we cannot assume that all natural change will be benign.


I think you're partly redefining terminology (do you mean natural climate change, or weather?) and partly introducing possibilities that many regard as unlikely - the current best evidence suggests that the primary drivers of climate change today is us. Also, I don't think anyone is suggesting that the paradigm is "anthropogenic - bad; natural - benign", but the anthropogenic aspect is the one over which we have some control, and is the one that is expected to dominate in the coming decades.


Zero emissions will not limit warming to 1.5 degrees.


Hmm, yes, our current understanding is that it would. It may well be impossible in reality to get to zero emissions fast enough (which is largely why there is now so much discussion of negative emissions) but that doesn't mean that getting to zero emission will not limit warming to 1.5 degrees.


My point is that we need to re-frame climate change as a social problem, not a problem for science.


And I disagree. It's neither entirely a social problem or entirely a science problem; it seems to me that it is both. That's why I think your framing of this is counter-productive.

EliRabett said...

"In other words: physicists (and other natural scientists), back into your baracks! If you individually want to be part of the social processes of choosing among options and of deciding, come back without the attitude of knowing better than others of what is an appropriate response to the problem. "

Hans, you have no idea how tempting it is to Godwin the thread right there. . . .Think about it.

David Young said...

"The conclusion I draw is that this framing mistake led the discourse down a very unproductive path."

I think sums i up rather well. The analogy to dietary saturated fat is another good one I think. The political process needs above all else unbiased information to help people make up their minds on actions. I question whether "science communication" even really adds much. The media is so full of alarming stories these days from terrorism, antibiotic resistance, financial crashes, debt crises, habitat destruction, overfishing, deforestation (which turned out to be not wholly true), zika and the hundreds of modern plagues that were going to pose a huge danger, peak oil, and climate change. The discount most people apply to alarming messages is I think very high these days.

EliRabett said...

If Eli had not lived through the same nonsense with tobacco and acid rain and CFCs and whatnot, involving the same sort of obstruction from the same people, David Young might have a point.

David Young said...

Eli, Your choice of examples shows some bias I think. That's part of Reiner's point about CFC framing. Most of these things you mention had no real benefit except perhaps somewhat lower cost. Abundant energy has very high benefits as any wealthy individual can tell you or any consumer of air travel.

Do you think the saturated fat analogy is a good one? People seem to like fat in their diets and are reluctant to give it up. But there may be benefits to doing so, or maybe not depending on historically biased science.

Günter Heß said...

I think Reiner is right. "Climate change policy" is like unemployment it will remain as a topic in politics.
Politicians, experts, scientists, non-scientists, activists, alarmists, skeptics, neo-sceptics, non-sceptics will argue within their school of thought about solutions.
Yes, I think it is a wicked problem that needs social scientists perspective.
My question for Reiner as a social scientist would be who is a climate scientist at all. Are people who calculate the the social costs of carbon climate scientists? Are experts from greenpeace climate scientists. Are people from the GWPF climate scientists? Are all scientists at PIK climate scientists? Are all the people who work on the summary for policymakers climate scientists?
I do think to define climate science at all is nowadays already a wicked problem.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Willard

It might be a good idea for you to define what exactly you mean by de-legitimizing science.

Likewise, the term 'ignorant' seems to upset you. But is is well justified, as it is true they lacked an awareness or knowledge of social science contributions. The framing of climate change as a tame problem was done without without too much reflection. Matters were not helped by social scientists who did not engage with climate change for a long time.

TPP

Are you really saying we could in principle solve the climate problem but maybe not in a timeframe that matters?

Do you want to limit the definition of climate change to its anthropogenic aspects?

Hans von Storch said...

TTP –
I think we are coming closer what all this is about – namely WHAT CONSTITUTES THE CLIMATE PROBLEM. You have a rather narrow framing, namely: emissions are up, lead to climate change; consequences are bad: If we limit the change to 2 or 1.5 deg C, then the consequences are less bad – thus the solution is clear (reduce emissions) and the problem is … not the change but the way to reduce the emissions.

I would subscribe to this to some extent – and conclude: ok, physicists, you have done your part. You are welcome to join the public debate as citizens, but you have nothing special to bring it, after you have explained your view of the problem and your solution. (That’s what I meant with – back to the barracks; take off your uniforms and medals, and come back without claims that you know better about the solution than others.)

But for me, this is not the real problem – how we implement your solution, but how we deal with the variety of challenges, environmental and social, at the same time. Your narrow framing is is 1-dimensional, and it operates with the illusion that there would be only one issue, no other environmental crises, no other social and political issues. But reducing emissions has impact on other issues. Indeed, there are many other challenges observed or perceived by people. These are culturally conditioned – as your “climate problem” is culturally conditioned by the “culture of physicists” – and differently weighted in their significance; this limits the way to respond, to accept your or other solutions.

Think of nuclear physicists in the 1950s and 60s, who foresaw a historical period of no concerns about energy supply. They were the experts; they claimed to be entitled to leadership (towards nuclear power based energy supply), looked down to “lay people” who were concerned with side effects of “the solution”, and finally lost their authority, at least for the time being. Emissions went up.

Hans von Storch said...

Reiner, I remember Roger Pielke jr. stressing the fact that the IPCC defined climate change as including all variations, whereas UNFCC used the term only for anthropogenic change. Since non-anthropgenic climate change is understood as the formation of intermittedn deviations from a normal, social dealing with such variations are less of a challlene, as in most cases societies (and ecosystems) will be adapted. Man-made climate change is an ongoing -on the human time horizon- unending change (GHGs) or a change towards a new "normal" (e.g., reduction of aerosols) - adapation will often not be present, thus a challenge

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

Are you really saying we could in principle solve the climate problem but maybe not in a timeframe that matters?

No, I think you've somewhat over-interpreted what I said. All I'm really saying is that we have a very good idea of what is driving current climate change and that thing is our emissions. Therefore we can define a metric - reduce emissions, eventually getting them to zero. In other words, there is a stopping rule, despite what you said in your article. Whether or not we choose to actually implement something that would do this, how we would do it, how fast we would do it, etc are not questions that science can answer, but that doesn't mean that it's a wicked problem. Complex, difficult, sure but not - by your definition, at least - a wicked problem (in my view, at least).


Do you want to limit the definition of climate change to its anthropogenic aspects?

Clearly there are many things that can cause our climate to change. However, our current understanding is that the dominant effect over the coming decades is likely to be us (assuming that we continue to emit GHGs). So, no, I don't want to limit the definition to anthropogenic aspects only. However, given that the dominant factor over the coming decades is likely to be us, and given that it is the factor over which we have some control, I'm not sure why it shouldn't be the current focus.

Hans,

But for me, this is not the real problem – how we implement your solution, but how we deal with the variety of challenges, environmental and social, at the same time.

Of course. I didn't say otherwise. I'm not the one arguing for the exclusion of others. Furthermore, I haven't provided a solution (at least not in any specific sense); I've simply provided a requirement. We don't need to satisfy that requirement if we choose not to do so.


Your narrow framing is is 1-dimensional, and it operates with the illusion that there would be only one issue, no other environmental crises, no other social and political issues.

Just because I don't mention something doesn't mean that I don't think it is relevant. The dominant driver of climate change is our emissions. We seem to agree about that. How we deal with this (as I think I have said many, many times) is clearly very complex and doesn't necessarily take precedence over other important issues. However, this is not an argument for excluding people from the discussions that would inform how we deal with these issues.

Let me remind you that the issue here isn't me arguing that social scientists should be excluded; I already think that we need to consider this from many different perspectives. The issue is the suggestions that physicists/natural scientists should be excluded. If you can't make your argument without first excluding a group who say things you find inconcenient, maybe your argument isn't very strong?

Hans von Storch said...

TTP,
I value the discussion we have had here - we may not have convinced each other but maybe we have reached better understanding. I guess for the time being we are done - many thanks for a good exchange of views and arguments.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

In principle solvable, but maybe not in this world. So is it a problem that has a solution in models only?

BTW, where did I say I wanted to "exclude" scientists? And from what?

...and Then There's Physics said...

Hans,
Thank you too.

Reiner,

In principle solvable, but maybe not in this world. So is it a problem that has a solution in models only?

I claim no expertise as to whether or not it is solveable in reality. That - in my view - is a combination of engineering, politics, societal factors, etc. I'm simply suggesting that the scientific evidence indicates what would be required. I also think it is important that this evidence continues to inform how we consider this issue.


BTW, where did I say I wanted to "exclude" scientists? And from what?

That was actually a response to Hans who suggested we should go back to the barracks. However, your article argues that climate change has been mis-framed and that this is largely the fault of natural/physical scientists. Your article also argues that this is really a social problem, not a scientific one. If this isn't actually arguing for the exclusion of physical/natural scientists, it comes pretty close. It's certainly an attempt to pin some kind of blame on them for how we've dealt with this issue and seems to be explicitly arguing for a reduced role.

Willard said...

> It might be a good idea for you to define what exactly you mean by de-legitimizing science.

It might be a good idea to keep AT's quote in mind, Reiner: not to delegitimise science, but the role of natural/physical scientists.

Since I now can copy-paste your article, here's the part that justifies the word "deligitimize":



If social scientists had been involved significantly and from the beginning, this crucial error in categorizing climate change might have been avoided. The environmental organizations and experts involved in framing climate change and prescribing policy pathways are mainly trained in natural sciences. As such, they do not have a good understanding of complex sociotechnical systems and problems, or about processes of political and cultural change. Some social scientists on the margins have been making counter- arguments for decades, but their advice has not been taken on board [4]. Most of the social science contributions in this area come from economists whose expertise is rather narrowly focused on cost-benefit and efficiency considerations.



The first emphasis shows that your "who, me?" is unjustified. I don't think I need to provide a technical analysis based on a well-defined theorical concept to show that the claim that your op-ed deligitimizes the role of natural/physical scientists is far from the "fantasies and sweeping statements" by which you tried to delitimized AT, Eli and otters earlier in the thread.

Citation [4] leads to the Harwell paper, a paper you co-authored. I find it intriguing that you are referring to yourself as a social scientist on the margins whose advice has not been taken on board.

Your op-ed does not contain any direct citation for wicked problems. The Hartwell Paper does exploit that tack. There's one citation is a lecture by Steve Rayner, one of the authors of the Hartwell Paper, which mostly contains biographical storytelling.

It might be a good idea not to give homework to others, Reiner, when the conceptual framework you're trying to sell is so thin.

***

> [T]he term 'ignorant' seems to upset you.

Thank you for probing my mind. That means a lot to me. As far as I can follow your citations, please rest assured that the framing of AGW as a wicked problem does not seem to have been done without much reflection either.

Your argument falters on the fact that even if science can’t (arguably) tell us what to do, its insights can help us frame preconditions for any kind of problem, mess, or else.

So not only is your wicked framework thin, dear Reiner, it's mostly irrelevant.

Willard said...

> It might be a good idea for you to define what exactly you mean by de-legitimizing science.

It rather be "to delegitimise the role of natural/physical scientists," as AT said.

Since I can now copy-paste, here's the relevant bit from your op-ed:

If social scientists had been involved significantly and from the beginning, this crucial error in categorizing climate change might have been avoided. The environmental organizations and experts involved in framing climate change and prescribing policy pathways are mainly trained in natural sciences. As such, they do not have a good understanding of complex sociotechnical systems and problems, or about processes of political and cultural change.

You then go on about "social scientists on the margins," but it might be more prudent for me to keep to AT's, and Gavin's point first.

The whole quote justifies Gavin's "scientists are to blame." The emphasized bit justifies AT's "deligitimizes" claim. Your "fantasies and sweeping statements" dismissiveness also justifies AT's claim.

My own argument, which you failed to address, echoes Eli's point regarding CFCs but is more general. As soon as you interpret "scientific insights" as providing constraints or preconditions whether you solve, address or embrace an issue, a problem, a mess or else makes no logical difference.

Which leads us to the empirical part of your claim, which might also need to be addressed. What evidence do we need the "framing" you're selling to cut the AGW knot?

Willard said...

> What evidence do we need the "framing" you're selling to cut the AGW knot?

I conflated two questions:

What evidence do we have that the framing sold will cut the AGW knot.

What evidence do we need the framing sold to cut the AGW knot.

Management science can be seen as a history of conceptual frameworks that failed to deliver. The very idea that conceptual frameworks could be crucial in delivering anything may be suspect.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

I have the impression we are going in circles. To repeat: I do not claim that we should understand the involvement of climate scientists in moral terms ("they are to blame", "it is their fault" etc). This is entirely your interpretation of what I have said, and I think it is clear that you are on thin ice here. I have myself been convinced that climate is like ozone, as mentioned above. To talk about "guilt" is a category error. Maybe someone wants to make such an argument about the responsibility of climate scientists, but not me.

I think my point has been granted: climate change, for some climate scientists (such as TPP) is a problem first and foremost for science. It can be solved within science, but science cannot tell us much about the real world in which the solution will have to take place. That is why it is a social problem.

I do not think that climate scientists should be excluded from what they are doing or from public discourse. But their expertise for addressing the problem is highly limited, and we need to assemble the right kind of knowledge for this task.

Hans von Storch said...

Willard,

I hope that you are now satisfied after you so forcefully debunked the wording of Reiner.

Now we could begin talking about the substance, which you so finely circumvent so far. The role of the visible natural/physical scientists – what is it, and which would “we” like to assign to them.

We would agree, I suppose, that natural/physical scientists have a deep understanding of their field (by the way, why do you say natural/physical and not natural/biological?), but their insight into the functioning of society, in the formation of values, preferences, the usage of knowledge for creation and maintaining of power – to mention some aspects, is not better than of journalists, haircutters und taxi-drivers. Thus, the body of knowledge is a bit unbalanced, and some become to believe that because they are so capable of treating differential equations they would also be good in identifying the right ways for making the world a significantly better place for all. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Instead they are, as we say in German, merely Fachidioten, whose advice is indispensable for finding out, which consequences a decision may have in their very limited field, but hardly outside.

The latter, explaining the side-effects of carbon-based industrialization on climate, has successfully been done. We know this, at least with respect to the key aspects with few and insignificant remaining doubts (as physicists we would never doubt that there is no remaining doubt, even if that would be minuscule:-)) After this clarification: there is anthropogenic climate change, it is due to the emission of GHGs and it will continue conditional on the amount and timing of emissions; it can be reduced considerably by reducing or ending emissions, the question arises what societies will do with this knowledge. Different societies may consider the situation differently, may weigh other problems more severe etc. These are issues, which social and cultural scientists may be trained to deal and to study.

So what? – The role of physical scientists in informing society about “solutions” auf the climate “problem” will be reduced. Social scientists will add their knowledge for informing people and decision makers about consequences of options – and will learn after a while, that in some future also their role will be diminished.


...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

To repeat: I do not claim that we should understand the involvement of climate scientists in moral terms ("they are to blame", "it is their fault" etc). This is entirely your interpretation of what I have said, and I think it is clear that you are on thin ice here.

To repeat: if you write an article claiming that climate change has been misclassified (and hence poorly handled as a result) and that this is largely because natural scientists have dominated the discourse, it's hard not to conclude that you're blaming them for this. This isn't introducing moral terms; it is a perfectly reasonable interpretation of what you wrote. You'd be on thicker ice if you avoided writing things that sound like you're blaming those in another discpline if that isn't what you intended to say.


I think my point has been granted: climate change, for some climate scientists (such as TPP) is a problem first and foremost for science.

No it hasn't. This isn't what I think and I doubt it is what many other thinks. My view (as I have said many, many times) is that it is both a social problem and a science problem. Disagreeing with you that it is not only a social problem does not mean that I think it is only a science problem.


I do not think that climate scientists should be excluded from what they are doing or from public discourse. But their expertise for addressing the problem is highly limited, and we need to assemble the right kind of knowledge for this task.

Indeed, but this isn't what you wrote in your article. Your article explictly framed it as social problem and NOT a science problem. I also think you've dodged the point that there are already many social scientists involved and, hence, it is clearly not true that it is currently being treated as a science problem only.

Anonymous said...

The problem, as I see it, is that Reiner states quite categorically that "climate change is not a scientific but a social problem... one cannot derive climate policies from climate science". The question then is: on what basis can climate policies be made? What is the social science information that could be used to make climate policies instead of the available (climate)'scientific' information?

...and Then There's Physics said...


The role of physical scientists in informing society about “solutions” auf the climate “problem” will be reduced. Social scientists will add their knowledge for informing people and decision makers about consequences of options – and will learn after a while, that in some future also their role will be diminished.

I don't think this necessary follows. You seem to be suggesting that information from social scientists will displace information from natural/physical scientists. There's no reason why it has to be the case. Information from one group could be complementary to that presented by another. They could work together. Combined it could produce a much clearer picture of the whole issue. This isn't - in my view - some kind of competition.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

I think you have it on good authority (HvS) that climate science tells us nothing new or exciting with regard to addressing the problem. And you yourself admit that climate scientists are not experts in this task. So what is all the rage about? You almost sound as if you are fearful that people could come to the conclusion that the emperor has no clothes. If climate change is a task that can be solved in models but not in the real world, policy makers should listen, and re-consider the requisite expertise.

Anon

What can climate science tell us about the options that are visible about climate policy, in public discourse? I cite from my paper:

"In the public discourse on climate change, a multitude of practical solutions has been suggested. They include a rollout of nuclear power plants across the globe; a switch of all energy supply to solar, wind or biofuels; a transformation of our lifestyles; promotion of vegetarianism; a tax on carbon; implementation of an emissions trading system; geo-engineering projects; and the abolishment of capitalism."

Willard said...

> I hope that you are now satisfied after you so forcefully debunked the wording of Reiner.

Thank you for the kind words, Hans, but I think I actually did a bit more than that. In return, please consider that your "substance" jab may be hard to reconcile with the constant requests to "define" this or that and the fact that nobody disputed my argument so far against wickedness.

I have little time today, except to submit two other logical points:

(1) Insights from social sciences may not suffice to derive positive policies either, which implies that the argument about "deriving policies" is trivial at best. It is most probably a caricature, as for good measures, CFCs are still with us.

(2) One does not simply "define" a wicked problem, for a wicked problem is just that - a problem that escapes the analytical paradigm. To push that peanut from good ol' system theory, the very act of trying to defining things leads to a conceptual mess.

The first argument leads to the idea that there may always be a gap between a conceptual framework and what emerges from it, in this case the usual Breakthrough stuff.

The second argument leads to the idea that current argumentive mode, resting on definition games, goes against the very idea of appealing to system theory.

Moreover, following through the citations reveals that the conceptual framework is quite thin. We can observe this fact by sifting through the Hartwell paper and its ancestors. Which means that Reiner's "but wicked" argument may not be that "substantive."

By "substantive," I mean whatever you might mean by this.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

And you yourself admit that climate scientists are not experts in this task.

Indeed, but that didn't mean that I was implying that the only ones who are are social scientists. I was agreeing that there are aspects about which climate scientists would not have relevant expertise.


So what is all the rage about? You almost sound as if you are fearful that people could come to the conclusion that the emperor has no clothes.

What rage? Also, what do you mean by the emperor having no clothes? I'm assuming that you're not suggesting that somehow climate science is wrong in some fundamental way, but it's getting quite hard not to do so.


If climate change is a task that can be solved in models but not in the real world, policy makers should listen, and re-consider the requisite expertise.

You keep saying this, but I've no idea why. Why would you think this to be the case? You keep suggesting that you're not arguing for the exclusion of climate scientists, and then continually say things that makes it seem that you are. My issue with your argument is the lack of inclusivity; I'm not arguing against more social scientists getting involved.

In fact, I'll make another point, which might get to the crux of the matter - although, that might be overly optimistic. Obviously as individuals we all have the right to express our views about this topic. We should, however, endeavour to distinguish between when we're speaking as an individual and when we're speaking as a professional. We also all have the right to undertake relevant research and to present that research publicly and to communicate it to the public and to policy makers. What we don't have, is the right to directly determine policy; only those with a mandate to do so, can do so.

Given the above, I don't actually really get what you're really suggesting. If you think that there is relevant social science research that is being ignored, then present it. If you think there is social science research that is not being funded, then either apply for funding, or argue for funding to be made available. If you really think that there is material that should go into the IPCC reports, but that isn't, then point out what it is. Noone is stopping you from doing this.

So, what were you actually hoping to achieve with your article? More funding? Another IPCC chapter? More invitations to parliamentary select committee hearings? I'd be quite interested to know, because you haven't really said and it's not very clear.

Anonymous said...


"In the public discourse on climate change, a multitude of practical solutions has been suggested. They include a rollout of nuclear power plants across the globe; a switch of all energy supply to solar, wind or biofuels; a transformation of our lifestyles; promotion of vegetarianism; a tax on carbon; implementation of an emissions trading system; geo-engineering projects; and the abolishment of capitalism."

What social science information is there that might help us choose between these options? Or that could tell us how these ideas could be turned into policies, nationally and globally?

Anonymous said...

|To repeat: if you write an article claiming that climate change has been misclassified (and hence poorly handled as a result) and that this is largely because natural scientists have dominated the discourse, it's hard not to conclude that you're blaming them for this.

Sounds paranoid. Why should people be blamed when problems grow out of their scope ?

Hans von Storch said...

For me, science if natural or social, can help assessing the consequences of political choices in different fields; from science you can not derive "right" policies, but you can exclude policies which go with unwanted consequences.

A problem in the past was that some visible physical scientists (and ecological scientists in other nevironmental cases) have directly demanded certain political action. The time of COP15 has several examples - and in that case these people were presented in the media as authorities based on their scientific standing. This damaged the authority of sciences, which is still ooften seen as bound by Merton's norms (at least in theory) - in the same way as nuclear scientists and forest scientists did in the past.
Of course it could happen, and I expect: will happen that some egocentric social scientists will act in the same way; that would be deplorable.

The suggestion is not that some social scientists join or succeed natural scientists in overselling the societal significance of their stuff; instead I would hope that they provide geenuinely social science knowldge for assessing the implication of politic al options.

I understand that we have a common ground here - that it is not the construction or derivation of the right policy, but provision of knowledge for assessing different options. Maybe the word "constraining" of options would be a good description.

Hans von Storch said...


TTP/39

I did certainly not mean that social scientists would introduce, or explain or ... whatever, natural science knowldege. This would appear rather absurd to me. No, I think they will, and already do to some extent, introduce genuinely social science knowledge into socieetal assessment and decision processes. This will inform policy makers, in the sense of constraining opptions, but not of deriving the "right" policy.

Natural sciences has achieved something, which at this time is rather remote for social sciences - building an effort to determine convergence, also on divergence, of knowledge claims, of knowledge gaps etc -- the IPCC (and little sisters like BACC). Problems I see with some social scientists is thinking in schools and of considering consistency of an argument being sufficient without systematically comparing alternative explainations (my friends don't want me to use the word "falsification").

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Anon 43

There is a good collection of papers in here:
Research Handbook on Climate Governance, (2015) edited by E. Lovbrand and K. Backstrand. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
http://www.e-elgar.com/shop/eep/preview/book/isbn/9781783470600/

Anonymous said...

A brand new study: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-016-1770-6 . Of course the impacts of the technological turnarounds in connection of all these "decarbonisation iterations" on the society are huge. It's the classical field of the social sciences because there are the needed skills. I can't understand the debate of some fellows here.

Anonymous said...

I think the debate centres on this paragraph (but I might be wrong): "The key issue lies with the fact that scientific insights are being used to derive policy. If climate policy is justified with science, opponents of the policy will attack the science. This logic only distracts from the problem of devising suitable policies to deal with climate change. Nevertheless, it comes to the fore time and again. This line of argument also highlights that the climate problem is not a scientific problem, but a social problem: one cannot derive climate policies from climate science. Such policies must be the result of a pragmatic decision-making process in which many more elements are involved, such as costs and benefits, acceptability, political expediency and so on." He also says that "scientific consensus is not needed to advise policy".
This seems to suggest a sharp dividing line between climate science and social science, with climate science being basically portrayed as 'useless' (a dividing line that was then entrenched by Hans's comments). The article seems to say that 'pragmatic decision making' relies on all sorts of things, but not science. The article by Holly Buck looks very interesting by the way. I'd argue instead that what is really needed is (continuous and interative) dialogue between climate science and social science with both providing information that decision makers can then use to make decisions. It is not an either or thing.

Willard said...

> The role of physical scientists in informing society about “solutions” auf the climate “problem” will be reduced. Social scientists will add their knowledge for informing people and decision makers about consequences of options – and will learn after a while, that in some future also their role will be diminished.

Reiner's argument in his Nature op-ed goes beyond that - it argues for a change in framing the AGW mess and calls for more seats at the table for social scientists like him.

The first point kicks off his editorial, and the second finishes it off. The two ideas are connected by this counterfactual:

If social scientists had been involved significantly and from the beginning, this crucial error in categorizing climate change might have been avoided.

There are many problems with this counterfactual. Let's take the most important one. The "crucial error" is far from having been established, neither in the op-ed, nor in the Hartwell Paper (which cites Steve Rayner's autobiographical lecture), neither in the Hartwell Paper's predecessor, *How to Get Climate Policy Back on Course*, which pays lips service to Hayek's Constitution of Liberty and Berlin's "Decline of Utopians Ideals of the West". None of these two papers (Hartwell & How to Get) contain any analysis that would indicate in what ways a wicked framing justifies the Breakthrough stuff that it helps sell.

We can't witness the effect of that wicked framing on the authors' deliberations, since in at least the meetings followed Chatham rules. A more plausible explanation for the Breakthrough stuff than "that's what emerges from a wicked framing" comes from the social network of the authors of these papers. Reiner contributed to all these papers, and is basically self-citing when he handwaves to "some social scientists on the margins have been making counter-arguments for decades."

***

If we can't derive policies from the "scientific insights" of climate science, neither can we derive policies from the insights of the social sciences. That common ground we have, viz. "the construction or derivation of the right policy, but provision of knowledge for assessing different options," should also apply to "the expertise of the social sciences." Getting serious about the ought/is distinction (I'm not a fan of dichotomies, but can I play the ball where it lands, as the Auditor once said to the Bishop) means that what goes for the goose goes for the gander.

Once we accept that sciences only constrain policy options by establishing physical or social conditions, then there's no reason to accept *any* framing as crucially erroneous. Whatever ways we'd wish to envision AGW, the climatological constraints are the same for everyone.

This is why Reiner's "I argue that the reason for this failure is that [...] climate change is not a scientific but a social problem" may rub the wrong way. It's like saying that when car's muffler makes too much noise or fumes, it's not a scientific but a social problem. I could live with that language game, under the conditions that there's no such thing as a scientific "problem" anymore (say becauce the notion of problem being value-laden), and we kick *all* the scientists from the policy table.

Even if we ever come to this radical new way to reorganize our problem-solving institutions, reality still bats last.

Willard said...

> and we kick *all* the scientists from the policy table.

Perhaps a better way to go along the analogy would be to say: and we kick *all* the sciences from repair shops.

This would make more explicit a possible conflation between the roles of scientists and their products.

***

I should note that the second part of my last comment underlines a second problem with Reiner's counterfactual - the relationship between the framing and the "advices." That problem echoes the one between the Wegman Report's conclusions and its recommendations, perhaps I misunderestimate its importance.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

Here is the article by Roger Pielke Jr about the two definitions of climate change, one by the UN FCCC, th e other by the IPCC: http://issues.org/20-4/p_pielke-2/

The two definitions are:
"The FCCC defines climate change as “a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity, that alters the composition of the global atmosphere, and that is in addition to natural climate variability over comparable time periods.” By contrast, the IPCC defines climate change broadly as “any change in climate over time whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.”

From your comments above it is clear that you work with the FCCC definition. But why does a climate scientist not adopt the scientific definition, assuming the IPCC is closer to science than the FCCC?

Adopting the IPCC definition makes it clear that we cannot even imagine to "solve" climate change as a problem. But even in your narrow definition the stopping rule is not obvious: you say it is zero carbon emissions, or 2 deg warming compared to pre-industrial levels. Now we have 1.5 deg. as a policy goal, none of which is a scientifically established target. So the question is: when, and how do we know we have solved the problem?

The contrast to the ozone case is stark. The target was to get back to pre-industrial levels of chlorine loading and we now have empirical studies measuring the validity of the theory and the effectiveness of policies.

Willard

As TPP and others here realize, social science knowledge is essential to get to grips with an understanding of the issue of CC. Nowhere can we assume a linear transfer of knowledge into decisions. But some of that social science knowledge will have the form of expertise, which is knowledge appropriate for decision making (outlining courses of action and their consequences).

Anon 49

You misinterpret my quote "Such policies must be the result of a pragmatic decision-making process in which many more elements are involved, such as costs and benefits, acceptability, political expediency and so on."

"many more elements" of course refers to knowledge from climate science, as the context makes clear.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

From your comments above it is clear that you work with the FCCC definition.

I shall quote what I said:

So, no, I don't want to limit the definition to anthropogenic aspects only. However, given that the dominant factor over the coming decades is likely to be us, and given that it is the factor over which we have some control, I'm not sure why it shouldn't be the current focus.

Given that my response to your question (Do you want to limit the definition of climate change to its anthropogenic aspects?) was no, it's pretty hard to understand why you're claiming that it's clear that I work with the FCCC definition.


Adopting the IPCC definition makes it clear that we cannot even imagine to "solve" climate change as a problem.

You keep using "solve", which is not really the term I would use. However, whether you agree or not, the current evidence suggests that the dominant (which doesn't mean only) driver of change in the coming decades will probably be us. Therefore addressing the possible risks associate with climate change in the coming decades (or century) will require dealing with our emissions - assuming we choose to do so. That other things can cause the climate to change, doesn't mean that we're not capable of addressing what likely carries the greatest risks in the near future (i.e., this coming century).


But even in your narrow definition the stopping rule is not obvious: you say it is zero carbon emissions, or 2 deg warming compared to pre-industrial levels.

I didn't say "or". All I pointed out was that whether your target is a temperature, or a carbon budget, they both require getting to zero emissions. If net anthropogenic emissions are non-zero, then CO2 will continue to accumulate in the atmosphere and we will continue to warm. Of course, we could get emissions low enough that we warm so slowly that it isn't really noticeable against the background variations, but that would probably require ~90% reductions, which might not be zero, but close enough in this context.


So the question is: when, and how do we know we have solved the problem

See above.

Here's a key point, I think. Your argument is that this is really a social problem, not a science problem and yet you're justifying this on the basis of an interpretation of the scientific evidence (there are many things that can cause climate to change and therefore we can't solve climate change, for example). Whether or not your interpretations are correct, it's hard to see how you can argue that it's a social problem only, if you need to then use interpretations of the scientific evidence in order to do so.

EliRabett said...

The contrast to the ozone case is stark. The target was to get back to pre-industrial levels of chlorine loading and we now have empirical studies measuring the validity of the theory and the effectiveness of policies.

The contrast to the ozone case is stark. The target is to get back to pre-industrial levels of carbon dioxideloading and we now have empirical studies measuring the validity of the theory. Sadly a well funding campaign with the aide of social scientists (ok marketing professionals who are applied social scientists) has blocked adoptation of effective policies.

David Young said...

Eli, I think you are falling prey to the very biased framing Rainer is talking about.

Is it really possible to get CO2 levels back to preindustrial even if optimistic mitigation policies are in place? It is almost certainly not possible. The question here is as Rainer points out far more complex. You also are showing bias on the relative state of the science. We do know CO2 warms the planet. But as in all policy questions, the question of how much is critical. Even the IPCC acknowledges that is only very approximately known.

As i pointed out earlier, the cost of giving up CFC's were small. Barring a technological breakthrough, which is indeed possible if investment is high enough, the costs of mitigating CO2 are large and will impact everyones energy usage and lifestyle, including yours. Difficult choices that many will dislike, such as nuclear and fracking will need to be considered. I don't think just continuing to deny Rainer's point is really helping you persuade him.

Günter Heß said...

David,

I would add to that. In a democratic society it is a fundamental right to dismiss scientific results for decision making. Actually it is done all the time in politics.
The core of Reiners point is that one has to convince the people.
The problem description and the analysis is the domain of scientists, but the decision about corrective actions and its implementation belongs to the people and is the domain of politics. Everybody enters in this domain as a citizen.

David Young said...

Yes, Gunter, I agree. A further problem with Eli's comment is the attempt to blame unnamed "social scientists" for the lack of action. Scapegoating unnamed witches does not help anyone and merely makes Eli's proposed solutions less likely to be listened to seriously by the public all of whom as you say should have a say in this.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

I expected more logical coherence from you as a physicist. What you have done in your last comment sounds like an exercise in (bad) sophistry: "So, no, I don't want to limit the definition to anthropogenic aspects only. However, given that the dominant factor over the coming decades is likely to be us, and given that it is the factor over which we have some control, I'm not sure why it shouldn't be the current focus."

Just because you put the word No there does not make it a statement that confirms your No position, as the following sentence spells out that you want to stick to the FCCC definition because anthropogenic factors should be "the current focus".

I want to ask you again: when, and how do we know we have solved the problem of climate change? Which observation in what timeframe would tell us that we have been successful?

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

I expected more logical coherence from you as a physicist. What you have done in your last comment sounds like an exercise in (bad) sophistry:

Hmm, so you think that it's logically incoherent to point out that many factors could lead to a change in something, but that there could be circumstances where one factor dominates?

Instead of me answering your question (I'm not the one who has written a nature article advocating for a change in how we look at this issue) can we go back to the end of my last comment. You now appear to be justifying your views on the basis of how we define climate change, what causes it to change, and how we might determine if it has been solved (and - as I've said before - I don't think "solved" is the right way to look at this). All of these appear to be scientific judgements - the climate is a natural/physical system, understanding what causes it to change is natural/physical science, and determining what we might do to address this is fundamentally founded in natural/physical sciences. Therefore, your conclusion that it is a social, not a scientific, problem appears to be founded on an interpretation of the scientific evidence. Here are my questions:

1. If it is an interpretation of the scientific evidence that underpins your argument that it is a social, not a scientific, problem, how can it be only a social problem? If you want to argue that it is a social problem, and not a scientific problem, surely you can't use an interpretation of the scientific evidence to underpin your argument?

2. As a social scientists, in what way do you have the relevant expertise to draw the conclusions that you have? Surely, if interpretations of the scientific evidence underpin how we should view something, then it's crucial that those who best understand that evidence are involved in drawing that conclusion?

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

I don't see a basis for productive dialogue if you refuse to answer questions.

And the fact that I have written an article does not mean that I am "in the dock". Unless, of course, you have no interest in a discussion which is very much the impression you have now created.

We know from your comments that you think CC is a physical science problem. I have argued that there is a literature in the social sciences that describes tame problems as cases where a technocratic approach might work, because these problems have a clear solution. Where we have wicked problems no such prospect is on the cards. Simple point really.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

I don't see a basis for productive dialogue if you refuse to answer questions.

Personally, I think dialogue involves more than simply one party answering questions. YMMV, of course. I'm not in the dock either. FWIW, I think your question is ill-posed. Have we solved the ozone hole?


Unless, of course, you have no interest in a discussion which is very much the impression you have now created.

I'm the one who came here.


We know from your comments that you think CC is a physical science problem.

You may think this, but it's not true. It does appear that explicitly telling you my views isn't enough to stop you from making up what you think they are?


I have argued that there is a literature in the social sciences that describes tame problems as cases where a technocratic approach might work, because these problems have a clear solution. Where we have wicked problems no such prospect is on the cards. Simple point really.

Indeed, very simple. Being simple doesn't make it right. Whether you agree or not (and it seems that you don't) the current evidence suggests that the dominant change to our climate in the current decades will be driven by our emissions. Addressing the possible risks associated with this will require reducing net anthropogenic emissions. Deciding whether or not to do so, how to do so, how fast to do so, etc, are clearly difficult and complex issues that will be informed by many different disciplines. The basics, however, are simple.

Hans von Storch said...

Reiner and TTP - I think you are closer than you admit. Just take a step back ond look at it: what are you really differing on, and are these points significant for your debate?


Roger Jones said...

Reiner,

I think the time for this argument was a couple of decades ago when Steve Rayner first made it. It now seems not so relevant - much of this has been worked out. There is no longer any framing around rational scientific solutions to stabilise climate - instead it's a messy bottom-up approach based on a range of metrics including carbon budgets, temperature limits (as a proxy for intolerable impacts), country pledges and so on.
And if it's a wicked problem (as we argued in Chapter 2, WGII - Hi Hans!) then you don't throw out one group because their job is done, which it isn't. The main task for the science now is to characterise risk, then there is the job of negotiating that with perceived risk, political risk and so on. There is a job of work in making those risks tractable in management terms, which involves working through a range of perspectives. You can't do without social scientists, but nor can you do without negotiators, practitioners and a whole bunch of people not involved in academia. You may as well tell all academics to get out of the room (or back to barracks!) because the thinking has been done - now to the doing.
On that basis, the correspondence to Nurture seems one-dimensional and passe. After all, it has spawned much of the arguing past each other up-thread.
Oh, and on the two definitions of climate change - the negotiators have decided they are dealing with the whole of climate as advised by the IPCC, and recognised by the negotiators themselves.

Hans von Storch said...

Hi, Roger, nice to hear from you!
The barracks (with two r's, ok) - I do not see what natural scientists in their often 1-dimensional view of the world can add -as natural scientists- any longer to the political process, after the main mechanisms have been clarified (manifestation, detection, attrbution and thus sensitivity of elevated GHG levels). What some see their role is to add one risk to the next and forget about the compounding or maybe even dominant factors. The effect is that people do not listen any more - overselling goes with a cost. Maybe diffferently in diffferent cultures, sure. Therefore I find the role auf natural scentists strongly reduced.
There are some significant aspects left: role of clouds and radiation, role of small scale variability in the ocean, to name two. These are scientifically important issues, but will not really matter for the societal decision processes.
We need to become better in assessing multiple stressors, We need to learn hwo different cultures lead to different framing etc. We need to learn how natural scientists are conditioned by their cultural bagage. These insights will have an influence in the decision processes, I expect.
What i see is natural scientists areguing publicly as natural scientists, not as Mister Smith, that this and that political decision must be taken - with the authority of physicists or ecologists. That is what I mean with "back to the barracks" - study your clouds and eddies in the barracks, where wou do it anyway, and when you leave the barracks, then come without uniform and medals of superior ability to decide rightly.

Willard said...

We know from your [AT's] comments that you think CC is a physical science problem.

Indeed, how else can we interpret:

- "there is nothing stopping those interested, from studying what they think we should understand better"

- "anyone who undertakes research has a role to play in informing the public and policy makers"

- "we're all part of it whether you like it, or not"

- "I'm not the one arguing for the exclusion of others"

- "Information from one group could be complementary to that presented by another"

Or worse:

It's neither entirely a social problem or entirely a science problem; it seems to me that it is both?

That shows beyond doubt that from AT's comments, we can justifiably infer that he believes CC is a physical science problem.

Cue to sophistry.

***

Do you really deny that there's a physical aspect to "the CC issue," Reiner?

Brandon R. Gates said...

David Young,

We do know CO2 warms the planet. But as in all policy questions, the question of how much is critical.

Only if its concentration is changing.

David Young said...

Hans, I agree that ATTP and Rainer are closer than they realize. One thing that has always puzzled me about the dysfunctional messy climate debate is why there is not more agreement on obvious things such as adaptation and changing our energy systems for efficiency and lower cost. There are cheaper and cleaner energy technologies than coal such as nuclear power and CH4. They also happen to reduce CO2 emissions. If half the time spent on parsing words were spent on trying to implement some obvious choices, all would benefit. I think this point may be a corollary of Rainer's point about framing. It seems to me framing climate change using CFC experience actually ironically makes real action less likely because it encourages unrealistic thinking.

Werner Krauss said...

Roger,

thanks for your very useful comment. As I mentioned in my comment, too, the call for social sciences is from the last century. It was heard, and in the following conceptions of climate research (as well as conceptions of climate politics) changed profoundly.

Hans,

you wrote in comment #47 "Natural sciences has achieved something, which at this time is rather remote for social sciences - building an effort to determine convergence, also on divergence, of knowledge claims, of knowledge gaps etc -- the IPCC (and little sisters like BACC)."

This is really a strange statement, especially because you were a lead author of the IPCC WG2, Chapter 2 "Foundations for decision making", as Roger reminds us correctly (with me as contributing author, by the way). In this chapter we presented exactly the summary that you ask for. Maybe you forgot, but it indeed describes climate change as a wicked problem; it gives a detailed summary of (some of) the efforts and insights of social sciences how to deal with this challenge, and it does in no way exclude or replace climate science. Instead, the chapter defines new tasks for climate science and climate services based on the work of social sciences; the focus is on the interactions between science and stakeholders of all sorts, including other forms of knowledge and taking into account the place-based effects of climate. I am really surprised that you now want to send climate science back into the barracks, redefine the role of social science and reduce it to a form of policy assessment. In my understanding, the IPCC chapter goes far beyond this.

Of course, many social sciences do not produce data that are comparable to scientific data; many of their data are based not on a distanced view, but instead on the close involvement in the field and the view from inside - for example, when it comes to the task of co-developing narratives that fit the current challenges and open up new possibilities for collective decision making. Collaborative research, digital cultures (including science), actor-network theory, situated knowledge, extended peer groups are just some keywords that are transcending the nature / culture and science / politics divide, replacing it with new forms of assemblages, entanglements and networks as fields for collaborative research.

By the way, there was a time in Hamburg, when some climate scientists indeed worked in barracks. But these barracks are long demolished and replaced by a multi-million Euro research center, which is currently build. Climate science changed politics profoundly in putting climate change onto the agenda, and in doing so, they changed the role of science in society. In reality and metaphorically speaking, there are no barracks any more to go back to.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

Yes, I agree, the basics are simple. The physics of greenhouse gases is more than a hundred years old and now common knowledge. But it does not tell us what to about it.

I take your statement that you do do not think 'solution' is an appropriate word to describe our dealing with climate change as some sort of support of my argument. If problem solving in the strict sense (as I asked you to provide) is not available, then we do have a wicked problem. Or what other word would you use instead?

Roger

Something being passé is not a good argument for ignoring it. After all it was Arrenhius who cam eup with the greenhouse theory 120 years ago. So we could have said 120 times that his theory was passe. Steve Rayner's point still stands and needs recognition. As I point out in the piece for Nature, this view was marginal, and it still is. it is even seen as a provocation, as this thread makes clear.

Werner

I think you misinterpret Hans's barrack metaphor. BTW, climate science has put CC on the political agenda, but its initial framing has proved counterproductive. Undoubtedly there is now more social science involvement, but the terms of the trade are clear. Any questioning of the dominance of physical sciences is treated with suspicion, ranging from outright rejection to arrogant dismissal.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

I take your statement that you do do not think 'solution' is an appropriate word to describe our dealing with climate change as some sort of support of my argument.

I'm sure you'll take it, but I've no idea why. The idea that me not answering a question somehow validates your argument is a little strange. I will note that you haven't answered my questions either.


Any questioning of the dominance of physical sciences is treated with suspicion, ranging from outright rejection to arrogant dismissal.

Possibly because it's not obvious why questioning the dominance is really an argument (I will add that you're not just questioning the dominance, you're arguing for its entire dismissal). If you think you have relevant information that is not being considered, and should be, why not present the actual information, instead of insisting that it be treated like a social problem (rather than a scientific one) before doing so?

I'll repeat what I've said many, many times. I'm not arguing against more social science involvement in this topic; I simply think that it is neither simply a social problem, nor a scientific problem. Also, as Roger and Werner indicate, there is already extensive involvement. I fail to see how we can solve any problem (wicked or tame) if we dismiss relevant information.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

TPP

I am not dismissing information. The Greenhouse theory is common knowledge, and modelling efforts with their metrics provide information. You know that the point I am making is a different one, but I think we have exhausted our repertoire of arguments. We have to agree to disagree.

EliRabett said...

David Young: (56) Is it really possible to get CO2 levels back to preindustrial even if optimistic mitigation policies are in place?

Possible over a couple of hundred years at high cost. 350 ppm as a holding action possible by 2100 if a serious effort is made and with cooperation maybe even at negative cost.

Günter Heß: (57) I would add to that. In a democratic society it is a fundamental right to dismiss scientific results for decision making. Actually it is done all the time in politics.

Your mother told you not to play in traffic and she was right.

Willard: (33) Eli and the Otters is a great name for a doo wop band but Eli is already booked with the RaptorClan (TM O Bothe)

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Werner,

you probably mean WG2 (WW usually means world war II).

Can you explain your question to me in other words? (your 2nd paragraph). I don't get the meaning of it, sorry.

EliRabett said...

H.vS: (65) Among other things (and there are many), what physical science can contribute are estimates of risk (64) and physical ways of eliminating emissions and evaluations of there efficiency, unless you believe in magic. Oh wait. . .(56)

Günter Heß said...

Eli,

my grandfather told me how to play in traffic and to mistrust people who think they are right.
This was good advice, too.
I think that also is the core of Hans' and Reiners argument. Decision making under wicked conditions is for my experience hampered by people who think they are right. They stick too long to bad choices and shy away from playing in the traffic. Making the right choices at each step in time is not the same as being right about some effect in science.

Werner Krauss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

So we should forget about biology because antimicrobial resistance is a social problem?

Werner Krauss said...

Reiner #74,

sorry, but I deleted my comment. WW2 instead of WG2 = too much confusion, ruins the argument. Will rethink and come back...

TheTracker said...

I find the argument that the social sciences have been excluded for the climate discourse, and that in their absence physical scientists have mis-framed the social issue, rather amazing. For one thing, the idea that social scientists are masters of political manipulation and propaganda -- which is implied by the assertion that they are not merely able to DESCRIBE social conditions, but, in effect, are social engineers capable of effortlessly rousing mass enthusiasm for expensive & concerted efforts addressed at gradually unfolding, incomprehensibly large-in-scale problems -- is, to put it mildly, optimistic.

The only social scientists with any claims to that sort of practical influence are, of course, the Marxists, and their credibility was somewhat attenuated by their repeated complicity in the mass murders of tens of millions of people in a series of genocidal purges which, however, did not save their social-scientist-engineered societies from stagnation, poverty, and finally ruin. So I think it is fair to say the record of social scientists as real-life psychoengineers has been mixed.

Climate change is not "solved" to scientists satisfaction -- there is much more to know & understand. Politically it is a fairly simple problem: create a strong international consensus for reducing GHG emissions to zero. The social scientists have a free field there. Only if they are ignorant of the dynamics human behavior, or gross incompetent, can they long fail at this task. We will judge them by their fruits!

Practically, though, the discourse still needs natural scientists, as many or probably more than it can get. The natural sciences can tell us how a proposed strategy, or compromise, or sacrifice effects the overall picture. They can continue to sharpen the picture of the costs, benefits and alternatives. They can advocate for nature -- the natural sciences employ the greatest lovers of nature on earth. That perspective is valuable.

The person who calls natural scientists "one-dimensional" is, I am afraid, too ignorant of what actual natural scientists are like to value their contributions accurately.

Bernard J. said...

"What i see is natural scientists areguing publicly as natural scientists, not as Mister Smith, that this and that political decision must be taken - with the authority of physicists or ecologists. That is what I mean with "back to the barracks" - study your clouds and eddies in the barracks, where wou do it anyway, and when you leave the barracks, then come without uniform and medals of superior ability to decide rightly."

So, Hans, when ecologists tell you what will be the likely effects of 𝑥, 𝘺, or 𝑧 ° C of global warming, you'll be coming out from you barrack sans "uniform and medals of superior ability to decide rightly"?

Or is it just "natural scientists" that should argue publicly not as natural scientists, and that certain climate researchers and sociologists can argue, with their uniforms and medals of superior ability to decide rightly (even though it's not their area of expertise), on the ecological sequelæ of global warming?

Hans von Storch said...

Bernard,

the point was talking about policy options and decisions: without uniform and medals of superior ability to decide rightly". Our robust knowldge - that it has become that much warmer, that the number of storms goes up or down, we certain shall say. We provide this knowledge through regional climate services and will tell journalists that expectation of temperatures above 50C in Germany are not realistic. Then we leave the barracks with uniforms indicating our superior knowledge about the change that is going on in geophysical terms and about likely perspectives. But these numbers do not imply decisions, but they may constrain descisions.

And indeed, some ecologists invent their own climatology, as do geologists, physicists etc. - we had that when we constructed the regional climate change (knowledge) report BACC - and we were able to tell our colleagues to stick to their field of competence.

I admit that my metaphor may need an extensive explanation, because it may be easily misread. Why don't you try to rewrite, Bernard, it so that it would properly describe what you want to see?

@ReinerGrundmann said...

There is a new discussion over at Jules and James' blog

https://julesandjames.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/wickedly-simple.html

with one of the usual suspects chipping in. There is also a sense of déjà vu, dare I mention it.

Werner Krauss said...

Hans,

you write: "Then we leave the barracks with uniforms indicating our superior knowledge about the change that is going on in geophysical terms and about likely perspectives."

I think, this military metaphor is not really fortunate. Scientists are not generals informing the public on the war on climate, based on calculations or field observations. There is no war, there is no "Notstand" (political state of emergency), and scientists are not commanders in chief. Remember when we wrote as a summary about a postnormal science workshop: "Ist es an der Zeit, dass die Wissenschaftler ihren weißen Kittel ausziehen und den Kontakt mit der Gesellschaft und Politik auf ein neues Fundament stellen?" ("Isn't it time to take off the white coat and to build a new fundament for the contact with society and politics?").

We did not mean to change the white coat for the uniform, I guess; instead, we argued for more democratic forms of conversation with society and politics.

Communicating information is not an easy task, and this is why we finished our summary with the insight that instead of insisting on the top down routine, science should become part and parcel of societal conversation. Scientific knowledge is not "superior" to the knowledge of farmers who survived for generations on arid lands, for example. This is called respect, the foundation for effective communication and mutual learning. This is why I consider the "the general speaks with superior knowledge" metaphor unfortunate and counter productive.

Hans von Storch said...

Werner,
I thought white coats are the uniforms of many natural scientists - is that an invalid characterization? My suggestion to Bernard is also to you. Why don't you try to understand what I intended to describe, and maybe you find a better metaphor?

But, my view is: Scientifically constructed knowledge about the state and dynamics of the gephysical climate system is superior to that of lay people. Maybe, you have a different knowledge about the term "knowledge", which makes my knowledge inferior to yours - but the way you present your views as "it is so, no doubt", is indicating that you consider your own konwlegde as superior, at least compared to mine.

Of course, knowledge presented by scientists, but not constructed with the scientific method (which includes comparing (ideally: all) different possible explanations), is as good as any other knowledge claim. An example would be an op-ed of mine in a newspaper on the role of physical climate science in forming climate policy.


Werner Krauss said...

Hans, now I am confused: you wear your uniform (white coat), when you present your superior scientific knowledge to the public, and you take it off, when you write an op-ed. Correct? It is so difficult to understand the rituals of esoteric cultures that mostly prefer to hide in barracks.

I think claims of superiority will not help much when it comes to understanding climate change as a wicked problem. And no, the (natural) scientific method is not the only legitimate form of representation; social sciences, science studies, and humanities have a lot of questions concerning objectivity and comparability, for example, and they know other methods, too. But you know that well, we discussed this already ad nauseam. What counts as science is a wicked problem, too, obviously - and it is a question of power and influence. From this perspective, climate science sometimes is help and problem at the same time when it comes to deal with climate change.

...and Then There's Physics said...

I must admit that I'm slightly confused about Hans' point now, so it would be interesting to clarify. It certainly seems that researchers who speak publicly should be careful to make clear what role they are taking. Is it as an expert presenting relevant information, in which case they should aim to stick to presenting the evidence, or is it an individual with an opinion that might be formed by considering the evidence, but that doesn't carry any more weight than anyone else's opinion. If that's roughly what Hans is suggestion, then I agree.

However, something that I do think should be born in mind is that most scientists regard the scientific evidence as value neutral. This isn't to say that scientists aren't biased, but that our overall understanding of some physical system shouldn't be (and many would suggest isn't) influence by our values. Therefore, scientists will typically not change what they might say simply because there is a chance that some people might object.

Hans von Storch said...

TTP - I think you are summarizing my point pretty well. Some second thoughts may reveal some second order differences, but within the accuracy of our informal discussion: fine with me.

Werner
- What means "... method is [a] .. legitimate form of representation"? I have difficulties understanding the word "presentation".
- "Claims of superiority will not help ... to understanding climate change as a wicked problem" - I suggest that a topology of the available knowledge claims will help to understand the issues better. My claim of superiority concerns certain knowledge claims, not others. Differentiating our assertions may be helpful.
- "From this perspective, climate science sometimes is help and problem at the same time when it comes to deal with climate change." - here, we would agree; I did not speak about the question of "how to deal with climate change" but about the state and dynamics of the geophysical climate system.
- We have indeed discussed a lot in the past, not really ad nauseam but in a friendly and mostly constructive manner, but discussing a lot does not imply acceptance of the position of the other person.

Werner Krauss said...

Oh, my comment disappeared, and I had not saved it. A light-headed definition of representation. I liked it. Gone. Arrrrg. Maybe I will try again later...

Paul Matthews said...

Richard Tol has an interesting and very relevant new article, that perhaps deserves a blog post to itself.

https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps-96-2016.pdf&site=24

This part seems to be saying what Reiner is saying:

"Environmentalists and politicians have the unfortunate habit of phrasing the need for climate policy as a scientific imperative (Grundmann 2016, Grundmann 2007, Matthews 2016). The science has spoken, and we must act. This is a categorical error. Science tells you what would happen if. It does not tell us what to do (Pielke 2007)."

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Paul, thanks for the hint. See the new post

@ReinerGrundmann said...

#87

"It certainly seems that researchers who speak publicly should be careful to make clear what role they are taking. Is it as an expert presenting relevant information, in which case they should aim to stick to presenting the evidence..."

Sounds good in theory but what does this mean in practice? That scientists do not use their institutional affiliation when signing letters, petitions? Then they would need to insist that the mass media do not use their titles etc. in broadcasts. Do scientists have control over this?

And why does the media give such prominence to the opinion of scientists? They seem to think it makes a difference if they quote a scientist rather any "individual with an opinion that might be formed by considering the evidence"

The communication of scientific results would require a lot of disclaimers and caveats.

In this context the following clip (John Oliver) might be amusing and thought provoking which I found on Judith Curry's blog
https://youtu.be/0Rnq1NpHdmw

But, perhaps most importantly, this discussion seems oblivious of Dan Sarewitz's points about the current predicament of science.

...and Then There's Physics said...

Reiner,

Sounds good in theory but what does this mean in practice? That scientists do not use their institutional affiliation when signing letters, petitions? Then they would need to insist that the mass media do not use their titles etc. in broadcasts. Do scientists have control over this?

Personally, I don't think it really means that much in practice, other than an expectation that this is how scientists/researchers should conduct themselves. It's already the case that institutions will criticise those who use their affiliations when it isn't appropriate. Researchers should, IMO, make clear when they're talking professionally, and when they're expressing their personal opinion, but I don't think we can formally legislate this. We can't impose rules on scientists that don't apply to everyone else; they're still members of the public. Also, this shouldn't just apply to scientists; it should really apply to anyone who has relevant expertise but who might choose to express their own opinion about a topic.


And why does the media give such prominence to the opinion of scientists?

Why do they give such prominence to celebrities? Again, we can't legislate to prevent this. If others think that they have more relevant information they could try presenting it.


But, perhaps most importantly, this discussion seems oblivious of Dan Sarewitz's points about the current predicament of science.

If you've read my blog recently you'll know that I'm not oblivious of Dan Sarewitz's points. I just thought they weren't very good.

Werner Krauss said...

Hans #88,

not sure if you asked for this, but here some thoughts about representation (somehow off-topic, sorry):

Representation is a key word in science studies and related disciplines. We have no immediate access to reality. Art, literature, science or religion are different forms of representation of reality. Bach and Newton represented the universe in different ways; Balzac, the novelist, and Durkheim, the sociologist, both represented society; Hindu religion represents the planet populated with Gods and people, NASA represents earth as a fragile blue planet free of humans. There are many interconnections, of course. The color Red represents the power of the church, alarm on public signs or heat in a scientific climate graph - in our culture, at least. Red is a symbol that carries many connotations, even when used in science. (It is better to know this, otherwise red lives a life of its own and distorts your results).

In the last quarter of the last century, there was a "crisis of representation": the politics of representations came into focus. We discussed this a lot in anthropology, for example. Anthropologists realized that their forefathers did not simply represent other cultures, but they used literary techniques, preconceived ideas about nature and culture or biological tropes to represent the others (and to negate colonial influence) - somehow, they invented the others (with doubtful results, see the debate about Orientalism by Edward Said, for example).

One technique of representation to deal with the own bias in anthropology is "thick description" - a technique which resembles more Rembrandt's paintings than statistical accounts, for example. But nobody doubts that Clifford Geertz, who promoted this method, is an academic scholar, and his representations of the others count as scientific.

Natural scientific representations are not more exact, they are simply different. To represent the dynamics of geophysical climate, science needs graphs, metaphors, colours, fundings, politics, negotiations, peer review, press conferences, and so on. Science studies opened this blackbox, long before Climategate, by the way. The discussion about the white coat, the schizophrenic split between "scientist" and citizen" in one person; the authoritative insistence on being a "superior form of knowledge", are indicators that the authority of science is shattered. Jerry Ravetz compares this with the role of Gutenberg for the authority of the church. Today, with big data, with the Internet, with science mixing 19th century ideals with neoliberal market ideology, science obviously struggles to find its rightful place in society (as our postnormal friends call it). Here, I guess, the discussion about representation comes in. There is no way back to innocence, because there never was. And it is a challenge to discuss this in the current situation, because we need science so urgently to counter the idiotic arguments of populism. A real double-bind, again.

Anonymous said...

Viele Kommentare, obwohl die Hauptaussage, dass die Sozial- und Geisteswissenschaften eine tragendere Rolle spielen sollten, völlig unstrittig ist. Ich erkenne einen Appell an die eigene Zunft, sich stärker zu egagieren - publiziert in nature geoscience...

Nur: eine Rolle erhält man nicht zugewiesen, die erhält man durch Inhalte.
Im Kreise rennend die Hände über den Kopf zusammenschlagen und dabei ausrufen "Es gibt keine Lösung. It's a wicked problem!" wird dafür aber nicht ausreichen.

Ich fand befremdend, wie in Grundmanns Beitrag ein Antagonismus zu den Naturwissenschaften herbeibeschworen wurde. Ist die Welt nicht viel weiter?

Glaubt denn irgendjemand hier, die in Paris angestrebten 1,5° seien auf Rat der Klimawissenschaft in den Vertragstext aufgenommen worden? Hierzulande streitet man über Kohletagebau, über Kohlekraftwerke, die Subventionen als Kapazitätsreserve erhalten, über Elektromobilität und Flottenverbräuche. Da werden die Interessen des Klimaschutzes mit denen der Industrie und der verbundenen Arbeitsplätze austariert. Klimawissenschaft ist da längst nicht mehr beteiligt.

Andreas

Hans von Storch said...

Wernerer:
Natural scientific representations are not more exact, they are simply different. To represent the dynamics of geophysical climate, science needs graphs, metaphors, colours, fundings, politics, negotiations, peer review, press conferences, and so on. .. The discussion about the white coat, the schizophrenic split between "scientist" and citizen" in one person; the authoritative insistence on being a "superior form of knowledge", are indicators that the authority of science is shattered.
Thanks for explaining how one discipline represents others. I would suggest that there are others. Mary Hesse, the philosopher of science, call different representations in physics “models”, even though her usage of the term “model” is only partly consistent with that in climate science. A key part of the scientific method is to look after alternatives of representations, and, much more and significantly so, of understandings. Could I build an explanation, which is also consistent with the evidence (whatever that is), but different from my favored or hypothesized explanation?
Do I observe correctly that you consider your representation of the state of knowledge as “correct”? My observation of you is that you have a school of thought, i.e., a specific representation, in your mind and interpret based on this school of thought. You yourself seem to claim that your knowledge, äh, representation, is superior. And I indeed insist on that I have superior knowledge about certain aspect of dynamics and state of the climate system than lay people, simply because I have studied these issues with the scientific method. In your case, I do not see the quest for challenging explanations systematically. You use some episodes for making your explanations, your specific representations, plausible, which makes them to legitimate hypotheses, but no more. There may be equally powerful and simpler explanations inconsistent with yours.
But, let us adopt your view, that the scientific representation of the dynamics etc. (which has undergone a lengthy challenging within the scientific community, and confrontations of continuously incoming new evidence) would command no more authority than other representations, of a farmer, for instance. Let us consider the claims of AfD; I have been interviewed to the knowledge claims by Axel Bojanowksi and have asserted, based on my superior knowledge as natural scientist: „Die AfD schreibt, Klimamodelle seien falsch, weshalb der Klimawandel nicht bewiesen sei - das ist eine erschreckend ahnungslose Haltung. Einerseits haben die Modelle zwar Mängel, sie sind ja nur ein reduziertes Abbild der Realität, doch sie liefern brauchbare Ergebnisse. Zudem gibt es viele andere Indizien für einen menschengemachten Klimawandel, die von der AfD ignoriert werden.“ Following your argumentation, then merely some inconsistent representations would collide. Why should you believe my assertion and not that of AfD? They would possible depict warming in blue, making it less severe! I guess, I know the answer – because my explanation resonates better with your school of thought.
Your assertion “To represent the dynamics of geophysical climate, science needs graphs, metaphors, colours, fundings, politics, negotiations, peer review, press conferences, and so on.” mixes different processes. Present to whom? When we condense our knowledge into a theory, we do not need metaphors, but we need concepts and mathematics. Try to do once in your life a scientific analysis of a simple problem of disentangling climate dynamics or of determining the climate state. You are all too often just describing the surface of what is going on.
Your final assertion “the authoritative insistence on being a "superior form of knowledge", are indicators that the authority of science is shattered.“ I find difficult to understand. First “being a” points to a person? And, where do you think the “authority of science” comes from – because people have been tricked into such a belief?

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Werner, Hans

Maybe part of your dispute hinges on a position on 'science'. You seem to have different concepts about what science is and what makes it valuable or powerful in society. Your exchange harks back to many many debates we had on this blog about the relation between science and society. What occurs to me is that we do not seem to make much progress in terms of resolving differences. Hans claims science is better knowledge because it is based on something called 'the scientific method', whereas Werner says science cannot be understood separately from society and has many other ingredients apart from 'the scientific method'.

My suggestion would be to change the conceptual framework, from science and scientists to expertise and experts. As soon as we do this we realize that it is not a specific method that makes one body of knowledge 'superior' but a detailed knowledge of a domain area. People who know a lot about something will normally outfox people who know less and thus establish their 'superiority.' This is what Werner does when it comes to social relations and the role of knowledge and culture. Hans does the same on the level of detection, attribution, modelling of climate change.

Of course there are other aspects to the entangled debate, such as Hans's insistence on the Popperian principle of falsification. This is not shared universally among scientists, and, after Kuhn, claimed by some historians of science to be a myth or rhetorical device rather than practice. See Dan Saewitz's argument in the other post.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Andreas

es hilft in der Tat weiter wenn man ein Problem in seiner Struktur besser erfasst. Mein Beitrag war nicht darauf ausgerichtet die Naturwissenschaften anzugreifen. Es geht darum was man, nüchtern betrachtet und im Rückblick, als Lehren ziehen kann aus den beiden globalen Umweltproblemen Ozonschicht und Klimawandel. Das eine als Modell für das andere zu nehmen ist ein Fehler, so das Argument. Stimmen Sie dem zu?

Anonymous said...

@ Reiner Grundmann

Das eine als Modell für das andere zu nehmen ist ein Fehler, so das Argument.

An der Stelle beginnt schon mein Problem: Was bedeutet "etwas als Modell nehmen"? Bedeutet das: Die Wissenschaft hat CO2 als Problem identifiziert, also schließen wir wie damals beim Ozon einen globalen Vertrag, Problem gelöst.?

Ich denke, dass jeder, der in Klimapolitik irgendwie involviert ist, weiß, dass es Parallelen und Unterschiede gibt.

Parallel:
Ohne globalen Vertrag ist die Erreichung jedweder Klimaziele kaum möglich. Solange anthropogene Emissionen die CO2-Konzentration erhöhen, wird die Erwärmung immer weiter voranschreiten.

Unterschied:
Es gibt keinen preisgünstigen Ersatzstoff, unsere Gesellschaft basiert (noch) auf der Verbrennung fossiler Rohstoffe. FCKWs bauen sich in Jahrzehnten von alleine wieder ab, CO2-Emissionen führen zu höheren CO2-Konzentrationen für viele Jahrhunderte bis Jahrtausende.


Jeder weiß also, dass das Klimaproblem deutlich schwieriger zu lösen ist (ich vermeide mal den Begriff "wicked") als das Ozonproblem. Bei Ihnen klingt es so, als hielten Sie die Verhandlungsführer für naiv.

Trotzdem hat man keine Wahl als zu versuchen, Fortschritte im Hinblick auf globale Abkommen zu erreichen (und Hand aufs Herz: hätten Sie geglaubt, dass ein Abkommen wie in Paris erzielt, möglich ist?).

Spannender als zu diskutieren, was "wicked" ist und was nicht, ist daher m.E. nicht die Frage, OB man Fortschritte erreichen kann, sondern WIE solche ermöglicht werden. Hört man auf Ökonomen, dann scheint es dort quasi einen Konsens zu geben, dass ein Mindestpreis auf carbon das Mittel erster Wahl sein sollte. Das überzeugt mich: globale Verhandlungen über einen Mindestpreis (über Mindeststeuersätze) scheinen mir leichter zu sein als globale Verhandlungen über Reduktionen bei CO2-Budgets.

Bei Ihnen klingt es immer so, als seien Lösungen grundsätzlich nicht möglich und als hätten Sie sich daher schon mit dem zukünftigen Einsatz von geoengineering als Schadensbegrenzung abgefunden. Diese Einstellung teile ich nicht, das ist in meinen Augen Defätismus.

Wenn im Flugzeug ein Triebwerk brennt, dann brauche ich als Passagier jetzt niemanden, der ruft Wir werden abstürzen, wo sind die Fallschirme?. Ich brauche Leute, die zuvor alle anderen Möglichkeiten ausprobieren und ausschöpfen.

Und noch etwas:
Wie wird man in 100 - 200 Jahren rückblickend das Klimaproblem betrachten?
Vielleicht wird es in den nächsten Jahrzehnten schon Möglichkeiten geben, Energie preisgünstiger zu produzieren als mit fossilen Rohstoffen. Vielleicht wird man dann rückblickend feststellen, dass das der Zeitpunkt war, an dem das Klimaproblem gar nicht mehr so wicked war und dann ähnlich (wenn auch nicht ganz so zügig) gelöst wurde. Wer weiß?


Andreas

Günter Heß said...

@Reiner

Of course it helps to categorize a problem.
Not so much in finding a solution, but rather in the approach of the problem solving strategy towards a solution. Interesting enough politics for my opinion did not choose the scientific approach towards a solution.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Andreas

Mein Beitrag war doch sehr kurz und simpel. Das Konzept des wicked/tame problems ist zentral. Sie wollen sich nicht drauf einlassen, das ist Ihre Meinung. Ich hätte gedacht dass Sie an Argumenten interessiert sind, und die lange Liste der Beiträge oben hat gezeigt, welche in Position gebracht wurden. Verschiedene Beiträge identifizieren verschiedene Lösungen des Problems (oder Indikatoren dafür). Das zeigt, dass es keine Übereinstimmung gibt, was als Lösung gelten kann. Fortschritt bei spezifischen Fragen ist durchaus möglich, und Ihre Unterstellung ich würde das abstreiten ist pure Fantasie.

FCKW und CO2 haben beide eine atmosphärische Verweildauer von ca. 100 Jahren. Da FCKW nur eine industrielle Quelle haben ist der Lösungsweg durch einen Produktionsstopp der Stoffe erreichbar, ganz im Gegensatz zu CO2.

Aus dem Ozonfall wurden zwei falsche Lehren gezogen, 1. die Annahme, dass das Montreal Protokoll auf wissenschaftlichem Konsens beruhte, und 2. dass globale targets und timetables verbindlich festgesetzt werden müssen. Bis Paris wurden Im Klimafall dieselben Strategien eingesetzt, jetzt ist 2. gestrichen. 1. ist noch da hilft aber nicht bei klimapolitik.

Anonymous said...

@ Günter

Was wäre deiner Meinung nach der "scientific approach towards a solution."?
Vielleicht hilft mir das ja, den Sinn der Kategorisierung zu verstehen.


@ Reiner

Danke, jetzt verstehe ich besser, was mit Modell gemeint ist.

Richtig, der Wegfall von Punkt 2 hat das Pariser Abkommen ermöglicht, aber wir sind uns einig, dass Paris nur ein erster Schritt sein kann.
Im Grunde ist es doch ganz einfach: Ein Herunterfahren der anthropogenen Emissionen ist die notwendige Bedingung dafür, dass die globale Erwärmung irgendwann mal stoppt. Ohne das geht die Erwärmung immer weiter (und bei positivem carbon cycle feedback braucht man sogar irgendwann negative Emissionen dafür). Das muss irgendwann vertraglich fixiert werden, egal ob man ein 1,5°, 2°, 3° oder 8°-Ziel anstrebt.

Wie gesagt, ich halte Ansätze wie von Tol oder anderen Klimaökonomen (die scheinen da auch so eine Art Konsens zu haben ;-) ) für zielführender. Man beachte, dass der Weg über Mindestpreise für carbon ebenfalls die Punkte 1 und 2 beinhalten. Bin jetzt selbst kein Ökonomiefachmann, aber wenn von Nordhaus über Hope bis zu Tol sich da alle einig sind, dann hinterlässt das schon Eindruck.

PS: Die Langlebigkeit einiger FCKWs hatte ich in der Tat unterschätzt.


Andreas

Günter Heß said...

@Andreas
Das war lediglich eine Feststellung.
Wenn ich das mit den "wicked problems" aus dem Internet verstanden habe gibt es verschiedene Lösungsstrategien für "wicked problems".
Zusammenarbeit, Wettbewerb oder Festlegung durch eine Autorität. Beim letzteren reduziert man die Komplexität dadurch, dass man eine autoritäre Entscheidung trifft.
Eine wissenschaftliche Lösungsstrategie hätte ich jetzt unter Wettbewerb und Zusammenarbeit zusammengefasst. Ich denke der wissenschaftliche Ansatz ist eine Lösungsstrategie die dem Ansatz von Richard Tol nahe kommt.
Den Ansatz den die Politik in Deutschland und Europa gewählt hat scheint mir eher der einer autoritären Entscheidung zu sein. Anscheinend wird dieser Ansatz bei uns zur Zeit von der Politik aber auch Teilen in der Klimawissenschaft wie dem PIK bevorzugt. Zumindestens kommt das bei mir so an.

Ich persönlich bin da eben eher bei Richard Tol und der carbon tax die meines Erachtens eben Wettbewerb und Zusammenarbeit als Lösungsstrategie stärker fördert.

Anonymous said...

@ Günter

Die Kategorie "wicked" scheint so kompliziert zu sein, dass mir niemand in ein paar Sätzen erklären kann, welche praktischen Implikationen für Klimapolitik sich daraus ergeben *sarc*. Aber ohne die praktischen Implikationen zu nennen wird es schwer werden, damit in der medialen Öffentlichkeit Aufmerksamkeit zu überzeugen.

In Sachen carbon tax stimmen wir ja überein. Ich hoffe, ich habe niemanden verschreckt, als ich davon sprach, das sei Konsens unter Klimaökonomen.

Nur: Reiner Grundmann schrieb ja
Aus dem Ozonfall wurden zwei falsche Lehren gezogen, 1. die Annahme, dass das Montreal Protokoll auf wissenschaftlichem Konsens beruhte, und 2. dass globale targets und timetables verbindlich festgesetzt werden müssen.
Punkt 2 braucht man auch hierfür. Bedeutet "wicked" jetzt, dass das Umsetzen eines globalen Mindestpreises für carbon zum Scheitern verurteilt ist? Grundmann schweigt dazu.

Ob autoritäre Ansätze Grundmann gefallen würden? Möglich wäre da einiges, z.B: Eine Kerngruppe der G20 beschließt einen Karbon-Mindestpreis. Für Länder, die diesen nicht einführen, wird für deren Handelsgüter ein Importzoll verhängt, der dem Mindestpreis entspricht. Hat die Wirkung einer carbon tax, nur erhält jetzt nicht das produzierende Land das Geld, sondern das importierende. Die globale tax käme dann vermutlich recht schnell. Ist nicht meine Idee, das gab es natürlich auch schon von anderen.

Wie gesagt: man kann und sollte darüber streiten, ob Temperaturziele eine geeignete Metrik für Klimaverhandlungen sind. Die Diskussion läuft und viele haben schon andere Ideen präsentiert, ohne dass sie dafür die Kategorie "wicked" gebraucht hätten.

Andreas

Anonymous said...

@ Reiner Grundmann

Fortschritt bei spezifischen Fragen ist durchaus möglich, und Ihre Unterstellung ich würde das abstreiten ist pure Fantasie.

Wenn ich Sie fehlinterpretiert habe, dann tut mir das leid. Mir ist nur aufgefallen, dass Sie hier häufiger von geoengineering gesprochen hat und mir das Fehlen der Ablehnung aufgefallen ist. Ok, Befürwortungvon geoengineering habe ich auch nicht wahrgenommen, Sie sind recht sparsam mit klaren Meinungen. Ich versuche dann immer den Gegenüber zu verstehen. Je weniger dieser von seinen eigenen Ansichten preisgibt, umso mehr muss ich dabei deuten. Leider deutet man auch fehl. Ich schätze, ich war nicht der einzige hier in den Kommentaren, dem das passiert ist. Leute wie der Astronom ATTP machen es mir da leichter.

Andreas

Günter Heß said...

@Andreas

Eine „carbon tax“ ist ja zunächst keine Lösung sondern ein Rahmen der Wettbewerb und Zusammenarbeit fördert, aber die Lösung frei läßt. Sowie das EEG ja auch keine Lösung ist, sondern nur ein Rahmen der bestimmte Lösungen autoritär festlegt und subventioniert.

Reiner Grundmann’s Botschaft ist jetzt: Leute ihr habt Euch verrannt da ihr das Problem falsch kategorisiert habt, denkt über eure Lösungsstrategie grundsätzlich nach.
Er stellt mitnichten konkrete Lösungen in Frage die schon erarbeitet wurden.
Aber worauf er meines Erachtens hinweist ist, dass eine Lösungsstrategie für ein komplexes („wicked“) Problem nicht nur durch eine Kennzahl geregelt werden kann.
Die Frage dreht sich also nicht darum, ob das Temperaturziel oder die CO2 – Reduktion ein geeigneter Indikator ist. Stattdessen ist meines Erachtens Reiner Grundmann’s Botschaft, dass dieser Indikator nicht ausreicht und der alleinige Fokus darauf sogar schädlich sein kann. Das schließt dann an Werner Krauss Kommentar an, denn diese weiteren Indikatoren sind mitnichten nur rein technisch-wissenschaftliche Indikatoren, sondern gesellschaftliche, politische und wirtschaftliche Indikatoren.
Was unmittelbar bedeutet, dass in einem komplexen („wicked“) Problem genau der sozialwissenschaftlich-politische Diskurs um Lösungsansätze und Lösungsstrategien einen größeren Stellenwert einnehmen sollte, statt immer nur mit Botschaften an die Öffentlichkeit zu treten, dass die letzte 2-tägige Hitzewelle eventuell vom Klimawandel verursacht sein könnte überspitzt gesagt.
Dazu kommt, dass man geeignete Indikatoren vielleicht erst erarbeiten muss und da sind dann alle Wissenschaftsbereiche gefragt.
Es ist eben auch in den letzten Diskussionen zu beobachten, dass wir Naturwissenschaftler uns schwer tun die sozialwissenschaftliche Argumentation zu verstehen oder uns überhaupt darauf einzulassen. Der Beißreflex war meines Erachtens in den Kommentaren von ATTP und Eli zu den letzten 5 Artikeln klar zu beobachten. So tun sich dann natürlich auch die Politiker schwer sich für den Diskurs zu öffnen und vielleicht den Ansatz der UN in Frage zu stellen.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Günther Hess

Sie bringen das gut auf den Punkt.

Die Diskussion zeigt, dass das Konzept von 'wicked problems' nicht vorausgesetzt werden kann weshalb viele Missverständnisse kursieren. Es ist nicht gleichzusetzen mit der Problematik öffentlicher Güter, die in Richard Tol's paper angelegt ist. Öfftentliche Güter sind oft einfach bereitszustellen ('zu lösen'), durch entsprechende Allokationsmechanismen (Kooperation, Hierarchie, Anreize). In manchen Fällen kann sogar ein einzelner Akteur das öffentliche Gut erzeugen (klassiche Besipiele sind der Bau einer Strasse, Schule, Leuchtturm...).

Hier ist der Link zu Rittel und Webber's paper, das den Begriff eingeführt hat: http://www.uctc.net/mwebber/Rittel+Webber+Dilemmas+General_Theory_of_Planning.pdf

Andreas, was meine 'Meinung' ist, ist doch wohl weniger interessant. Ich versuche Argumente zu entwickeln. Ich bin kein 'Befürworter' von Geo-Engineering, stelle aber fest, dass das 1.5 Grad Ziel wohl kaum ohne solche Massnahmen erreichbar sein wird. Sind sich die Verfechter eines solchen Ziels der Implikationen bewusst?

Die Klimaproblematik ist vielschichtig, komplex, und vor allem: lang andauernd. Ziele bewegen sich in der Größenordnung von Jahrzehnten oder Jahrhunderten. Niemand kann hier ernsthaft *Lösungen* anbieten. Wir wissen nicht wann und wie das Problem gelöst sein wird.

Das Problem der Metrik, das hier erwähnt wurde ist wichtig. Soziale Indikatoren sind meist unberücksichtigt, so auch in einem neuen Kommentar in Nature Geoscience (der aber immerhin die Vielfalt der wissenschaftlichen Indikatoren aufzählt) 'A post-Paris look at climate observations' ££ http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v9/n9/pdf/ngeo2785.pdf


Anonymous said...

Reiner Grundmann’s Botschaft ist jetzt: Leute ihr habt Euch verrannt da ihr das Problem falsch kategorisiert habt, denkt über eure Lösungsstrategie grundsätzlich nach.

Schön, aber ihr habt mir immer noch nicht erklären können, an welcher Stelle man sich verrannt hat und was der richtigere Weg wäre. Heute haben China und die USA das Pariser Abkommen ratifiziert, "verrannt" würde ich das wirklich nicht nennen.

Seit Jahren werden auch alternative Lösungsstrategien diskutiert, wir haben hier manche angerissen. Wer braucht da den Hinweis, über Lösungsstrategien nachzudenken noch?

Mich hat das alles nicht überzeugen können, ich habe keine neuen Einsichten gewonnen (was natürlich auch an mir liegen kann). Dass das Verhältnis von Reiner Grundmann zu manchen Klimaforschern von gegenseitigem Misstrauen und Abneigung geprägt ist, war auch nicht neu.

Danke jedenfalls für das Gespräch,
Andreas

Hans von Storch said...

"Heute haben China und die USA das Pariser Abkommen ratifiziert" stelt Andreas fest. Ich habe das auch in der Tagesschau gehört - aber ich frage mich, was "ratifiziert" bedeutet? Ich dachte - vermutlich fälschlich - dass eine Ratifikation in den USA durch den Senat oder das Repräsentantenhaus bzw. beide zu erfolgen hat, um für die USA verbindlich zu sein. Deshalb ist das Kyoto-Protokoll von den USA nie ratifiziert worden, trotz Paraphierung durch Al Gore. Dachte ich. Kann jemand die Begriffe und ihre Signifikanz klären?

Günter Heß said...

@HvS

Ich denke das hängt vom Text ab den Obama abgegeben hat. Im Abkommen steht:
"In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, regional economic integration organizations shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by this Agreement. These organizations shall also inform the Depositary, who shall in turn inform the Parties, of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence."

Im Grunde heißt das, dass jeder der beitritt in seiner Beitrittserklärung spezifizieren kann was das genau bedeutet. Im Extremfall lässt der Text meines Erachtens eine reine unverbindliche Absichtserklärung zu.
Man müsste herausfinden, ob im Text von Obama Ratifizierung steht und ob es Einschränkungen darin gibt.

Günter Heß said...

@HvS

Sorry das gilt wohl für die EU.
Aber der Text für Staten ist ähnlich:
"This Agreement shall be open for signature and subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention. It shall be open for signature at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. Thereafter, this Agreement shall be open for accession from the day following the date on which it is closed for signature. Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary."
Dass heißt Zustimmung genügt, ob es von Obama ratifiziert wurde hängt vom Text ab.

Günter Heß said...

@Andreas

Wenn es so einfach wäre hätten die Sozialwissenschaften eine Lösungsstrategie für komplexe „wicked“ Probleme gefunden. Reiner Grundmann hat aus seiner sozialwissenschaftlichen Sicht auf ein Problem aufmerksam gemacht und das zur Diskussion gestellt.
Du und andere haben erst mal die Expertensicht eingenommen die den bestehenden Lösungsansatz bevorzugt, weil es ja auch keinen anderen zu geben scheint. Und man hat ihn ja selbst mit entwickelt und findet ihn vielleicht gut.
Dieser Lösungsansatz sagt jetzt zum Beispiel in Deutschland, dass ineffiziente Technologien nahezu um jeden Preis subventioniert werden müssen. Deshalb steigt ja die mittlere Vergütung durch das EEG anstatt zu sinken, wenn die Technologien effizienter werden. Auf einer höheren internationalen Ebene könnte man das durchaus in Frage stellen, weil es in dieser Ebene eine Ressourcenverschwendung ist. Lässt man sich auf Reiner Grundmann’s Argumentation ein, dann kann man schon mal andenken, ob der Fokus auf nationale Emissionsziele unter nationaler Kontrolle der richtige Weg ist. Ich könnte mir auch vorstellen, dass eine EU zusammenarbeiten könnte und eine europäische Stromversorgung entwickelt. Etwas ähnliches könnte man dann in Asien, Afrika und Südamerika anstreben.
Das wären Lösungsansätze die eben nicht so deutlich auf den Tisch kommen wie die nationalen Anstrengungen. Das heißt neben das Reduktionsziel tritt das Ziel einer effizienten europäischen Stromversorgung und man hat unmittelbar eine zweite Metrik.
International ist die Gemeinschaft und vor allem sind unsere Medien meiner Ansicht nach im sogenannten „blame game“, das bedeutet man sucht bei irgendjemanden die Schuld. Ein Klassiker in vielen Firmen. Will man aber ernsthaft an einer Problemlösung arbeiten muss man aus diesem „blame game“ raus. Das ist zu mindestens meine Erfahrung mit Menschen. Insofern kann ich nur begrüßen wenn Sozialwissenschaftler ihre Stimme erheben und versuchen die Perspektive zu erweitern.

Anonymous said...

@ Günter

Eigentlich wollte ich aufhören, aber hier muss ich noch widersprechen:

Du und andere haben erst mal die Expertensicht eingenommen die den bestehenden Lösungsansatz bevorzugt,...
Hatte ich hier nicht geschrieben, dass ich eine andere Strategie, nämlich einen globalen Mindestpreis von Carbon, als die bessere Metrik halte? Wie ich schon sagte, die Diskussion läuft bereits und es ist müßig zu appellieren, eine Diskussion zu starten.

Dieser Lösungsansatz sagt jetzt zum Beispiel in Deutschland, dass ineffiziente Technologien nahezu um jeden Preis subventioniert werden müssen.

Quatsch. Der gegenwärtige Prozess überlässt es jedem Land selbst zu wählen, wann und wie es CO2-Reduktionen realisieren will.

Andreas

Anonymous said...

@ HvS

Ich schätze, Ratifikation ist im Falle der USA der falsche Begriff.

Was könnte ein Präsident Trump tun, um Paris zu torpedieren?
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/06/obama-trump-climate-change-213942

Viele Grüße,
Andreas

Günter Heß said...

@Andreas

Genau. Alles Quatsch.
Die Quintessenz ist das was ich oben sagte, nur nicht einlassen auf die Gedanken anderer.
Das ist der Kern. Der Beißreflex.
In einem komplexen ("wicked") Problem hilft das eben genau nicht.

Anonymous said...

Genau, Quatsch. Das EEG ist das Ergebnis deutscher Politik und nicht die Folge globaler Ziele oder globaler Klimapolitik.

Aber interessant zu sehen, wie rasch du den Begriff "wicked" für deine speziellen Ziele instrumentalisierst. Ob das alles noch deckungsgleich mit Grundmanns Agenda ist?

Mir jetzt "Beißreflexe" zu unterstellen, ist nicht nett. Was soll diese wehleidige Überhöhung? Ich habe nur etwas als Quatsch bezeichnet (und bin dabei nicht einmal in der schlechtesten Gesellschaft: http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-32362275.html ;-) )

Andreas

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Andreas

Sie schreiben "Seit Jahren werden auch alternative Lösungsstrategien diskutiert, wir haben hier manche angerissen. Wer braucht da den Hinweis, über Lösungsstrategien nachzudenken noch?"

Wenn Sie meinen Beitrag und meine Kommentare lesen, werden Sie sehen dass es beim Klimawandel nicht um Lösungen gehen kann, weil wir die Erfolgskriterien nicht kennen, bzw, diese nur schwammig definieren könen (Vermeidung von 'gefährlichem Klimawandel'). Von Lösungen kann man sprechen, wenn man Klimawandel als Problem eines einzelnen Politikbereichs definiert, in dem klare Erfolgskriterien gelten, wie z.B der Energiepolitik. Dann wird Klimapolitik zur Energiepolitik. Das ist aber ein logischer Sprung, der gerechtfertigt sein will.

Im Fall der Energiepolitik für sich genommen können wir die Kriterien angeben, nach denen Erfolg gemessen werden soll, insofern ist dieses ein zahmes Problem. Das heisst nicht, dass wir in der LAge sein werden es zu lösen, siehe die Arithmetik in diesem Beitrag von Roger Pielke: https://rogerpielkejr.com/2016/07/14/new-paper-on-global-carbon-free-energy/

S.Hader said...

Ich würde gerne mal eine "provokante" Frage stellen. Warum müssen die Sozialwissenschaften (oder andere Fachgebiete) Lösungen für ein politisches Problem entwickeln? Die Lösung der Klimafrage ist ein politisches Problem. Ich frage mich, warum immer die Wissenschaft Lösungen entwickeln soll, wenn a) das eigentlich Aufgabe der Politik ist und b) in den meisten Fällen sowieso nicht das gemacht wird, was die Wissenschaft sagt.

Nebenbei bemerkt, ist die EEG-Umlage ein Indikator dafür, ob wir in 1-2 Generationen soweit sind, dass wir mit deutlich weniger fossilen Brennstoffen unseren Wohlstand halten können? Man kann natürlich einwerfen, dass Temperaturziele oder die CO2–Reduktion keine passenden Indikatoren sind. Aber dann ist es die Höhe einer Strompreisumlage genauso wenig.

Anonymous said...

Wenn Sie meinen Beitrag und meine Kommentare lesen, werden Sie sehen dass es beim Klimawandel nicht um Lösungen gehen kann, weil wir die Erfolgskriterien nicht kennen, bzw, diese nur schwammig definieren können

Ich denke, ich verstehe. Mir kommt der Mauerfall in den Sinn: Eines Tages gab es die Mauer nicht mehr, und man hört bis heute die verschiedensten Erklärungsansätze. Brandts Entspannungspolitik, der Papst, Reagans Rüstungspolitik, Solidarnosc, Gorbatschow uvm. Und vorher? Es gab Streit über Brandts oder Reagans Politik, manche sahen sie als wichtigen Schritt nach vorne an, andere als verhängnisvollen Irrweg. Keine Politik, keine Person, war alleine "die Lösung", aber es ging um den Weg. Ein weiterer Schritt war getan. Und wenn dieser Schritt schon nicht zur Lösung führte, war es immerhin ein Schritt weiter, und hoffentlich in die richige Richtung.

Ist es in der Klimapolitik nicht genauso? Ob es nun das Pariser Abkommen ist, das Entstehen konkurrenzfähiger Erneuerbarer Energien, die bemerkenswerten Entwicklungen bis in die entlegensten Dörfern Afrikas, die Divestment-Bewegung, der wissenschaftliche Konsens uvm. Diese Schritte werden täglich begangen, von Leuten, die diese Schritte für Fortschritte halten. Andere sehen es anders.

Ihr Ansatz erlaubt keine Bewertung dieser Schritte, ihre Leistungen werden eines Tages von Historikern bewertet werden. Und da bin ich wieder beim Thema Meinung: Wer Einfluss auf die Entwicklung nehmen will, der muss sich Meinungen bilden und diese kommunizieren. Meinung kann für oder gegen bestimmte Schritte sein, aber ohne Meinung bleibt man in der Zuschauerrolle.

Manche sind skeptisch gegenüber einigen der gegenwärtigen Schritte, z.B. Paris. Ich kann Kritikpunkte nachvollziehen und hätte mir einen anderen Weg gewünscht. Trotzdem bin ich entspannt, denn Politik ist selbstkorrigierend. Man hat sich (endlich) auf den Weg gemacht, und wenn dieser Weg eines Tages nicht mehr weiterführt, dann wird man die Richtung ändern. Politik ist nicht die Kunst, das theoretisch Beste zu finden, sondern das Machbare zu entdecken und gehen. Hauptsache, man bewegt sich weiter.

Es wäre in der Tat schön, wenn alles einfacher wäre, nach dem Schema: Naturwissenschaft entdeckt ein Problem, man formuliert Ziele, Politik setzt alles um. Aber so einfach ist es nicht. Und wenn jemand denkt, ich dächte so naiv, dann ärgert mich das manchmal, nichts für ungut ;-)

PS:
Erfolgskriterien sind m.E. subjektiv. Für mich wäre es ein Erfolg, wenn wir in diesem Jahrhundert den Schritt zur karbonfreien Gesellschaft schaffen. Wenn es gelingt, die Erwärmung auf unter 3° zu begrenzen. Ob ich damit Pessimist oder Optimist bin, weiß ich selbst nicht.

Grüße,
Andreas

Günter Heß said...


@Andreas
Du hattest doch nach einem konkreten Beispiel gefragt und da taugt die Energiewende, ob man sie jetzt als Erfolg sieht oder nicht ist dabei egal. Es geht darum wie und ob die Energiewende in anderen Ebenen konstruktiv eingebettet ist.
Komplexe ("wicked") Probleme zeichnen sich eben dadurch aus, dass Lösungen die auf einer Ebene als Lösungen erscheinen auf einer anderen Ebene keine mehr sind. Die Energiewende könnte ein Beispiel dafür sein. Der Artikel spricht an, dass das gar nicht erst diskutiert wird.
Reiner Grundmann's Argument ist es jetzt, dass man einen politischen Diskurs deshalb unter Einbeziehung möglichst vieler Stakeholder braucht auf welcher Ebene welche Indikatoren gebraucht werden und wie die miteinander verknüpft sind. Eine Lösungsstrategie für komplexe Probleme sollte diese Verknüpfung herstellen. Diese Komplexität sieht er aus seiner sozialwissenschaftlichen Sicht nicht ausreichend diskutiert. Ein Grund dafür, so habe ich die letzten Artikel verstanden könnte der Fokus auf die Naturwissenschaft und das 2° Ziel sein und auch der Tenor einiger weiterer Artikel in der jüngeren Vergangenheit hier. Das ist meines Erachtens der Kern des Artikels.
Es geht also nicht so sehr, um die konkrete Lösung, das individuelle Kriterium, oder die individuelle Politik eines Nationalstaats oder eine individuelle Aktion die jemand für einen Fortschritt hält, sondern um die Strategie wie man über 100 Jahre hinweg in einer heterogenen Gemeinschaft zu einer Lösung kommt. Man kann das jetzt für eine irrelevante Diskussion halten, aber das bedeutet ja nur, dass man die sozialwissenschaftliche Dimension des Problems die Reiner Grundmann anspricht nicht diskutiert.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Andreas

der Mauerfall ist keine gute Illustration eines 'wicked problem'. Man konnte genau angeben was das Ziel war und wann es erreicht war (deutsche Wiedervereinigung). Allerdings war es über Jahrzehnte eine Utopie, thematisiert von der politischen Rechten.

Ich habe natürlich eine politische Meinung zur Klimapolitik, wie man hier nachlesen kann. Vom Hartwell Paper haben Sie doch auch gehört, oder nicht?

On Politik selbstkorrigierend ist weiss ich nicht. Es gibt das Phänomen der Pfadabhängigkeit, wodurch bestimmte Optionen im Zeitlauf verfestigt werden, obwohl sich abzeichnet, dass diese nicht zielführend sind. Die internationale Klimapolitik ist m.E. ein Beispiel dafür.

Ihre Liste der Schritte in die richtige Richtung ist relativ kurz. Würden Sie auch sagen, dass ALLE der von mir aufgelisteten Optionen in die selbe richtige Richtung gehen? Zur Erinnerung: "rollout
of nuclear power plants across the globe; a switch of all energy supply to solar, wind or biofuels; a transformation of our lifestyles; promotion of vegetarianism; a tax on carbon; implementation of an
emissions trading system; geo-engineering projects; and the abolishment of capitalism."


Günther

Komplexe und tückische Probleme (um mal einen deutschen Begriff zu testen) sind nicht dasselbe. Ein komplexes Problem ist schwer zu lösen, es lässt sich aber lösen, wenn es in seine Einzelteile zerlegt werden kann und die Kausalmechanismen verstanden sind. Ein tückisches Problem widersetzt sich seiner Beschreibung. Sobald wir versuchen es zu definieren verschieben sich das Problem und seine Lösung. Wie gesagt, das IPCC und die UNFCCC haben verschiedene Definitionen des Klimawandels. Es macht einen Unterschied ob wir Klimapolitik als Energiepolitik begreifen oder nicht. Es macht einen Unterschied ob wir Gerechtigkeitsaspekte einbeziehen oder nicht.

Die naturwissenschaftliche und Ingenieursmentalität kann sich mit tückischen Problemen schlecht abfinden. Die Reaktion ist das tückische zu ignorieren, und in ein komplexes Problem zu verwandeln, das danach in eine Reihe simpler Probleme aufgelöst werden kann.

spiegelbot said...

Klimaerwärmung ist keine gute Illustration eines 'wicked problem'. Man konnte genau angeben was das Ziel war und wann es erreicht war (Stop anthropogener CO2 Emissionen). Allerdings war es über Jahrzehnte eine Utopie, thematisiert von der politischen Grünen.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

spiegelbot

Nette Analogie, leider daneben. Ihr Einwurf macht Sinn, wenn man Klimawandel ausschliesslich als CO2 Problem behandelt, Aber selbst dann bleiben die Fragen: Welche anthropogenen CO2 Emissionen sind da genau gemeint? Sollen die CO2 Konzentrationen auf das vorindustrielle Niveau abgesenkt werden? Oder auf 350 ppm/v? Oder auf eine andere Zahl? Und: unter welchen Umständen kann es einen Konsens über eine solche Maßzahl geben?

spiegelbot said...

@ReinerGrundmann

Nette Antwort, leider daneben. Wenn man sich das "CO2 Problem" mal wegdenkt, welches ernste Problem bleibt denn dann bestehen?

Welche anthropogenen CO2 Emissionen sind da genau gemeint?
Alle (Die Zusammensetzung der Quellen hat keinen Einfluss auf den Treibhauseffekt).

Sollen die CO2 Konzentrationen ...
"Konzentration" und "Emission" sind keine Synonyme!

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Meinen Sie die Menschheit kann komplett aufhören CO2, Methan, Lachgas etc zu emittieren? welche Art von Utopie stellen Sie sich da vor? Wie wird die Welt und die Gesellschaft aussehen?

Andreas' Analogie der Wiedervereinigung hat einen Aspekt, der sich für den Klimawandel durchdenken lässt. Das ist die Logik, dass die Wiedervereinigung das Resultat eines Prozesses war, den niemand kontrolliert hat/ kontrollieren konnte. Sie war das Nebenprodukt anderer Umwälzungen (Glasnost, Perestroika, Reagan's aggressive Aussenpolitik). "Die-Mauer-muss-weg!" Rufer waren irrelevant.

Auf den Klimawandel bezogen stellt sich die Frage: unter welchen Umständen können wir uns vorstellen, dass die Menschheit keine Treibhausgasemissionen mehr verursacht? Das Nebenprodukt welches Prozesses wird es sein?

Anonymous said...

Ich bin in weiten Teilen bei Spiegelbot. Klimawandel bringt eine Vielzahl von Problemen mit sich, aber wenn wir als Ursache all dieser Folgeprobleme die globale Erwärmung identifizieren, dann kann die Ursache global warming dadurch gelöst werden, dass keine anthropogenes CO2 mehr emittiert wird. Die Technologien dazu existieren, nicht umsonst werden im AR5 auch die Möglichkeiten negativer Emissionen beleuchtet.

Methan als kurzlebige GHG ist nur ein Problem, falls über tauende Permafrostböden große Mengen freigesetzt werden. Falls dies nicht geschieht, würde es schon genügen, die anthropogenen Methan-Emissionen konstant zu halten, worauf sich eine Gleichgewichtskonzentration in der Atmosphäre bildet.

Natürlich blieben eine Menge Probleme bestehen, schließlich muss man sich an den Klimawandel anpassen.

Wie in meinem Beispiel des Ost-West-Konflikts, der Umgang mit Russland bereitet ja immer noch diverse Probleme.

Die Ursache, das global warming, kann also prinzipiell gestoppt werden. Offen ist, in welchem Zeitraum und mit welcher Erwärmung. Wie es danach weitergehen wird, das können wir getrost derjenigen Generation und den folgenden überlassen, die das Stoppen geschafft haben werden.

Ich möchte jetzt keine Debatte führen, ob das Klimaproblem damit "tame" oder "wicked" ist (mir erscheint dies sowieso als simplifizierendes Schwarz-Weiß-Denken) oder ob man den Stopp des Anstiegs der CO2-Konzentration als "Lösung" bezeichnen sollte oder nicht. Der Kern ist im Grunde doch ganz simpel: Global warming kann durch den Stopp anthropogener CO2-Emissionen aufgehalten werden.

Und ich vermute, dass dieser simple Zusammenhang der Aspekt ist, der einige an die Ozonproblematik erinnert. Der Weg zu diesem Ziel ist so ungeheuer schwierig, das Grundproblem als solches eher nicht.

Andreas

spiegelbot said...

@ReinerGrundmann

Methan, Lachgas
sind wirklich nicht das Problem. So wenig hilfreich die Naturwissenschaften in diesem Stadium sein mögen, sie helfen doch, das Problem klar zu definieren und auf das Wesentliche zu reduzieren. Wenn Sie sich darauf einlassen, sieht das Klimaproblem vielleicht gar nicht mehr so 'wicked' aus.

Wie wird die Welt und die Gesellschaft aussehen?

Deutlich menschenfreundlicher als Welt und Gesellschaft bei 1000 ppm CO2-eq. Sehen Sie das nicht auch so?

Vielleicht nicht: Sie schlagen vor, sich auf einen bislang unbekannten "Prozess, den niemand kontrolliert" und der als "Nebenprodukt" unsere CO2 Emissionen verhindert zu verlassen. Wirklich? Das deutet darauf hin, dass Sie sich des Ernstes der Lage nicht bewusst sind.

Was denken wir denn heute über den Oxford Professor, der um 1780 den Abolitionisten erzählte, dass die Abschaffung der Sklaverei bestimmt als Nebeneffekt bis dato unbekannter "Prozesse" passieren würde?

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Andreas

Die 'globale Erwärmung aufhalten' -- das klingt nicht als ob eine klare Lösung identifiziert wurde.

Sie sagen: Prinzipiell kann sie gestoppt werden, unklar ist in welchem Zeitrahmen. Künftuge Generationen werden sich damit befassen. Das klingt eher nach einem tückischem Problem, meinen Sie nicht?

Ich stelle auch fest, dass Sie Klimawandel als globale Erwärmung umdefinieren. Das ist ein Zeichen eines tückischen Problems: die Beschreibung ändert sich sobald man dem Problem 'auf den Grund' gehen will. Klimawandel hat sehr viele Dimensionen, nicht nur die globale CO2 eq. Masszahl. Das wurde oben schon ausführlich diskutiert, mit dem Kollegen Ken Rice und anderen.

spiegelbot

Meinen Sie wirklich wir könnten Agrikultur betreiben ohne das Klima zu beeinflussen?

Ihr Beispiel der Abschaffung der Sklaverei ist interessant. Dahinter stand das Prinzip der Menschenwürde. Es wurde lokal und regional umgesetzt, ist aber nicht aus der Gesellschaft verschwunden, im Gegenteil. Es gab kein globales Abkommen an dessen Ende die Abschaffung der Sklaverei stand. Das Beispiel wird vielleicht nicht ohne Zufall von US amerikanischen Aktivisten zitiert, die einen sehr engen (US) Blickwinkel haben. Der Kampf gegen die Sklaverei ist so alt wie die überlieferte Geschichte.

Im Fall des Klimawandels gilt das gleiche Prinzip der Menschenwürde. Man kann Menschen den Zugang zu billiger Energie nicht verwehren. Würden Sie soweit gehen und eine Welt bevorzugen, in der radikale Unterschiede im Zugang zu Ressourcen und Energie durch 'wissenschaftliche' Kriterien gerechtfertigt werden?

Sollte man Fettleibigkeit dadurch abschaffen, dass man Leuten verbietet Kohlehydrate zu konsumieren?

Nein, die Ozonproblematik eignet sich nicht als Lehrstück und Modell für den Klimawandel. Denken Sie an die Abschaffung der Sklaverei, oder an die Eindämmung von Malaria. Den Krieg gegen Armut, oder den Krieg gegen Drogen. Jedesmal als der Krieg ausgerufen war, konnte man schon sehen dass er verloren war. Mit der Ingenieur- und Militär-Logik kommt man hier nicht weiter.

Anonymous said...

@ Reiner Grundman

Ich stelle auch fest, dass Sie Klimawandel als globale Erwärmung umdefinieren.

Nein, das haben Sie falsch verstanden. Ich habe im Problemfeld Klimawandel einen Aspekt, nämlich die Ursache (global warming durch anthropogene CO2-Emissionen), herausgegriffen und als notwendige Bedingung zu Fortschritten den Stopp des Fortschreitens des global warmings beleuchtet.

Ein übliches und logisches Vorgehen. Es ist ja auch nicht verkehrt in der Diskussion um die Problematik syrischer Flüchtlinge das Grundproblem, die Lage in Syrien, anzugehen.

Klimawandel hat sehr viele Dimensionen, nicht nur die globale CO2 eq. Masszahl.

Schon klar, aber CO2 ist die Mutter aller Klimawandelprobleme. Das hat Ken Rice auch so verstanden, und die Politik wie die übergroße Mehrheit der Öffentlichkeit ebenso. Ich bin jetzt wieder etwas verwirrt: Eigentlich dachte ich, dass das die Stelle sei, wo wir schnell eine gemeinsame Basis finden.

Andreas

spiegelbot said...

@ Reiner Grundman
"Meinen Sie wirklich wir könnten Agrikultur betreiben ohne das Klima zu beeinflussen?"

Methan, Lachgas sind wirklich nicht das Problem. So wenig hilfreich die Naturwissenschaften in diesem Stadium sein mögen, sie helfen doch, das Problem klar zu definieren und auf das Wesentliche zu reduzieren. Wenn Sie sich darauf einlassen, sieht das Klimaproblem vielleicht gar nicht mehr so 'wicked' aus. Das IPCC Technical Summary (WG1) enthält eine ausgezeichnete Aufbereitung der Grundlagen.

Können wir uns auf Folgendes einigen?
1. Ohne Verbrennung von Kohle, Öl und Gas kein Klimaproblem, jedenfalls nicht dieses, über das wir gerade reden.
2. Ohne drastische, fast vollständige Reduktion dieser Art der Energiegewinnung keine Lösung des Klimaproblems.

Wenn Sie damit nicht einverstanden sind, sollten wir darüber reden. Oder gar nicht.

"Man kann Menschen den Zugang zu billiger Energie nicht verwehren."
Man kann Menschen den Zugang zu billigem Fisch und Fleisch nicht verwehren. (Tierschutz und Fangquoten abschaffen!)

"Sollte man Fettleibigkeit dadurch abschaffen, dass man Leuten verbietet Kohlehydrate zu konsumieren?"
Sollte man Choleraepidemien dadurch abschaffen, dass man Leuten verbietet in den Fluss zu defäkieren?

Sie scheinen sehr darauf fokussiert zu sein, dass man "den Leuten" etwas nicht "verbieten" könne. Einerseits muss das nicht unbedingt sein, um CO2 Emissionen zu verhindern, andererseits ist das ein immerwiederkehrendes "Argument" von Verfechtern wirtschaftslibertärer Ideologien. Sind Sie wirtschaftslibertär eingestellt? Setzten Sie gewisse ideologische Dogmen vielleicht als gegeben voraus? Das fühlt sich im Moment nämlich so an.

Hans von Storch said...

Spiegelbot -

"1. Ohne Verbrennung von Kohle, Öl und Gas kein Klimaproblem, jedenfalls nicht dieses, über das wir gerade reden.
2. Ohne drastische, fast vollständige Reduktion dieser Art der Energiegewinnung keine Lösung des Klimaproblems.
"

nein, dem stimme ich nicht zu. weil ich das Klimaproblem breiter sehe, icht nur als de erwartete Veränderung der Wetterstatistik (=Klima). Ich habe nichts dagegen, dass Sie das machen; Sie werden mir aber erlauben, eine andere meinung zu haben.

Ich bin aber einverstanden mit

1. Ohne Verbrennung von Kohle, Öl und Gas kein absehbares Ende der Klimaänderungen.
2. Ohne drastische, fast vollständige Reduktion kein Ende des Klimawandels.

Reiner hatte ja als "wicked" Kernaspekt die "Nichtfassbarkeit des Problems" genannt. Wenn Sie darauf bestehen, dass Ihre Punkte 1 und 2 das abschließende Wort sind, hinter dem wir uns versammeln müssen, dann sind unsere Kommunikationsmöglichkeiten in der Tat sehr eingeschränkt.

Meinen Sie, dass diese Artikel

http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/madagaskar-wie-ein-dorf-strom-bekam-und-neue-probleme-a-1108279.html

etwas mit "dem" Problem zu tun hat?





spiegelbot said...

@Hans von Storch

Sie scheinen sich bei meinen Aussagen 1. und 2. wohl am Wort "Klimaproblem" zu stören.
(In Ihrem "Ich bin aber einverstanden mit ..." ist unter 1. irgendetwas verrutscht.)

Können Sie dem Folgenden zustimmen?

1. Ohne Verbrennung von Kohle, Öl und Gas keine anthropogene globale Erwärmung, jedenfalls nicht in dem Ausmaß, das uns jetzt Sorgen macht.

2. Ohne drastische, fast vollständige Reduktion dieser Art der Energiegewinnung kein Ende dieser anthropogenen globalen Erwärmung.

Ich finde das Beharren auf ganz präzise formulierten Aussagen ja auch kindisch. Scheint aber nötig, damit nicht sofort jemand wieder das Thema auf pupsende Kühe lenkt.

"Meinen Sie, dass diese Artikel .. etwas mit "dem" Problem zu tun hat?"
Mit "dem Problem" zu tun hat vieles. Insbesondere mit möglichen Lösungen. Wenn man sich aber nicht einig ist, ob es ein Problem überhaupt gibt, wie man es hinschreibt und ob es prinzipiell lösbar ist, scheint es mir kaum sinnvoll, über Lösungen zu reden.

S.Hader said...

"Im Fall des Klimawandels gilt das gleiche Prinzip der Menschenwürde. Man kann Menschen den Zugang zu billiger Energie nicht verwehren."

Sehr geehrter Reiner Grundmann, das passiert doch heute schon! Und nein, nicht wegen Klimaschutzmaßnahmen, sondern rein aus ökonomischen Gründen. Über eine Milliarde Menschen haben keinen Zugang zu einem funktionierenden Stromnetz. Viele Kritiker aktueller und zukünftiger Energiewenden bringen den Einwand, dass eine Reduzierung der CO2-Emissionen automatisch Menschen daran hindern würde, sich zu entfalten. Völlig außer Acht lässt man, dass eine ungleiche Verteilung der finanziellen Mittel Menschen daran hindert, sich entfalten zu können und Nutzen am Wohlstand zu haben. Ich finde, man sollte Prozesse wie die Energiewende (auch wenn viele das abstreiten wollen, mittlerweile ein globales Phänomen) nicht für Missstände verantwortlich machen, die es schon vorher gab.

Natürlich muss auch ein Ausgleich zwischen Klimaschutzmaßnahmen und Wohlstand geschaffen werden. Maßnahmen, die zu enormen Einschnitten im Wohlstand führen, sind nicht tragfähig. Umgekehrt lässt sich der Wohlstand auf Dauer nicht halten, wenn man keine Maßnahmen trifft. In diesem Korridor muss man eine realistische Lösung finden.

"Sollte man Fettleibigkeit dadurch abschaffen, dass man Leuten verbietet Kohlehydrate zu konsumieren?"

Ist denn der Verbot die einzige wirksame Maßnahme, die Ihnen dazu einfällt? Allein mehr Fahrradwege und autofreie Innenstädte sorgt für mehr Bewegung der Menschen und eine Reduzierung des Gewichtes. Man kann mit sanften Maßnahmen oft mehr erreichen, als mit Radikalkuren.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

spiegelbot

What if we have already used up the carbon budget? Some argue that this may well be the case: http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/09/unravelling-myth-of-carbon-budget-for.html

This comment is silent about what it means to 'draw down every ton of carbon from today onwards'.

It also makes assumptions of some nations not being able to adapt to a world of 1 degree warming, let alone 1.5 or 2.

Andreas

With regard to your argument about 'existing technologies to remove emissions' -- the question is at what cost, in which timeframe. I recommend watching Mark Lynas' interview with David MacKay
https://klimazwiebel.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/david-mackay-1967-2016.html

I don't think we have technologies that can be implemented at scale. This is why carbon tax as only instrument is unlikely to word (see my comment on Richard Tol). We need government money spent on R&DD on new, zero carbon, cheap and safe technologies.

Werner Krauss said...

Reiner,

Beim Nachlesen blieb ich bei Deiner und Andreas' Analogie von Wiedervereinigung und Klimawandel hängen. Dabei listest Du in #125 eine Reihe von Faktoren auf, die zur Wiedervereinigung beigetragen haben, um dann extra zu betonen:

""Die-Mauer-muss-weg!" Rufer waren irrelevant."

Dieses Argument möchte ich nicht unkommentiert stehen lassen. Das klingt in meinen Ohren einfach nur arrogant und elitär, so etwas über die Leute, die damals in Ost-Berlin und Leipzig auf die Straße gegangen sind, zu behaupten (beweisen lässt sich eine solche Behauptung sowieso nicht). Es zeigt allerdings, dass im Kampf gegen Klimaaktivisten - und um die dreht es sich hier ja eigentlich - wohl kein Mittel zu schade ist. Was ich wiederum schade finde. Bei aller Kritik an Aktivisten, die auch ich schon ausführlich geübt habe: es geht darum die Kräfte zu bündeln und nicht immer weiter zu spalten. Mit solchen Aussagen wie deiner allerdings verliert man zum einen die "weg mit der Mauer" Rufer (von denen sowieso schon viele zu den Skeptikern und zur AfD übergelaufen sind, wie zu befürchten ist) und zum anderen diejenigen, welche wirklich bereit sind, etwas gegen sinnlose Emissionenverschleuderung zu unternehmen. Und das wäre doch wirklich schade.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Werner

das hast du missverstanden. Ich meinte nicht die Aktivisten im Rahmen der 'Wir-sind-das-Volk' Zeiten, also in den späten 80er Jahren. Mein Kommentar bezog sich auf die rechte Propaganda der 70er Jahre, die weitgehend auf die NPD beschränkt war. Die Rufe nach dem Einriss der Mauer war zu der Zeit politisch nicht legitim, auch die CDU hatte das nicht vorne auf ihrem Wahlprogramm stehen. Die CDU hat die Zeichen der Zeit erkannt als sich ein Fenster öffnete, das die Wiedervereinigung als Option möglich machte. Die Linke (nicht nur die Partei mit dem Namen) hatte sich mit der Teilung als historischem Fakt weitgehend abgefunden. Würdest du dem zustimmen?

Ich habe eine Nachfrage an dich. Wenn du sagst man sollte die 'Kräfte bündeln' und 'etwas gegen sinnlose Emissionenverschleuderung unternehmen', was meinst du damit genau? Schön wäre natürlich, wenn du das in einen Zusammenhang mit der Frage nach absoluten Lösungen (wicked/tame problems) bringen könntest.

Anonymous said...

Werner,

Sie haben mein Unbehagen auf den Punkt gebracht:

"es geht darum die Kräfte zu bündeln und nicht immer weiter zu spalten."

Ich würde jedoch nicht von "Kräfte bündeln" sprechen, das klingt nach Koordinierung. Die wirkenden Kräfte sind diffus und arbeiten teilweise sogar gegeneinander. Es geht eher darum, offen gegenüber den wirkenden Kräften zu sein.

Beispiel:
Ich spüre großes Unbehangen, wenn Aktivisten einen Braunkohlebergbau besetzen, das widerspricht meinen Vorstellungen von Rechtsstaatlichkeit. Und ich glaube, solche Aktionen könnten kontraproduktiv sein in Sachen öffentlicher Meinung. Ich weiß es aber nicht sicher, ich bin daher offen und verfolge die Aktivitäten mit Interesse. Keine Ahnung, wie die Historiker später einmal diese Aktionen bewerten werden. (Hätte jemand gedacht, dass ein Streik in einer Danziger Werft es einmal in die Geschichtsbücher schaffen wird?) Mit offen sein meine ich einfach, nicht Gegner dieser Aktivisten zu werden. Es einfach zu begrüßen, dass jemand etwas bewegt.

Könnte ich mich überhaupt hinstellen und den Braunkohleaktivisten vermitteln, dass Sie falsch liegen? Wenn ich mich auf das Konzept des wicked problem einlasse (und falls ich es richtig verstanden habe), dann wohl eher nicht. Denn wenn ich deren Weg als falsch nachweisen kann, dann würde dies ja voraussetzen, dass ich den richtigen Weg kenne, und wenn es den richtigen Weg gibt, dann wäre das Problem ja gar nicht so wicked. Erzwingt das wicked problem daher nicht große Demut und Skepsis gegenüber den eigenen Vorstellungen und große Offenheit gegenüber den Vorstellungen anderer?

Mein Gegner ist nur der, der keinen Schritt im Nebel gehen möchte. Das ist der einzige, bei dem ich mir sicher sein kann, dass er keine Fortschritte machen wird.

Andreas

Werner Krauss said...

Reiner,

danke für die Klarstellung, da habe ich mich wohl vertan, da trifft meine Kritik Deinen Punkt wirklich nicht. Ich dachte, Du meinst die Demos Ende der achtziger - an die NPD Parolen erinnere ich mich auch noch, das ist natürlich ein anderes Paar Stiefel. Die waren wohl wirklich nicht so wichtig, das stimmt wohl. Da bin ich ja beruhigt, dass meine Lesart falsch war, ist mir eindeutig lieber so! Zum Rest mehr später.

Andreas,

danke für die berechtigte Korrektur: statt "Kräfte bündeln" für diffuse und sich oft widersprechende Kräfte offen sein. Yep.

spiegelbot said...

@Reiner Grundmann

"What if we have already used up the carbon budget? Some argue that this may well be the case: http://www.climatecodered.org/2016/09/unravelling-myth-of-carbon-budget-for.html"

That is pretty scary right?

But what if "climate change is a relatively small problem that can easily be solved"?:
https://www.sussex.ac.uk/webteam/gateway/file.php?name=wps-96-2016.pdf&site=24

And what if "global warming will be a good thing"?:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/05/no-one-ever-says-it-but-in-many-ways-global-warming-will-be-a-go/

Thank you, Prof. Grundmann. Now I can see why the problem is looking wickedly confusing to you.

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Ich stimme Andreas zu, dass es nicht darum gehen kann, 'Kräfte zu bündeln". Denn dann hätten wir ein klares Problem vor Augen mit einem vorgezeichneten Lösungsweg. Nimmt man das Beispiel der Besetzung eines Kohlebergbaus so sind sich viele einig dass Kohle keinen progressiven Beitrag leisten kann in der Klimapolitik. Die Regierung sieht das anders im Rahmen der Energiewende.

Doch wie wäre es mit den klassischen Protesten gehen Atomkraftwerke? Da gehen die Meinungen zwischen Andreas und Werner vielleicht auseinander. Jemand der NUR CO2 Emissionen im Auge hat wird Atomkraft begrüßen, und die Bedenken beiseite schieben. Doch im Fall der britischen Entscheidung einen neuen Reaktor von Frankreich und China bauen zu lassen findet man kaum Unterstützer der Regierungspolitik, nicht einmal die Financial Times:
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4fb27ffe-7bf3-11e6-b837-eb4b4333ee43.html#axzz4KVJiH6PL

Wie es scheint ist auch Energiepolitik kein zahmes Problem.

Andreas: "Denn wenn ich deren Weg als falsch nachweisen kann, dann würde dies ja voraussetzen, dass ich den richtigen Weg kenne, und wenn es den richtigen Weg gibt, dann wäre das Problem ja gar nicht so wicked. Erzwingt das wicked problem daher nicht große Demut und Skepsis gegenüber den eigenen Vorstellungen und große Offenheit gegenüber den Vorstellungen anderer?" Sehr gut formuliert, dem stimme ich zu, mit Ausnahme des ersten Satzes: man kann einen Weg als falsch kritisieren ohne zu wissen was der richtige Weg ist. Es gibt vielleicht viele falsche, und viele richtige Wege. Oder: mehr oder weniger gut geeignete.

spiegelbot

was wollren sie tun wenn das Carbon budget schon aufgebraucht ist? Geo-engineering?

Werner Krauss said...

Reiner, Andreas,

vielleicht sollten interessierte WissenschaftlerInnen die Kräfte bündeln und diese oft widersprüchlichen Aktivitäten derjenigen untersuchen, die mit dem Klimawandel leben und produktive Strategien entwickeln, damit umzugehen - gegen "Emissionsverschleuderung", wie ich das weiter oben lustigerweise genannt habe. Denn soviel sollten wir den Klimawissenschaften schon vertrauen: Emission von Treibhausgasen führt zu Klimawandel, also sollte weniger CO2 etc emittiert werden.

Klimawandel als wicked problem bedeutet ja vielleicht, dass es an unterschiedlichen Orten jeweils spezifische Lösungen dafür gibt. Dem entspräche eine Herangehensweise, die jeweils "situated knowledges" untersucht und wie diese mit anderen verknüpft sind. Die Sozialwissenschaften sind aktiv an diesen Prozessen beteiligt, indem sie das Netzwerk, das patchwork unterschiedlicher Herangehensweisen an und Umgehensweisen mit dem Problem des Klimawandels öffentlich machen. Auch die naturwissenschaftliche Herangehensweise ist ein solches "situated knowledge", das durch diese Netze wandert und in verschiedenen Konstellationen wieder auftaucht.

Ein solcher Ansatz würde die Klimapolitik von dem Dogma der reduzierten meteorologischen Verständnisweise von Klima befreien und die jeweiligen realen "Wetterwelten" mit einbeziehen, in denen wir Menschen nun mal leben. Dann sind Auseinandersetzungen mit den Formen und Produktionsverhältnissen, wie wir Energie produzieren und ver(sch)wenden nicht mehr so leicht als "Interesse" oder "Agenda" zu denunzieren, sondern als eine jeweils historisch und kontextbezogene Praxis, um mit der Herausforderung Klimawandel umzugehen. Es lohnt sich ja vielleicht, für eine solche differenzierte Herangehensweise die Kräfte zu bündeln, oder was meint ihr dazu?

Anonymous said...

@Werner

nicht schlecht ausgedrückt. Insgesamt finde ich die Diskussion hier aber etwas abgehoben. Tatsächlich gibt es viele pragmatische Ideen, die keine Lösung, bspw. Lösung in Hinsicht Abkoppelung Lebensstandard von Verbrauch fossiler Brennstoffe, alleine bringen werden, aber in der Gesamtheit vielleicht schon. Es muss einfach untersützt werden, damit die Ideen überhaupt eine Chance haben.

Ich finde Grundmanns Aussage

I don't think we have technologies that can be implemented at scale. This is why carbon tax as only instrument is unlikely to word (see my comment on Richard Tol). We need government money spent on R&DD on new, zero carbon, cheap and safe technologies.

ziemlich schlecht. Erstens ist sein Glaube eher falsch als korrekt (wahrscheinlich weil er den guten MacKay falsch versteht) und zweitens ist ein globales Problem, eine tief gesellschaftlich-integrierte Energiebereitstellungsart nicht mit Chips für Apollo zu vergleichen, was ja Grundmanns Vorbild ist. Ja, man braucht mehr Föderung zur Entwicklung von Ideen, von Grundlagenforschung wie Fusion bis Anwendungen und Einführung wie ein Wasserstoffzug zwischen Buxtehude und Bremerhaven usw.

Vielleicht ist es die Hauptaufgabe der Politik eher bei der Förderung von Pflänzchen und der Schaffung des richtigen Umfelds. Vielleicht meint ja Grundmann das mit seinem 2. Satz. Jahrzehntelang wurden dagegen bestehende Strukturen geschützt. Noch in den 90er Jahre hatte man große Probleme überhaupt einen Netzanschluss für ein Windrädchen zu bekommen. In den USA wurde Anfang der 80er durch Reagan alles an Forschung zu und Anwendung von EEs niedergemetzelt (der sinkende Ölpreis tat den Rest). Sowas sollte möglichst nicht wieder passieren.

Gruß,
WAIIMHN

@ReinerGrundmann said...

Wahmin

mal eine bescheidene Zwischenfrage: haben Sie den Nature Kommentar gelesen? Wenn ja, wie kommen sie auf eine Aussage wie "Erstens ist sein Glaube eher falsch als korrekt (wahrscheinlich weil er den guten MacKay falsch versteht) und zweitens ist ein globales Problem, eine tief gesellschaftlich-integrierte Energiebereitstellungsart nicht mit Chips für Apollo zu vergleichen, was ja Grundmanns Vorbild ist."

Wenn nein, ist auch gut. Dann lassen sie aber solche Denkfaulheiten sein.

Werner Krauss said...

Nun ist die Diskussion wohl endgültig stecken geblieben? Eigentlich wäre ja WAIIMHN am Zug - der Vorteil der Anonymität ist ja, dass man sich auch ohne Gesichtsverlust entschuldigen und / oder Dinge klarstellen kann -:) Also kein Grund zu verzagen. Und, WAIIMHN, vielleicht würde es auch helfen, zukünftig nicht einfach "Grundmann" zu adressieren, sondern "Reiner" oder Reiner Grundmann oder so - den gibts nämlich wirklich, und das ist schon ein feiner Herr und nicht einfach so eine Netzadresse. Jedenfalls vielen Dank an Reiner für diese Debatte hier, es kommen einem doch immer wieder neue Ideen dabei!