Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Climate in everyday life

Street corner in Bonn, Germany. Poster Green party: "Climate without the ifs and buts. Now. For tomorrow."
I am not sure what that exactly means, literally. But, of course, the fragile blue planet formed as a heart helps to explain.
There is also a sign "bike station". You can easily rent a bike in many cities nowadays.
Without being noticed too much, climate change is part of our everyday culture. We should learn more about it.

Read for example this excerpt from a flyer which school children gave to me:
"Climate change was mainly caused by humans. Latest in 10 - 15 years, greenhouse gases will have to be reduced drastically. Otherwise, one third of all animal- and plant species will be extinct. Thus, we have to act NOW".
Where do they know from? What does that mean? This also relates to the recent posting on klimazwiebel of the thesis on what students think about climate determinism. Before critisizing them too early, we should indeed find out in which world young people acutally live.


ghost said...

Well, political posters are political posters. There are good posters, there are bad posters. Most are bad.

I like this one: Maybe, it is not very successful and works only for people who already have this opinion. Typical Klaus Staeck, I think.

itisi69 said...

Most likely they have been exposed to the the brainwashing, Oscar and Nobel Peace Prize winning crap propaganda by Reverend Al Bore, as well as the doom and hell stories by über-warmist Schellnhuber "We're All Going To Be Drowned!!!"

I guess we'll see rent-a-waterbike stations popping up soon.

Anonymous said...

Since the climate change debate, people who are not interested at all in science or any kind of scientific debate, because their "science" is about exaggerations and fear mongering, are now supported by thousands of climate scientists.

We have to ACT NOW, yesterday was to late. How can any rational being simply believe these things without asking thousands of questions?

And if they (we) dare to ask, they are insulted and discriminated, called holocaust deniers.

Since this "Atomkraft Nein Danke" (No nukes)thing I hate all these fanatics who are convinced to be holier than Moses. They are "SAVING THE PLANET".

And what are we doing? Destroying it?

It's really sad when real scientists start to play this game.

They must have seen to many of those posters when they were young ... ;-)


Werner Krauss said...

Instead of "Deutschland" maybe better: "Grünschland" (Greenschland)? ;-)

I guess there is more at stake than only "green" propaganda. Climate change won the day after 89, after the Cold War. During the Cold War, the world was divided in capitalism / communism, in East and West - it was good to think with. Climate change maybe became the substitute for this world view in a now unified world, in which only capitalism seemed to prevail.
In recent discussions here on klimazwiebel, we more than once realized the ressemblances to Cold War arguments (also on the side of skeptics, who explicitly argue in the name of rationality).
Polemics against apocalyptic thinking is one thing; another is to find out more about the historical dimension of those apocalyptic fears (and the subsequent discussions and world views).
The foto I posted does not represent a 'wrong world' - one might see more in it than only a green poster.

itisi69 said...

@Werner: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself".

Modern society is obsessed with survival and preventing all kinds of calamities. In our country (Holland) there is talk about sending kids to "learn-how-to-fall-safely" courses. Insurance companies thrive by issuing worthless insurance policies.

"We have to act now in case something goes wrong" and create models that prove how wrong it can go. More and more we to sit on the throne of God and determine destiny. We even pretend we can regulate climate...

Do NOT underestimate the indoctrination power of the climate doom sayers. I know young kids who are absolutely convinced that our country will be drowned in 20 years after seeing Al Gore's propaganda.

ghost said...

hm, you said once here in this very blog, green groups, environmentalists, etc. were one important point why environment protection has such high standards in Germany for instance and why we have cleaner rivers, lakes, etc now. Well, not all arguments of these groups were scientifically perfect, a lot scaring was used, some arugments were even really wrong. However, I do not see anything bad in SO4 emission reduction, in car catalysators, etc etc.

Nuclear power is a nice example: lot of scare, but w/o the grassroot movements we would not know how bad the Asse II deposite really is (how can be there 10 times more waste than thought? Who had the benefit from that?) and how corrupt all involved persons have been.

It is interesting that anti-democratic countries that forbid and fight against such groups have a lot more environmental problems. In the GDR for example, environment protection groups were pure grassroot and enemies in point of view of the regime. In the GDR we had a lot of environmental problems. Of course, there might be other problems, like money, but the link is quite there.

Did something change now? Werner? Did you change your opinion from above? Fact is (yes, I am pretty "determined" on this): natural climate change was often a big problem in the history of mankind. Even regional, man-made climate changes caused big problems. Why should we produce our own global change, even if it is clear we will not die or one third of all species will not be extinct? It is not rational, IMHO, because in contrary to the alarmists I believe can adapt to certain amount of climate change and to a dramatic reduction of our CO2 footprint.

And yeah, there are also other big problems on this earth, maybe they are partially overshadowed by the climate change stuff. We should change it. But I cannot see any reason why we cannot tackle all. Most of them are not in conflict with each other.

Werner Krauss said...

Thanks for that, ghost! No , I did not change my mind. I just try to take another look at this kaleidoscopic phenomenon. I am fascinated by the photo and that we can read everything on it, from the poster to the bike station etc. Imagine you came from Mars - what the hell do all these signs mean? You would have no idea. To put it into anthropological terms: we see here a web of meanings which can only be read by those who share this knowledge. It is embodied knowledge (which is different from scholarly knowledge). Whatever our opinion is, we can state that "climate" has become part of this cultural knowledge, it is somehow embedded in our cultural knowledge. A specific idea of air, atmosphere, environment and sociality has won the day. We can watch these ideas in the making. This is a different approach to our climate topic, I guess. It is not about finding the absolute truth about climate, but it is following the process how climate becomes more and more part of our everyday, economic, political etc. activities. Climate is kind of 'unfolding'. For example, at a street corner in Bonn, Germany.
P.S.: And, of course, you are right: without the environmental movement, we would not know about the criminal ways the nuclear industry dump their waste in Asse.

Anonymous said...

@Werner Krauss

Most of the people posting here are scientists. In the beginning nuclear power was supported by most scientists and fear from the future and technical progress was heavily criticized by the scientific community.

In the 1960ties, 70ties and 80ties I believed in science itself and I mostly believed scientists.

I still think that we should not be afraid of nuclear power but we should fear human fanatics.

One of the reasons that nuclear power has become so expensive and that there was no technical progress in this area for nearly 20 years are those fanatics an Castor-terrorists.

Some still call it freedom of expression. I call them Terrorists.

There exist solutions for nuclear waste.

There may be criminals on the other side too, but we should also start two calculate the exact costs of mislead environmentalism.

I can't really express myself in english, but I hope nobody gets this wrong.

Environmentalism is a very important and good thing, scientific progress is also a good thing. Lies and fanatism are bad things.


Werner Krauss said...

Don't worry, yeph, you express yourself very well! You are a man with strong opinions, indeed! I think we all sometimes dream of Science with a big S - a SCIENCE that will end all disputes in the name of truth. But unfortunately, I think this is too much to expect. Thus, we still have to negotiate everything in our parliaments, communities, organizations, families, on the streets etc.

Calling anti-nuclear protesters 'fanatics' or 'Castor terrorists' also doesn't solve the problem. It is your opinion, that's fine, but it is not very helpful, I guess.
According to today's spiegel online, this fall 20 or 30.000 people are expected to protest the next Castor transport. All of them terrorists? Remember Wendland 1980 or Brokdorf 1981, with police beating up the protesters. It didn't help to make nuclear energy attractive. Quite the contrary, it is considered now by many as a polluter of the environment AND as a danger for democracy. The permanent scandals about Asse also don't help very much.
The spiegel article has also a nice time-line of anti-nuclear protests in Germany:,1518,717282,00.html

Anonymous said...

Hello Werner,

1980 and 81, protesting against nuclear power was the expression of a political opinion. We were afraid of the cold war and it may sometimes be helpful to protest in such a way.

Today, we know that the Castor transport is useful. Stopping it is very dangerous and costs a lot of money and the community has to pay (a funny "Erlebnisweekend").

The environmental movement is part of our society. They have a stronger voice than the average citizen. There is no need in our society that a small group of extremists forces the community to do what they like, whatever it is.

Imagine the fundamental islamists claiming the same rights.

And this is exactly what happens with the climate fanatics too. People who defend the principles of an open society and a trustworthy science, the defenders of integrity, honesty and fairness are called climate sceptics and even denialists.

The hysteric activists who would not even allow one single layman to doubt one single aspect of a dangerous global warming call us fanatics. The politicians have their arms and ears wide open for those people and they still feel oppressed.

As you can see in this blog, and in many other blogs, like real climate, they are not joking. Nothing is fun or science or discussion. For them it's like a war.

Why don't we try to find a solution for nuclear waste? Why don't we try to keep the rivers and the oceans clean? Why do we still fight here when we could already be reinforcing the dams all around the world.

This is just not the point. Those scientits behave just like an oppressed minority.

Most people I can call friends are/were "Atomkraftgegner", "Müslis" and even green fanatics. I don't call them terrorists.

We don't have enough money to let old people die in dignity, but this neo-pseudo-green-revival is much more important, isn't it?

Best regards and
remain honest

gregor said...

as a trained biologist/ecologist i always shiver when i read about the assumed causation climate change -> biodiversity loss.
in my eyes this is, sorry, bullshit! in a changing climate without human interference, most populations would simply adjust their geographical ranges, (evolutionary adaptations would also be imaginable).
if you look at the causes of current biodiversity loss it becomes clear that habitat loss due to increasing human population as well as eutrophication and pollution are the main drivers of the so called 6th extinction wave. and i don't refer to CO2 as a pollutant.

it seems that blaming climate change/CO2 for as many bad things as possible (if not ALL bad things) just reflects nowadays common sense.