Monday, February 28, 2011

What do we know? Is it enough to start action?

In a previous comment, I asked the following question: "The problem is climate - we don't understand exactly how and why it changes and what that means. Or do we?" Our estimated contributor Andreas responded and points to a discussion of exactly these questions. He writes:
"Zeke on Lucias blackboard and J. Curry at her blog tried to summarize the results in connection with their personal estimation of likelihood. Zeke writes about his motivation:
"My personal pet peeve in the climate debate is how much time is wasted on arguments that are largely spurious, while more substantive and interesting subjects receive short shrift. While I’m sure a number of folks will disagree with me on what is spurious vs. substantive, I think it would be useful to outline which parts of the debate I feel are relatively certain, are somewhat uncertain, and quite uncertain."

Andreas suggests that in case we agree upon certain facts, we could move forward to the next question: What kind of climate policy do we support and what is the basis of our differences?

Is the independent climate data assessment near?

The Guardian has a report today about a team of researchers led by Richard Muller at Berkeley. The Berkeley Earth Project  wants to create and analyse the largest dataset ever:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jerry Ravetz on non-violent conflict resolution

Jerry Ravetz has a guest post over at whatsupwiththat. He reflects on the Lisbon workshop, and you can read his lecture at the public event at the Fundação Gulbenkian.  Judith Curry has an excellent summary of Jerry Ravetz' post on climate Etc; as usual with highly interesting comments.   In my opinion, Jerry does a great job in addressing the gridlocks and fights in the climate debate. He really adds something to the debate and thus maybe helps to shift debate on to another level. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

Lisbon revisited: terra de ninguém, clima de ninguém

The Lisbon workshop still lingers on in the blogosphere. Have a look at Judith Curry's interesting chapter XI on Lisbon. Sometimes, I just sit and wonder about the imagery used in this "climate war reconciliation debate".  Here a comment by Steve McIntyre, who also blogs today on Lisbon: “the Team boycotted the Lisbon reconciliation workshop in order to perpetuate its fatwa against critics.” (my emphasis)
The current climate debate switches between Cold War and 'war on terror' rhetoric; indeed, reconciliation needed! One leitmotif of the Lisbon workshop was the implementation of 'non-violent conflict resolution'.  Bishop Hill got the Valentine spirit of the message and sent it to Lisbon. Judith suggests to replace old war terminology through a more religious one: What about  the "convinced" versus the "unconvinced"?  My inner Bodhisattva reminds me that climate is not a 'versus' thing but that climate means shared unity: Om mani padme hum - we all should take a deep breath from time to time (and then go back to the blogoshpere)!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Climate change and extreme flooding linked by new evidence?

The Guardian reports that a new study quantifies the anthropogenic part of increased flooding:
"It shows climate change is acting here and now to load the dice towards more extreme weather," said Myles Allen of Oxford University, who led the work, which he started after his own home was nearly flooded in 2000. It will also have wider consequences, say experts, by making lawsuits for compensation against energy companies more likely to succeed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Germany's way towards a low carbon future

Carbon sequestration - information leaked (Greenpeace, spiegel online) about possible future sites for carbon storage. Greenpeace spread the information that the administration still wanted to hold back; a map shows 408 possible sites. Most of them are in the North of Germany;  the Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR) in Hannover [Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources] had asked geologists to identify geologically suitable sites. This is a first step only, but Greenpeace got hold of the map and considered it necessary to inform the public - for some it might come as a real (and unwelcome) surprise. Whatever we might think about the potential of Carbon Capture & Storage to mitigate anthropogenic climate change - obviously, the low carbon future is here to begin.

CRUDE - news from the decline of the fossil fuel age

Last June on klimazwiebel, we discussed some aspects of the fossil fuel age, especially the Texan oil spill and the case Texaco / Chevron versus Ecuador. I wrote: "Oil means uncontrollable corporate industries, corruption, irresponsibility, dependency." Who ever was so naive to think that justice might succeed in an oil story? Today, we can read in the Wallstreet Journal  and spiegel-online that the Ecuador / Chevron case came to an surprising end: Chevron will have to pay $8.6 billion dollars to clean up the rain forest, and they have to publicly apologize.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Climate Models - Reading material for educated lay people

When discussing elements of climate science, it may be worthwhile to invest some time in understanding a key tool, namely the models. For doing so, you may refer to books or to review articles. Here I give some recommendations:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sociology and the Climate Debate

Over at the European branch of the Breakthrough Institute, there is an exciting debate about the role of sociology in the climate change debate. Our klimazwiebel author Reiner Grundmann  and Nico Stehr make an argument for social constructivism and make a warning to the sociologists in the field: "the inherent alarmism in many social science contributions on climate change merely repeats the central message provided by mainstream media."  Here you find an excellent summary of their arguments, as well as a link to their article "Climate Change: what role for sociology? An answer to Constance Lever-Tracy".


Recently, the skeptic dominated the blogosphere (at least the one I inhabit). But, of course, mainstream climate discourse is still alarmist. Maybe it's weakened; maybe there were exaggerations and too many scandals - but come on, keep it real:  there are still global climate negotiations; the IPCC is still alive & well; national energy policies go green everywhere, and the next wind turbine is just round the corner. And oh, I almost forgot: there is still anthropogenic global warming! Alarmism is not dead?!? After having caressed the skeptic for such a long time, maybe it's time to bring back the alarmist. Help needed? Be your own judge and read Paul Krugman's recent alarmist comment in the New York Times:

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Saturday, February 5, 2011

"Ich bin nur Geologe" - zur Stimmung im Lande

Ab und an bekomme ich Mails von interessierten und gebildeten Laien, die sich zum Thema Klimawissenschaft und/oder Klimapolitik äussern. In der Regel drücken diese Zuschriften ein Unwohlsein aus, wie es offenbar recht weit verbreitet ist. Vor wenigen Tagen bekam ich die folgende Zuschrift, die ich mit Erlaubnis des Autoren, allerdings ohne Namensnennung, hier veröffentliche. Sozusagen, als Fallstudie zur Stimmung im Lande, womit nichts über die Repräsentativität gesagt sein soll. Aus meiner Praxis darf ich aber sagen, dass dies keine Einzelmeinung ist, sondern in Varianten immer wieder aufscheint.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

More Lisbon stories

Here in the NewScientist you can read Fred Pearce's report from the Lisbon workshop. It is kind of sober and disillusioned, and it gives some fine examples of the topics discussed: the 'uncertainty monster', the 'totemic' hockey stick, ocean osscilliations ('pet subject')  and the 2 degree limit. He also writes  'Much time at the meeting was taken up bitching rather than conciliating.' Totems, pets, monsters and bitches...quite an assembly in good ol' Lisbon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lisbon revisited 1923 - 2011 (in Portugues, German and English)

Lisbon revisited (1923) Álvaro de Campos
Não: não quero nada.
Já disse que não quero nada.

Não me venham com conclusões!
A única conclusão é morrer.