Tuesday, February 14th 2012, 3:47 PM EST
Hell has finally frozen over! Fritz Vahrenholt, one of the fathers of Germany’s environmental movement who has headed the renewable energy division of RWE, that country’s second largest utility company, has co-authored a new blockbuster book with geologist/paleontologist Sebastian Luning announcing that the climate catastrophe heralded by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been called off. Titled “The Cold Sun: Why the Climate Disaster Won’t Happen”, it raises a man-made blizzard of icily numbing challenges to IPCC competence in general, and to their exaggerated attributions of CO2 greenhouse warming influence in particular.
Such charges from a prominent socialist and former global warming doctrine apostle have really taken the alarmist community by storm…and their symbolic timing as Germany has been experiencing its worst cold snap in 26 years made the message even more dramatic. Three of Germany’s most widely read news publications, Bild, Der Spiegel, and Die Welt immediately took notice, releasing skeptical climate science articles in their print and on-line editions.
The initial Bild article titled “The CO2 Lie” addressed “What the IPCC of the U.N. doesn’t tell you”, and then asks, “…what if the IPCC is wrong? Can we really blindly trust these experts? Are they really independent?” They then conclude, “The phenomenal prognoses of heat from the IPCC are pure fear-mongering.” Part 2 titled “There Hasn’t Been Any Global Warming In 12 Years!” emphasizes that CO2 is not that potent of a gas, and that a doubling would lead to only a 1.1°C temperature increase. Yet the IPCC fudges the models so that they produce a much higher increase because of the assumed water-vapor amplifier. This assumption is really on shaky ground.
Bild notes that while soot also is a major contributor and that a recent study shows that it was seriously underestimated just a few years ago, “…the IPCC decision-makers are fighting tooth and nail against accepting the roles of the oceans, sun, and soot.”Accordingly, IPCC models are completely out of whack. “The facts need to be discussed sensibly and scientifically, without first deciding on the results.”
Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel featured a 4-page interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated book statements that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate. He predicted that taking CO2’s true influence into account and extending past natural cycles into the future would most likely produce a few tenths of a degree of cooling. And although the book authors don’t deny that CO2 has some warming influence, they believe the Sun plays a far greater role in the whole scheme of things.
In a full page Die Welt interview, Vahrenholt explains why he grew skeptical of the IPCC. One problem was that the IPCC had the habit of filtering out important scientific findings so that they never appear in the summary reports. He also gives three reasons why he expects it to get cooler in the future: 1) we are or soon will be beginning on the downward flank of the Sun’s Gleissberg and Suess cycles, 2) the ocean cycles will be in their negative phases over the next decades, and 3) we currently find ourselves in the weakest phase of solar activity in 80 years, and the next solar cycle could be a very weak one.
Dr. Vahrenholt’s lack of trust in the IPCC’s objectivity and veracity took root two years ago when he became an expert reviewer for their report on renewable energy. He recently commented: “I discovered numerous errors and asked myself if the other IPCC reports on climate change were similarly sloppy.” When he pointed out the inaccuracies to IPCC, their officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned by this, he asked himself “Is this the way they approached climate assessment reports?”
After carefully studying the matter Vahrenholt decided, “ I couldn’t take it any more. I had to write this book.” He explains that then after digging into the IPCC’s climate report he was horrified by what he found. On top of discovering numerous factual errors there were issues involving 10 years of stagnant temperatures, failed predictions, Climategate e-mails, and informative discussions with dozens of other elite skeptical scientists. The book cites more than 800 sources to back up conclusions, including many peer-reviewed papers that appeared after the IPPC’s 2007 report was released.
Vahrenholt and Luning aren’t the only leading German climate scientists to find that IPCC’s global warming projections are exaggerated. In 2001 Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research who serves as the German government’s climate protection advisor, co-authored a paper refuting reliability of Global Climate Models upon which their alarmist projections are based. It stated: “We analyze temperature records of six representative sites around the globe simulated by the models for two scenarios: 1) with greenhouse gas forcing only, and 2) with greenhouse gas plus aerosol forcing. We find that the simulated records for both scenarios fail to reproduce the universal scaling behavior of the observed records and display wide performance differences. The deviations from the scaling behavior are more pronounced in the first scenario, where also the trends are clearly overestimated.”
More recently Schellnhuber admitted in a speech before agricultural experts that “warmer temperatures and high CO2 concentrations in the air could very well lead to higher agricultural yields.”
While Vahrenholt and Luning have found no evidence of any coming CO2 climate catastrophe, they continue to believe in switching to renewable energy sources, but doing so in a rational “work fast, but don’t hurry ”manner. In the Die Welt interview Vahrenholt comments that Germany’s 25,000 megawatt solar capacity and 29,000 megawatt wind capacity are very volatile sources that require conventional power plants to balance out power supply.
The weather-dependent, sporadic nature of those “renewable” energy sources has already begun to wreak havoc on Germany’s power grid, and threatens to destabilize others all across Europe. After tens of billions of euros have been spent on these systems, raising consumer electricity prices in the process, not a single coal or gas-fired power plant has been taken off line. Ironically, Germany, once a net power exporter, now imports electricity from French nuclear facilities and fossil-powered plants in neighboring countries. They became an importer after their government closed 8 of the older 18 nuclear reactors in the fearful aftermath of Japan’s Fukushima disaster.
Given that Germans are broadly regarded to be a technically adept, pragmatic population, the question remains how these sane and sensible people have bought into man-made IPCC-hyped climate change hysteria and blind-faith renewable energy salvation as long as they have. Indeed, there is some evidence that growing numbers are finally having second thoughts. Today, only 31% of Germans are afraid of a global warming. In 2006 that number was double.
There’s actually an encouraging trend on our side of the ocean also. While Rasmussen polls since May 2010 indicate that people are about equally divided on whether human activity or long-term planetary trends are “to blame” for global warming, the majority don’t trust climate science very much at all.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American adults shows that 69% think it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. This is up 10% since December 2009. Included are 40% who say it is very likely, while 10% are undecided. Fifty-seven percent believe there is significant disagreement within the scientific community, up 5% from late 2009. And although Republicans and those not affiliated with either major party feel strongest that some scientists have falsified data to support their own global warming theories, 51% of Democrats agree.
So here are a couple of final questions to ponder. Just how well are our own IPCC climate crisis-premised EPA regulations and green energy stimulus programs working so far? And meanwhile, so long as natural gas drilling is restricted, fossil power generation is penalized, and nuclear energy expansion is delayed, aren’t our present government policies likely to leave American consumers and industries out in the cold?
I am a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston where I founded and direct the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and head the graduate program in space architecture. My background deals extensively with research, planning and design of habitats, structures and other support systems for applications in space and extreme environments on Earth. I have recently written a new book titled "Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax". It can be previewed and ordered at www.climateofcorruption.com. Additional information about my book and views can be found on my YouTube address: http://www.youtube.com/climateofcorruption