Thursday, February 9, 2012

Floods of skepticism sweeps "Green" Germany: Global Warming movement suffers yet another body blow

Germany is today Europe's undisputed power house, and one of the leading economies in the world. German industrial goods – from consumer goods to industrial equipment – inundate the world markets, from the People's Republic of China to Brazil, from South Africa to Mexico. This success gives apparent legitimacy to the German pretensions to lead Europe, and to impose its own economic and social programme on other European countries, especially across the Euro zone, in countries such as Greece, Portugal, Spain, and even Italy and France, plagued by the sovereign debt crisis

Ever since it cut its energy use by more than any other country in 2007, Germany has been described as the world's “greenest” country. Its “green” influence is reflected in a raft of other federal policies such as the one that mandates all new houses to install renewable heating systems. They tend to use an average of 20% less energy than nearby European countries due to strict rules and regulations for energy efficiency and energy saving building techniques for renovations. 

That’s not all. When it comes to transportation in Germany, nearly half of all German citizens use public transportation, walk, or bike as a main source of getting around. This is due to extensive networks of bike paths, infrastructure, and cultural awareness on the importance of alternative transportation - this, even though Germany has a strong auto industry. 

Perhaps its strongest “green” credential is that Germany remains the only major economy to have had a green party in power (in coalition with a centre-left party from 1998–2005) driving the sustainability agenda. Currently Alliance 90/The Greens, though in opposition, has 68 members in the German Bundestag — the largest representation in the world of any green party. The Green representation in parliament shaped policy priorities on climate change since the late eighties. As a result, Germany has been at the forefront of efforts to meet the challenges of climate change and a central actor in shaping Europe's approach to climate change and a key to the successful implementation of the EU's international commitments. 

Consequently, any setback the climate alarmist movement suffers in Germany is a body blow to it globally. This is exactly what has happened. And these developments are huge. Read for yourself:

a.    Plunging Public Opinion to Global warming

An opinion poll conducted by Der Spiegel magazine in 2006 indicated almost two-thirds of the population believed in global warming. In 2009, a Pew Global Attitude Survey that 60% of the Germany population believed in global warming.
But the harsh winter of 2010 brought about a sea change in public opinion. A poll by Der Spiegel magazine now show that just 42 percent of Germans worried about global warming.
The rapid decline of the global warming belief in Germany rattled the Green Party and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research that they organized a conference in Berlin to find ways to stem the rot. Here are some extracts from the conference announcement:

“Climate scepticism is not a new phenomenon in the debate surrounding anthropogenic climate change. To obstruct an ambitious climate protection program and to hinder energy transformation, the seeds of doubt concerning the findings of science have a long tradition, especially in the USA, where it has reached a new dimension. In addition to spreading lies and untruths, the defamation of politicians and covert operations also belong to the repertoire of climate policy obstructionists. 

Also in Germany the activities of climate sceptics and climate deniers are increasing. At first these activities were restricted to the Internet and blogs, but have since reached the German Parliament. Politicians of the CDU/CSU and FDP parties even publicly welcome known climate sceptics, and thus provided a forum for their non-serious and unscientific assertions.”
Much as they tried, the Alliance 90/The Greens could not stem the decline. A recent survey that those who held global warming beliefs dropped to 32% - slightly less than one-third the population, and expected to fall more drastically due to this year’s harsh winter.

a.    Heavyweight of Green Movement converts to Climate Sceptic, writes book - Die kalte Sonne (The Cold Sun)

P Gosselin in his blog NoTricksZone gives us the details:

“One of the fathers of Germany’s modern green movement, Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt, a social democrat and green activist, decided to author a climate science skeptical book together with geologist/paleontologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning. Vahrenholt’s skepticism started when he was asked to review an IPCC report on renewable energy.

He found hundreds of errors. When he pointed them out, IPCC officials simply brushed them aside. Stunned, he asked himself, “Is this the way they approached the climate assessment reports?”

Vahrenholt decided to do some digging. His colleague Dr. Lüning also gave him a copy of Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion. He was horrified by the sloppiness and deception he found. Persuaded by Hoffmann & Campe, he and Lüning decided to write the book. Die kalte Sonne cites 800 sources and has over 80 charts and figures. It examines and summarizes the latest science.

The science was hyped. The book started hitting the bookshops today and has already hit no. 1 on the list for environment books. Indications show that it will climb very high in the overall bestseller charts. It’s published by a renowned publishing house and is now sending shock waves through the German climate science establishment.”
At a press conference today in Berlin, Vahrenholt, Lüning and publisher Hoffmann & Campe introduced the book and answered reporters’ questions. When asked why Hoffmann & Campe decided to publish “such a book”, the spokesman simply answered that the time is right – and there’s a real audience for the book. Even the weather timing was right! Germany is now experiencing its worst cold snap in 26 years. That makes it hard to deny lack of warming.
It needs to be pointed out Vahrenholt and Lüning are not skeptics; they are lukewarmers who have not been able to find any evidence of a coming climate catastrophe. They believe that man should switch to renewables, but do so in a rational manner: “Work fast, but don’t hurry.”

The authors have set up a website for Die kalte Sonne here.

c.    Warmist Media turn Sceptic

Two of Germany’s leading media publication, once staunch warmist, turned sceptical in their editorial policy. Again, P Gosselin in his blog NoTricksZone gives us the details:

“Today Germany’s national tabloid Bild (which has a whopping circulation of 16 million) devoted half of page 2 on an article called: 

THE CO2 LIE. Renowned team of scientists claim the climate catastrophe is fear-mongering by politics.

The widely read Bild will follow with the rest of the series in the days ahead. In part I today Bild presents “What the IPCC of the UN doesn’t tell you.” Bild asks “what if the IPCC is wrong? Can we really blindly trust these experts? Are they really independent?”

Bild then writes:

The phenomenal prognoses of heat from the IPCC are pure fear-mongering.”

The Bild series is sure to cause radical environmentalists to seethe and lash out. Expect an all-out assault in the days and weeks ahead. Already the reaction from activists has been swift and virulent – though they have yet to read the book.

They never wanted the debate – and now the dam has broken.

And the floods of skepticism are sweeping over the country. Worse, Germany’s flagship weekly news magazine Der Spiegel today also featured a 4-page exclusive interview with Vahrenholt, where he repeated that the IPCC has ignored a large part of climate science and that IPCC scientists exaggerated the impact of CO2 on climate. Vahrenholt said that by extending the known natural cycles of the past into the future, and taking CO2′s real impact into effect, we should expect a few tenths of a degree of cooling.

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