James Delingpole (via Roger Simon): “When the Germans give up on AGW you really know it is all over“, anthologizes a long feature article in Der Spiegel (note: article split up over 7 webpages) on the ClimateGate controversy. While Der Spiegel (Germany’s premier news and opinion magazine, generally reliably liberal in its tone) is not exactly jumping aboard the ClimateAudit.org train, they are clearly breaking ranks with the AGW hysterics. Some choice bits:
On the recently vindicated Prof Phil Jones:
“I am 100 percent confident that the climate has warmed,” Jones says imploringly. “I did not manipulate or fabricate any data.”
His problem is that the public doesn’t trust him anymore. Since unknown hackers secretly copied 1,073 private emails between members of his research team and published them on the Internet, his credibility has been destroyed — and so has that of an entire profession that had based much of its work on his research until now.
On the politicisation of science:
Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. “Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings,” he says. Scientific research, Hüttl adds, is all about results, not beliefs. Unfortunately, he says, there are more and more scientists who want to be politicians.
On the Urban Heat Island Effect (complete with nice dig at the aforementioned “exonerated, give him his job back” Prof Jones)
Critics reproach Jones for not taking one factor, in particular, sufficiently into account: the growth of urban areas. Stations that used to be rural are now in cities. And because it is always warmer in cities than outside, the temperatures measured at these stations are bound to rise.
Environmental economist Ross McKitrick, one of McIntyre’s associates, examined all rapidly growing countries, in which this urban heat effect was to be expected, and found a correlation between economic growth and temperature rise. He submitted his study in time for the last IPCC report.
Jones did everything he could to suppress the publication, which was critical of him. It proved advantageous to him that he had been one of the two main authors of the temperature chapter. In one of the hacked emails, he openly admitted that he wanted to keep this interfering publication out of the IPCC report at all costs, “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
On the myth of monster storms:
The all-clear signal on the hurricane front is another setback for the IPCC. In keeping with lead author Kevin Trenberth’s predictions, the IPCC report warned that there would be more hurricanes in a greenhouse climate. One of the graphs in the IPCC report is particularly mysterious. Without specifying a source, the graph suggestively illustrates how damage caused by extreme weather increases with rising average temperatures.
When hurricane expert Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado at Boulder saw the graph, he was appalled. “I would like to discover this sort of relationship myself,” he says, “but it simply isn’t supported by the facts at the moment.”
Pielke tried to find out where the graph had come from. He traced it to the chief scientist at a London firm that performs risk calculations for major insurance companies. The insurance scientist claims that the graph was never meant for publication. How the phantom graph found its way into the IPCC report is still a mystery.
Der Spiegel would never have got away with this article four years ago. But then, in 2006, according to a poll, 62 per cent of Germans surveyed answered “Yes” to the question “Are you personally afraid of climate change.” In 2010 that figure has dropped to 42 per cent, which for those of you who haven’t done the math means that the majority of Germans are now not personally afraid of climate change.
Elsewhere in the article, Der Spiegel make mincemeat of the idea of polar icecaps melting away and quote more plausible figures of sea level rises (18 cm to 1.90 m by the end of the century). It even has the heretic suggestion that global warming may actually have positive as well as negative consequences, that Germany might experience some benefits as well as downsides, and that the downsides may be comparable to some Germany is already coping with for other reasons in any case.