Regular readers here will know that one of the things I do in my semi-retirement is represent a group of scientists who are appalled by what masquerades under the name of "science" in popular discourse about climate change. Our effort in various venues is to educate as to the ways in which the so-called "scientific consensus" of impending catastrophic global warming is not scientific at all, and is the opposite of science.
It's not just that "consensus" is irrelevant to real science, and can frequently be overturned. It's that there's an entire suite of criteria by which the promotion of climate hysteria departs from science and the scientific method: For example, where is the falsifiable hypothesis? What is the null hypothesis? What are that data that, if they emerged, would be conceded to falsify the falsifiable hypothesis? In lieu of a hypothesis that can be falsified, we find frequent assertions that literally everything -- including facts that are the direct opposite of each other -- constitutes proof that global warming "is occurring" and will inevitably have catastrophic effects. One day there is a claim that snow will be a thing of the past (it's getting warmer!) and the next day a big snow storm is claimed as evidence of the damaging effects of global warming (we told you to expect more extreme weather!). One day a drought is claimed as evidence of catastrophic effects of global warming, and the next day it's a flood being claimed as evidence of the same. Meanwhile, has there been any actual verification of a falsifiable hypothesis -- and is it a verification that can be replicated by others? And, why are critical data being cherry-picked and/or altered to support the "consensus"?
We all learned the fundamentals of the scientific method back in high school, or even junior high school. Isn't it obvious to everyone that the antics of climate change alarm promoters are unscientific and anti-scientific?
Unfortunately, as I frequently point out to my colleagues, on important political issues, very few human minds can be changed by mere reason and logic, no matter how ironclad that reason and logic may be. We may think we are creatures of reason, but that's only a veneer. The famous quote is attributed to Jonathan Swift: "Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired."
On the other hand, there are things that can persuade even those who are very difficult to persuade. Consider, for example, how your views of intermittent "renewable" energy sources as a remedy for climate change might be affected by a tripling -- or maybe a quintupling -- of your electricity bill. Then throw in a few power blackouts for good measure. And finally, let the information seep through that emissions aren't even going down! Which brings us back to the case of Germany.
As I noted in this post back in November, as recently as 2015 there was no political party of any significance anywhere in Europe that stood against climate change hysteria and against the huge increases in wind and solar power generation claimed necessary to save us from climate disaster. Work by Norwegian political scientist Sondre Båtstrand, summarized here in the Guardian in October 2015, had concluded that "the US Republican Party stands alone in its rejection of the need to tackle climate change and efforts to become the party of climate supervillains." In Germany, as recently as last year, no political party representing a dissenting position on any aspect of the climate "consensus" held a single seat in the Bundestag. But Germany's Energiewende ("energy transition"), instituted in 2010, had caused Germany's consumer electricity prices to skyrocket since the prior national elections in 2013.
Then, in the September 2017 elections, two parties thought to represent climate skepticism at least to some degree -- the FDP (Free Democrats) and AfD (Alliance for Germany) -- suddenly won some 24.6% of the seats in the Bundestag. OK, but exactly how serious are these people in their climate skepticism? We learn about that from an excellent post today at the site NoTricksZone, titled "Green energy opposition becoming formidable force in Germany."
It appears that over the past couple of weeks, two young members of the Bundestag, one from the FDP and the other from AfD, made their first speeches in the parliament, and chose the subject of climate. Videos of their speeches are included at the link, but I won't embed them here, because they are in German and I assume that few readers could understand them. However, Pierre Gosselin of NTZ clearly understands the language, and provides translations and paraphrases of some extended excerpts.
From Sandra Weeser of FDP:
In her speech Weeser points out that despite the rapidly growing green energy capacity being installed, the effort to reduce CO2 has failed, and what’s left is an unpredictable power grid that often produces energy when it is not needed (waste energy) and thus costing Germans hundreds of millions annually. She also accuses the established politicians of ignoring citizens as they ruin Germany’s landscape with wind parks.
"Interestingly it is often Green party voters who we find themselves among wind park protesters. In their daily lives these people are recognizing that what is being sold as green electricity in fact has nothing to do with being green. They are rejecting the industrial turbines in forests.” . . .
Weeser also dismisses claims by the Green Party that wind energy is “the most inexpensive” on the market, asking them directly: “If that is really true, then why do they need subsidies? Why are we paying 25 billion euros annually for their feed-in?”
From Dr. Rainer Kraft of AfD:
Kraft slams the government’s climate-protection approach of spending “15 euros to avoid 1 euro of damage” as a policy one would expect from “a fool." Adding: “there just couldn’t be less scientific understanding than that.” Echoing Donald Trump’s ideas on international treaties, Kraft also sees them as being ruinous to German industry, and that the ultimate target of climate protection is to establish “an eco-socialist centrally-planned economy” and that climate protection is the “instrument” to bring it about. He then labeled the Greens’ energy policy as “eco-populist voodoo."
[E]xpect the traditional established parties to continue seeing the unheard of erosion among their disenchanted voter bases. Never has postwar Germany seen a political shift on such a massive scale. . . . Though 25% may not sound impressive, it is amazing when one considers that only a decade ago there was virtually universal parliamentary support for green energies. Those days are over. And now as the failure of the Energiewende becomes ever more glaring, reaching the political tipping point on the issue of the Energiewende is just a question of a few more years.
By the way, according to this post on Clean Energy Wire on January 5, Germany got the percent of its electricity from "renewables" all the way up to 36.1% in 2017, from about 32.3% in 2016. Oh, but its total CO2 emissions actually increased.
[T]he country’s total emissions stagnated for the third year in a row, because more oil and gas were used in transport, heating and industry. . . .
Unfortunately, changing minds in Germany has required the people to act as guinea pigs for a decade or so in the grand experiment in "eco-populist voodoo." The same method will work equally well in the U.S. Sadly, I appear to live in one of the places whose residents are among the designated guinea pigs.