Friday, November 30, 2018

Nir Shaviv in Bundestag

Gene has informed me that the Israeli astrophysicist, climate skeptic, and TRF guest blogger Nir Shaviv gave a testimony in the German Parliament, the greenest Parliament of any country in the world, on Wednesday.

EIKE, a skeptical institute for climate and energy, has written down a detailed story in German.

How did Nir get there? Well, it's simple. The Green Party whackadoodles are the new Übermenschen in that group of lawmakers so they decided that they had to educate the Untermenschen, i.e. the non-green lawmakers, by inviting their "expert", an unhinged climate fearmonger.

However, CDU/CSU, currently a self-described centrist coalition, is still represented in the Parliament and they wanted the critical voices to be heard. And it just happens that the right-wing AfD is present in the Parliament as well which is why Nir could have been invited, too.

Here you can read the four-page contribution by Nir Shaviv. You will some usual observations that according to the actual evidence, the climate sensitivity is low, the CO2 greenhouse effect causes no threats that need to be wrestled with, and there are probably significant solar contributions to the climate change because a strong correlation (from a 2008 paper) between the Sun and the sea level has been seen. Science is no democracy, Climategate, etc.

If you speak German, and maybe even if you don't, you may look at the 18-minute-long video from the testimonies. Shaviv spoke in English but in the video, his speech is overshadowed by the German voiceover. On YouTube, you may turn on subtitles and an automatic translation to any language – and the result is surprisingly useful (the occasional "lions are also bad" and "effects of urination on the climate" add an entertaining layer to your educational experience).

The green witness, Mr Anders Levermann, responded to Nir Shaviv with a relatively detailed argument (just kidding). Levermann said that everything that Shaviv has presented is nonsense. You might be interested in the precise kind of "nonsense" that Levermann saw in Shaviv's presentation. Well, it was a German kind of nonsense known as "Quatsch". I guess it's no coincidence that it sounds close to "hogwash". Levermann said that usual stuff that the Earth is almost fried and it will evaporate soon.

Nir kept on avoiding simple emotional propositions and remained stuck to the scientific arguments.

EIKE described a wonderfully amusing own goal by Mr Levermann. An AfD member of the committee, Mr Wildberg, asked Mr Levermann what was the global mean temperature in 1850 because Levermann has discussed it. And he answered it was 15 °C. Cutely enough, Mr Hilse from AfD has made the other folks aware of the fact that in 2016, another first or second "warmest year ever", the temperature was 14.8 °C according to NASA and NOAA.

By comparing these numbers, the staggering and deadly global warming since 1850 has been by... minus 0.2 °C.

Needless to say, this contradiction is mostly spurious – the global mean temperature may only be quantified accurately enough if you have a precise enough definition and different definitions produce values that differ by as much as 1 °C. But that's really a point you should pay attention to: the differences between the global mean temperatures in 1850 and 2016 may be said to be "within an error margin" or "rounding errors".

A two-minute video is mocking Mr Levermann for this own goal. It also shows a scene from ZDF in early 2017 when they announced that the staggeringly hot 2016 temperature was 14.8 °C. I think that most people are still unfamiliar with the fact that the global mean temperature is around 15 °C – i.e. that it is still much colder than the temperatures that humans find most comfortable.

The exchange has shown that the likes of Mr Levermann are simply incapable of participating in a meaningful scientific discussion.

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