Helmut Schmidt calls for IPCC inquiry

Helmut Schmidt

Helmut Schmidt Image via Wikipedia

by Bob Carter (originally published on Quadrant Online)

Former German Chancellor demands IPCC inquiry

Helmut Schmidt, the respected former Chancellor of Germany, has told an audience at the Max-Plank-Gesellschaft that a full inquiry needs to be held into the credibility of advice on global warming that stems from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Set up in 1988 in order to deliver policy advice to governments regarding global warming, ever since 2005 the IPCC has been become mired in controversy over the integrity and accuracy of its procedures. Most recently, in early 2010, a number of scandals erupted over the selective use of published literature by the IPCC, and also its practice of relying upon documents from environmental lobby groups rather than refereed scientific papers.

In his speech, Helmut Schmidt said:

In addition to all the aforementioned problems caused by humans, we are also concerned, at the same time, by the phenomenon of global warming and its alleged consequences. We know that there have always been naturally occurring ice ages and warm periods; what we don’t know is how significant the human-induced contribution to present and future global warming is and will be.

The climate policy adopted by many governments is still in its infancy. The publications provided by an international group of scientists (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC) have encountered skepticism, especially since some of their researchers have shown themselves to be fraudsters (Betrüger). In any case, some governments’ publicly stated targets are far less scientific, but rather politically endorsed.

It seems to me that the time has come that one of our top scientific organisations should scrutinise, under the microscope, the work of the IPCC, in a critical and realistic way, and then present the resulting conclusions to the German public in a comprehensible manner ….

The Max-Plank-Gesellschaft is Germany’s most eminent science organisation, and that Helmut Schmidt should deliver his lecture there is highly symbolic. But in calling for an investigation by one of Germany’s “top scientific organisations”, Schmidt shows that he only appreciates part of the problem, which is the integrity of the IPCC. An equal problem in nearly all western countries (Russia perhaps excluded) is the integrity of their national science academies and leading organisations, nearly all of whom, under the leadership of the Royal Society of London, have been acting as cheerleaders for the IPCC for the last ten years or more. Remember, too, that no fewer than three independent inquiries into last year’s Climategate (leaked email) scandal at the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, ended up as anodyne whitewashes, and this despite the undoubted “distinction” of the chairmen of the inquiries.

Helmut Schmidt is undoubtedly right to call for a searching inquiry into the IPCC, but any such inquiry will need to be conducted by a special, independent scientific audit group with full legal powers. For, to be effective, any review of the IPCC is going to need to also investigate the actions of other leading national and international science organisations.


Professor Bob Carter is a geologist, environmental scientist and Emeritus Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.


Translation courtesy of Dr Benny Peiser, Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Further comment and access to the full lecture (in German) available through the GWPF website here…

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Debate
Helmut Schmidt vs. Gavin A. Schmidt
LOL

Beesaman

Oh dear, how long before poor old Helmut gets a shafting from the warmista front. Let’s see will they use the oil tactic, the tobacco scam or maybe the good old, in the pockets of industry scare?

Noelle

“An equal problem in nearly all western countries (Russia perhaps excluded) is the integrity of their national science academies and leading organisations, nearly all of whom, under the leadership of the Royal Society of London, have been acting as cheerleaders for the IPCC for the last ten years or more.”
This is the first time I am aware of, Anthony, that you have written that national science academies and leading organisations have looked at climate science and reached a conclusion that none of their peers disagrees with. They (including the Russian Academy of Sciences) signed off on a joint statement several years ago that stated: “there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring” and “it is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities.” (source: http://www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf)
Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists? Or are all these countries’ best and brightests scientists really just not that smart? I’m really curious how you answer that question.

I was going to check one word and a name, it turns out two words:
First, “some of their researchers have shown themselves to be fraudsters (Betrüger).” From http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/02/mojib-latif-on-zdf-fraud-to-public.html I see Betrüger is not a person, (but still a discredited climate scientist!):

German is my first language, too, and I would translate Mojib Latif’s sentence like this:
“This is a very obvious fraud, on the public and on the colleague in question. One has to categorically reject such a thing and we must now try, should such things really have happened, to make sure they don’t happen again next time.”
On a sliding scale of words refering to matters of dishonesty, “Betrug” is the strongest and most serious accusation, used in the sense of criminal deception. As even in Germany libel cases are no longer quite so rare, using this word can be quite risky. Note that the ZDF itself calls this “dubious goings on” (“unsauberes Handeln”) and does not itself accuse the IPCC of fraud. Mojib Latif, who is entirely apologetic about the other mistakes pointed out in the ZDF report, uses “Betrug” very deliberately, when referring to the IPCC’s misrepresentation of Roger’s work, but covers himself when he adds “wenn sie [solche Dinge] tatsaechlich vorgekommen sind” – “wenn” could be translated even stronger as “if” and not just “should have” but it’s unclear from his words how much doubt he meant to throw in there.

The other word, anodyne, is in “no fewer than three independent inquiries into last year’s Climategate … ended up as anodyne whitewashes….” I first encountered anodyne in a US 1st Circuit Court ruling against my wife early in her law career. It turns out Judge Selya uses his extensive vocabulary in all his opinions, including those on Puerto Rico cases, which is also in the 1st District.
In Werme v. Merrill, http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-1st-circuit/1265262.html , there is

In rapid succession Werme then brought her campaign to the Secretary of State and, failing to obtain redress, sought a judicial anodyne.

From http://www.thefreedictionary.com/anodyne

adj.
1. Capable of soothing or eliminating pain.
2. Relaxing: anodyne novels about country life.
n.
1. A medicine, such as aspirin, that relieves pain.
2. A source of soothing comfort.

In my wife’s case, I think it was used in the sense of “judicial relief”. In the present sense it’s used to reject the Climategate reviews. Sometimes “whitewash” isn’t strong enough.

Vince Causey

This is indeed the problem, because who will investigate the investigators?
It would be tragic if Schmidt’s call for investigations involved another round of wholly ineffective sham enquiries, deliberately framed so as to avoid dealing with the most contentious issues. Can you imagine an equiry led by the German equivalent of a Paul Nurse? If this was to happen, the foregone conclusions would provide more amunition for the warmists propaganda machine. You can already see the MSM preparing the headlines – IPCC vindicated by top German scientific organisation.
Maybe it would be better if Schmidt was derided by the warmists and the sham investigation never held.

I like “fraudsters”. It’s quaint, in an old-world charm sort of way. It has a appealing ring to it.

Jack

At least it is a step in the right direction.

Mike Spilligan

I would hope that other “elder statesmen” are encouraged to comment likewise as there must be some who know, or at least suspect, that the glib statements of some scientists who work in closed circles are mere conjectures.

pat

Of course the hoax will not end. They will just reform under a new set of initials. Or perhaps with a new pollutant that has, coincidentally, exactly the same cure as the older one. Vegetarianism, no private vehicles, a vastly restricted life style for all Westerners, the de-industrialization of the West.
Meet the new villain : nitrogen.
http://www.nbc29.com/Global/story.asp?S=14199622

Darkinbad the Brightdayler

Well he has gravitas and is a highly respected figure.
I think if a properly independant audit were conducted, the German people would accept it and inter-alia, much of the rest of Europe.

Vuk etc. says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm
Debate
Helmut Schmidt vs. Gavin A. Schmidt
LOL
——
How about Helmut Schmidt and Harrison Schmitt VS. Gavin Schmidt? 🙂

weight of IPCC reports is overpowering science
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSC1.jpg

Bobo

How about a IPCC shutdown instead ?

PKthinks

‘because who will investigate the investigators’
The interesting truth is that only they can and Judith Curry has begun that process.. others will inevitably follow

Helmut Schmidt is undoubtedly right to call for a searching inquiry into the IPCC, but any such inquiry will need to be conducted by a special, independent scientific audit group with full legal powers.
Perhaps the UN could convene such an audit group?
LOL
For, to be effective, any review of the IPCC is going to need to also investigate the actions of other leading national and international science organisations.
I disagree – a proper review of the IPCC could be effective indeed. It then, no doubt, would lead to similar proper reviews of other “leading national and international science organisations”.
Cut off the head, as it were.

TimiBoy

Debate
Helmut Schmidt vs. Gavin A. Schmidt
LOL
That would surely give me “The Schmidts”
🙂
Tim

Vuk etc. says:
March 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm (Edit)
weight of IPCC reports is overpowering science
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/SSC1.jpg

Lol. Classic. Another for Smokey’s collection.

D. Patterson

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
[….]
Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists?

It is more a case of a small group of people, purported scientists and non-scientists, with a political philosophy collaborating to infiltrate the fields of government, education, science, and the arts; who appoint their more unscrupulous members to positions of authority; then discriminate against the people they target as their enemies to deny them education, employment, appointments to positions of authority, or a voice in the media or government; indoctrinate their opponents’ children and the general public to accept false propaganda without objective scrutiny. After a century of these efforts, they succeed in denying the unorganized opposition and often unsuspecting victims a voice in public affairs, academia, and the professional scientific organizations which falsely purport to represent the views of the majority of their memberships. Finally, the majority of the members of the professional organizations find they are being shut out of the decisionmaking and policymaking of their own organizations by a militant minority who have seized and refuse to relinquish control of the leadership.
Lenin and Stalin were quite successful in seizing power in this way, although they took shortcuts by murdering their opponents.

Peter Miller

I think it has now become more than clear that any genuine independent scientist who was asked to audit the activities of the IPCC would be risking his career and those of his families if he did not come up with the required answer of “No problem here, mate”.
The independent scientists – in order to have any credibility and also to be immune from career blackmail – would have to be drawn from those individuals not: i) in government employment, ii) feeding from the grants trough, or iii) associated with ‘big oil’.
Unfortunately, not too many experts on climate can avoid being placed in one of these categories.

stupidboy

It’s very interesting that such comments should come from Helmut Schmidt. A very brave (Iron Cross in WWll despite being of Jewish descent), clever and talented man(classical pianist).
He founded, with Gerald Ford, the American Enterprise Institute World Forum. I don’t know much about this secretive annual gathering other than that its participants are powerful and influential, international businessmen, politicians and academics.
His opinion on the IPCC and what it stands for might perhaps be explained by his dislike of idealism, of which he said, “People who have a vision should go see a doctor.”

spawn44

The climategate emails revealed the CRU crew had to cook the books to make CO2 appear as the driving force causing any warming. It appears they picked the wrong gas for political reasons. You can investigate them all you want but the fact remains they can not prove CO2 will cause any warming or future catastrophies period. Any conclusions they come up with are political wishful thinking at best. I say defund these frauds and make any investigation have teeth with jail time and large fines for those convicted of fraud.

Jimmy Haigh

Schmidt disappoints. – gavin.

Janne Pohjala

No problem. Most of the retired scientists are independent.

Robert of Ottawa

The Czec president is not longer alone.

Latitude

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists? Or are all these countries’ best and brightests scientists really just not that smart? I’m really curious how you answer that question.
========================================================
Noelle, they only look at trends.
“several years ago” when these scientists signed on, the trends looked like temperatures were increasing at a unprecedented rate.
Just like in the 70’s when it looked like the trend was going down = coming ice age.
Our science, no matter how big the computer is, can only predict trends.
They are really just not that smart………….

John F. Hultquist

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists?

As it so happens, you have answered your own question. Yes! Except “scientists” are a small part of it.
Below is a link that gives some of the background. Then you should search WUWT and other sites to learn who actually wrote, and how many scientists actually fully agreed with, the IPPC report. How many reviewer’s comments were ignored, how many non-peer reviewed papers were cited, and so on. Please spend a couple of days researching this issue and report back.
“UN Infects Science with Cancer of Global Warming”
Edward F Blick 2008
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/EDBLICKRANT.pdf

Ian W

Interesting that a synonym of “Betrüger” is “Schwindler”

ferdberple

“Helmut Schmidt vs. Gavin A. Schmidt”
How the Mighty Hath Fallen!

mikemUK

I feel very sad that in this controversy I could no longer accept the Royal Society as an independent arbiter.
Sold out to the noisiest bidder.
Robert Hooke, on the other hand, might have poisoned himself to seek the truth.

rbateman

The IPCC manual: How to Serve Man
(screams of “it’s a cookbook” heard in the background)

Nikki

Please! Be kind to German & European Hero! He was handling “the leaden times” (Die bleierne Zeit). Also he is also one of the most respected Europeans! Cold war stayed cold also because of him.
Note that my political opinions are not the same as his are.

Alan Clark

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Pay attention will you! The article was written by Bob Carter not Anthony.
What I find incredulous is that anyone believes anything that comes out of a United Nations organization. Name one thing the UN has gotten right! From Oil-for-Food to the Rwandan genocide debacle to human rights, the UN and their corrupt affiliated organizations have cocked-up (to put it mildly) everything they have ever under-taken. The UN is the most corrupt organization ever to spring from the mind of man.

GrantB

There was an effort to get Helmut Schmidt listed as a skeptic on his wiki page (see the Discussion tab). Of course Kim Dabelstein Petersen stepped in and put an end to that. Can’t have a respected socialist and progressive as a skeptic can we? Their tentacles are everywhere.

TomRude

“Sir Crispin Tickell was President of the Royal Geographical Society from 1990 to 1993 and Warden of Green College, Oxford between 1990 and 1997, where he appointed George Monbiot and Norman Myers as Visiting Fellows. Green College merged with Templeton College in 2008 to become Green Templeton College, located at what was previously Green College.”
Nice Trustee on the board of the Thomson family Foundation… He coopted Monbiot!

CaryB

Who is Max Plank? ;). Is this an Americanism or did you mean Max Planck?

GaryP

I wonder if some of the commercial certifying companies that operate under the ISO9000 umbrella would be better choice for an audit of the IPCC. These companies, even a non-profit organization like UL, have a great deal to lose if they were to lose the confidence of the public. There is no way that the IPCC could pass such an audit.
One of the simple rules is, “Say what you do, and do what you say.” The IPCC has stated that they will be an open organization but fail to disclose requested documents. Fail.
“Methods and procedures will be verified and validated.” Epic fail.
The tough part will be to force the governments to cease funding when these organizations fail to be certified. The certifying organization needs to be susceptible to lawsuits to keep them honest.

old construction worker

‘Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
‘Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists? Or are all these countries’ best and brightests scientists really just not that smart? I’m really curious how you answer that question.’
Follow the money. A lot of people made a lot of money doing research for the IPCC to show “warming” but it took “political scientists” to link the warming to CO2.

Phil's Dad

We need a new Schwindler’s list.

Matt

@ Ric “I see Betrüger is not a person”
in German, this word can only be employed to mean a person committing fraud and nothing else, i.e. a fraudster. It depends on the context whether this has a criminal connotation or not.
Also, the German word is not softer, as suggested elsewhere; it is the exact equivalent.

Paul Deacon

CaryB says:
March 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm
Who is Max Plank? ;). Is this an Americanism or did you mean Max Planck?
*******************************************************************
Max Plank is a relative of Max Headroom, obviously.

Coldfinger

But “Trust me” Tony Blair says AGW is a big problem, who to believe?
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23838369-tony-blair-to-earn-millions-as-climate-change-adviser.do
I guess its as true as the WMD he claimed to have secret proof of that he couldn’t make public, but later turned out to not exist.

sceptical

The conspiracy theorists are out in full force today. Not only is the IPCC in on the conspiracy, but so are every major scientific organization in the world, the media, education systems, governments, much of private industry and countless tens of thousands of individuals. These organizations and people have co-opted the physical laws of the universe to be a part of the conspiracy also. Wow.

Jimmy Haigh

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
“Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists?”
Basically yes. They like riding on the gravy train.

sceptical,
Conspiracies exist. Do you deny that fact?
The Left made hay out of Senator McCarthy’s false claim that he had a list of names of Communists in the State Department. His “list” turned out to be a laundry list. Ever since, “conspiracy theorist” has had an unsavory connotation.
But conspiracies always exist. As Adam Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations:
“People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.”
Replace “prices” with “taxes” and you have today’s situation.

Olen

In what other branch of science are political interest so intense and the outcome so important to politicians.
President Bush called on NASA to investigate climate change and look at the results. NASA promoted climate change on steroids and in lock step with the IPCC. Political interest should be included in any investigation and independent of political influence. If that is possible.

Sun Spot

@sceptical says: March 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm
All those institutions you listed, not conspirators but willing dupes !!

Noelle,
I would like to add some thoughts to your question that I do not believe any one else has touched on.
Most of the “scientists” in the national academies are not atmospheric scientists (AS), so the majority of the members rely on the minority of academy members with a background in AS. Seems reasonable, but there are two problems:
— Researcher in AS are overwhelmingly computer modelers and, too often, uncritically believe the results of those completely unproven (as forecast tools) models.
— Second is “groupthink.” I am a meteorologist and have spent a fair amount of time around the major atmospheric science research centers and the amount of groupthink is stunning.
Three years ago I attended a meeting at one of those centers and we were broken into focus groups. One hundred percent of the (well qualified) participants not associated with the research center had one view of an important AS issue and one hundred percent of the people who worked at the research center had the opposite view. This was shocking to me as the people from outside the center were from all over North America, had very diverse backgrounds, and were at least as well qualified scientifically as the people who worked at the center. Nevertheless, the people who worked center at the did little but reinforce each other throughout the session. It was the first time I have witnessed that dynamic.
Dr. Judith Curry, a climate scientist, calls this “tribalism” which is right on the mark. It is a serious problem in AS, especially as it pertains to the global warming issue.
Mike

Myrrh

The vast majority are ‘dupes’, those already re-educated to follow the AGW meme; those in control and knowingly misusing the science are fewer, but powerful in their connections. Goverments are in on it.. It doesn’t matter which ideology, there’s a lot of money being made by some while the majority are being fleeced by ‘green taxes’ and so on. The turning point, if there is one, won’t be reached until enough of the plebs realise they’ve been duped.

Theo Goodwin

Noelle says:
March 7, 2011 at 1:19 pm
“Why is that? Is this some sort of big, international conspiracy of scientists? Or are all these countries’ best and brightests scientists really just not that smart? I’m really curious how you answer that question.”
Most likely, they are like climate scientists and do not understand the notion of physical hypothesis. As Roy Spencer has so clearly shown in his book, “The Great Global Warming Blunder,” Warmista have no physical hypotheses which can be used to explain or predict the forcings, such as those involving clouds, that must exist if CO2 is to cause a dangerous rise in temperature.
So, I will turn your question back to you: Why has no one (NO ONE) from one of these august scientific bodies addressed the question of physical hypotheses? Why has no one addressed the main thesis of Spencer’s book? Is it a conspiracy to protect the Warmista so that the public will not discover that they are a bunch of idiot savants whose specialized knowledge of computer simulations is of no benefit to them or anyone?
Sir, the necessary physical hypotheses do not exist. There is no argument about that. Gavin Schmidt cannot produce them. James Hansen cannot produce them. You cannot produce them. Until they are produced, climate scientists should have enough humility to admit that their science is in its infancy and they have no ability whatsoever to explain or predict future warming caused by manmade CO2.

materialist

As a member of the Academy I can assure you that most of my colleagues don’t have the foggiest idea whether global warming is real or not, and don’t particularly care. What they do care about is the avalanche of money that is flowing from the federal government for research on “green energy.” Nothing like it has been seen since the glorious “go to the moon” days of the 60’s (and, yes, I remember them well).
This is the “iron rice bowl” of the 21st century, and a scientist with a lab to support will seriously consider selling his first-born to keep it alive.
Hell, if Obama’s “ballooning of the green” budget goes through, I’ll probably send in a proposal myself (that, hopefully, will surreptitiously address some more real scientific issues). If they’re dropping money from helicopters …
Conspiracy? In the scientific community, there’s no conspiracy. “Conspiracy” implies secrecy, and this boondoggle is no secret at all.