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Crok interviews Vahrenholt

Marcel Crok has a lengthy interview with Fritz Vahrenholt in the European Energy Review.

Did you have indications that the dangers of global warming were overblown?

For years I believed the science of the IPCC was solid. I had the famous hockey stick graph (a graph purporting to show that current global temperatures are by far the highest in the last 1000 years, editor) in all my presentations. But then I read the book The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford, which is very critical about this graph. Slowly I started to realize we have been misguided by the IPCC about the natural fluctuations in the climate in the past thousands of years. The whole purpose of the IPCC has been to get rid of the so-called Medieval Warm Period, a warm period around the year 1000 when the Vikings settled on Greenland and were able to live there for a couple of centuries. After this warm period we have had the Little Ice Age which coincided with a very quiet sun. Many papers have been published in the last few years which show that the Little Ice Age was not a local European phenomena, as the IPCC suggests. So yes, the IPCC has underestimated the natural fluctuations of the climate and overestimated the role of CO2.

H/T Wijnand on Unthreaded

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Reader Comments (27)

The whole thing is worth reading carefully - especially his remarks about wind power. The comments are full of Greenies showing the expected excoriation reserved for traitors and heretics.

May 4, 2012 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

You must find it very gratifying Bish to be responsible for conversions like this. It shows that the message is getting to the right people.

May 4, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

Each and every scientist who backed the consesus who turns back towards science is a small win. Good scientists discard theories which are falsified. Some scientists may need more years of falsification than others. For some, invested heavily, no number of years of no-warming will be enough, and instead of the theories being discarded - they will be. Edited from the annals of science history.

May 4, 2012 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Excellent Bishop

The recognition of your book and the work of McIntyre will get the credit they duly deserve. The truth will always come out in the end.

May 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Cowper

"We run the risk of destroying the foundations of our prosperity [through current energy policies]."

That's precisely what the Greenies want -- in a deliberate way, rather than as Vahrenholt seems to suggest, in a well-meaning but misguided way.

To have such a major figure ascribe his awakening to his reading HSI must bring a warm and fuzzy glow to our host.

May 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

There is a Spectre haunting Europe,indeed, the world, the spectre of HSI! Slowly but surely your little book is reaching the high tables. And Manns - even the believers just shrug him off (assuming they can stand to read such prose!).

May 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

"... overestimated the role of CO2."

CO2 has no role of any great significance. Everything in the data points to it barely having any measurable effect on the climate at all.

As far as I can see it's just one of many poorly understood (at least by the IPCC) processes going on in the atmosphere, and the atmosphere itself is only part of the equation. If you're looking for one particular thing that does have a significant effect you probably need to turn your eyes upward, but make sure you use smoked glass first.

May 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commentercerberus

Yesterday on Radio 4's Material World, the pro-windies were discussing the filling of the North Sea with giant wind turbines and linking northern Europe with a super-grid. Zillions of expenditure, but it was all discussed calmly as if it was all a foregone conclusion with no problems and was going to happen. Current energy policies = lunacy.

May 4, 2012 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Slowly but surely....

May 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Feel proud that you have made such a positive contributioin, Bishop.

May 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRB

The Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus gave a speech on the EU in London yesterday and I was lucky enough to get a ticket and be there to hear it. It was reported in a summarised form this morning in the Telegraph-

'The problem is deeply rooted and cannot be fixed easily by more EU summits. To make Europe productive again requires something structurally similar to the task we had to accomplish in the Czech Republic when we tried to get rid of Communism and its legacy.

This means, at the least, the transformation of the social and economic system, and the restructuring of European integration.

Let me suggest the main components of such a change. First, we must get rid of the unproductive and paternalistic social market economy. Second, we should accept that economic adjustment processes take time and that impatient politicians and governments usually make things worse. Third, we should start making comprehensive reductions of government expenditures and forget flirting with solutions based on tax increases.

We should also stop the constantly expanding green legislation. The Greens must be prevented from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine. And we should get rid of the centralisation, harmonisation and standardisation of the European continent and start decentralising, deregulating and desubsidising our society and economy. It should be made possible for countries that are the victims of the European Monetary Union to leave it and return to their own monetary arrangements. And we should forget such plans as a European fiscal union, not to mention anti-democratic ambitions to politically unify Europe. We should return to democracy, which can exist only at the level of nation-states, not at the level of the whole continent. A serious discussion of these issues is well overdue.'

I can verify that when he got to the point of saying -'The Greens must be prevented from taking over much of our economy under the banner of such flawed ideas as the global warming doctrine.'- there was instant spontaneous applause. Remarkable, because the audience was a general centre right political economic one, not climate sceptics per se.

I think it is reasonable to conclude that politically the alarmist climate aberration is a dying, if not yet dead duck.

May 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Three cheers for Vaclav Klaus, a politician talking sense.

If only our own politicians would listen. and take note.

May 4, 2012 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterMessenger

With VH, Eastern Europe becomes a beacon for the west.
They know where all these EU greenery aparachniks lead us towards

May 4, 2012 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterptw

'The problem is deeply rooted and cannot be fixed easily by more EU summits.

He knows that to the Left/Green mentality, all of today's problems can be solved by tomorrow's legislation and regulation. Then tomorrow becomes today, and we go back to Step One.

How does he know? He's been through it.

Vaclav Klaus is a hero.

May 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM | Registered Commenterrickbradford

cerberus : "CO2 has no role of any great significance. Everything in the data points to it barely having any measurable effect on the climate at all."

Cerberus, Your comment is worrying me.

To explain, I've just been compiling "the sceptic view" of climate on my blog. and now I read your comments and I don't know whether it reflects yours.

Could I ask you to take a look and tell me if it would need amending/adding to to include your views?

May 4, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Klaus is an inspirational speaker - I saw him at the National Press Club here in Australia not long ago. He also took questions, some quite hostile, and handled them with ease. It is particularly humbling to realise that he does this in a language other than his native tongue.

As for Herr Vahrenholt, kudos to him for his courage. Germany must be in the top few, if not the top, countries in the world in terms of political capture by environmental extremists. I hope a few of his colleagues screw up the guts to join him in pointing out the draught whistling around the Emperor's more sensitive organs.

May 4, 2012 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohanna

Excellent. Very pleasing to see the superb scholarship of HSI getting such recognition. Vahrenholt and Lüning's book Die Kalte Sonne has had a major impact in Germany according to reports I've read at the No Tricks Zone blog, and that same blog ( describes the associated website as 'now one of Germany’s most widely read and respected climate science sites'. It is here: , complete with a Google 'translate to English' option.

While Vahrenholt and Lüning are setting a good example on the science front, Klaus is doing the same on the political one. A great man.

May 4, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

It's fascinating how Die Kalte Sonne hit home at a time of great cold with diesel cars not functioning at -22 °C. What's more, I am surprised that Varenholt, a Chemist but who has worked with engineers at RWE for a long time is still imagining that GHG-AGW accounts for half recent warming.

This is because leaving aside all theories [being very careful BH], the bottom line of the warmists is that pyrgeometers measure real energy flows:

They don't. They measure just temperature convolved with emissivity. Every professional engineer works this out very quickly because we deal with pyrometry on a regular basis. Why not scientists?

May 4, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered Commentermydogsgotnonose

The poor Germans, for all their technological prowess, still appear to be prone to indoctrination by Dark (Green) Forces. One of my qualifications being a BA majoring in the German language, I am by no means anti-German. It is going to take a lot of effort to disabuse them of their energy irrationality. Die kalte Sonne is a good start.

May 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris M

He is wrong about one thing. The Vikings did not live in Greenland for "a couple of centuries." They lived there for more than four centuries!

May 4, 2012 at 9:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Bravo, bish, bravo.

May 5, 2012 at 2:08 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Well done Bish, I have now determined to get copies of your book to a couple of medics of my acquaintance, my own GP who thinks there's something fishy about it anyway, and a friend who was persuaded by a lecture he attende given by David King ( fanaticist extraordinaire).

May 5, 2012 at 2:34 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo


Third place London bod thing election, Green Party.

May 5, 2012 at 4:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterTimC

The far left have always been against "the middle class". Probably because they are more educated/smarter and are less phrone to be followers of the far left ideology?
When the wall came down a lot of ex-communists and ex-peace activists swarmed and radicalized the environmental organizations like WWF and Greenpeace. They went from kiwi, green on both inside and outside to watermelons that are green on the surface but totally red else.. And the socialists and social liberals leaders let these into the politics nationals and globaly. National Department of environment and globally UNEP etc.
That is the time in history when climate and environment becomes a national and global problem that only can be solved with national and global radical change of society. One of the main targets seems to get rid of the middle classes. And that they can achieve if they get political control over media and science and turn them into a political radical watermelon propaganda machine and the middle classes beeing unaware or complacent of this. Some are now waking up and becoming aware to what is happening. The main problem is the media that actively prevent the spreading of the awakens(middle class) ideas, critic and arguments. Had it not been for www the game would have been over long time ago?

May 5, 2012 at 6:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterJon

Vaclav Klaus for British PM....

May 5, 2012 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

The whole article is worth a read.

The stand-out quote from the article? A sentence that begins "I started looking in the scientific literature..."

I welcome Vahrenholt's changed stance, but as one Chemist to another, I have to say that the thoughts seem late in coming to him. Germany's Chemists, so often the worlds finest, could have been better served by him. A bit more reading, and a bit less writing for commercial gain, perhaps?

May 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

@rickbradford May 4, 2012 at 12:40 PM:

"We run the risk of destroying the foundations of our prosperity [through current energy policies]."

That's precisely what the Greenies want -- in a deliberate way, rather than as Vahrenholt seems to suggest, in a well-meaning but misguided way

Rick, I heartily agree with you picking this passage out from Vahrenholt's Q&A. You beat me to it.

Yes, the Greenies have targeted our prosperity. Notice how the discourse never includes prosperity anymore. Progress and prosperity are dirty words now, not allowed in the discussion. The Greenies want to drag us down and down, into some 'small is beautiful' Ecotopia - but it is one that cannot exist. Not from where we are. Small was beautiful before the Industrial Revolution, back when life expectancy was around 40 years, even in Europe and the USA. We cannot go back to an agrarian society or a mostly agrarian society. Not with 7 billion people on the planet. The world population before the Industrial Revolution was about 1 billion. What do we do with the other 6 billion, if we want to follow the Greenies' lead? (I KNOW what the Greenies want - and that is for us to leave the world to the animals and plants; they would see a world population of 1 billion as a great success - zero billion would be even better, from their POV. Yet it can't be done without literally killing off 6 billion people. This would make Hitler and Stalin look like white collar criminals stealing pencils from the office.) The world of 1800 could not support 7 billion people. But that is where they want to take us back to - the world of Byron and Shelley, languorously writing poems lakeside. They really think such a world can exist.

The real history of the world for the last 200 years has been one in which engineering and science and development - i.e., progress - has not only kept up with the needs of the population, but increased the prosperity, making prosperity available to ever increasing numbers of people. 60 years ago, only the USA was prosperous. As short a time ago as 1970 that was still pretty much the state of things. But now many countries have caught up with the USA, and some have even passed the USA. THIS IS A GOOD THING.

We are doing much better than 'just keeping up.' Malthusian thinking has proven wrong at every step, completely and utterly. But all Greenie thinking is based on Malthusian thinking, as popularized by the village idiot Paul Ehrlich. There was no room in their equations for PROGRESS. They assumed no scientific developments would happen. How dumb is THAT? NONE of their predictions have come true . And even the 'Peak Oil' pap is proving wrong. Brazil not so long ago discovered an oil field in the Atlantic with reserves as big as Iraq's. Other oil and gas fields are discovered all the time - and there is no reason to think that this will end anytime soon - unless you are an ostrich with its head in the sand. As Vahrenholt points out, we also have shale oil and gas which was not developed until recently. So, rather than there being less oil, there is more oil. MORE people are using higher levels of energy - and progress is making that possible.

On the more R&D end of things, there is also the promise of Thorium reactors, which have actually been proven, though never built on an industrial scale. When those kick in, energy will be as close to free as has ever happened in history. (What will that world look like? I wonder.) With China, Czech, India and more working on Thorium - and it is only an engineering problem at this stage - there may be more energy out there than we will know what to do with. The prosperity ceiling has not been reached yet, even with the Greenies trying to convince everyone otherwise. The entire CAGW issue is all about this - to alarm everyone into cutting prosperity and dreams of prosperity back and back and back, until we all think we need to live in that 1800 world again.

But we can't get there from here. The pols of the world need to be sweeping these people out of their offices, so that they can get on with the business of increasing the prosperity of their countries, not be putting the brakes on.

Progress is good. Prosperity is good.

Ask anyone.

Except don't ask a Greenie. They literally don't know. We engineers despair of them ever understanding how much technology has improved their lives. They are too willfully stupid.

{I debated whether to use the word 'stupid' there - but it is the right word, so I will leave it in.)

May 10, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Garcia

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