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New climate geek blog

Via Klimazweibel, a whole new blog devoted to the question of whether there was a Medieval Warm Period or not. The author signs himself "William of Baskerville", but regrettably writes in German. I notice that he uses a hushmail account, which is something of an indictment of the state of climate science.

This interview with Austrian paleoclimatologist, Reinhard Böhm, looks very interesting from the machine translation. If anyone fancies translating it properly, I'm glad to post something up.

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Reader Comments (19)

Nobody ever expects the inquisition. Does William? Again?

Jul 29, 2010 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

On the internet I came across a paper written for the US government in 2003 "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security " which formulates some scenarios of what would happen in the event of abrupt climate change. In my limited knowledge it seems to be based on fairly exaggerated claims taken from the IPCC , but the point of the post is that however extreme their rational in the first graphical representation "Creating the Scenario: Reveiwing History" it clearly shows a Medieval Warming Period and notes it on the graph. It references a work by R B Alley from 2000 called "The two mile time machine" which I believe references a study of "an ice core".
Its written for the politicians and predicts the usual drought, famine, politcal unrest, wars etc should certain geographical locations suffer and advises on what the polical response may be.

Jul 29, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMacTheKnife

A summary:

In beiden Studien wird von der Existenz einer MWP in den besagten Untersuchungsgebieten gesprochen. So halten Huang et al. unter Punkt 5. [In both studies in the mentioned investigation areas one speaksof the existence of a MWP. Thus Huang et al. under point 5]: "Summary and Conclusions":

"These reconstructions resolve the warming from the last glacial maximum, the occurrence of mid-Holocene warm period, a MWP and LIA, and the rapid warming of the 20th century, all occurring at times consistent with a broad array of paleoclimatic proxy data. The reconstructions show the temperatures of the mid- Holocene warm period some 1–2 K above the reference level, the maximum of the MWP at or slightly below the reference level, the minimum of the LIA about 1 K below the reference level, and end-of-20th century temperatures about 0.5 K above the reference level."

In Vinther et al. we find:

"Winter season stable isotope data from ice core records that reach more than 1400 years back in time suggest that the warm period that began in the 1920s raised southern Greenland temperatures to the same level as those that prevailed during the warmest intervals of the Medieval Warm Period some 900–1300 years ago."

Mir scheint, dass dies den Kritikern als Entgegnung genügen sollte. [It seems to me that this should be sufficient for answering the critics.].

Of course, we all know that nothing but abject surrender will be sufficient for the AGW crowd.

Jul 29, 2010 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Maloney

O/T but once again we see how the collaboration takes place:

29 July: Post Independent: Scott Condon : Expert: Win climate change debate by easing off science
Panelist says issue must be reframed before time runs out
Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, said leaders on climate change need to concentrate on changing behavior in ways that appeal to people — and also happen to reduce carbon emissions.
“Climate scientists — stop talking about climate science. We lost. It's over. Forget it,” Foley told a surprised audience during a featured panel discussion on the last day of the three-day forum...
“I like to walk into rooms like that and say, ‘Forget about climate change. Do you love America?'
“And they'll go, ‘Yeah.' I'll say, ‘Doesn't it kind of tick you off that we borrow money from China, send it to Saudi Arabia to prop up this energy industry ... You're pushing a lot of buttons. They agree on that,” Foley said.
Environmentalists and climate deniers should stop fighting and take action they agree on, even if they approach the issue from different sides, he said...
“The skepticism around climate change has created a trap for us,” Foley said. “Stop digging yourself into the hole. Get out of it. Talk about it a different way. Reframe the issue.”
The Environment Forum was presented by The Aspen Institute and National Geographic Magazine. It attracted more than 300 attendees along with scores of speakers in its third year.
The first two days featured dire assessments of various environmental maladies, from the oceans acidifying to the challenge of feeding a hungry planet when the population is supposed to surge from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050...
About 10 percent of Americans will align with you if you rally around climate change, he later added, but 70 percent will be on your side if you talk about energy security.
The stakes in the debate are too high for bickering. Foley said meaningful action must be taken to ease carbon emissions in less than a decade.
Another panel member, Rev. Richard Cizik, president of New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, agreed that the war on climate change must be waged in ways people can understand...
“You have to be really careful because if you give them an answer that doesn't work and doesn't resonate, then you're in trouble,” Cizik said.

note the logos on the homepage video - Chevrolet, Shell, Duke Energy!

Aspen Environment Forum

Speakers: Aspen Environment Forum
Joel Achenbach, Washington Post
Mary Bruno, Grist
Eric Pooley, Bloomberg
Jon Sawyer, Pullizer Center on Crisis
Fred de Sam Lazaro. PBS Newshour

Jul 30, 2010 at 12:39 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

some amusing followup media:

26 July: Aspen Times: Scott Condon: Aspen Institute faces carbon conundrum
The Institute is trying to offset travel-related carbon emissions associated with the Aspen Environment Forum, a conference that started Sunday to examine issues such as climate change. It will purchase carbon offsets on the free market to try to counterbalance the travel effects of the 300-plus attendees and scores of presenters.
David Monsma, executive director of the institute's energy and environment program, said the staff supplies attendance numbers and an estimate of where attendees are traveling from to a firm called Native Energy. The company calculates the carbon resulting from the travel, charges The Aspen Institute a fee per ton, and invests those funds in renewable energy projects...
The Aspen Institute isn't working with Native Energy to offset carbon emissions of its other public forums this summer, the Aspen Security Forum and the Aspen Ideas Festival, institute officials said. However, guests who stay at the Aspen Meadows, the accommodations associated with the Institute, are offered the chance to buy carbon offsets to cancel the emissions generated by their travel and stay...
Aspen's curse, in terms of its contribution to climate change, is that it hosts more private air travel than many other destinations. The institute's events are a significant contributor to private aviation. The tarmac was lined with immense private jets over the Fourth of July weekend, some no doubt belonging to people attending or presenting information at the Ideas Fest...
Numerous government officials from Washington, D.C., have presented information at the institute's forums, from Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Director Lisa Jackson. It's a safe bet they aren't flying commercial...
Environmentalist Bill McKibben, founder of an organization dedicated to battling climate change, was a speaker at the Ideas Fest. He noted he has a huge carbon footprint because of the traveling he does to promote the cause.
“I offset my plane trips, of course, but I don't labor under the delusion that that negates the carbon I pour into the atmosphere,” McKibben wrote in an e-mail exchange with The Aspen Times.
“I hope the general task is worth the damage I cause, and I try to choose venues that seem worth it,” he added. “I came to Aspen because I could combine a trip to the Ideas Fest with talks for CORE [the Community Office for Resource Efficiency] and ACES [Aspen Center for Environmental Studies] in the local community.”...
Bottled water policy changes
The use of Fiji bottled water fell from about 500 cases to 50 cases over two Ideas Festivals, Hawk said. The water bottles used to be available to all attendees. This year, it was only made available to speakers...
The issue is delicate because Fiji Water is owned by Stewart and Lynda Resnick, major contributors to The Aspen Institute. Small plastic bottles of their POM Wonderful pomegranate juice and other beverages remained available to the Ideas crowd this year.

Fast Company: Jenara Nerenberg: Aspen Institute Amplifies Green Jobs Collaboration With Energy and Environment Awards “Collaboration” and “green jobs” are buzzwords in the climate change scene these days, but The Aspen Environment Forum, in collaboration with National Geographic, just made them buzz a whole lot louder.They've given the Blue Green Alliance this year’s Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Award for the “Non-Governmental Organization” category. The Blue Green Alliance pairs labor unions with environmental organizations to expand jobs in the green economy. It has worked on the Twin Cities' Mayors Green Manufacturing Initiative, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection, and recently sent 100,000 letters to U.S. legislators urging swift action on clean energy jobs creation. And it's proof positive that the trend in cross-sectoral projects will endure for years to come. The Blue Green Alliance is, after all, an alliance and its members range from carpenters and steel workers to die-hard green, granola-crunching hippie activists.
Similar to Van Jones’ Green for All, the Blue Green Alliance relies on policy promotion and advocacy to accomplish its objective to promote green jobs and encourage broad environmental investments...
Additional winners of the Aspen Institute Energy and Environment Award are .....and Stanford University professor of biology Gretchen Daily for Individual Thought Leadership.

Jul 30, 2010 at 1:20 AM | Unregistered Commenterpat

I'm not sure if I will have the time to make a full translation but I will read the original and the machine translation, and see if it's ok, If anyone has any questions as to the what something in the machine translation means, I will try to answer from the original in German.

Jul 30, 2010 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter B

You can download a translation (much better then Google, pretty accurate although done at speed and not polished) from this temporary location: I'm an Institute of Linguists qualified translator in French although my German is better than my French and I don't use the qualification professionally. I have a technical although not climate-science background.

Jul 30, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered CommenterSome Guy

the resume is translated OK

Dr. Boehm: If you wish to have it very shortly:

MWP ja, MWP yes,

I like the new introduced concept by Hans von Storch (or, as Google translation towards Chinese would have it: Chang von Chong)

Hans thinks we live in "post-normal" times :)

That would need to be translated to the Chinese : "We live ja in interesting times!"

Jul 30, 2010 at 1:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterphinniethewoo

Bishop, you have to love the German language sometimes - 'klimaalarmismus'! And the reference to that classical Cynic Diogenes - the cynic -, who went around with a lantern in the middle of the day and when people asked why he said "I'm looking for the truth!" or was it an honest man or I misremember!?

Jul 30, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

And, also, famously, he lived in a barrel and when Alexander came to visit this great sage of Greece and asked him what he most desired, he replied "Get out of the way of the sun!"

Jul 30, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

The story goes on Alexander laughed and went off to conquer Greece and the rest of the world. 'Nout to to do about climate, I know. Always nice, though, to think of nobler times!

Jul 30, 2010 at 3:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterLewis Deane

Cleaned-up translation, with blog-ready links:

Jul 30, 2010 at 4:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterSome Guy

Bishop Hill writes "The author signs himself "William of Baskerville", but regrettably writes in German."

Personally I don't find it regrettable that William - or anyone else - writes in German. I find it regrettable that more english-speaking people don't learn a foreign language.

Jul 30, 2010 at 6:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterasmilwho

Some Guy, thanks for the translation (though not necessary for me, I speak German fluently).

Jul 30, 2010 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commentercogito

I agree that more people (and particularly English speaking people) should speak at least one foreign language. I can just about pick my way through the German original of this piece, but struggle with some of the specialist terms, naturally.

It amuses / horifies me the number of English people who actually live in Spain but who live in English ghettos and struggle to order a beer in Spanish.

But there are limits. If you want to understand something written in even basic Hungarian, most likely you will regret your total inability to understand two words together. I'm sure The Bishop finds his inability to read technical German regrettable. As do I. And I don't condemn his regrets.

Jul 31, 2010 at 9:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Nobody expects the "Spanish Inquisition".

Can I just take this opportunity to shamelessly plug my new website
which does feature the infamous Mann Hockey Schtick graph. Also
featuring a new Video Wall where a user can view some popular videos
about the climate & frauds, from various different sources, all on one page.

Jul 31, 2010 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterAxel Morris

Having read the last two interviews on WofB's blog while being under the impression that he was somehow trying to defend Mann and all MWP-vanishing tricks, I've come to the conclusion that WofB is trying to show how post-modern science has damaged natural sciences and climate research in particular, and is being used as instrument for political manipulation - something which most of us here wouldn't disagree with.
According to his profile, he is a philosopher, not a natural scientist.

So I hope some of those who can translate properly from German will indeed have a go - the interview below, with Klaus-Eckart Puls, also seems to be a cracker.

Jul 31, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

@Martin Brumby
I share your horror at english-speaking people abroad, who are unable to do the basic things in the "foreign" language. I live and work in Germany - and speak fluent German - and frequently come across those who just SPEAK LOUDER when their english isn't understood.

Apropos your reply:

"I'm sure The Bishop finds his inability to read technical German regrettable. As do I. And I don't condemn his regrets."

- maybe he does, and maybe you do, but that isn't what he wrote.

Aug 1, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Unregistered Commenterasmilwho

Dear all,
thank you for discussing my blog on this blog :). I started this blog, because I was in trouble with the state of art in climate science as I see it. You are right, I am not a scientist but have an educational background in Philosophy. I am a searcher for truth. If there is no evidence for a MWP, I will accept it but I have to proof it on myself even if other, smarter persons laugh about it (@ Viv Evans :).

So, I wish you all the best.

Auf Wiedersehen from Austria


Ps. I've chosen a hushmail account and an alias, because I place no value on beeing threatened or insulted for my searching for knowledge.

Pps. My next interview will be in "English" ;) and my partner has a paper on:

So you have, if you want, something to looking forward to.

Aug 3, 2010 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterWiliam von Baskerville

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