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« Revkin on the publication process | Main | The lukewarmer's ten tests »

Von Storch's new book

Pierre Gosselin has translated some extracts from Hans von Storch's new book, written with Werner Krauß. It looks really interesting. Take this, for example:

Was the climate apocalypse really at our doorstep as we could read in the media? Or were they exaggerating in their depiction of the results coming from climate science? [...]

The climate scientist [von Storch] had the suspicion that climate science was dragging around a ‘cultural rucksack’ that was influencing the interpretation of the data. The cultural scientist [Krauss], with regards to the appearances by some climate scientists in the media and the roles they were readily assigned, was reminded of weather-wizards and shamans of foreign cultures.”

I wonder if anyone is going to publish it in English?

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Reader Comments (11)

We're still waiting for an english version of, "Die Kallte Sonne', so no, I don't think an English publishing house will publish this either.

Jan 28, 2013 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy Old Man

One by one, they step in line behind Judith Curry.

Jan 28, 2013 at 9:56 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Note that key word "media".

I read scientific papers and IPCC reports, presenting results in terms of means, probabilities and degrees of uncertainty.

The versions I see reported in the media are often unrecognisable.

Some pick the most extreme high end of these ranges and splash them as headlines. The climate scientists then get selectively quoted or edited to support this distortion.

Others try to play it all down, by picking the low end of the ranges and finding their own experts to quote.

Each media outlet has its own editorial policy, allowing each of us to choose sources that tell us what we already know.

No wonder the public get so confused

Jan 28, 2013 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterEntropic Man

Interesting that they are speaking of themselves in the third person, as if they are writing the history of the climate wars from an objective, journalistic point of view. They are dramatizing the narrative.

The excerpts suggest they are taking a strong stand against CAGW presumptuousness which will probably sell quite a few books. If it sells well in Germany, it's likely it will be translated for publication in English.

Jan 28, 2013 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Although the translated quotes look promising, I am a sceptic at heart. There are references to the pernicious effects over-hyping through apocalyptic scare stories, and the lack of skill in negotiation are welcome. But the comment about there being a "third way" I find troubling, as I find that this usually means recognizing, but then fudging, the issues. My own approach would be one of learning from other, more mature, disciplines. For instance, there is no mention of clear standards of evidence, (as in the legal system) nor dealing with conflicts of interest (as in auditing), nor improving quality standards (as in manufacturing).

Jan 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

The likelihood that'll it'll be published in the U.K. is vanishingly small I think. A really low priced English Kindle version might fly though.

The theme that culpability of the media is pivotal and that they are the main enablers in the climate scam is developing apace... relentlessly seeking to spread FUD which traditionally spikes circulation / audiences (and usually suits politicians and the bureaucrats). I'm beginning to wonder if this theme is going to develop - that the meejah will be scapegoated for the CAGW scare/scam, and they in turn will point fingers at Mann et al, who will - ah... you know the rest. judges, inquiries £££££ and whitewash.

Harping on about Private Eye magazine again - but 'islop was in a featured QT snippet on BBC web berating the media for apparently making the effects of the snowy winter weather worse...

The unease on all sides about the CAGW scam and the possibility of recriminations after the denouement ... I have this suspicion that those engineering, orchestrating and benefiting from CAGW are going to become , well, invisible...

The NoTricksZone review is tantalising but my schule Deutsch isn't up for the read.

Jan 28, 2013 at 11:04 PM | Registered Commentertomo

Entropic Man,

Do you think that technically illiterate arts/media 'studies' grads are capable of understanding the subtleties of carefully worded scientific hedging, or do you think that they just cut and paste chunks of the (frequently unrecognisable from the scientific text) Summaries for Policymakers, or maybe even press releases from £ multimillion international marketing corporations such as WWF or Greenpeace. A much easier way to to fill those beckoning empty spaces between the adverts, surely? Even the practically budget-unlimited BBC refuse to employ scientists to report science (Science Editor Shukman has a BA in Geography) - so why should mere newspapers, especially when they can get the right-on copy absolutely gratis.

Jan 29, 2013 at 1:07 AM | Registered Commenterflaxdoctor

On the topic of spurious environmental carcinogenesis scares, the late Edith Efron's magisterial The Apocalyptics examined this issue closely and concluded that the media were merely transmitting alarmism generated by a group of "regulatory scientists." In other words, on the man-made-chemicals-are-killing-us-all folktale of the 1970s, it was not the reporters who were to blame but their sources. That doesn't mean that the climate story would reflect a similar pattern, but it bears remembering.

Jan 29, 2013 at 1:51 AM | Unregistered Commentersrp

Still riddled with the idea that there is some kind of "climate problem".

For example

The climate debate is stuck in the mud, the credibility of climate scientists has been cast into doubt, and the policymakers’ ability to act on the issue of climate is minimal. We are sitting in the climate trap. [my emphasis - different from the original]

Then we read this idea again

we failed to understand the problem in its full dimension.

I do agree with much of the analysis - the "prophets" analogy and the idea that the climate scientists are "in over their heads".

Where I part company is the idea of a compromise. In the second to last paragraph of the Gosselin piece they mention a third, alternative way. This had better be more than just a weird compromise.

I'm intrigued to hear more...

Jan 29, 2013 at 1:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes


Some climate scientists were regular interview-partners and talkshow guests ...

Tim Flannery, anyone.

Jan 29, 2013 at 2:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterPat K

@ SayNoToFearmongers

One of the factors that raised suspicions in my mind about CAGW was the IPCC itself and in particular the practice of issuing the Summary for Policymakers before the rest of the document, which might not have even yet been written.

In my experience serving as an expert witness, it is absolutely axiomatic that the executive / management summary is written last of all, and is always assembled from text found verbatim in the main body.

The reason for this is that if there is something in the summary you don't follow or want to know more about, you should be able to find your way to the supporting reasoning and know you're in the right place because it's the same words.

In litigation, it's an absolute gift if you come across an expert report that doesn't observe this discipline. You can undermine it by pointing out that the summary is at odds with and unsupported by the main body. Hence the other side's expert probably started with the answer and then considered the evidence, which obviously had to fit rather than decide the answer.

It doesn't necessarily make the report wrong, but the more complex the matter to hand, the likelier it becomes that it is wrong. You could write the management summary to a report analysing whether the sky is blue and the grass is green quite easily, for example, and then devise the experiments to prove it, because the question is easy to test and to answer. Starting with the answer in an area as complex and potentially far-reaching as CAGW smacks of policy-based evidence-making, which is why I was gradually more and more suspicious. It speaks volumes that they should stumble into such an elephant trap.

Jan 29, 2013 at 12:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

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