Thursday, October 24, 2013

Can Philosophy enlighten climate science?

In recent weeks several threads here on Klimazwiebel have raised the question if the social sciences and humanities can play a role in the discussion of climate research, and if so, which. I think this is an important question and suggest to discuss exemplary texts in the following months.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Debunking sceptical propaganda

Debunking sceptical propaganda - this is the programme of Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway's book Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. I have written a review which is published in BioSocieties. Here is the teaser:
The plot of the book is simple: we would have made more progress in policymaking had not a bunch of contrarian self-stylized experts tried to undermine faith in the knowledge base for regulation. Their motivation was a belief in free market principles with a dose of anti-communism. They have combined both motives to reject government intervention, to promote the freedom of enterprise and to attack environmentalists as ‘socialists in disguise’. This ideological influence made them blind to the facts, in fact led them to ‘deny the science’. The US media, following a professional norm of journalistic balance, have amplified the false truths propagated by the contrarians. Nearly all of the elements of this plot are axioms or shared beliefs of environmentalists and some climate scientists. The partisan account provided here thus merits special scrutiny.
Read the whole review here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Befragung der Universität Hamburg zum Thema „Medien, Wissenschaft und Klimawandel“

Teilnehmer gesucht für Befragung der Universität Hamburg zum Thema „Medien, Wissenschaft und Klimawandel“ 

Für eine Befragung der Forschergruppe „Public Discourse on Climate Change“ der Universität Hamburg (KlimaCampus) werden Teilnehmer gesucht.

Der Fragebogen umfasst Fragen zum Mediennutzungsverhalten sowie Meinungen zu bestimmten Themen von Gesellschaft und Wissenschaft, insbesondere zum Klimawandel. Zielsetzung des Projektes ist es, mehr darüber zu erfahren, wie die Menschen den Klimawandel in den traditionellen Massenmedien und in Online-Medien wahrnehmen.

Die Befragung dauert etwa 20 Minuten. Hier ist der Link für den Fragebogen:

Das Projektteam – Professor Irene Neverla, Dr. Monika Taddicken und Ines Schaudel, M.A. – freut sich über jede/n Teilnehmer/in! Nähere Informationen zum Forschungsprojekt finden Sie hier: (

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Wozu braucht die Klimaforschung die Geisteswissenschaften?

Ich gebeten worden, zur "Nacht des Wissens" am 2. November 2013 an der Universität Hamburg beizutragen. Als Thema habe ich gewählt:
  Wozu braucht die Klimaforschung die Geisteswissenschaften?

Frage an die Klimazwiebel-Leser- und -Diskutanten: Welche Antworten habt Ihr auf diese Frage?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Underdetermination - a relevant concept for climate science?

During a visit to ETHZ, a philosopher of science lead my atttention to a concept named "underdetermination", of which I was unaware. She gave me the paper of 
Martin Carrier: Underdetermination as an epistemological test tube: Expounding hidden values of the scientific community. Synthese (2011) 180:189–204 DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9597-6, 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Behind the scenes

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has published an account of the negotiations of the Summary for Policymakers document. The whole thing is an interesting read. I quote two passages below, one on the 'pause' of global warming, the other on climate sensitivity.
h/t Judy Curry

Evaluation of Climate Models: Participants debated extensively the text dealing with simulated and observed trends in global mean surface temperature in the long and short term.