Saturday, January 31, 2015

News: Weblog Climate Dialogue ceased its activity

We got informed that the climate debate at  Climate Dialogue has been ended, at least so far:

"Climate Dialogue, the site where both sides of the climate debate meet to discuss has formally come to an end as of January 2015. It was a  cooperation between KNMI (Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute)  and PBL (Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency) and science journalist Marcel Crok  (

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friedrich Heckmann:

Vulkane und Risiko, oder STS mal ganz praktisch
Friedrich Heckmann

Soziologie bei Vulkanen, wie geht das denn? Bereits 2012 haben die Geographin Amy Donovan, der Vulkanologe Clive Oppenheimer, und der Polarforscher und Wissenschaftsphilosoph Michael Bravo, allesamt Geowissenschaftler der Universität Cambridge, eine Studie zu aktuellen Tendenzen der Vulkanologie verfasst. Unter dem Titel "Social studies of volcanology: knowledge generation and expert advice on active volcanoes" wenden die Autoren Methoden der Science and Technology Studies (STS) auf die gute alte Vulkanologie an.  Die erfrischende und aufschlussreiche Studie möchte ich kurz vorstellen und auch einige persönliche Überlegungen zur Vorsorge vor Naturkatastrophen anführen.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2014 - the warmest year

Last week reports appeared in the media with the headline that 2014 was the warmest year on record, surpassing 2010 as the warmest year. I came across this article in the New York Times which covers the news with an angle on 'contrarians' and their insistence that global warming 'somehow stopped' in 1998. The paper then cites Stefan Rahmstorf, saying:
“Obviously, a single year, even if it is a record, cannot tell us much about climate trends,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, head of earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. “However, the fact that the warmest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 clearly indicates that global warming has not ‘stopped in 1998,’ as some like to falsely claim.”

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Damals in 1995 ...

1995, das sind jetzt 20 Jahre her, schon damals begann die Diskussion, was denn das "Klimaproblem" jenseits der Szenarien und des geophysikalischen Klimawandels sei. Im November 1995 veranstaltete die Universität Hamburg ein "Interdisziplinäres Seminar 'Klima-Umwelt-Gesellschaft'" - mein Vortrag "Fragen der Klimaforschung an Kultur- und Gesellscahftswissesnschaften" fand ich jetzt wieder, und biete ihn auf als Faksimile (Alternative: an.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Climate-change lore and post-science policy deliberations.

The Oxford Dictionary (1993) defines lore as ‘A doctrine, a precept; a creed, a religion.’  Lore includes, among other things, legends, oral history, beliefs and stories.  It can be argued that climate-change ‘lore’ plays a significant role in the formation of climate change policy in the German Baltic coastal region and  this has potential consequences for the science-policy interface, leading from post-normal science to post-science policy deliberations.

It should be noted that this is not the first case of lore intervening in the German science-policy interface. The example of the German Kur demonstrates how lore (perhaps combined with traditional knowledge but lacking in demonstrated efficacy) has previously impacted on science and policy in Germany.  The Kur, although having its origins long before the völkische Bewegung (which had its origins in the Romatic nationalism of the 19th century), has no doubt been sustained by lorific sentiments.  According to Pietikäinen (2000: 524) the völkische Bewegung was a loosely organized social movement that was unified by ‘a cauldron of beliefs, fears and hopes’ often drawn from romantics’ notions of folklore and the organic world.  Life was to be lived in a mystical, lorific relationship with the land. The Kur can be located within this context. The history of the integration of the kur movement and alternative medicine into allopathic medicine is well documented and suggests a template for the fate of the climate change issue.  Is this a template for defining the evolution of the issue of climate change in Germany?