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State-commissioned studies in Germany skewed by green agenda

German Greens politicians Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck. Credit: Getty

March 9, 2023 - 4:30pm

“Follow the science” and “evidence-based decision making” have for some time been the preferred catchphrases of good governance, an approach that is supposedly based on hard facts rather than ideology or political expediency. The Covid pandemic has shown that this rarely turns out to be true, which can be seen elsewhere too.

A good example of this is the current debate on energy and climate in Germany. As with many other Western nations, the German focus on energy transition blinded them to the serious risk of a shortage due to deteriorating geopolitical circumstances. Almost all major decisions in the energy sector depended on Moscow, and the only reason why Angela Merkel could announce the end of nuclear energy (to stall the rise of the Green Party) in 2011 is because this was also the year Nord Stream 1 was coming online. Yet, instead of facing the reality of past mistakes, the current government frantically tries to retroactively create evidence for why these decisions were correct all along.

This started in summer 2022 when the Green minister for the economy claimed that nuclear power could not help offset reduced gas supplies, which was patently untrue since Germany could have saved the gas that was used for electricity production with the help of its reliable nuclear power plants. With growing awareness that the energy crisis could become a lethal threat to the Greens’ top priority of climate change, Robert Habeck’s ministry commissioned three different think tanks to calculate the potential costs of climate change for Germany. 

The results were unsurprisingly catastrophic, showing that the issue would cost almost a trillion euros until 2050. The assumptions of the study, though, were entirely unrealistic, and based on a global warming scenario that was recently banned from use in US agencies due to its lack of validity. 

Based on this flawed study, however, Germany decided to push even harder for the energy transition, motivated by yet another set of faulty assumptions. Ending coal by 2028 and nuclear this year will cause no problems whatsoever for the German electricity supply, at least according to an analysis by the state-owned grid operator. And this would include millions of electric vehicles and heat pumps. This calculation is only feasible under strict management of demand during peak times, which is really just a euphemism for rationing or controlled blackouts. Otherwise it will be impossible to meet the country’s electricity needs. 

What makes the situation even more frustrating is that these studies are easy to debunk if one only takes the time to read them, rather than relying on a press release from the ministry. Yet almost no media outlet was doing that — most probably because the results were not just aligned with the Green agenda, but also with the personal views of most journalists. Which makes sense, since most polls show that the most popular party among German media employees is — you guessed it — the Greens.

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Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Germany should never be trusted on any environmental claims; because they burn massive quantities of lignite. The burning of lignite should be considered and environmental crime. It’s the fuel equivalent of burning old tyres for energy. Absolutely appalling. It has made me rethink my views on Germans as stupid and naive with no ability to admire they got it stupendously wrong after Fukushima. Utter planks.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Totally agree, not to mention the naive reliance on Russian gas, their energy policies have been a total disaster and I have no sympathy.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul T

Totally agree, not to mention the naive reliance on Russian gas, their energy policies have been a total disaster and I have no sympathy.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Germany should never be trusted on any environmental claims; because they burn massive quantities of lignite. The burning of lignite should be considered and environmental crime. It’s the fuel equivalent of burning old tyres for energy. Absolutely appalling. It has made me rethink my views on Germans as stupid and naive with no ability to admire they got it stupendously wrong after Fukushima. Utter planks.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Same old. Same old. Climate hysterics release garbage study, no one bothers to check the numbers or assumptions, anc we’re pounded with fear, fear, fear.

Even if the study was based on anything resembling reality, which is never the case, haven’t the Germans just spent an extra $500 billion in energy costs this year alone?

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

Same old. Same old. Climate hysterics release garbage study, no one bothers to check the numbers or assumptions, anc we’re pounded with fear, fear, fear.

Even if the study was based on anything resembling reality, which is never the case, haven’t the Germans just spent an extra $500 billion in energy costs this year alone?

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
1 year ago

That’s what politicians do. Instead of admitting that their policy is destructive and they should do less of it they argue that they aren’t doing enough of it and need to do even more.

Andrew Roman
Andrew Roman
1 year ago

That’s what politicians do. Instead of admitting that their policy is destructive and they should do less of it they argue that they aren’t doing enough of it and need to do even more.

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

We are governed by policy based evidence!

David Barnett
David Barnett
1 year ago

We are governed by policy based evidence!

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

All I have to say is that it’s a bit unfair to focus on Germany in this respect. All western nations have the same problem to some extent, and the UK’s main distinction from Germany here isn’t that we have fewer idiots in charge peddling the climate change scam but more, and they have been more successful at shutting down heavy industry and handing it to China on a plate.

Germany’s greens, for all the fact that they’re demented clowns like the rest of them, at least knew better than to destroy the core of their own economy as part of their agenda.

John Riordan
John Riordan
1 year ago

All I have to say is that it’s a bit unfair to focus on Germany in this respect. All western nations have the same problem to some extent, and the UK’s main distinction from Germany here isn’t that we have fewer idiots in charge peddling the climate change scam but more, and they have been more successful at shutting down heavy industry and handing it to China on a plate.

Germany’s greens, for all the fact that they’re demented clowns like the rest of them, at least knew better than to destroy the core of their own economy as part of their agenda.

Bob Downing
Bob Downing
1 year ago

As I recall, Germany looked at Denmark, which tried very hard to go green, failed for some pretty simple reasons, and reverted to becoming dependent upon German energy. Meanwhile the Germans had started off on the wind-power path, saw what wasn’t happening, and fell back upon brown coal through necessity. So they haven’t been totally greenwashed, though came close to it.
Meanwhile we dithered, and have had to buy in French energy, largely due to the British habit of never investing in any industry which might profit the country as a whole (transport and energy, not to mention water & sewerage) rather than individuals. As I write France is supplying over 10% of UK demand.

Bob Downing
Bob Downing
1 year ago

As I recall, Germany looked at Denmark, which tried very hard to go green, failed for some pretty simple reasons, and reverted to becoming dependent upon German energy. Meanwhile the Germans had started off on the wind-power path, saw what wasn’t happening, and fell back upon brown coal through necessity. So they haven’t been totally greenwashed, though came close to it.
Meanwhile we dithered, and have had to buy in French energy, largely due to the British habit of never investing in any industry which might profit the country as a whole (transport and energy, not to mention water & sewerage) rather than individuals. As I write France is supplying over 10% of UK demand.

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

To quote from ‘Salty Cracker’

‘Germany is As* Fu* king its self!’

haha, hit the nail on the head…..not my way of talking, but pithy….

Elliott Bjorn
Elliott Bjorn
1 year ago

To quote from ‘Salty Cracker’

‘Germany is As* Fu* king its self!’

haha, hit the nail on the head…..not my way of talking, but pithy….

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago

I really dislike it when you delete my well-reasoned comments because of what I assume is an inappropriate response to one of my comments. Nothing I said was derogatory or unreasonable. In fact, I was trying to be conciliatory.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Might have been helpful to name these ‘flawed’ studies and who ‘debunked’ them and how. Perhaps the author was unaware of the recent devastating floods in Germany and the subsequent deaths, followed closely by the Rhine drying up last year.
Climate change is not ‘the weather’, but these type of patterns and catastrophic events will only become more commonplace in the future, especially in places that wouldn’t normally expect them.
No doubt we’re going to hear the regular denials and sceptics and to those people I would advise first picking up any current encyclopedia and looking up climate change first.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The problem for you is not the regular deniers and sceptics. It is that you are an expert on climate change because your teachers have indoctrinated you. You will never see this.
Your generation will deliberately try to change our eco-system – there are many, many people who want to design machines to take carbon out of the atmosphere, there are vegans who want to remove animals, many blame Boomers (this means they do not listen to anyone apart from their own friends, nor to anyone who has experienced of science from the past). Everything you do to change things will be irreversible. So when you reach the point of being an old millennial, everything will be fine.
Just see a 1% chance that you are wrong and that the climate has veered to global cooling. Nobody will listen to you, a miserable millennial. You can’t suddenly create carbon, re-introduce farm animals. Global cooling will be 1000 times worse than global warming.
The lesson – listen to everybody, not just your buddies.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

As it happens my University lecturer on this subject module was a sceptic. But that was the nineties, and he never finished his paper on solar flares.
As you suggest however there may be a technical solution somewhere down the line to remove greenhouse gasses, let’s hope so, because political agreements aren’t going to stop this process.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

They should try resurrecting Hitler and Gobbels, they always had secret wunderwaffe, just around the corner. Sure, German scientist created some incredibly advanced concepts, and weapons, for their time, but it still didn’t save them. Mind you, the Soviet’s were quiet grateful, not to mention NASA.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

They should try resurrecting Hitler and Gobbels, they always had secret wunderwaffe, just around the corner. Sure, German scientist created some incredibly advanced concepts, and weapons, for their time, but it still didn’t save them. Mind you, the Soviet’s were quiet grateful, not to mention NASA.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Wheatley

As it happens my University lecturer on this subject module was a sceptic. But that was the nineties, and he never finished his paper on solar flares.
As you suggest however there may be a technical solution somewhere down the line to remove greenhouse gasses, let’s hope so, because political agreements aren’t going to stop this process.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

” … these type of patterns and catastrophic events will only become more commonplace in the future,”
Except the latest IPCC report states there is no strong evidence that extreme weather events have become more frequent.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Not quite. That report advises that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. It’s another very stark warning to expect compound and cascading catastrophies.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The IPCC report doesn’t say anything of the sort. At best, the actual findings are a mixed bag.

In the AR6 report, Chapter 11, Weather and Climate Extreme Events in a Changing Climate, concludes that changes in the number and intensity of severe weather events have not been detected, nor can any changes be attributed to human caused climate change.

There is high confidence in heat extremes, which shouldn’t shock anyone, considering global temps have risen 1.3 degrees since 1860. However, there is low confidence for drought, flooding, heavy precipitation and severe weather events like hurricane.

Check it out yourself. Be warned, these reports are written to discourage people from reading. Ignore all the rhetoric and garbage in the first 150 pages, and jump to the actual findings in the tables in the last half of the report.

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Chapter11.pdf

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes. It does. Page 1610:

Climate change has already increased the magnitude and frequency of extreme hot events and decreased the magnitude and frequency of extreme cold events, and, in some regions, intensified extreme precipitation events. As the climate moves away from its past and current states, we will experience extreme events that

are unprecedented, either in magnitude, frequency, timing or location. The frequency of these unprecedented extreme events will rise with increasing global warming. Additionally, the combined occurrence of multiple unprecedented extremes may result in large and unprecedented impacts.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I’m not trying to be a jerk, but you have to understand what you’re reading. Yes, extreme heat events have increased and cold events have decreased. That should be a given, considering global temps have increased 1.3 degrees. Yes, there are regional cases of increased droughts and rain, as well as forest fires and flooding. But these are regional, not global. Everything else in that quote is commentary about the future.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Is that not the point? Why produce a report for assisting with policy if it is not going to try and make predictions? Regional patterns are indicators that create the wider picture.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It would be different if their projections were ever correct. This is AR6. It’s not like they didn’t predict this stuff in previous reports. We’ve been told for years that farming would fall off the face of the earth, that island nations would be wiped off the map, that millions and millions of climate refugees would have to flee home, the arctic would be ice free in the summer etc. etc. etc.

These are models. They have value, but to change your entire way of life based on models is madness IMO. See Covid models for reference. Or mad cow disease.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas so logically it makes sense to assume it will cause some warming, but after that all bets are off IMO. The climate is an open ended, chaotic system. Very difficult to model.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

CO2 is a greenhouse gas so logically it makes sense to assume it will cause some warming, but after that all bets are off IMO. The climate is an open ended, chaotic system. Very difficult to model

I certainly agree with that

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes indeed – co2 is a greenhouse gas. One of the reasons for the sudden shortage of ‘bottled’ CO2 is that commercial green- houses were increasing the amount of CO2 fed to their plants to improve yield.Parts of the Earth formerly becoming desert are now regreening. Most “Greenies” do not realise that without CO2 (below 150 ppm) plantlife will die AND SO WILL WE!!!!! Many young people I have spoken to do not accept that a balance has to be struck.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Legendary twaddle, well played.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Legendary twaddle, well played.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

CO2 is a greenhouse gas so logically it makes sense to assume it will cause some warming, but after that all bets are off IMO. The climate is an open ended, chaotic system. Very difficult to model

I certainly agree with that

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes indeed – co2 is a greenhouse gas. One of the reasons for the sudden shortage of ‘bottled’ CO2 is that commercial green- houses were increasing the amount of CO2 fed to their plants to improve yield.Parts of the Earth formerly becoming desert are now regreening. Most “Greenies” do not realise that without CO2 (below 150 ppm) plantlife will die AND SO WILL WE!!!!! Many young people I have spoken to do not accept that a balance has to be struck.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

It would be different if their projections were ever correct. This is AR6. It’s not like they didn’t predict this stuff in previous reports. We’ve been told for years that farming would fall off the face of the earth, that island nations would be wiped off the map, that millions and millions of climate refugees would have to flee home, the arctic would be ice free in the summer etc. etc. etc.

These are models. They have value, but to change your entire way of life based on models is madness IMO. See Covid models for reference. Or mad cow disease.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas so logically it makes sense to assume it will cause some warming, but after that all bets are off IMO. The climate is an open ended, chaotic system. Very difficult to model.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Is that not the point? Why produce a report for assisting with policy if it is not going to try and make predictions? Regional patterns are indicators that create the wider picture.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

I’m not trying to be a jerk, but you have to understand what you’re reading. Yes, extreme heat events have increased and cold events have decreased. That should be a given, considering global temps have increased 1.3 degrees. Yes, there are regional cases of increased droughts and rain, as well as forest fires and flooding. But these are regional, not global. Everything else in that quote is commentary about the future.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes. It does. Page 1610:

Climate change has already increased the magnitude and frequency of extreme hot events and decreased the magnitude and frequency of extreme cold events, and, in some regions, intensified extreme precipitation events. As the climate moves away from its past and current states, we will experience extreme events that

are unprecedented, either in magnitude, frequency, timing or location. The frequency of these unprecedented extreme events will rise with increasing global warming. Additionally, the combined occurrence of multiple unprecedented extremes may result in large and unprecedented impacts.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The IPCC report doesn’t say anything of the sort. At best, the actual findings are a mixed bag.

In the AR6 report, Chapter 11, Weather and Climate Extreme Events in a Changing Climate, concludes that changes in the number and intensity of severe weather events have not been detected, nor can any changes be attributed to human caused climate change.

There is high confidence in heat extremes, which shouldn’t shock anyone, considering global temps have risen 1.3 degrees since 1860. However, there is low confidence for drought, flooding, heavy precipitation and severe weather events like hurricane.

Check it out yourself. Be warned, these reports are written to discourage people from reading. Ignore all the rhetoric and garbage in the first 150 pages, and jump to the actual findings in the tables in the last half of the report.

https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_WGI_Chapter11.pdf

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Not quite. That report advises that climate change is widespread, rapid and intensifying. It’s another very stark warning to expect compound and cascading catastrophies.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The studies are based on RCP 8.5, a completely unrealistic emission scenario that would never be used by anyone with credibility. The use of RCP 8.5 tells you one thing – the authors are trying to scars people rather than inform.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’ve not read the German studies, but RCP is usually used as a range of best and worst case scenarios.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

RCP 8.5 is a completely hysterical emission scenario. The Biden govt doesn’t employ it anymore and the IPCC is considering dropping it as well, but it won’t because it allows them to sell climate porn. When I read a scary story about impending climate doom, the first thing I check is to see if they used 8.5 – and it’s almost always the case.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

RCP 8.5 is a completely hysterical emission scenario. The Biden govt doesn’t employ it anymore and the IPCC is considering dropping it as well, but it won’t because it allows them to sell climate porn. When I read a scary story about impending climate doom, the first thing I check is to see if they used 8.5 – and it’s almost always the case.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I’ve not read the German studies, but RCP is usually used as a range of best and worst case scenarios.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Then there’s California. After a number of years of drought and very bad wildfires, we now have everyone flipping out about snow and rain. Both cases have been popularly (and convenietly) portrayed as “attributable to human-caused global warming”. But research that was widely written about in the 1970/80s found that, in California, extremes of climate have been the natural condition for many thousands of years.
Ignoring research that contradicts your assumptions is just bad science.
If you make the effort to look into it you’ll find that both massive floods in Germany and the “drying up” of the Rhine have happened before, within recorded memory but before the fossil fuel age.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

If you make the effort to look into it you’ll find that both massive floods in Germany and the “drying up” of the Rhine have happened before, within recorded memory but before the fossil fuel age.

Understood, which is why I also referred to ‘the weather’ in my post. It’s not possible to seperate the two when referring to specific incidents, but more so with patterns.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

If you make the effort to look into it you’ll find that both massive floods in Germany and the “drying up” of the Rhine have happened before, within recorded memory but before the fossil fuel age.

Understood, which is why I also referred to ‘the weather’ in my post. It’s not possible to seperate the two when referring to specific incidents, but more so with patterns.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

A very interesting video from way back in 2007 about the formative years of Anthropogenic Climate Change science.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ
Take it or leave it, but you should at least be willing to listen.

Chris Wheatley
Chris Wheatley
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The problem for you is not the regular deniers and sceptics. It is that you are an expert on climate change because your teachers have indoctrinated you. You will never see this.
Your generation will deliberately try to change our eco-system – there are many, many people who want to design machines to take carbon out of the atmosphere, there are vegans who want to remove animals, many blame Boomers (this means they do not listen to anyone apart from their own friends, nor to anyone who has experienced of science from the past). Everything you do to change things will be irreversible. So when you reach the point of being an old millennial, everything will be fine.
Just see a 1% chance that you are wrong and that the climate has veered to global cooling. Nobody will listen to you, a miserable millennial. You can’t suddenly create carbon, re-introduce farm animals. Global cooling will be 1000 times worse than global warming.
The lesson – listen to everybody, not just your buddies.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

” … these type of patterns and catastrophic events will only become more commonplace in the future,”
Except the latest IPCC report states there is no strong evidence that extreme weather events have become more frequent.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

The studies are based on RCP 8.5, a completely unrealistic emission scenario that would never be used by anyone with credibility. The use of RCP 8.5 tells you one thing – the authors are trying to scars people rather than inform.

laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
1 year ago
Reply to  Robbie K

Then there’s California. After a number of years of drought and very bad wildfires, we now have everyone flipping out about snow and rain. Both cases have been popularly (and convenietly) portrayed as “attributable to human-caused global warming”. But research that was widely written about in the 1970/80s found that, in California, extremes of climate have been the natural condition for many thousands of years.
Ignoring research that contradicts your assumptions is just bad science.
If you make the effort to look into it you’ll find that both massive floods in Germany and the “drying up” of the Rhine have happened before, within recorded memory but before the fossil fuel age.

Last edited 1 year ago by laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
laurence scaduto
3 months ago
Reply to  Robbie K

A very interesting video from way back in 2007 about the formative years of Anthropogenic Climate Change science.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYhCQv5tNsQ
Take it or leave it, but you should at least be willing to listen.

Robbie K
Robbie K
1 year ago

Might have been helpful to name these ‘flawed’ studies and who ‘debunked’ them and how. Perhaps the author was unaware of the recent devastating floods in Germany and the subsequent deaths, followed closely by the Rhine drying up last year.
Climate change is not ‘the weather’, but these type of patterns and catastrophic events will only become more commonplace in the future, especially in places that wouldn’t normally expect them.
No doubt we’re going to hear the regular denials and sceptics and to those people I would advise first picking up any current encyclopedia and looking up climate change first.