An hour with Fritz Vahrenholt

Forgive me for returning to Prof Vahrenholt so soon, but he was the keynote speaker at the Union Pétrolière Européenne Indépendante (UPEI)  50th Anniversary Conference in Brussels yesterday.

Just to recap: Prof Vahrenholt has a degree in Chemistry from Münster, and spent his early career in the federal Umweltbundesamt (environmental protection agency) in Berlin and the Ministry for Environment of Hesse.  Active as a Socialist in German politics, he became Environment Minister for Hamburg.  Later, moving into the energy Industry, he joined the Board of Deutsche Shell AG.  From 2008 he was CEO of RWE’s renewables business — ironically the same company involved in the Batsworthy Cross wind farm planning appeal in Devon, where I was a witness last week.  He was awarded an honorary Professorship in Chemistry in 1999 from Hamburg University.

Here is a man who has been an icon of the German green movement.  And he is the man who has turned his back on the theory of anthropogenic climate change.

He spoke for an hour, and held the audience — mainly industry folk, but a smattering of politicians — in rapt attention.

His key points, as I remember them, were first that the trajectory of temperature over the last ten thousand years is a pretty consistent pattern of slight fluctuations on an approximately 1000 year time scale.  Most recently, we’ve seen the Minoan, Roman and Mediaeval Optima (not coincidentally, times of great progress in civilisation), and what we are currently experiencing appears to be a new 21st century optimum exactly like those that preceded it.

The slight warming of the last hundred years is not at all exceptional — it is entirely typical of the pattern of the whole interglacial.  We hear the Greens — and the European Commission — insisting that the current warming is exceptional and requires an anthropogenic explanation.  They appear not to have looked at the data.  The current temperature trend looks entirely natural.

Superimposed on the 1000 year cycle is a 30 year solar cycle.  Over the period 1970 to 1998, these two trends reinforced each other, giving rise to climate alarmism.  The solar cycle has now turned, leading Prof Vahrenholt to anticipate three decades of cooling.  His conclusion appears to be borne out by current data — there has been no warming since 1998.

He also demonstrated that the correlation between temperature and atmospheric CO2 is in fact very poor, while the correlation with solar activity is remarkably strong.  The sun appears to be moving into a quieter period (hence Vahrenholt’s book title “The Cold Sun”).  Let’s just hope it’s not so serious as the Maunder Minimum cool period in the Seventeenth Century, which had a serious impact on agricultural yields.  At least our higher atmospheric CO2 levels should help to maintain crop yields this time.

Before Prof. Vahrenholt’s presentation we heard from Ms. Mechthild Wörsdörfer of the European Commission, setting out plans to “decarbonise the European economy” by 2050.  I put a question to her: Was she aware of credible new research showing that renewables with conventional back-up resulted in emissions savings that were trivial or zero?  And did she agree with me that current EU environmental plans meant that European energy costs would be high, and European industry hopelessly uncompetitive, for decades, and that we risked condemning our grandchildren to an agrarian existence of subsistence farming, poverty and hunger?

Rather to my surprise, my question attracted a significant round of applause.

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9 Responses to An hour with Fritz Vahrenholt

  1. I bet you didn’t bother giving Ms. Mechthild Wörsdörfer’s answer to your question Roger as it was the usual EU warmist waffle denying there was any problem.

  2. Do you know what? I get the impression that the tide is at last turning!
    Keep up the pressure. Common sense will win in the end.

  3. Jim-Bob McLintock says:

    is there any video of these proceedings ?

  4. Tony Killeen says:

    I spoke at the Batsworthy Cross windfarm inquiry last week, as a small fish in this ghastly pond. I sincerely hope it gets the elbow, and that RWE stop making plans to put up more of these subsidy generators. Renewable energy research has been utterly stalled by feed-in tariffs for wind. Who wants to look for a real answer to our energy problems, when you can make millions in taxpayers’ money by sticking up windmills, and pretending they provide “green” energy?
    I’m glad someone is seeing sense, and hope the UK and Europe do, before we are saddled with an inefficient and massively expensive infrastructure for energy, and no countryside.
    Fritz Vahrenholt is a scientist, who has bravely changed his mind, and in effect told the world that his employer is doing the wrong thing. Energy policy should be informed by science, not pressure groups. Thank you, Roger, for raising the profile of this issue.
    It’s time to get fracking!

    • J. Seifert says:

      Tony, do not be too concerned about the windmill subsidy waste…..
      Our MP knows that the democratic process includes “MORATORY”,
      which is capable to instantly stop (subsidies/high tariffs), what has
      to be stopped. Just elect the proper government and it will issue
      a moratory (put everything on “hold”) on the windmill craze and
      promised tariffs…..It is done a lot in Spain: New Govmt….followed by
      hold on all bad, done by the previous bad govmt…. this is our
      democratic chance in elections…..
      JS

  5. J. Seifert says:

    Good work…..our way is the one and only, for being correct….
    More groundbreaking info on climate driving mechanisms, on the
    continuing temp plateau, on the negligable CO2-effect etc. will
    be available later this year…. Cheers….JS

  6. David Willett says:

    Why does the graph at the top of the page stop at about 1930? Almost all the warming thought to have been brought about by increases in greenhouse gas concentrations has occurred since then and is therefore not shown on the graph.

    • Lt. Columbo says:

      “thought to have been brought about” – exactly that

      There is an old Irish Proverb which goes …
      “Dhá thrian den obair í an chosúlacht.”
      (Two thirds of the work is the semblance.)

      Or in other words more work is put into the
      outward or token appearance (of the original
      graphs of Gore et al), than into the research
      and evidence behind them, and that course
      is deliberately misleading, or fraudulent.

      The Irish phrase is so much more elegant though.

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