The climate crisis is real

On August 31, 2021, Universitetsavisa published a poorly written publication “The climate crisis has no scientific basis”. If something has no basis in science, it is rather a function of the good, because it is based only on what he himself believes to be logical and realistic. Below I discuss his points one by one.

Hassan’s first claim is that the climate crisis is not real. The reason is that the word “climate crisis” was not used in the UN climate report. The use of the word crisis indicates a distinction between science and politics. Science describes what happens, and politics deals with the consequences of what science describes. The climate report should not use the word crisis. Using it as an argument to claim that there is no crisis is strange at best.

Peter Carrall agrees with El-Hassan’s views on climate issues here.

Hasnes’ second claim is that the green turn won’t happen. He based this on his own calculations that it would cost $6.8 trillion a year if all the energy came from offshore wind. Then he declares that this is not realistic. Consulting firm Enerdata estimated global energy spending at $6.4 trillion for 2010, and the number is likely to be much higher now. Although the number is not directly comparable (including energy carriers other than electricity), it is on the same order of magnitude as Hasnes. Hasense’s numbers are in line with the energy cost of 8.4% of global GDP, which is quite feasible if necessary. Many countries are already around this level. The question is should we go to 8.4%, because Hassan’s calculations do not take into account the fact that solar energy is much cheaper than offshore wind in many parts of the world, that the costs of all renewable energy sources are dropping rapidly, and many other developments such as in favor of green technology .

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Hassanis’ third point is what he calls “false claims about the climate crisis”. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter if 97% of researchers in the world agree, if they’re wrong (well knows). His first example is pure straw man: these temperature records will be used to demonstrate climate change. This is not how the UN report is presented, and the media may be using temperature records to illustrate rather than prove climate change. Then there are some opinions about the UN commission’s investigation, accompanied by subtle phrases such as “scientific theory” and “falsified.” In this way, almost all research can be made suspicious. If the fire alarm went off and it smelled like burning, one could philosophically argue that it didn’t appear to be burning – that’s fair enough. But if Hansen goes from there to claim that there is no reason to deport the country, the misuse of philosophy of science is grave.

Then we come to a strange argument: there were more forests. What does that have to do with the case? The problem with the climate is that carbon and methane are extracted from sediments in the Earth’s crust and released into the atmosphere. More forests are OK, but they don’t solve the problem or indicate they don’t exist.

Hassan’s personal next point: He doesn’t agree with the media coverage, so he calls it “continuous, stupid and naive propaganda.” He cites an example in which the media misrepresented a scientific discovery. Here the “facade of the world” breaks a little, because there is no real argument – only rage and labels.

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Finally comes Hasnes’ solution: that NTNU should have a subject, preferably first-class, that should teach “source criticism, rhetoric, concepts, evaluation techniques, scientific method, theory of science, and history of science”. This theme already exists, under several theme icons. I took it last year as an “Introductory Course in Engineering INGG1001”. Among other things, we learned about the Dunning-Kruger effect. It explains why people with low competence in a field overestimate their knowledge in that field. I think it’s useful to understand how an associate professor of systems development and innovation is convinced that he understands climate research best by 97% of the world’s climate researchers.

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