Thursday, July 16, 2009


The top U.S. climate envoy is doubtful that any meaningful global agreement on climate change can be forged at December's climate talks in Copenhagen. Jonathan Pershing, the US deputy special envoy for climate change, said that the talks won't fail, but they "will likely be inadequate," reports

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is more optimistic, however, Reuters reports. Lula de Silva was heartened by the increasing participation of the U.S., saying "The United States is assuming the responsibility to discuss this issue, something they haven't done since the Kyoto Protocol was signed."

Pershing's comments came in front of the Committee on America's Climate Choices, which Congress last year directed the National Academy of Science to convene. The committee is scheduled to release four reports this year and a final report sometime in 2010.

Instead of December's meeting in Copenhagen, Pershing expects real components of climate change to come from 2010 meetings, likely to be held in Mexico. Recommendations from Copenhagen, however, should provide what Pershing called "real space for doing an agreement."

Whatever results from global climate talks, Pershing said he expects it be different from the Kyoto Protocol's reliance on a central authority to assign greenhouse caps. Instead, he said that the next global plan likely would begin with development of various domestic plans, which ultimately would be amassed into a single global deal.

The U.S. can't look to blame the world for lack of progress on climate talks, Pershing said. Indeed, the lack of comprehensive climate legislation in the U.S. has other nation's holding their cards. It's generally agreed that the U.S., as the biggest emitter, must take the lead. Then, the U.S. must reach an agreement with China, which is not far behind the U.S. in emissions.



Unknown processes account for much of warming in ancient hot spell

No one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect. The study, which appears in Nature Geoscience, found that climate models explain only about half of the heating that occurred during a well-documented period of rapid global warming in Earth's ancient past. The study, which was published online today, contains an analysis of published records from a period of rapid climatic warming about 55 million years ago known as the Palaeocene-Eocene thermal maximum, or PETM.

"In a nutshell, theoretical models cannot explain what we observe in the geological record," said oceanographer Gerald Dickens, a co-author of the study and professor of Earth science at Rice University. "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."

During the PETM, for reasons that are still unknown, the amount of carbon in Earth's atmosphere rose rapidly. For this reason, the PETM, which has been identified in hundreds of sediment core samples worldwide, is probably the best ancient climate analogue for present-day Earth.

In addition to rapidly rising levels of atmospheric carbon, global surface temperatures rose dramatically during the PETM. Average temperatures worldwide rose by about 7 degrees Celsius -- about 13 degrees Fahrenheit -- in the relatively short geological span of about 10,000 years.

Many of the findings come from studies of core samples drilled from the deep seafloor over the past two decades. When oceanographers study these samples, they can see changes in the carbon cycle during the PETM. "You go along a core and everything's the same, the same, the same, and then suddenly you pass this time line and the carbon chemistry is completely different," Dickens said. "This has been documented time and again at sites all over the world."

Based on findings related to oceanic acidity levels during the PETM and on calculations about the cycling of carbon among the oceans, air, plants and soil, Dickens and co-authors Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawaii and James Zachos of the University of California-Santa Cruz determined that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased by about 70 percent during the PETM.

That's significant because it does not represent a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Since the start of the industrial revolution, carbon dioxide levels are believed to have risen by about one-third, largely due to the burning of fossil fuels. If present rates of fossil-fuel consumption continue, the doubling of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will occur sometime within the next century or two.

Doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide is an oft-talked-about threshold, and today's climate models include accepted values for the climate's sensitivity to doubling. Using these accepted values and the PETM carbon data, the researchers found that the models could only explain about half of the warming that Earth experienced 55 million years ago.

The conclusion, Dickens said, is that something other than carbon dioxide caused much of the heating during the PETM. "Some feedback loop or other processes that aren't accounted for in these models -- the same ones used by the IPCC for current best estimates of 21st Century warming -- caused a substantial portion of the warming that occurred during the PETM."


Journal abstract follows:

Carbon dioxide forcing alone insufficient to explain Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum warming

By Richard E. Zeebe et al.

The Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (about 55 Myr ago) represents a possible analogue for the future and thus may provide insight into climate system sensitivity and feedbacks1, 2. The key feature of this event is the release of a large mass of 13C-depleted carbon into the carbon reservoirs at the Earth's surface, although the source remains an open issue3, 4. Concurrently, global surface temperatures rose by 5-9 °C within a few thousand years5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Here we use published palaeorecords of deep-sea carbonate dissolution10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and stable carbon isotope composition10, 15, 16, 17 along with a carbon cycle model to constrain the initial carbon pulse to a magnitude of 3,000 Pg C or less, with an isotopic composition lighter than -50. As a result, atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increased during the main event by less than about 70% compared with pre-event levels. At accepted values for the climate sensitivity to a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration1, this rise in CO2 can explain only between 1 and 3.5 °C of the warming inferred from proxy records. We conclude that in addition to direct CO2 forcing, other processes and/or feedbacks that are hitherto unknown must have caused a substantial portion of the warming during the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. Once these processes have been identified, their potential effect on future climate change needs to be taken into account.



Here are two sentences that I believe capture the state of the science on global warming better than anything else I have read this year:

".....our examples lead to an inevitable conclusion: since the climate system is complex, occasionally chaotic, dominated by abrupt changes and driven by competing feedbacks with largely unknown thresholds, climate prediction is difficult, if not impracticable" and "Hence, it appears that one should not rely on prediction as the primary policy approach to assess the potential impact of future regional and global climate change. We argue instead that integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability ...offer the best solution, whereby risk assessment and disaster prevention become the alternative to prediction."

They come from Roger Pielke Sr., who I interviewed recently (see here and here), and are found on his weblog, Climate Science.

Roger Pielke Sr. believes that global warming is real, and a threat. But about half the global warming community characterises him as a 'denier,' and treat him as an enemy. This is because he does not subscribe 100% to the received wisdom as put out by the most ardent proponents of anthropogenic global warming. They actually treat him as badly, if not worse, than outright skeptics. (Historians amongst us will recall that the same dynamic played out in religious conflicts as well as more recently in political struggles between factions of the Left--as a Leftist, I hate that this is true, and hate even more that this lack of logic has bled through to a scientific controversy.)

The reason those statements are important today, perhaps more than they were yesterday, is because one of the bastions of the rigid climate change world view has published an article saying that global warming may take a holiday. The weblog Real Climate (and please remember I've been sharply critical of their contributors recently, and some of their commenters have been sharply critical of me--politics alert! I'm trying to play fair, but be advised...) titled Warming, interrupted: Much ado about climate variability. It was submitted as a guest post by Kyle Swanson.

The thesis of the piece is that the Earth's temperature overshot in the record year of 1998--that some sort of important event occurred, and that the climate warming caused by CO2 may not be visible to us for 10 years. It says the recent plateau in global temperatures is a result of this event, and will persist--leading to essentially 20 years of no warming, despite the fact that we are emitting lots of CO2. The paper believes we will pay later, in terms of even greater temperature rises.

And that leads us to an overwhelming question. Can we trust these people? The political timing of this is fraught--Cap and Trade is now before the Senate, and the bill is a monstrosity. The G8 walked away from their meeting in Italy having made momentous but conveniently vague promises. The EPA is pondering how it will regulate CO2 under the Clean Air Act, and wondering which of its staff to listen to.



If I were an environmental activist, I would be despairing right around now about ever getting meaningful action on global warming. Over the last eight years, eco-warriors had managed to convince themselves that the main obstacle to their grand designs to recalibrate the Earth's thermostat was a stupid and callow U.S. president unwilling to lead the rest of the world.

But with Barack Obama in office they no longer have that problem. In fact, they have a charismatic and savvy spokesman who combines a deep commitment to their cause with considerable powers of persuasion. Yet his call to action at last week's G-8 summit in Italy yielded little more than polite applause, and that only when he issued a mea culpa. "I know that in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities," he said amid cheers. "So let me be clear: Those days are over."

What did this brave self-flagellation yield? To be sure, he got the attendees to collectively declare that they would never ever let the Earth's temperature rise two degrees centigrade from pre-industrial levels. This is supposedly a prelude to the real horse-trading over emissions cuts that will begin in a Copenhagen, Denmark, meeting this December.

But the depressing thing for climate warriors was that Obama could not get developing countries, without whose cooperation there is simply no way to avert climate change, to accept--even just in theory--the idea of binding emissions cuts. India's prime minister took the occasion to position his country as a major victim of a problem not of its making. "What we are witnessing today is the consequence [of] over two centuries of industrial activity and high-consumption lifestyles in the developed world," he lectured. "They have to bear this historical responsibility." And even before the summit began, China declared the West had "no right" to ask it to limit its economic growth.

Rather than engage with the issues, eco-pundits are grasping for all kinds of fanciful pseudo-scientific theories to explain why Obama's sweet-talking ways are leaving the rest of the world cold. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, for instance, recently blamed the lack of progress on the faulty circuitry evolution has wired into the human brain. According to Kristof, evolution has programmed us to be alert to immediate threats, such as snakes, or enemies with clubs, but not for vastly greater but less imminent dangers that require forethought. If this sounds like a warmed-over, 21st-century version of the Calvinistic crooked-timber view of human nature, that's because it is.

Not to be outdone, Kristof's Nobel Prize-winning colleague at the Times, Paul Krugman, pulled out the folk story about the frog and the boiling pot in his latest column to explain our collective torpor over climate change. Just as the proverbial frog wasn't able to feel the gradually rising temperature before he boiled to death, so too, in Krugman's telling, human beings are not equipped to comprehend the dangers of an overheating planet before they fry to death.

But this psychologizing only exposes the inability of climate activists to take seriously the rational case for inaction. In fact, there is a perfectly good reason developing countries are unwilling to act on climate change: What they are being asked to do is more awful than climate change's implications--even if one accepts all the alarmist predictions.

Consider what would be necessary to slash global greenhouse-gas emissions just 50% below 2000 levels by 2050--a far less aggressive goal than what the enviros say is necessary to avert climate catastrophe. According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce calculations, even if the West reduced its emissions by 80% below 2000 levels, developing countries would still have to return their emissions to 2000 levels to meet the 50% target. However, Indians currently consume roughly 15 times less energy per capita than Americans--and Chinese consume seven times less. Asking them, along with the rest of the developing world, to go back to 2000 emission levels with a 2050 population would mean putting them on a very drastic energy diet.

The human toll of this is unfathomable: It would require these countries to abandon plans to ever conquer poverty, of course. But beyond that it would require a major scaling back of living standards under which their middle classes--for whom three square meals, cars and air-conditioning are only now beginning to come within reach--would have to go back to subsistence living, and the hundreds of millions who are at subsistence would have to accept starvation.

In short, the choice for developing countries is between mass death due to the consequences of an overheated planet sometime in the distant future, and mass suicide due to imposed instant starvation right now. Is it any surprise that they are reluctant to jump on the global-warming bandwagon?

The Waxman-Markey climate change bill that just passed the U.S. House of Representatives wants to force developing countries to accept this fate by resorting to the old and tired method of protectionism. Should this monstrosity become law, starting in 2020 the United States will impose carbon tariffs on goods from any country that does not accept binding reductions. But this is a path to mutually assured economic destruction--not to combating climate change.

For starters, by 2020, when these tariffs go into effect, India and China--with GDPs projected to grow anywhere from 6% to 10% annually--will have much bigger economies with huge domestic markets that they are increasingly opening to each other. Thus they might well be better off forgoing access to the U.S. market than accepting crippling restrictions on their growth.

Also, by then they will also have more economic clout on the world stage to enforce their own ideas of who ought to take moral responsibility for climate change. The West's case for restricting Indian and Chinese exports rests on the claim that these countries' total emissions will exceed those from the West within the next few decades. (China's emissions are already at par with those of the U.S., the biggest emitter).

But these countries have, and will continue to have, far lower emissions on a per-capita basis, given that China's are now around one-fifth those of the United States and India's one-twentieth. Thus they would have an equally valid case for imposing countervailing restrictions on American exports based on per-capita emissions. The West might well be the bigger loser in this economic warfare if it is barred from accessing new, growing markets.

Obama obviously understands this--which is why he has condemned the House's turn down the protectionist path. So what should climate warriors do? Right now the only certain way to save lives is by calling off this misguided war on climate change. If and when climate change promises to claim more casualties than poverty and starvation, the world will begin heeding their calls. If, however, these climate-change casualties don't materialize, there would have been no need to act in the first place. Either way, the world has far more immediate and scarier problems than climate change to address right now.



We are at the verge of entering solar cycle 24. It is interesting to watch this solar cycle unfold. Recently Rachel Howe and Frank Hill of the National Solar Observatory from their studies of the solar jet stream, which is actually a plasma current called a torsional oscillation, indicate the sun is about to wake up from a rather long magnetic slumber. Time will tell. As of the end of June, the cumulative number of spotless days (days without sunspots) in this transition into solar cycle 24 stands at 651. As this solar minimum comes to an end, the number of spotless days per month will quickly tapper off.

The transitions into Solar Cycles (SC 16-23), referred to as "recent solar cycles" (years 1923 to ~2008), averaged 362 cumulative spotless days. Those minimums ranged from 227 - 568 spotless days. Since the current transition now exceeds 568 spotless days, it is fairly clear that the sun has undergone a state change. The solar Grand Maxima state that has persisted during most of the 20th century has come to an abrupt end. The "old solar cycles" (SC 10-15, years 1856 to 1923) averaged 797 spotless days, over twice that of the "recent solar cycles". Those solar minimums ranged from 406 - 1028 spotless days. If this solar minimum ends soon then the upcoming solar cycle may be similar to the "old solar cycles".

An increase in the number of cumulative spotless days during a solar minimum appears to correlates to a reduction in the number of sunspots over the entire solar cycle. The "old solar cycles" produced overall 38% fewer International Sunspot Numbers than the "recent solar cycles". This might lead one to erroneously conclude that solar storms will diminish in intensity during the upcoming solar cycle. But historically observations show the exact opposite. The "old solar cycles" produced far more intense solar storms than the "recent solar cycles".

In terms of spotless days, there are two numbers to watch. These are 654 and 736. The range between these two numbers may represent a "sweet spot" for enhanced solar storm activity.

The solar minimum preceding Solar Cycle 10 had 654 spotless days. The largest known solar storm in modern history occurred during Solar Cycle 10. On 1 September 1859, an extremely rare white light flare occurred on the surface of the sun. This event was referred to as the Carrington flare. Minutes later a burst of high energy protons struck earth. This Solar Proton Event (SPE) was the strongest observed in 450 years producing an omni-directional fluence of 18.8 billion solar protons (with energies greater than 30 MeV) per square centimeter. Seventeen hours and forty minutes later the main mass of the Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) struck the earth like a large battering ram distorting the earth's magnetic field producing a massive geomagnetic storm. The intensity of this storm is estimated as magnetic intensity Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) of 1,760 nT (nano-Teslas). By comparison, the strongest geomagnetic storm since 1957 occurred on 13 March 1989 with a Dst of 589 nT.

If a geomagnetic storm with the magnitude of the solar storm of 1859 were to occur today, the effect on our modern technologically dependent society would be extremely grave. Of these, the greatest threat would lie in the loss of stable electrical power.

A massive solar storm could induce a major electrical blackout. Actually that would be an understatement. Perhaps the term "Mother of all Blackouts" might come closer to fitting the mark. A recent report by the National Academy of Science titled "Severe Space Weather Events" indicates a massive solar storm could damage approximately 365 Extra High Voltage (EHV) power transformer in the United States causing a blackout affecting around 130 million people. Many EHV transformers are large, the size of a small house, and very unique. They are not off-the-shelf items. They are costly (around $10 million each) and have a manufacture lead-time of a year or more for replacement. As a result, restoration would be slow and the massive blackout could extent through many months.

The solar cycle with the next highest number of cumulative spotless days was Solar Cycle 13 with 736 spotless days. Five very large SPE's occurred in Solar Cycle 13. These SPEs produced solar proton fluence of 2.3 billion, 7.7 billion, 11.1 billion, 8.0 billion and 3.1 billion respectively. The (11.1 billion) SPE was the second strongest Solar Proton Event detected in 450 years of ice core records. By way of comparison, the strongest SPE's during the past 5 solar cycles (1954 to ~2008) had a solar proton fluence of 8.0 billion for a November 1960 event and 5.0 billion for an August 1972 event.


Uekoetter’s “Green and Brown” Condensed and Critiqued

Excerpt from a big book review by William Walter Kay. There was a powerful Greenie movement in the Germany of the 1920s and 30s too. It was called Nazism

Culture wars like real wars have direct hits, collateral damage, and friendly fire. Professor Uekoetter’s The Green and the Brown: a History of Conservation in Nazi Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2006) is an example of friendly fire. The book was written to contain damage caused by growing awareness that Nazism is the forbearer of German environmentalism but it is yet another trove of facts affirming the Nazi-environmentalist connection. German conservationism, and its attendant tendencies and sentiments, was not a distinct social movement separable from German fascism. Parallel to the Gestapo’s nightmarish dragnet ran a green reign of terror of intrusive eco-activism. German conservationism survived World War II. What follows is a critical condensation of Green and Brown.

According to Uekoetter, research on the Nazi-environmentalist connection dates to the 1970s but much of this was “a vicious effort to throw dirt on a worthy cause.” (1) Historians published compilations of quotes showing how Nazism permeated German conservationism. (2) Historians concluded German conservationism was on a direct course toward Nazism. Uekoetter assures us the new thinking amongst the “band of environmental historians working on the Nazi era,” of which he is a member, “is unanimous in its rejection of such a line of reasoning.” (3)

German environmentalists coped with the Nazi-environmental connection with a “tradition of forgetfulness.” (4) Amidst the German public: “interest in the Nazi past of conservation was almost nonexistent.” (5) This changed when the German Environment Minister summoned a conference on the topic in Berlin, 2002. Bielefeld U prof J. Radkau was invited and he brought along a doctoral student: Uekoetter. Radkau and Uekoetter published a book on the conference proceedings; then, to refine the environmentalist line, Uekoetter wrote Green and the Brown in 2006.

As an environmental historian, Uekoetter writes of nature protection “in a sympathetic mode” – bias unconcealed. (6) He is an environmentalist and a protector of the German environmental movement. He refers to the Nazis’ National Conservation Law as “excellent” and “one of the best laws of the time.” (7) Nazi animal rights efforts derived from “noble goals.” (8) He personally finds it: “disheartening to see that conservationists observed few taboos in the rapprochement to the Nazis.” (9) It was also “disheartening” for him to retell how green heroes looked to Himmler for support. (10) For Uekoetter the hydrological regulation of a river is the “destruction” of a river. (11) He has a phobia about “geometric design” in landscape. He dismisses a modern German hydrologist with: “it had not yet occurred to this official that thinking in terms of straight and curvaceous lines might be part of the problem.” The cancellation of a hydro-electric dam was a “happy conclusion.” (12)

Uekoetter was aware he was entering dangerous territory. Too much had been unearthed for German environmentalists to go on pretending Nazism was not part of their heritage or was an insignificant accident of history. (13)

Even before the Berlin conference: “environmentalists, also realized that any discussion of the past would run an enormous risk of being overtly divisive. It is striking that references to the Nazi era were notably rare in the ongoing internal debates. Perhaps lack of knowledge was to blame: the notion of an ‘environmental revolution’ nourished a widespread impression that the environmental movement had no history worth talking about. However environmentalists may also have refrained from meddling with the past because raising the Nazi issue was the discursive equivalent of the ‘nuclear option’: arguing that somebody was standing in line with the Nazis is clearly the ultimate insult in German politics...” (14)

Uekoetter’s band of environmental historians was moved to action because “extreme right-wing parties have made some attempts in Germany to enter the political mainstream in recent years through claiming ecological credentials.” As well, the Nazi-environmentalist connection was: “important to everyone working on international conservation issues, for authoritarian regimes continue to be an unfortunate presence on the global scene. It would be wrong to refrain from conservation work in authoritarians states, but it would be equally wrong to behave like the conservation community during the Nazi era: to simply take advantage of the opportunities that authoritarian regimes offer...” (15)

The main aim of Green and Brown (which it utterly fails to achieve) is revealed thusly: “There is no way – at least no logically consistent way – to tarnish environmentalism in general through a reference to the Nazi era: in fact such an argument constitutes an abuse of history. If you came upon this book hoping to be told that today’s environmentalists are actually Nazis in disguise, then I hope you paid for it before reaching this sentence.” (16)

Uekoetter hopes by having environmentalists plead guilty to the lesser offence of opportunism they can avoid conviction on the graver charge of fascism. His case is framed as follows: “It made no sense to stand up against Nazi had to leap at opportunities. The German conservation movement acted on the basis of an exceedingly simple political philosophy: any legal provision, and any alliance with the Nazi regime, is fine as long as it helps our cause. Rarely does one get the impression, going through the records and books of the Nazi era, that there was something that the conservationists would not do to push their agenda...It is on this attitude that the rapprochement on the conservation movement to the Nazi regime was based, and it is this attitude that needs to be challenged retrospectively. (17)

Uekoetter is fond of quoting historian R. Dominick from whom we learn that of 18 top German conservationists in 1938, ten were Nazi Party members and one had been refused membership. (18) What Uekoetter neglects to relay is that Dominick concluded 60% of German conservation organization members were card-carrying Nazis. (19) Uekoetter places membership in the conservation movement inside the Third Reich at 5 million. Nazi Party membership was also in the low millions. During MOST of the Third Reich MOST active German conservationists were Nazi Party members and MOST Nazi Party members were active in conservationist organizations. We are not dealing with two camps of men. We are dealing a single fascist/conservationist camp. Uekoetter concedes this on several occasions: “...most members of the conservation community touted nature protection as a quintessential goal of Hermann Goring and Adolf Hitler.” (20) “The “green” and the “brown” were not two camps at a distance...but two groups that shared many convictions and came to work together to a stunning extent...” (21) "All that it took to join the conservation community during the Nazi era was a willingness to cooperate with Nazi authorities – and of course, a readiness to be silent about any points of disagreement. As it turned out, the vast majority of the German conservationists were willing to pay the price.” (22)

Uekoetter is satisfied there was never a “seamless merger” between Nazism and German conservationism. The latter’s regionalism and elitism created “stumbling blocks that inevitably stood in the way of a seamless merger.” (23) And: “Conservationists often came to adopt Nazi rhetoric, but a seamless merger of both sets of ideas never materialized.” (24)

In keeping with his opportunism defence much is made of the fact that many conservationists joined the Nazi Party only after 1933. In 1933 Party membership grew from 850,000 to 2.5 million. (A temporary ban on new members was enacted on May 1, 1933.) (25) But German fascism was a movement. There were many fascistic parties and organizations (Fatherland Party, Steel Helmet, Freedom Party, Thule Society, etc.). In the early 1930s these groups united into the Nazi Party. For many conservationists joining the Nazis was not their intro to fascism....

Green-Brown’s Golden Years 1933-45

In 1933 conservationists welcomed the new regime. They joined the Nazi Party en masse. Their literature proclaimed conservationism as the quintessential Nazi goal. (48) ‘Hitler-Oaks’ were planted in hundreds of towns. (49) Dedicated Nazi E. Gritzbach spouted: “National Socialism is a true nature-protection movement.” A colleague counselled caution: “even the authoritarian government of National Socialism can only gradually come to exorcise the demon that finds its expression in the mistreatment of the landscape.” (50) Conservation advisor W. Lienenkamper, a convinced Nazi, claimed their “First Commandment” to be the “merciless extermination of the utilitarian perspective.” He declared: “Our service needs to be a battle: a battle in words and in writing against ignorance and brutality. Quick intervention if Heimat treasures are under siege. Our work does not tolerate delays, for even a single day can mean destruction beyond remedy.” (51) In 1936 he added: “If Mother Nature is threatened, the true friend of nature does not care about jurisdiction.” (52) A coterminous pamphlet read: “you are worthless as a conservationist if you do not partake with your heart, if you do not act out of love and a deeply held belief in the beauty, in the eternal powers and miracles of our Heimat nature.” (53)

Conservationist author, H. Schwenkel ushered in the Nazi era exclaiming: “the age of purely materialistic design of the landscape...” and “regulated brooks and rivers” was finished. (54) He said rooting German folk character in the land strengthened the case for landscape protection. (55) This echoed Hitler’s directive that: “It is imperative to preserve German landscape, for it is, and always was the ultimate foundation of the power and the strength of the German people.” Hitler intoned: “We will not only create a Germany of power, but also a Germany of beauty.” (56) Schwenkel later added (1938): “the Jew does not know nature protection...Only cultivated man, and almost exclusively Nordic man, develops a completely new relationship with nature” H. Stadler warned Jewish timber merchants had bought “the last of the strong oaks and the last of the beautiful walnut trees” and were exterminating pear trees. (57)

Uekoetter’s book overflows with evidence of an ideological/organizational fusion between German conservationism and Nazism. Examples: “The distance between the conservation community and the Nazis was much smaller in practice than one would expect...cooperation was far too intensive, and far too cordial to be explained by a partial coincidence of goals.” (58)

Much more HERE


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