On April 10, the Delft Technical University published on her website the document TU Delft position on Climate Action, where it is argued why and how the university defines much of her activities by standards of what we will here call the climate paradigm: the idea that modern man is significantly responsible for any climate change that occurs and that this should govern the activities: for the universities this would involve the development of CO2 reducing technologies in support of mitigation and to some extent also adaptation.

We at GRK consider this as a very important document since this constitutes a justification, an explicit argumentation which must be valid if this theme is to be appropriate as a guide for the university agenda. In contrast to goals and themes from the past, where several more reasonably objective and evident United Nations goals such as adequate water supply and food production prevailed as guidelines, now an entire programme depends on an alleged climate dependence on human-caused “greenhouse gas emission”.

Therefore, we analyse in this article step by step the points from this brochure and are particularly keen on identifying vague and ambiguous language as well as half-truths that can be in the way of truth-seeking. What matters is facts and agreement with observations. Correlation is necessary, but causation is essential, while at the same time recognising lack of knowledge where appropriate. Please use the comment section for providing your opinion about the argumentation.

Our comments are in the right-hand column and we will adjust them to our progress of analysis, also due to any input you may provide for which we thank you in advance.

This a first step emerges in a debate. We do hope that both form and content will appeal to a wide audience.

Klimaat actieplan TU Delft
Klimaat actieplan TU Delft

Points from the “Climate Action Plan”

GRK Analysis

Klimaat actieplan TU Delft
Klimaat actieplan TU Delft

Consequences for the “Climate Action Plan” TU Delft

The foundations of the central question are already addressed in the first part. If it is NOT “convincingly demonstrated” that the temperature variation is unusual and caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases, then what remains is a hypothesis of rather arbitrary nature. Then, the coupling of “climate” to a plan for action is only justified to the extent that it concerns climate-related threat to human existence in the traditional sense. There is definitely nothing new about that.

The 1%-99% argument occurring in the analysis of point 2-4 may be the most pressing argument that adaptation to whatever climate phenomenon should have precedence over mitigation.

After presenting the arguments above, the university builds by formulating four research questions and after that a discussion of seven areas. These will be presented on a different page for the sake of maintaining an overview. It concerns the following points:

Research Questions TU Delft:

  1. How strong is climate sensitivity?
  2. How will climate influence habitability?
  3. Where does the carbon go?
  4. To which extent can extreme events be attributed to climate change and how will they develop into the future?

Salient topics and research areas in the portfolio of  TU Delft:

  1. What are the challenges for climate adaptation?
  2. Energy Technology.
  3. Reduction of primary demand, re-use and efficiency measures.
  4. Carbon Capture, Conversion and Storage.
  5. Mobility.
  6. What are the challenges for climate adaptation?
  7. What about geo-engineering?

So now what?

We invite you to provide your comments here to the Climate Action Plan of the TU Delft, preferably specifically aimed at the points given. The comment can be positive and negative. We want the case for “climate action” to be formulated as strongly as possible. Please use a numbering system for designating the argument, since numbering starts at #1 at each tab sheet. Thanks for your contribution!

Prepared by: the analysis-panel of “De Groene Rekenkamer” for this article consisted of the following TU Delft alumni:

ir. Cyril Wentzel, ir. Theo Wolters en ir. Evert Jesse.

Editor-in-chief: Cyril Wentzel