Leftist German TAZ Daily Article On Vahrenholt: “Climate Skeptics Are Like Viruses”

With the book out 6 days, parts of the the German mainstream media and green activists are finding the the whole affair really tough to digest. Some of the reactions have been downright nasty and Medieval.

The left wing German online TAZ here has a weekend article called “Climate Skeptics Are Like Viruses“, which looks at the controversy swirling about Vahrenholt’s and Lüning’s new skeptic book “Die kalte Sonne“.

TAZ’s message is clear: In climate science, scientific scrutiny and enquiry are mental disorders coming from viruses. We all know what needs to be done with viruses.

IPCC lead author: skeptics no longer need to be heard!

In the TAZ piece, IPCC lead author Petra Döll is quoted as saying that skeptics don’t need to be heard. Lüning and Vahrenholt respond at their Die kalte Sonne site:

The attitude of refusal by the IPCC with respect to open scientific discussion and debate is now conspicuous. This is demomstrated by IPCC lead author Dr. Petra Döll in the German online taz in claiming that “climate skeptics” no longer need to be heard. Indeed it is questionable just how long this weird scientific approach can be maintained. Should we not expect a professional demeanor from scientists who are paid and supported by German tax revenue? Döll’s dubious reasoning: The climate skeptics ”just keep repeating the same arguments”.  Could it be that the so-called climate skeptics are forced to keep repeating because the current climate science establishment has yet to provide a satisfactory answer? There’s a lot that indicates this is the case. An assessment of the media one week after the launch of the book “Die kalte Sonne” has clearly shown: The media are relying on a hand-full of prominent experts whose arguments are showing to be everything but scientifically convincing. The statements of many experts and activist editors are characterized by misrepresentations, intentional omissions and errors.
Politicians have become aware of this problem. SPD socialist party Chairman writes in the the Sunday edition of the TAZ sonntaz that in all cases we have to hear the climate skeptics out, ‘and even if it is sometimes very difficult to do so.’ Perhaps he’s beginning to realize that something is amiss within the IPCC. Politicians have blindly relied on the IPCC for too long. Whatever the IPCC said, was law. When one considers how high the stakes really are in the climate debate, then one has to conclude that an independent review of the IPCC’s basic assumptions is essential, even just for the sake of transparency reasons. To avoid conflicts of interest, such a review should be conducted by neutral parties who are not involved in the climate debate. Of course this should be done by scientists, but the more they are from outside of climate science, the better. Climate science is not rocket science. An independent review by a commission is possible with independent scientists. In the event members come from a large research facility, then it must be assured that there is no sister institute that is dependent on climate science funding. The most important tool of such a commission is natural science common sense, which has been increasingly missing in the climate sciences over the last years.”

That’s a reasonable response. A commission to conduct a review of the IPCC is long overdue, as it is well-documented that the IPCC house is a mess.

But scrutinizing science is mentally ill – the TAZ wants to tell us

There’s another part of the TAZ report, which Lüning and Vahrenolt did not respond to (probably because of its sheer absurdity). Here’s what the end-of-the-world-obsessed TAZ adds:

Also psychologist Marius Raab asks that climate skeptics be listened to. Their ‘house of thoughts’ in the end fulfill many criteria for conspiracy theories, which Raab studies at the University of Bamberg. ‘A conspiracy theory is foremost a good story,’ he wrote to the sonntaz, “in structure and argumentation it is especially compelling and holds the invitation to get involved and thus to spread the word. Argumentation is one-sided, not scientific.'”

Reminds me of the old Soviet tactic of admitting political opponents to mental institutions in order to eliminate them. With the TAZ’s “virus” remark and adding the comments from shrink Raab, it’s clear that the TAZ has no interest in arguing the science and is perfectly content to engage in gutter journalism.

Finally, here’s an objective radio report (in German) Inforadio rbb on the book “Die kalte Sonne” .

28 thoughts on “Leftist German TAZ Daily Article On Vahrenholt: “Climate Skeptics Are Like Viruses””

      1. Basically I see a trend. The past 2 winters I worked in Hamburg; in both of these winters Hamburg was surprised by frost and lots of snow. They were quite unprepared for that, used to milder winters.

        In the second of my winters there, it nearly came to an Alstereisvergnügen. Like the Elfsteedentocht, it only happens once every 15 years or so that the Alster, the inner city lake of Hamburg, freezes thick enough to do it; it’s a funfair on the ice with Bratwurst booths etc. so they need some thick ice to do it.

        This winter I’m not there but they finally got their Alstereisvergnügen. So, I see a clear cooling trend, and wouldn’t be surprised if they got much more of these occasions over the coming decades.

      2. They did not restart nukes? well, so much for the myth of superior German intelligence. They just haven’t been cold enough, long enough, for it to sink in.

      1. Pierre, the Indian article explicitly mentions Handelsblatt from Thursday. Their article also says “AFP” at the top, so it is just a repat of AFP’s mistake.

  1. Green cancer or skeptic virus take your pick. Why not stick to science and empirical evidence? No that won’t work the green cancer loses.

    1. This is a political debate. Certain groups have discovered “science” as an excuse to implement their personal idealogical policies. They have to be resisted upon scientific and political grounds.

      Remember Lysenko.

  2. If Dr Droll is representative for the common opinion of the IPPC staffers and writers then it ought to be quite obvious that the only voice not needed to be heard is that of the IPPC, it should therfore be dechartered and disbanded.
    And perchance a start instigated to establish a more rational, and less monchromatic and barrel visioned forum to advise governments on matters of climatic policy, if the need is still felt to be there.

    Well enough of that, I took a quick peek at the comment section of the Tageszeitung article refered to in the main post above and someone calling herself Hilde left a poignant comment ( I do not know how to, or if it is possible to put link straigt to it so i did a post-normal science cut/paste reference to it and put that comment in quotes below here ) :


    12.02.2012 14:34 Uhr
    von Hilde:

    Klimaskeptiker sind wie Viren …
    Atomkraftbefürworter sind die Bazillen …
    Gewerkschaftsmitglieder sind wie Ratten …
    Die CDU ist wie Krebs …
    Gegendemonstranten sind wie Schmeißfliegen …

    Hab ich was vergessen? Wohl nur noch den Aufruf zur Vernichtung. Bitte keine Titel mehr im Stil des Neuen Deutschlands, bitte liebe taz

    1. Oh, that’s run of the mill rethoric for socialists. Don’t forget that Müntefering, ex SPD boss, coined the term “locusts” for hedge funds. It reminded me of “rats” for Jews, an older analogy. If Hilde really expects anything different from the taz, she must be a very naive woman.

  3. I was a little bit to quick on the submit button , before I noticed I had misspelled the good lady doctors name in the first sentance of my previous comment , I ment to write Dr. Döll instead of Dr. Droll. Honest mistake not , no offence meant.

  4. What did Dr Petra Doll read for her PhD? Knitting? Certainly not science. A scientists job is to be skeptical otherwise they become no account activists.

    1. An accepted workaround is to write “oe” for “ö”, “ae” for “ä”, “ue” for “ü”. We did that in Germany all the time before the Unicode age to make sure the Umlauts don’t get mutilated when passing from one system to the next. I can even remember days when cheap typewriters had no dedicated Umlauts so you had to type “a”, backspace, and ‘”‘ for an ä.

  5. It is interesting that the “scientific” climate debate is now more about name calling than substance. There must be some deeply seated human need to denigrate the opposition by applying nouns and adjectives to them rather than looking at evidence for phenomena. How will we get climate investigation back to being scientific?

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