On June 8 Spiegel science editor Axel Bojanowski wrote a rather harsh piece criticizing recent claims in the German media that “heavy rainfalls” were becoming more frequent in Germany when in fact there is no statistical evidence to support the claim.
Spiegel journalist, Axel Bojanowski. Photo: Axel Bojanowski.
He even went so far to call the claims in the media “a climate bluff”. I wrote about that Bojanowski’s Spiegel piece here.
Hat-tip: Reader Till.
Over the past few weeks Germany and parts of Europe have experienced heavy rainfalls. Unsurprisingly some catastrophe-obsessed scientists tried to link the weather to climate change. This prompted the Spiegel journalist to write in his June 8 commentary that the climate doomsday headlines made with every occurring weather anomaly seem to have become a “knee-jerk” reaction by German media outlets.
In response to his critical article, Bojanowski, a geologist by education, was met with a fierce backlash, led by Potsdam scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, who posted one his patented, carefully-crafted the-science-is-settled essays, see here.
Four days later, on June 14, at his blog here, Bojanowski shot back, defending the harsh criticism and tones he used in his critical article, and reiterated that the evidence of more days with extreme rainfall remains was non-existent and that scientists who claim otherwise are harming the discipline of science:
My criticism was simple: Weather data show no increase in days with heavy rainfalls in Germany – experts, who hide this data, or who claim the opposite, are misleading the citizens, squandering trust in science, and are making science obselete.”
On claims his criticism was exaggerated, he writes: “No. When experts – especially experts paid by the citizen – hide information or spin it, you should be able to read about this.”
None of the scientists or meteorolgists that I had criticzed supplied data that would show a long-term increase in heavy rainfalls in Germany. That’s exactly the problem.”
Bojanowski does say, however:
But it would not surprise me if soon there were data showing an increase in heavy rainfalls in Germany.”
Climate science is not like other sciences
Because Bojanowski writes about climate, geology and earth sciences, he is well aware that debate and challenge are the fuels that drive scientific progress. So it’s only natural for him to express his surprise at the reactions of scientists and journalists had to his critical articles. He summarizes:
It surprises me again and again how some react to critical articles on climate science. In medical journalism, critical, evidence-based journalism has established itself. I’m very curious to see how things will progress in climate science, foremost concerning the results.”
Indeed, especially over the coming 5 – 10 years.