Spiegel Science Reporter: Journalists “Rather Spread Disaster Scenarios”, Ignore Climate Science Uncertainties

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Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski, a geology major, believes some journalistic changes are sorely needed when it comes the mainstream media reporting on climate science and its uncertainties.

Spiegel’s critical science journalist Axel Bojanowski. Image cropped from Twitter here.

The online NDR German public television reports here on an annual meeting of science journalists which recently took place in Bremen.

Journalists “rather spread disaster scenarios”

Bojanowski criticized many of his colleagues, saying they would “rather spread disaster scenarios instead of critically examining the scientists”.

He also told the audience that models predicting the climate decades out are in fact “quite blurred”.

Germany is a country where the mainstream media universally promote the worst case climate scenarios in lockstep, as if they are established fact. Moreover, the media has a penchant to attack critical voices that question the scenarios of climate doom and gloom.

Journalists regard alarmist scientists as prophets

According to Bojanowski:

It gets reported as if scientists are coming down the mountain with big stone plates in which the truth is engraved.”

The Spiegel journalist’s sharp criticism of his colleagues is a rare occurrence in Germany, and potentially risky. Most journalists believe they are doing the right thing in spreading alarmism, are convinced the science is settled, and refuse to acknowledge how shaky the scientific basis really is.

Always the same handful of scientists get cited 

Moreover, only a small handful of scientists get cited by the media, says Bojanowski: “In Germany, the same five, six, seven experts are always quoted among thousands of scientists.”

The NDR writes that journalists “see it as their mission to teach society that they must change their behavior to stop climate change” but Bojanowski says the journalists prefer “not to bother with the blurriness of the science”.

Dissenting voices viewed as “a danger”

Former Süddeutsche Zeitung journalist, Christoph Schrader does not share Bojanowski’s view, saying: “We really do know enough” when it comes to climate research. For Schrader, the science is settled and now the core issue is the “Transformation”. He told NDR: We have to get into society. We must change all our ways of behavior.”

Schrader even called Bojanowski’s view “a danger”.

All sense of objectivity lost

Climate science skeptics Dr. Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt responded, blasting Schrader’s draconian view, writing at their Die kalte Sonne site here that Schrader would “fit perfectly in the media landscape of former Communist East Germany”, has lost every sense of objectivity, and uncritically publishes everything that is handed to him from the alarmist Potsdam institute.

According to Lüning and Vahrenholt: “Schrader does not view himself as a journalist” but rather behaves more like “missionary agitator”.

Uncertainty is the truth

Bojanowski also described to NDR the resistance he experiences from journalist colleagues, and how he gets accused of “wanting to obstruct climate protection.”

Communication expert Dr. Imke Hoppe agreed with Bojanowski’s observation that the public is not sufficiently informed about the uncertainties of long term forecasts.

According to Bojanowski, “People believe the uncertainties are negligible, and fundamentally a distraction from the real essence. The uncertainties in climate research are immensely true.”

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10 responses to “Spiegel Science Reporter: Journalists “Rather Spread Disaster Scenarios”, Ignore Climate Science Uncertainties”

  1. Dodgy Geezer

    …Bojanowski criticized many of his colleagues, saying they would “rather spread disaster scenarios instead of critically examining the scientists”….

    I expect that there will be a vacancy for a Science journalists at Der Spiegel in the coming weeks…

    1. Henning Nielsen

      I doubt that. He has voiced a skeptic view for years, and gotten away with it.

  2. rah

    Of course Bojanowski is writing in the context of Germany but what he says applies to most of the western world. Science journalists almost exclusively are more interested in getting a headline than finding the truth. I also suspect this truck driver knows more about science than many of those proclaimed to be “science journalists”.

  3. Yonason

    “Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski, a geology major, believes some journalistic changes are sorely needed when it comes the mainstream media reporting on climate science and its uncertainties.”

    Yes, But not only climate science. Journalistic changes are sorely needed in just about anything else they report, with particular emphasis on telling just the relevant facts and not giving us their distorted interpretations. It can’t be improved in the one and not the others.

    The problem with that is that it’s an upper management decision, so they would also have to be changed. And, since they are accountable to the owners, nothing will improve until everything is under new ownership, and the monopolies are broken up.
    https://www.webpagefx.com/data/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media/

  4. Don from OZ

    Very very true Yonason. Most journalists believe … Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    1. Yonason

      Excellent pint. Even at their best, few are reliably unbiased.

  5. Penelope

    Journalists must please their editors, who are hired by their boards of directors.

    For anyone within the journalism field to lay the blame on individual journalists is less than honest.

    In the US in the 80s there were more than a hundred media companies. Today there are six. Do you suppose they did that cuz they wanted US citizens to be better informed?

    1. Dave Ward

      “Journalists must please their editors, who are hired by their boards of directors”

      So true. I remember doing some research into my local media conglomerate, Archant, and quickly found connections with the UEA, and many renewable interests…

  6. tom0mason

    Axel Bojanowski, seems to be very unusual in that he’s a journalist and apparently thinks that rehashing press handouts are not enough to explain science. He seems to be saying science should be thoroughly scrutinized, made answerable for their shortfalls, and be made completely explainable by journalists.

    That’s a million miles from what most virtue signaling Sky journalists, and ex-Sky journalists believe. 🙂

  7. Gerald the Mole

    Christoph Schrader please note that Richard Feynman said:

    If you thought before that the science was certain – well, that is just an error on your part.

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