German Die Zeit’s Twisted Perception: Doubt Being Fanned Worldwide By Climate Godfather Marc Morano

Yesterday’s print edition of Germany’s high-brow weekly Die Zeit has a full three-page feature story on the growing climate science skepticism in the USA and Germany titled “The Climate Warriors” authored by Kerstin Kohlenberg and Anita Blasberg.

The Climate Godfather Marc Morano

In their latest drive-by piece Die Zeit takes dead aim at Marc Morano, the Heartland Institute, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Fritz Vahrenholt and other communicators of the skeptic message, and contrasts them to an innocent, tormented Michael Mann. Die Zeit’s message is clear: If you challenge climate science, then you’ll be portrayed as aggressors by Germany’s mainstream media.

The godfather of climate science skepticism

Their piece begins with a large color photo (not the one shown above) of a godfather-like appearing Marc Morano, who Die Zeit portrays as the communication and climate skepticism kingpin. The only thing missing from the photo is Richard Lindzen kissing his hand.

Under the god-father Morano photo they write:

Marc Morano in the small Virginia town of Reston. The PR strategist unleashed the climate denier’s  global campaign.”

Die Zeit holds Morano responsible for single-handedly spreading skepticism worldwide. “…Morano appears in America’s living rooms; a stocky figure in the mid forties, donning a suit and tie. He has a friendly smile that fools you.”

Die Zeit calls Morano the “most aggressive member of a well-paid mercenary group” who is “leading a fight that is fueled by hundreds of millions of dollars”. Zeit writes:

In the past years the fight was financed by US auto manufacturer Chrysler, and oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron, and others. The story of the PR manager [Morano] is a story of a planned confusion. It is a didactic play on the art of lying. […] Doubt is now spreading across the world from America.”

And Morano is the mastermind behind it all, Die Zeit wants its readers to believe.

In Die Zeit’s view, there is no doubt that humans are causing the climate change, and that it will be catastrophic. The science and data are clear and the consensus is greater than ever. As far as Die Zeit is concerned, the scientific debate has long been over – a survey of 928 papers from 1993 to 2003 says so, they write. What’s left now is a struggle between the good warmists and the evil industry-paid deniers who are maliciously spreading doubt. There are no real skeptic climate scientists left. In the perception of Die Zeit, it’s now a struggle between David (honest climate scientists who are only doing their jobs) and Goliath (Morano leading an army of industry-funded PR mercenaries). Tragically, David is losing, Die Zeit frets.

Michael Mann proved climate change with his hockey stick

Die Zeit tells the story of “a little round man” named Michael Mann and his hockey stick chart, which they say is “proof that humans are at fault for climate change“. Die Zeit however blames Morano and the Heartland Institute for undermining the hockey stick’s credibility and fanning skepticism and lies. The hockey stick was attacked by Willie Soon who, Die Zeit explains, “received over 1 million dollars from ExxonMobil and other corporations“.

Unfortunately Die Zeit forgot to mention that the hockey stick had been debunked thoroughly by Steven McIntyre and Hans von Storch, who labelled the hockey stick chart “nonsense”, and that Andrew Montford wrote an entire book about the fraud: The Hockey Stick Illusion. They also failed to mention that the National Academy of Sciences had also called Mann’s methodology “flawed”.

They alluded to Wegman when describing a 2007 hearing:

A statistician, who up to then had nothing to do with climate science, described Mann as the mastermind of an international conspiracy, a former industry consultant who claimed Mann did not do his work properly.”

Die Zeit portrays Michael Mann as a humble and innocent scientist who today is being relentlessly tormented and persecuted by Morano and the skeptics just because his results are unpopular. While Morano lives “in a big Victorian home“, is chauffeured around in a limousine and “eats steak at the exquisite Capital Grill“, Mann lives in a humble little home, lit up by wind power, and is worried about his 7-year old daughter’s future. (There’s no mention he won a Nobel Peace Prize).

Die Zeit also focuses on Fred Singer and the late Frederick Seitz, who they write are “part of an industry-financed complex of associations and institutes that has grown up around Washington, a sort of Potemkin village of science, populated by paid experts who serve the interests of their clients. […] A well-oiled, self-perpetuating denial machine“.

Morano getting under Mann’s skin

Die Zeit describes the first time Michael Mann met Marc Morano, having no idea who he was. Today when Mann thinks back at this first encounter, “he has to take a deep breath. Now he’s knows who Marc Morano is.”

‘These people are cynics,’ he says. ‘It’s clear to me that Morano doesn’t mean me personally. He only wants to intimidate me. He wants to intimidate an entire field.’ Mann speaks softly, his face is pale.”

According to Mann, Morano has changed the entire rhetoric of the “deniers”. Mann says: “Morano has really accomplished a lot.”

Die Zeit writes that in the skeptics’ view:

The climate scientists are not only just wrong, but are now criminals who are intentionally committing fraud. Large parts of the public believe them.”

The Zeit also tells the story of how Mann once received a letter containing white powder, how he got a threatening e-mail, and that today “his life is no longer how it once was.” The underlying message Die Zeit conveys here is that climate scientists are being hounded, tormented and persecuted by a ruthless, industry funded mob.

Last resort for their beliefs

Die Zeit’s grotesquesly skewed perception of climate science skepticism includes a one-sided look at the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE) and prominent German heavyweight skeptic Fritz Vahrenholt. I will write about that tomorrow.

I sent an e-mail to EIKE to get their opinion on DIE ZEIT’s perception of the skeptic movement. They replied, addressing the warmist movement in general:

They are in panic. Europe is the last resort for their beliefs.”

It’s important to remind readers that Die Zeit is a fundamentalist green publication that is completely closed to any arguments that challenge the global warming religion. It’s Kooksville.

For example, on February 6, 2012 at a press conference in Berlin, Dr Sebastian Lüning and Professor Fritz Vahrenholt unveiled their newly published book “Die kalte Sonne“. In attendance at the press conference was a journalist from Die Zeit, who, never having read the book, immediately attacked the two authors and their message. The good news that there was lots of science emerging showing no coming climate catastrophe was just too upsetting for him to handle. Just think about that.

The point here is that Die Zeit is just too fanatic and caught up in AGW dogmatism, and thus cannot be taken seriously as an objective source of any kind.



65 responses to “German Die Zeit’s Twisted Perception: Doubt Being Fanned Worldwide By Climate Godfather Marc Morano”

  1. DirkH

    Heh! You gotta give Die Zeit credit for discovering that there’s a Marc Morano. That’s quite an insight for a German leftist paper. Maybe one of them accidentally read an American blog, instead of the NYT and The Guardian.

    1. kampmannpeine

      you mean Naomi Oreske’s book: The merchants of Doubt …

      you should read it. It is full of good stuff … and John Cook’s “Climate Change Denialism …”

      this says somebody who since years studies climate science … and is convinced mankind promotes AGW …

      1. DirkH

        Like the never proven lie that skeptics are funded by Big Oil. Why should I waste my time with Oreske’s cheap smears?

        Now I dare you, student of climate change: Prove that she is not lying. Show us the source.

        The fact that you blindly believe her shows that you’re very gullible. Probably a requirement for modern climate science.

  2. Ulrich Elkmann

    Some of their reporting is correct (that’s the secret of effective propaganda):

    “Die Zeit writes that in the skeptics’ view: ‘The climate scientists are not only just wrong, but are now criminals who are intentionally committing fraud.'”

    There are indeed sceptics who believe that. One of them is typing this.

  3. Mindert Eiting

    I never knew that you can get money from Chrysler for spreading doubt. Should I send them a letter?

  4. Sean Peake

    A Salinsky tactic by Mann and Die Zeit

    1. Athena

      An ALINSKY tactic. Just sayin’.

  5. Peter Wilson

    “A statistician, who up to then had nothing to do with climate science, described Mann as the mastermind of an international conspiracy, a former industry consultant who claimed Mann did not do his work properly.”

    Actually, I think this may well be referring to Edward Wegman rather than Steve McIntyre. After all Steve McIntyre made no such claims about an international conspiracy. Neither did Wegman of course, but he did clearly show the incestuous nature of the climate science clique.

    These guys are entitled to their opinions, but not to their own facts. Practically everything in this article is provably factually wrong. Normal climate science, in other words.

  6. Michael Snow

    I can’t wait for the movie. How about Anthony Hopkins for the lead?

  7. PeterF

    … and they are wondering why the newspapers are going bancrupt, one after the other.

    Why would I pay for a subscription, when such shoddy journalism is presented?

    But Die Zeit is still (somewhat ?) afloat, while the fate of better quality papers like the FTD s determined already.

  8. DrFurstDunaharm

    Didn’t Mann stack away some of the money from his Nobel prize?

    Something tells me his bank account is as inflated as his temperature data……

  9. Steve Case

    “Tragically, David is losing, Die Zeit frets.”

    Best part of the story.

  10. robert barclay

    The msm are morons, you cannot heat water through its surface because of surface tension which means that no matter how hot the atmosphere becomes you cannot store heat from the atmosphere in the ocean therefore no buildup of heat, a hot day is just that. The only energy that gets into the ocean goes in via the sun’s rays. Global warming CANNOT exist.

  11. John Lemons

    Is this the same Marc Morano who was responsible for the “Swift Boat” ads attacking Senator John Kerry?

    Morano keeps spouting that AWG has stopped. Yet, he nor others can get their work accepted by the scientific community. I am sure he is aware of the following:

    The linear trend in HadCRUT4 from August 1997 to August 2012 (181 months) is 0.03ºC/decade (blue) (In GISTEMP it is 0.08ºC/decade, not shown).
    The trend from August 1975 to July 1997 is 0.16ºC/dec (green), and the trend to August 2012 is 0.17ºC/dec (red).
    The ten years to August 2012 were warmer than the previous 10 years by 0.15ºC, which were warmer than the 10 years before that by 0.17ºC, which were warmer than the 10 years before that by 0.17ºC, and which were warmer than the 10 years before that by 0.17ºC (purple).
    The continuation of the linear trend from August 1975 to July 1997 (green dashed), would have predicted a temperature anomaly in August 2012 of 0.524ºC. The actual temperature anomaly in August 2012 was 0.525ºC. [-snip, Sorry, RC policy applies for RC here as well. -PG]

    At the moment, I do think that Morano and his likes are winning the PR battle. Nothing to be proud of. My only hope is that science will prevail (and soon). And if not, then McKibben’s work and others who advocate non–violent civil disobedience (e.g., see

    BTW, the scientific content of responses on this site is so impressive.

    [Is this you? If so, what could a zoologist possibly know about climate? Anyway, HadCrut shows no warming over 15 years….and so do the satellites. -PG]

    1. DirkH

      “BTW, the scientific content of responses on this site is so impressive.”

      Climate expert Lemons, can you also explain the total failure of the climate model predictions? How can a model with finite precision and a random starting state have a chance of predicting the state of the chaotic climate system in the year 2100?

      Please explain.

    2. Hugh K

      “[Is this you? If so, what could a zoologist possibly know about climate?”

      If so, no doubt Lemons work is motivated by a fascination with lemmings.

      OK, students….we’re going on a field trip today…..all group close behind me now while we jump off the CAGW cliff together.

      But if it is science Lemons wishes to discuss why don’t we start with the basics first?

      “Skepticism is not a position; skepticism is an approach to claims, in the same way that science is not a subject but a method.” Michael Shermer

      “It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science. Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense.” Carl Sagan

      “I`m a skeptic not because I do not want to believe, but because I want to know.” Michael Shermer

      “Skeptic does not mean him who doubts, but him who investigates or researches, as opposed to him who asserts and thinks that he has found.” Miguel de Unamuno

      “Skepticism is the father of freedom. It is like the pry that holds open the door for truth to slip in.” Gerry Spence

      “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” Michael Crichton

    3. kampmannpeine

      well, a zoologist (and environmental scientist!! you forgot this) can say a lot on climate change caused change of biodiversity …

      1. DirkH

        Too bad that he didn’t.

  12. Michael D Smith

    At the moment, I do think that Morano and his likes (sic) are winning the PR battle. Nothing to be proud of. My only hope is that science will prevail (and soon).

    The phenomenon that the skeptics are winning is due to the fact that science IS prevailing. Real volunteer statisticians, engineers, physicists and scientists are shooting down purposely flawed studies as fast as the propaganda mills can float them. THAT is what is saving science. These claims of “highly paid” anything on the skeptic side have never been documented; in fact, the only highly paid groups are the participants in the Climate Industrial Complex themselves who are producing the propaganda in hopes for legislated advantage (refer to participants in USCAP, WWF, Greenpeace, Gore, etc – the real fat cats steering the truly astonishing reduction of science to witchcraft).

    The notion that climate sensitivity is high has been demolished so many times by so many studies that really there is no hope of continuing to prop up CAGW as a serious threat anymore. This is what the skeptics accept (as any rational scientist would), and what the alarmists willfully continue to obfuscate and deny – and the reason for the highly paid propaganda mills in the first place. If real science won’t get the checks written, make your own!

    Give them an offer they can’t refuse Marc!

    1. Michael D Smith

      (just to be clear, the first paragraph was a quote or italicized. HTML didn’t work)

      1. DirkH

        Always use “” for clarity…

  13. GoodBusiness

    If I were Germany I would be afraid also – they are closing their coal plants and their nuclear – so they must PURCHASE POWER from France [nuclear] at a very high cost when America is becoming energy independent with gas and nuclear. The Germans have little or no natural resources and no energy sources – they saw what happened to Japan when in a similar position.

    If America starts harvesting their metals and have energy costs of 1/3 of Germany, starts using their advanced automated manufacturing Germany will lose big parts of their economy. Answer to them is to TAX energy so all will be equal – humm it is still all about the money after all.

    1. DirkH

      No, GoodBusiness. Our current government is only half-crazy – they still force us to send 20 bn EUR a year to the owners of solar panels and wind turbines – but we are at the same time building new coal power plants and ramp up mining of our own lignite and import of US coal.

      Energy is much too expensive here, but attempts at avoiding a catastrophic failure of the grid are being made.

      CO2 emission reductions are not a problem as the Kyoto targets had been rigged in our favor from the start – the Kyoto treaty was designed by a commission of the German Bundestag (and then cleverly given the name of a city in Japan.)

  14. Stephen Brown

    Marc Morano?
    Hip-hip- Huzzah!
    Hip-hip Huzzah!
    Hip-hip Huzzah!
    This recognition means that victory over the Green Agenda is within the grasp of Climate Realists.

  15. Clark

    They didn’t put a little mustache on him?

  16. pyeatte

    If the AGW mob were truthful, they wouldn’t have to hide data, exaggerate risks and suppress contrary scientific publication. The AWG mob are like cockroaches – if you shine a light on them, they scurry back under a rock. They are far-left and are trying to gain control over social and political policy on a global scale. Too bad there is not another planet they could be deported to so they could boss each other around and leave real people alone.

  17. KC

    The next Bond movie should be “Greenfinger”, where Bond circles the globe busting AGW lunatics bent on total control of the planet and sending us all back to the stone age.

    These arrogant delusional psychos really need to lose their fake jobs in the midst of our universities and join the real world.

    The entire concept of plotting planetary temperature to two decimal places of accuracy with proxy data (or contemporary sensor data for that matter) is ludicrous. Then claim unprecedented rate of change over thousands of years. Please. Get real jobs you nuts.

  18. Martin van Etten

    please provide a link to the Zeit article so we can form our own opinion;


    1. DirkH

      Print edition. Not online. I tried the search of Die Zeit (useless) and google with
      blasberg morano
      – to no avail.

    2. Stefan
  19. Matt

    Marc, how can I get ahold of some of those hundreds of millions of dollars from Chrysler and the oil companies? I’ve spread enough doubt, and I feel I deserve some of the cut!

  20. Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup | Watts Up With That?
  21. Simon

    Marc, Next time I’m in Reston (at my co. HQ), the beer is on me. No, make that dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse. It’s the least I can do.

  22. Dr. Doug L. Hoffman

    The climate alarmists made us an offer we could refuse, thanks to Don Morano. Like they say: it’s nothing personal, just business.

  23. Zdzislaw Meglicki

    If a single man, not even a “climate scientist”, could be so effective in derailing the AGW train, it is only because the train had no wheels to begin with.

  24. DirkH

    “In their latest drive-by piece Die Zeit takes dead aim at Marc Morano, the Heartland Institute, the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Fritz Vahrenholt and other communicators of the skeptic message, and contrasts them to an innocent, tormented Michael Mann.”
    Looky here. Just days after the Zeit defends an innocent Mann, real dendros thrash him.
    “I would be surprised if Mann has ever sampled a tree, looked at the resultant samples and even tried to crossdate them.”
    Another inconvenient fact that the Expert Journalists from Die Zeit will have to sweep under the rug.

  25. Leigh Evans

    Let’s be perfectly clear here.
    Mann has never won a nobel, NEVER.
    He may pretend he did but he didn’t.
    Check with the people who hand out the gongs.

  26. Marc Morano: The Godfather

    […] From No Tricks Zone […]

  27. Hans Labohm

    As a Dutchman I always thought that ‘Die Zeit’ was a quality newspaper. Now I have to correct that impression. The article in question testifies of shoddy if not malicious journalism.

    In The Netherlands the relationship between AGW protagonists and antagonists has markedly improved over the last few years. A broad majority of political parties in Parliament, including the Labour Party, has requested the government to include climate sceptics in the scientific debate. They would never have done so if they would have believed that the story by Kohlenberg and Blasberg was a truthful reflection of reality. The dialogue is now going on. One of the most visible manifestations to date is, which is run by a mixed group of scientists, including both AGW adherents and climate sceptics. It is sponsored by the government.

    It shows that it can be done without polarization. Just follow the rules of sound scientific practice, including an open dialogue.

  28. Harald Koenig

    SCIENCE deals with the interpretation of FACTS and/or matters.
    PR deals with the transformation of NEWS for whatever purpose.
    That’s all.

  29. Anna K.

    When I read the article in question (the german original in die Zeit) I was shocked how ignorant people can be . There are hundreds or thousands of researches that prove that there is a climatical change !
    People who deny that there is a dramatic change in climate need to open their eyes to the hard facts of reality: there will be a rise of temperature and there will be hundreds of problems our children and grandchildren will have to solve.
    I am very glad that I am living in Germany. Our government´s energy transition is the best thing that ever happened to our country. We are saving energy and CO2 and our economy is growing because our “Energiewende” is creating a lot of new jobs.
    I hope at least some of the fanatics on this website will open their eyes.

    1. Ed Caryl

      Rising temperature has never caused problems. Cooling causes problems.

    2. DirkH

      Anna, of course there is climate change. There has always been climate change. The question is, is there a significant antropogenic component? Nothing indicates that this is the case.

      The warming during the 80ies and 90ies had the same slope as the warming from 1900 to 1930.

      The temperate stagnation since 2000 is flat. just like the 50ies or so.
      Will we next see a colling like in the 60ies and 70ies?

      And if so, WHY are temperatures going up and down slowly while CO2 is rising and rising? This is not what the warmists predicted.

      It was warmer in Europe and Greenland in the MWP than now.

      Under retreating glaciers, bronce age villages in Europe are found.

      The current warmth is not extraordinary, and probably not antropogenic.

  30. Frank K

    Thank you Anna. I have to say there are some voices of reason here, but the majority is listening to the likes of Morano … propaganda, lies and more lies.

    1. kampmannpeine

      very good, Anna and Frank … thank you for the support …

      1. DirkH

        It’s getting cold.

  31. bernhard

    The original article is online now (if you are able to read German):

    Good luck, America with your head sticking in the sand and ignoring the realities of this world.

  32. Marcus

    What an beautiful article! Detailed, serious and just sooo right.
    When are you guys start to think about the world and your responsebility rather than the fear of loosing money (greetings to ExxonMobile and Co.)?

  33. Georg L.

    Scepticism as itself is not a bad attitude at all, BUT the “facts” by the scientist around Morenos position (doesn’t matter who pays them) do not reflect the majority of the opinion by the scientist(the ones having a PhD in a climate relevant discipline). See for example a review from the Science magazine (jthe exerp below is the most relevant)

    “The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position.”

    There are other studies/reviews coming to similar conclusions(with different methods). You may say you dont believe Science Mag, it’s a conspirancy, the physical modells are uncertain(thats true) and very complex, but thats what the majority of the scientist think. btw the transition to post fossil fuel economies also makes sence without the coming lobal warming.

    1. DirkH

      ” You may say you dont believe Science Mag, it’s a conspirancy, the physical modells are uncertain(thats true) and very complex, but thats what the majority of the scientist think. ”

      So how do they justify the alarmist summaries by the IPCC? How do they justify participating in the IPCC process? Where is their scientific honesty?

      Don’t you think that you have just condemned the IPCC process?

  34. Chris

    So “Die Zeit” is, i quote, “a fundamentalist green publication”?

    You Fail.

    “Die Zeit” in Germany is probably the most conservative publication in existence, far surpassing “The New York Times” in this matter.

    Now, there rises my suspicion that this website is a fine example of what actually was meticuously described in that very article.

    1. DirkH

      Chris, “Die Zeit” is a social democrat organ. Maybe you’re confusing it with “Die Welt”?

  35. Georg L.

    @Dirk H.
    “So how do they justify the alarmist summaries by the IPCC? How do they justify participating in the IPCC process? Where is their scientific honesty?”

    >”alarmist” is jedgemental. Who justifies what? My point is: if an overall majority of the scientist are of the opinion that there is an athropogenic global warming, then I’m not wondering why the IPCC comes to its conclusions and statements(though I’m not a fan of the IPCCs organizational structure).

    >”scientific honesty”: pathetic. Like most of the contributions you made in this discussion.
    Science is about data collection, statistics, data interpretation, modelling, concensus finding between scientists. In best case it is Falsification oriented (not always possible in our Positivism oriented science).

    >”Don’t you think that you have just condemned the IPCC process?” ???
    stay oblective, get the fasic knowlede(e.g. what makes a gas a GHG?)man, then I would feel more talking about facts then ideology.

    1. DirkH

      Pierre, I felt compelled to give a detailed answer. Unfortunately it’s in the spam bucket … Could you look?

  36. Are “Pro-Green” newspapers trying to “spin” their way out of years of falsehoods? …. “Too Late!” | The Big Green Lie

    […] lefty journalist Harald Martenstein of Die Zeit, a weekly that recently portrayed Marc Morano as the Don Corleone of the North American climate denial syndicate, has an amusingly satirical essay on the […]

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