Die Zeit Represents Germany’s Hostile Intolerance, Calling Climate Science Skepticism “Fringe Opinions” From “Deniers”

On Friday I wrote about how the print edition of Die Zeit had published a twisted drive-by slander piece on climate skeptics, targeting Marc Morano of Climate Depot, the Heartland Institute, EIKE and Fritz Vahrenholt (photo left).

Unsurprisingly the report’s authors, Kerstin Kohlenberg and Anita Blasberg, have no formal science training; they are sociology majors. That explains one reason why the piece had no focus at all on the science. The other reason is that science just doesn’t support their narrative. No warming in 15 years.

Die Zeit’s lengthy article exposes a perception of the climate debate that is foreign to reality. They seriously believe it is being masterminded by a few evil industrialists and a PR wizard, at least that’s what their readers should believe. Anyone familiar with even the most basic of research quickly sees that there’s a huge growing body of science that has long since cast serious doubt in the field.

The doubt stems from the science, not from bloggers are PR people.

The climate skepticism movement is driven by bloggers and non-mainstream media outlets who base all their reporting on the latest science coming out, and the major flaws found in the old science. All the skeptic blogs out there are not centrally orchestrated by sinister industrialists. We’re funded by millions? Give me a break.

I can’t speak for all blogs, but you can be sure that almost all of them are getting by on a shoestring, operated voluntarily. NoTricksZone, for example, is purely voluntary and receives no donations. A tiny bit of money is earned through ads. It’s a one-man show.

If the blogs received just a small fraction of the funding and media attention the NGOs and environmental organisations get, the debate would end lightning fast. Already just one single major media skeptic report is enough to throw throw the entire warmist movement into chaos for weeks.

Marc Morano doesn’t write the stuff that bloggers report. His Climate Depot is an aggregator of everything the bloggers and skeptic journalists write. Many of the skeptic blogs are run by scientists, engineers, statistics experts and so on who see serious flaws in the data.

Big Oil did not buy 15 years of no warming.

Dirty reporting

Thursday’s Die Zeit piece was not the first of its kind. It’s just a rehash of a warped story they had written 2 years ago. The only difference is that they have since found a couple of new villains: Morano and Vahrenholt. The ultimate target of the Die Zeit piece is to marginalize Vahrenholt here in Germany.

If anything, the Die Zeit piece confirms how the warmists have lost the scientific debate. They have nothing left but to scrape the bottom of the journalism gutter, forced to resort to name-calling, lying and slander. We’ve seen it before. In my view, the piece has Rahmstorf’s fingerprints all over it.

In addition to Morano, Die Zeit’s piece focuses on the European Institute of Climate and Energy (EIKE), who they say “is supported by CFACT, the employer of Marc Morano”. So what?

Die Zeit, having never attended an EIKE climate conference, finds nothing good to write about alternative scientific views and EIKE conferences. They write:

In addition to Singer, someone from the Heartland Institute will speak. A Canadian blogger is going to present her new, critical book on the IPCC. […] On the advisory Council of EIKE sits a journalist, and a forestry scientist. The president is a historian, and the vice president is an electrical engineer, who in his presentations likes to describe the horror scenarios of an eco-dictatorship: no heat, no cars, no factories.”

Die Zeit presents proof that readers should not trust EIKE: “Here you’ll find links to websites like Marc Morano’s, or to klimaskeptiker.info, the ‘forum against disinformation on the greenhouse gas effect and climate protection.'”

Die Zeit’s contempt for skeptics really comes through as you read through the piece. They say the skeptic movement in Germany would be a joke, were it not for Fritz Vahrenholt:

One would just laugh at the German denier scene and view it as harmless, had a political heavyweight not entered the stage recently.”

Here they’re referring to Professor Fritz Vahrenholt who together with Sebastian Lüning authored a bestselling skeptic book Die kalte Sonne, which sent shockwaves through Germany’s alarmist circles. Overnight Vahrenholt had been transformed to Germany’s no. 1 climate science villain. Die Zeit writes:

Vahrenholt does not claim that the climate scientists are fraudsters, but he does suggest that they are all dumber than he is. In truth, the Earth is warming much more slowly than previously believed. He, Vahrenholt, discovered that.”

Here we see just how dirty and misleading Die Zeit can get. Anyone who has read his book can tell you that Die Zeit’s above suggestion is pure rubbish. Nowhere will you find Vahrenholt claiming “he discovered the warming is slowing”.

Die Zeit also takes issue with the rest of the media for even giving the skeptics any coverage, suggesting other views should be ignored:

Every statement made by a climate scientist gets accompanied by a statements from a climate change denier – and so this is how we get way from the answer of what’s right and what’s wrong.”

Die Zeit doesn’t hold back with their use of the word “Leugner” (denier) to describe the skeptics. They hammer Vahrenholt’s credentials, describing how the professor of chemistry had been introduced when giving a speech in Dresden. Die Zeit writes:

On this evening, Vahrenholt is introduced as a scientist, as an expert on climate and environmental policy, as a manager, book author. Not a word is uttered that he represents a fringe opinion, that expert journalists took apart his book calling it a populist work written by an amateur.”

One of the harsh critics was climate scientist Mojib Latif, who later admitted he had never even read the book. And unfortunately, the last scientist who publicly debated Vahrenholt got his clock cleaned.

Overall, Die Zeit’s piece represents the radically hostile environment that scientific skepticism faces in Germany. It’s not the first time they wrongly try to ruin a person’s good reputation.

This level of hostility and intolerance has not been seen since Germany’s last dark period. Any prominent person thinking of outing his/her skepticism in Germany seriously has to think long and hard about it. Media outlets have openly stated that those who do so must be “prepared to pay a enormous price.”

Finally, Blastberg and Kohlenberg end their piece:

On the day that Fritz Vahrenholt spoke in Dresden, it had been exactly 14 years since Michael Mann published his hockey stick. During this time the annual output of CO2 on the planet has risen by more than 40%.”

And what has the temperature of the Earth done during the same period? Die Zeit chose not to mention it.

Vahrenholt photo source: RWE


10 responses to “Die Zeit Represents Germany’s Hostile Intolerance, Calling Climate Science Skepticism “Fringe Opinions” From “Deniers””

  1. DirkH

    “that expert journalists took apart his book calling it a populist work written by an amateur.”

    I crack myself up! Please, not the Expert Journalists!

    These people have quite the opinion of themselves. Hamburg is a city of 2 million madmen against which a NYC progressive would look sane. (Die Zeit is in Hamburg. I worked in Hamburg for two years. The city suffers from a mass psychosis. One of their museums had a warmist exhibition where Expert Artists explained the future of the warming earth to the mad public.)

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    The scientifically based opinions of Kepler, Galileo, Alfred Wegener and Barry Marshall were fringe opinions. All were criticised without mercy by the consensus at the time. All were right.

    The consensus now is just as wrong, but I don’t know how you could ever convince tribally inclined sociology majors. The group is supreme – as any lemming will tell you.

    But there has not been so much money and power riding on the consensus position since Galileo’s time. Which is why the fight is nearly as vicious now as it was then.

  3. thebiggreenlie

    There are many more blogs and informed people in the world than these wee little “mouse minds”………………..the only reason they have a voice is because they get unlimited funding from a very desperate greedy group of people who care not for their fellow man/woman. They care only about power and money! ………………………….and we blog on!!!!!!

  4. Russell C

    Critical to note in the 2010 Die Zeit “Die Gehilfen des Zweifels” (“Abetters of Doubt”) article is its page 3 reference to Naomi Oreskes. She claims Fred Singer and others work in a manner parallel to the way ‘expert shills’ worked for big tobacco companies to create doubt about the hazards of smoking.

    Oreskes is not the originator of this idea. As I described in a 2010 article, she gets this tobacco industry/fossil fuel industy parallel from US book author Ross Gelbspan: “Circuitous attempts to smear AGW skeptic scientists” http://climatechangedispatch.com/editorials/7568-circuitous-attempts-to-smear-agw-skeptic-scientists

    In a more recent September UK blog, I was allowed to tell how this ‘parallel’ goes back to 1992 with Gelbspan, Al Gore and Stephen Schneider: “Stephen Schneider: Arguing for censorship in 1992” http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/stephen-schneider-arguing-for-censorship-in-1992/

    All of this points to a crippling, if not fatal, problem in AGW: Rather than place more effort into defending the core science arguments for it, the media is compelled to marginalize AGW critics – and they all do so while relying on a single source for their anti-skeptic accusation.

    That is the story I, as an ordinary citizen, am trying to tell. EIKE’s Michael Limburg was very nice to translate my June American Thinker article “Global Warming’s Killer: Critical Thinking” http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/06/global_warmings_killer_critical_thinking.html into German. Please see “Versetzt dem Hype um die globale Erwärmung den Todesstoß: kritisches Denken” http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/climategate-anzeige/versetzt-dem-hype-um-die-globale-erwaermung-den-todesstoss-kritisches-denken/

    I’d be honored if any of you can help me tell how the most recent Die Zeit article and the one from 2 years ago are part of a larger 20-year effort to portray skeptics as being corrupt. That media tactic exposes a far larger problem: why do journalists make the accusation based on evidence that crumbles apart under hard scrutiny? And why aren’t other journalists exposing this massive problem?

    1. DirkH

      Why? Because they are collectivists and incapable of rational thought.

  5. Edward.

    Most engineers know CAGW is a crock. So do most Geologists and that’s where I came in.

  6. Coldish

    Thanks, Pierre. What you wrote seemed hard to believe, so I went out and bought the paper. And it’s true. Three broadsheet pages of pernicious personal attacks on the integrity of Morano and Vahrenholt with a fat filling of uncritical adulation of Hockey-Mann. No science at all. Truly venomous stuff. And I place myself well to the left of Die Zeit on the political spectrum.

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