Last week, the German Federal Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Germany’s version of the EPA, issued a one-sided alarmist pamphlet that attempts to declare the climate debate over and attacks prominent skeptics.
Controversial 123-page pamphlet…in it the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) declares climate debate over and names and portrays skeptics as “spreaders of half-truths and misinformation”.
In the pamphlet, he German government UBA specifically singles out, identifies, targets and attacks US and German skeptics, thus sparking outrage.
Some of the Americans targeted include scientists Fred Singer, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, Frederick Seitz, Pat Michaels, John Christy, Ross McKitrick and conservative think-tank Heartland Institute. The German targets include European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE), Fritz Vahrenholt, and Sebastian Lüning, as well as journalists and publicists Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch, and film-maker / publicist Günter Ederer, and national newspaper Die Welt.
Today flagship daily Die Welt has a commentary by law professor Thorsten Koch titled: “State Propaganda – The Federal Environment Agency violates the rules of neutrality”.
In his commentary Koch writes:
The pamphlet is a product of official state action in which in one sense the claims that contradict the ‘scientific consensus’ made by ‘climate change skeptics’ (p. 110) are polemicized. Even the ZDF public television website ‘heute.de’ diagnosed it as ‘official state defamation’. This makes the matter legally questionable.”
Koch then explains that the government is allowed to participate and take a position on the climate issue, but adds:
Strange however that a government office is attempting to bindingly specify the state of knowledge in a scientific question. That is the job of a scientist. Even more it is neither scientifically or legally appropriate if scientific truths – and thus ultimately only the current state of the error – are announced with official authority.
Deciding scientific controversies is no duty of the state. The attempt we have here by the Environment Agency to decide a scientific controversy is in this form unique.”
And we may also add that it is also not the duty of a handful of scientists to decide political controversies…at least not in democratic societies.