Another German association of journalists has publicly demanded the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) stop the distribution of a government “blacklist” of US and German skeptics. The UBA is headed by the German Ministry of Environment – Germany’s version of the EPA.
Today Germany’s association of science, the Wissenschafts-Pressekonferenz e.V. (WPK) issued a press release condemning the UBA’s brochure and blacklisting of skeptic journalists. The WPK is an association whose members mainly include science journalists working for the print, broadcasting and Internet media. The stated objective of the WPK: “to promote quality science journalism.”
Just last week the German Association of Journalists demanded an apology from the Federal Environment Ministry. Two of the journalists, Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch, are suing the Ministry.
What follows is the press release of the WPK journalist association:
WPK criticizes the pillory of journalists by the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA)
The Wissenschafts-Pressekonferenz e.V. (WPK), [English: The Science Press Conference] finds it unacceptable that individual journalists are being publicly paraded by the German Environment Agency, and portrayed as being as incompetent only because they are criticizing leading scientists. The government body names the journalists who have opinions that ‘correspond to the state of knowledge of climate science’ in its brochure on climate change: ‘And indeed the warming continues’.
‘It is not the duty of state institutions to determine which opinions may be expressed and which may not,’ explained WPK Chairman Martin Schneider. ‘Journalists may and must represent different points of views, and they may and must always question established scientists.’ Overall it cannot be the job of a state authority to quasi certify certain scientific positions as being the truth. Also when the anthropogenic climate change can no longer be doubted, there is in the science an intensive discussion over many details, such as its consequences and the validity of certain climate models. ‘This discourse must take place within the science and journalists must accompany it critically,’ Schneider said.
The WPK requests that Environment Minister Peter Altmaier stop the further distribution of the brochure in its current form.”