Catastrophe-Hopping Spiegel: German News Magazine Rolls Out Latest Climate Horror Vision: A Burning North Pole

This week’s hard copy of Spiegel features the front cover story dubbed “Der verheizte Planet” – The heated planet – (see right image below). Thus, Spiegel is returning and keeping to its long tradition of promoting end-of world scenarios.

The following image sequence shows how the burning planet is just the latest and newest climate catastrophe designed to get an apocalypse-weary public to worry (and to buy its magazines). So far the reaction, however, has been a big yawn. The world is, after all, full with other real concerns.

Spiegel disaster hopping

Spiegel depictions over the last decades. 1986 and 2015 were even front cover images. 1974: cooling. 1986: sea level rise. Now, 2015: it’s a burning planet.

1974 – 10,000 to 1 chance at best of planet returning to warming

In 1974 Spiegel warned of global cooling, writing that climate change was leading to growing deserts and global cooling. The article even claimed that the North Atlantic had cooled 0.5°C – this after “The global annual mean temperature increased by 0.7°C from 1890 to 1945.” During that warming period, Spiegel writes: “Near the poles the temperature was even several degrees warmer.”

In the lengthy article Spiegel even quoted meteorological researcher James McQuigg who said the chances of the climate returning to warmer conditions such as those in the 1930s were “at best 10,000 to 1”.

Also in Spiegel’s 11 February, 1974 edition an article titled The Desert is growing shows a temperature chart that tells us the global temperature fell from 16.0°C to 15.7°C from 1945 to 1970. Someone needs to tell this to NASA GISS. Today aren’t they saying the global temperature is now 14.9°? Weird.

1986: “Die Klimakatastrophe”

Then, just 12 years later in 1986, scientists realized the ocean cycles had flipped to their warm phase and so suddenly global warming was back in the pipeline. Immediately Spiegel ran with its legendary August 11, 1986 edition bearing the front page headline “Die Klimakatastrophe“, which depicted the Cologne Cathedral half submerged in sea water.

Forest die-off scare, acid rain

Spiegel not only spread fear about climate catastrophes, but it was also instrumental in spreading the acid-rain/forest die-off scare in the 1980s. In 1981 the magazine featured a 3-part series depicting the German forests as being doomed and certain to be forever lost.

Back to some rationality

Over the past years, it seemed Spiegel had been backing off from global climate catastrophe meme. The flagship news magazine often featured balanced reports, foremost by science journalist Axel Bojanowski, who often questioned the claims of a climate catastrophe and challenged the shrillness of the IPCC’s warnings. NoTricksZone often wrote about these articles. It seemed the magazine was back to rational and critical journalism on the topic of climate change, and this fostered hopes of a balanced debate someday taking place in Germany.

2015 Spiegel returns to the apocalypse

But this was wishful thinking, it turns out, as this week on Monday Spiegel rolled out its latest apocalyptic issue with the front page bearing the headline: “The Heated Planet” and an image of a planet on fire. The article is a repackaging all the doom and gloom scenarios that rest of the German mainstream media had been crowing about for a good two decades now. Balance has disappeared, regrettably.

Plummeting circulation

So why suddenly the change in tone? One can only speculate. Clear is that Spiegel circulation has been taking a massive beating over the recent years. For example in the 3rd quarter of 2014 alone Spiegel newsstand sales fell a whopping 12 percent, so reports the online

The European Institute for Climate and Energy presents the chart for subscriptions to Spiegel:

Source: EIKE

Veteran science journalist Ulli Kulke of flagship Die Welt writes at his blog:

Does the new editorial board at Spiegel want to scale the magazine back to being a warrior on behalf of the environment? Will the critical journalism over the past years that questioned the increasingly baseless end-of-world-mood now come to an end? The new frontpage cover The Heated Planet appears to be going back to the good old days of the apocalypse…”

PS: So far none of the catastrophes have come to pass.

14 responses to “Catastrophe-Hopping Spiegel: German News Magazine Rolls Out Latest Climate Horror Vision: A Burning North Pole”

  1. sod

    Spiegel has been printing some rather extreme sceptic positions on climate change in the last couple of years.

    It would be great, if the magazin had finally come back to reality.

    But i fear this is just “balanced reporting” and next week we will see the Spiegel back at sceptic positions.

    1. DirkH

      sod, the only realist (and the only honest person in the entire hivemind) at Der Spiegel is the geologist Axel Bojanovski. His colleagues, the anonymous “Spiegel Mitarbeiter” collective, is purely alarmist and warmist.

      Maybe you don’t actually read Spiegel.

    2. Henning Nielsen

      This reminds me of the recent trend at WUWT (maybe also on other skeptic blogs) of alarmist activists attempting to be the first to comment the latest news item. Maybe this is some kind of coordinated action among the faithful, inspired by Greenpeace perhaps? Well my friend, your ranting will be in vain. People are more informed than you like.

      1. sod

        Or could the reason just be, that P Gosselin and I are posting from the same time zone?

        Think about it for a second…

        1. Henning Nielsen

          1 second gone….no, not convincing.

  2. DirkH

    BTW “Der verheizte Planet” has the connotation “sacrificed as cannonfodder in a battle”, the second use of the term “verheizen”.

    Spiegel takes a step back from the Antirussian propaganda that they pushed through the entirety of 2014, returning to the safe fields of eco-agitprop.

    The Spiegel-Mitarbeiter used to be leftists but since the CIA got its hands on the Stasi file “Rosenholz” shortly after 1989 the old Spiegel-Mitarbeiter have become obedient little poodles of NATO. So in 2014 pushing war against Russia was their prime directive.

    They also ruthlessly killed Spiegel online commenter accounts during that time, as the leftist readership would not follow orders and resisted war efforts.

    Spiegel is really in a tight spot now, having alienated their fan base.

    It is Spiegel who got verheizt. And rightly so.

  3. Theodore

    “In the lengthy article Spiegel even quoted meteorological researcher James McQuigg who said the chances of the climate returning to warmer conditions such as those in the 1930s were “at best 10,000 to 1″.”

    Hilariously this might be one of few climate predictions to stand the test of time. Without unsubstantiated adjustments we still have not seen conditions warmer than the1930s.

  4. Papy Boomer

    Skeptic reporting is only blackmailing those who don’t like climate reality. When the money (see that as a new contract) comes back and thay get paid again, they are more than happy to go back writing about the climate hoax.

    1. Henning Nielsen

      Well, that is an imaginative theory. For me it seems more likely that this is a result of an attempt to create more sales, as the article describes. But it is very surprisng that they really believe the public will eagerly read yet another “boiling earth” story. How often do your friends and relatives talk about the climate crises these days?

      The outburst can of course also be a result of a press campaign to stamp up support for the upcoming Paris comnfeence, said to be crucial for the saving of our planet. In that case, very poor phsycology.

      But I was very surprised to see that catastrophic sea rise was on the front page already in 1986! Can’t remember noticing at the time. So, this disaster has hit us for almost thirty years now. We must be a very tough species.

      1. DirkH

        “How often do your friends and relatives talk about the climate crises these days?”

        German eco-crazies (usually social democrat voters) have developed a habit of loving the Energiewende and wind turbines in particular, especially in the areas of NRW that don’t have any wind turbines by now; (they will flip once a wind turbine stands near their house); BUT now being agnostic about Global Warming at the same time.

        So, I can explain to them the many ways in which climate science is crooked, and they listen, but if I then dare to point out the ruinous uselessness of wind turbines under current conditions, they explode.

        The wind turbines and solar panels have become their gods, with no threat of Global Warming behind it necessary.

        (These people are also TERRIBLE at anything economics)

  5. John F. Hultquist

    Is the cover illustration simply a general thing (Warming Earth) or is there some connection to a specific idea, say warming tundra and release of methane hydrates** or something else?

    Pope-to-Pole Earth is about 12,720 km. A rough measurement places the tip of the fire (as shown on the cover) at just over 5,000 km. altitude. That’s quite an achievement!


  6. patrick healy

    Hilarious misprint John F.considering that the Pope has jumped on the Global Warming gravy train.

  7. AndyG55

    More new COAL power stations for Germany 🙂

    Good, keep feeding the world’s plant life . 🙂

  8. Pethefin

    The boy who cried fire. The foolish arrogance of the doomsters will now be visible to a considerably wider audience.

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