A new social sciences paper by Kaiser & Rhomberg on climate skepticism in Germany titled “Questioning the Doubt: Climate Skepticism in German Newspaper Reporting on COP17” has just appeared in the journal Environmental Communication.
The abstract reads (my emphasis)
“Despite numerous international studies on climate change, there is skepticism in the media and it is prominent in public opinion polls. This article focuses in particular on the framing of climate skepticism in Germany, a country that, in the main, is said to be convinced about climate change. By using a two-step content analysis of 379 news articles (print and online) we demonstrate that climate skepticism is present in German news media reporting on the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa. We identify two overarching skepticism frames: skepticism about the phenomenon of climate change and about climate science. Our analysis further shows that climate skepticism is not exclusive to a specific political ideology, even though a newspaper ideology may influence how skeptical frames are being evaluated.”
Sadly, the paper’s biased tone is one of viewing climate science skepticism as being a threat that needs the attention of public policy. It writes in the conclusion (my emphasis):
“Also more global research on climate change skepticism is needed (especially in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Russia and to some extent Asia) to further understand what arguments are used to hinder the global fight against dangerous climate change (Schäfer & Schlichting, 2014).”
Here Kaiser and Rhomberg are running along with the academic herd, accepting the IPCC science at face value without question. Both openly and uncritically accept all the campus chanting that the skeptics are wrong. This blind groupthink is the sorrowful state of how academia works today in Germany.