free speech

Als geen ander heeft de voormalige Tsjechische president, Václav Klaus, gewaarschuwd voor het gevaar van verlies van persoonlijke vrijheid als gevolg van de klimaathysterie.

Recentelijk is dit door het ontslag van de Franse weerman, Philippe Verdier, weer eens angstig duidelijk geworden.

Maar niet alleen in Frankrijk is de klimaatinquisitie actief ook in de VS en Canada. Een petitie van twintig klimaatwetenschappers aan president Obama om de RICO–wetgeving, die oorspronkelijk was bedoeld om de maffia te bestrijden, van toepassing te verklaren op klimaatsceptici is daarvan een recent voorbeeld.

In Duitsland rommelt het al langer. Hier zijn het vooral de directeur van het ‘Potsdam Institut für Klimafolgenforschung’ (PIK, enigszins te vergelijken met een mengsel van ons Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving en Wageningse klimatologen, zoals Pier Vellinga), Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, en zijn rechterhand, Stefan Rahmstorf, die als eigentijdse Torquemada’s jacht maken op klimaatsceptici. Daarbij schrikken zij er niet voor terug om prominente wetenschapsjournalisten te intimideren als zij het wagen om te twijfelen aan de menselijke broeikashypothese (AGW = ‘Ánthropogenic Global Warming’) en redacties van de media te benaderen om hen onder druk te zetten om klimaatsceptici geen podium te geven.

Hoogtepunt was een brochure van het ‘Umweltbundesamt’, waarin een aantal veelvuldig gelauwerde Duitse wetenschapsjournalisten op de korrel werd genomen vanwege hun ketterse denkbeelden over het klimaat.

Onder de titel, ‘Court Case: Science Journalism Vs The Federal Environment Agency’, rapporteerde één van hen, Michael Miersch, onlangs het volgende:

In spring 2013 the German Federal Environment Agency published a brochure in which it accused some of Germany’s leading science journalists of “not conforming with the established scientific knowledge.” Two and a half years after two journalists filed a lawsuit against the government agency, a court hearing will take place on 18 November.

In spring 2013 the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) published a brochure titled “And yet it heats up: what is behind the debate on climate change.” This booklet could be initially ordered in printed form, but now is only available as a PDF download.

In the 120-page booklet, the arguments and motives of scientists and authors who do not share the views of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) are discredited. It is also directed against journalists who reported on doubts about the predictions by the IPCC and PIK.

Unusually for a government agency, the brochure mentions the names of some journalists whose articles allegedly “do not conform with the established scientific knowledge” (quote from the UBA brochure). These names are highlighted by yellow markings. The journalists listed are Günther Ederer, Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch. All three are award-winning journalists, book authors and documentary film-makers with prestigious awards to their names. Professor Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt is listed too; he is the CEO of the German Wildlife Foundation, an author and a former Environment Senator in the state of Hamburg.

The agency accused those named of spreading false information. “We show how doubts about the state of knowledge of climate science were disseminated on purpose”, the brochure informs its the readers.

Between the lines, it is suggested that critics of the IPCC and PIK are probably corrupt and controlled by interest groups (such as the coal and oil industry).

Another frequently repeated allegation against sceptical journalists is that they are not climate experts. Which is quite true in the case of journalists, but it is not a legitimate accusation. Just like politicians, journalists cannot have an academic training for all the subjects they cover.

Rather embarrassingly, however, the authors of the government brochure themselves are not climate scientists either. The authors are Dr Harry Lehmann, Dr Klaus Müschen, Dr Steffi Richter and Dr Claudia Mäder. Initially, the agency withheld their names in the original brochure. Only in response to the criticism did the agency add the names of its authors. …

The publication of the Environment Agency brochure caused outrage among journalists and lawyers.

“Sceptics are not welcome” wrote the ZDF journalist Reinhard Schlieker on ZDF-Online. “The Ministry of Truth strikes”, wrote law professor Thorsten Koch. Jan-Eric Peters, the then editor-in-chief of the Die Welt group, wrote that it was “a scandal that a government agency has published a quasi black list of unpopular journalists and alleges that they intentionally spread falsehoods, in a brochure funded by taxpayers’ money.” …

Josef Joffe, editor of the liberal weekly Die Zeit, wrote: “This intervention is probably unique in the history of the German Federal Republic. A public authority becomes a party in a scientific controversy and distributes seals of approval – so to speak “examined by the state” – to the disputants … There is no “Ministry of Truth” in this country’ as in George Orwell’s novel 1984, but the Environment Agency has taken a step in this direction.” …

Dirk Maxeiner and Michael Miersch have appointed the Berlin lawyer Dr Katy Ritzmann to enforce a withdrawal of the government brochure in court. Two and a half years after filing the lawsuit, the oral hearing before the Administrative Court in Halle will take place on 18 November 2015.

Lees verder hier.

Niet het klimaat, maar de klimaathysterie met al haar parafernalia en groene stasi vormt een bedreiging. ‘Klimaat’ maakt meer kapot dan je lief is.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.