The 'Climate Change: Believe It Or Else' Prize from @AGU

This essay is from the Real Climatologists blog, by Dr. Duane Thresher.  I strongly recommend their About Us page. HT/Science or Fiction

Hitler presiding at the Reichstag. Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0703-507 / unbekannt / CC-BY-SA 3.0

August 21, 2017

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) has lots of prizes; they are very fond of congratulating themselves.

One of these is the Climate Communication Prize, which is in recognition for the “communication of climate science”, including “clarity of message and efforts to foster respect and understanding of science-based values”. This was initially funded by Nature’s Own, a company which wrenches fossils and minerals from the earth to sell to tourists.

Gavin Schmidt, current head of NASA GISS and leading climate change warrior scientist/spokesperson, won the debut prize in 2011. Interestingly, this was just after Schmidt was involved in Climategate, which showed that he wasn’t so interested in communicating ALL of climate science, just those parts that were ideologically acceptable. Discussions between government-funded climate scientists were — despite laws to the contrary — not to be communicated to the public because the public was too stupid to understand them. Schmidt continues to scheme to keep this secrecy, again, despite laws to the contrary.

[Full disclosure: I (Dr. Duane Thresher) worked with Schmidt for 7 years while I was at NASA GISS. He was on my PhD committee. I am co-author on several papers with him. I’d even say we were friends.]

This year’s winner, the first non-American, of the AGU Climate Communication Prize is — drum roll — none other than KlimaFuehrer Stefan Rahmstorf!

Let’s review some of his accomplishments in communicating climate science.

Markus Lehmkuhl is a German science journalist and works for the German Science Journalists Association. He wrote an article about Stefan Rahmstorf Ideology and climate change: How to silence journalists describing how Rahmstorf brutalized a freelance journalist, Irene Meichsner, who dared question climate change even a little.

The article begins:

“A freelance journalist becomes the target of the renowned climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf, who in the struggle for the supposed truth does not stop short of personal defamation.”

Meichsner actually sued Rahmstorf … and won. Unfortunately, it was a hard fight and the article ends:

“Irene Meichsner – who had to fight her legal battle for her reputation on her own – has had enough of climate issues for the time being. She no longer writes about this subject.”

Even the most famous German liberal news magazine, Der Spiegel, generally among the climate change alarmists, published an article The Rough Methods of Climate Researcher Rahmstorf (in German and read by native-German Dr. Claudia Kubatzki) by Jan-Philipp Hein and Markus Becker.

The first paragraph makes it clear why the authors chose that title: “Journalists complain about attempts at intimidation, researchers distance themselves from the Potsdam professor.” And a little further on: “If a journalist addresses climate change and brings forth arguments that Rahmstorf finds bad, there can be trouble. The professor of the Postdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) then writes letters. But not to the authors, but immediately to the responsible chief editors or department heads.” Or, the authors add, he publishes his letter right on his homepage instead. Several examples of people disagreeing with Rahmstorf’s Gestapo tactics then follow in the article.

[Full disclosure: Dr. Claudia Kubatzki is coauthor on several papers with Rahmstorf and was also at PIK with him.]

After I posted the Heil KlimaFuehrer Rahmstorf! article I got an email from a Dr. Klaus Kaiser recalling his run-in with Rahmstorf. Kaiser had posted some climate articles on websites that had nothing to do with Rahmstorf (not even in the same country). Rahmstorf disagreed with the articles and “threatened to sue me [Kaiser] into financial ruin”.

Rahmstorf wrote Kaiser: “I therefore have to ask you again to remove these false statements by Monday 6 p.m. local time. After that I will hand the matter to our lawyers.” He made the same threat, simultaneously, to the publishers of Kaiser’s posts.

Rahmstorf was using a trick German climate scientists use on Americans. In Germany, lawsuits are uncommon but Germans know they are common, and feared, in the US. For example, when I was in Germany looking for a climate position after being screwed out of one, I saw advertisements for many climate positions. I naively believed they were open to anyone qualified, as I certainly was, but later discovered all the jobs were already promised to locals and the advertising was just to pretend to satisfy fairness rules. I protested this once to Martin Visbeck of the University of Kiel. Visbeck had spent several years in America (taking a position at Columbia University away from American climate scientists) and his response was that if I went public with this and hurt the reputation of the University of Kiel they would sue me. (By the way, the University of Kiel really does suck.)

Anyway, Kaiser just ridiculed Rahmstorf and left his posts up. I doubt PIK, where Rahmstorf holes up, even has lawyers and if they do, they and Rahmstorf should read Real Climatologists’ Legal page.

Rahmstorf, with his Gestapo tactics, is using the Nazi-like fear that climate change warriorism has produced. Global warming skeptics are labeled “climate change deniers” by analogy to “Holocaust deniers”. In Germany, Holocaust denial is a crime so you can imagine the power of this analogy there.

For the AGU to give a Climate Communication Prize to Rahmstorf is obscenely absurd. If AGU had any shame, they would be ashamed.

The AGU has a history of such ironic choices. In 2011 (not a good year for them) they created a “Task Force on Scientific Ethics” and made so-called climate scientist Peter Gleick its chairman. Gleick later admitted to lying to obtain internal documents from what he claimed was a climate change denier organization. Lying is OK though if you are a climate change warrior. Interestingly, this task force also worked on a policy to respond to “harassment, intimidation, and bullying”. I wonder if Rahmstorf was on the task force.

AGU has no idea about climate science in Germany and Rahmstorf is not well-known in America. Rahmstorf was almost certainly chosen by Rahmstorf’s crony at and previous Climate Communication Prize winner, Schmidt. This was probably also the case for AGU making Rahmstorf an AGU Fellow.

Both Kubatzki and I have presented at AGU Meetings. They are a load of fun and we thank the taxpayers for the vacations in expensive fun-filled distant San Francisco. The Climate Communication Prize will be officially awarded at the AGU Fall

Meeting, which this year will be held in New Orleans instead of San Francisco. If you go please say heil to Rahmstorf for us and include a “salute” so he feels warm and fascist.

P.S. Most of what AGU and its members do is paid for by your tax dollars. If you haven’t been cowed into silence, protest this climate change prize atrocity by emailing AGU at:,,,,,,,,

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August 25, 2017 1:52 am

Ramsdorf is a utter nutter. Probably the most alarmist alarmista out there. AGU giving him an award just shows how unscientific AGU ( or at least the leadership ) has become,

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Greg
August 25, 2017 2:25 am

It has been an international objective to stuff leadership and boards of institutions with the faithful. Gleick was a perfect selectionee for his job at agu

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Greg
August 25, 2017 3:15 am

Just like the Nobel committee proved its irrelevance by giving Gore and Obama Nobel prizes. The latter recipient of the peace prize was the first US president to bomb people every day of his 8-year time in office, and is responsible, at a minimum, for the destruction of Libya.

Reply to  Greg
August 25, 2017 8:28 am

You have effectively made the case that Ramsdorf is exactly the sort of person they were looking for. These days it seems winning a prize or honor of any sort is similar to be indicted for white collar crime.

August 25, 2017 1:57 am

They want to look at the sea level rise in New Orleans and report. 😉

August 25, 2017 2:01 am

The Gestapo lives and breathes.

August 25, 2017 2:07 am

Rahmstorf and his issues with journalists are here in Germany wellknown. And that such a person be “praised” with a “prize” for communication, throws a corresponding light on the AGU. The American government should quickly review whether this organization receives any federal funding.
Rahmstorf was sued and sentenced in Germany:
And this is a rarer case here in Germany. Germans are normaly not eager to appear in court.

August 25, 2017 2:21 am

I think we have to wait for a new global catastrophe to come bevor CAGW fades.

Gary Pearse
August 25, 2017 2:22 am

I’ve noticed a crescendo of testiness among climaticians with the failure of the CAGW même. With Trump dropping out of the parisite accord there us no way this puppy can survive. The bluster about soldiering on is a joke. I’m glad to see journalists in Germany waking up. It’s amazing to me that such an historical giant of science went all in on this obvious political movement. Doing this to the Max Planck lnstitute is unforgivable.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Gary Pearse
August 26, 2017 6:27 pm

Kind of short-sighted of you. once Trump is out, whether it’s 4 years, or 8, or 1, someone else will come along and just re-instate all he has undone.

August 25, 2017 2:23 am

What a communicator indeed. The AGU people probably didn’t read what the judge wrote:
I don’t know if it is available in English. I found this article also illuminating:
(you can use google translate on it)

Phil R
Reply to  Hugs
August 25, 2017 6:52 am

For those of us who don’t read German, could you give a brief summary? That could also be why the AGU people didn’t read what the judge wrote. And with respect, I don’t use Google (for various reasons, the recent firing of James Damore for his internal memo being one example).

Science or Fiction
Reply to  Hugs
August 25, 2017 11:47 pm

This article, linked to in the main article is in englishis:
It really tells a lot about climate communication and AGU that Rahmstorf’s sloppy and unethical methods makes him worthy of a climate ccommunication prize. AGU seems to be void from effective ethical principles.

August 25, 2017 2:33 am

Stefan Rahmstorf is one of the climate “scientists” who converted me from agnosticism to hardcore skepticism, nearly 10 years ago. He is a master of the fake graph. He had some temperature graphs with a smoothing curve that went right up to the endpoints. I asked him how he did the smoothing near the endpoints where you don’t have enough data. Perfectly reasonable question but he simply refused to answer it! He has been producing misleading fake graphs ever since. My favourite example is discussed in a blogpost, by Lucia, called “Source of fishy odor confirmed: Rahmstorf did change smoothing”. Google to find it. It’s quite a shocking story. Rahmstorf re-did a graph and it didn’t show the upward trend he wanted, so he used a longer smoothing period but did not change the caption. It took some sleuthing by JeanS to figure out what he had done.

Reply to  Paul Matthews
August 25, 2017 4:50 am
Reply to  Paul Matthews
August 25, 2017 4:52 am

And in this tweet you can see Rahmstorf is still producing fake graphs. He has simply drawn thick straight lines through the data.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Paul Matthews
August 25, 2017 3:35 pm

But in Settled Science™ you are allowed to do that, as they would say in the Eastern bloc countries: ’only the future is certain, the past is subject to change’.

Reply to  Paul Matthews
August 25, 2017 6:25 pm

With Climate Statisticains, the Ends justify the Means…

Reply to  Manniac
August 26, 2017 1:39 am

What are their ‘ends‘?

Steve Case
August 25, 2017 2:55 am

The guy is in love with himself, check out his a href=””>photo page

Steve Case
Reply to  Steve Case
August 25, 2017 2:58 am

Let’s try that again Stefan Rahmstorf’s Photo Page

Reply to  Steve Case
August 25, 2017 3:41 am

He looks just like Greg Clark, the UK minister who is destroying the UK electricity system and associated industries.

Reply to  Steve Case
August 25, 2017 5:32 am

I note one can get higher resolution photos upon request.

August 25, 2017 3:37 am

A natural propagandist and a Bolshevik’s dream.

Doubting Rich
August 25, 2017 3:42 am

I read your article on Rahmstorf. It does not allow comments and I was interested in this, and wanted to comment on it to see what your thought is.
“Rahmstorf brags everywhere about doing a thesis in general relativity theory … a thesis in Germany is for a “diplom”, which the Germans pretend is a master’s in the US but is really a bachelor’s”
The interesting thing is that this sounds like the equivalent in a UK Bachelor’s of the major project all students complete in their final year. For most it is called a dissertation, although that depends on subjects (I read geology, so it was a mapping project). The most important thing is, though, that for a proper university and proper degree (i.e. not a degree in underwater basketweaving from a diploma mill) there must be some element of originality. It doesn’t have to be profound, although I have known people get a paper out of the work, but it must be something no-one else has done.
What could Rahmstorf have possibly added to general relativity?
That says to me that either his degree was not up to the standard of, at least, UK science degrees, or that he did no such thing.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Doubting Rich
August 25, 2017 4:34 am

I think he applies ‘relativity’ in his klimat work, you know, global warming can mean cooling, indeed cooling is proof of warming! If Planck has living family, they should sue these guys for what political scientists are doing to his namesake.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Doubting Rich
August 25, 2017 8:01 am

I’m thinking he probably graphed it. C/w smoothing! Lol!

August 25, 2017 4:02 am

Charles, enough respect but a photo of Hitler is a little over the top, playing by ‘their’ rules, we are no better for it. Just saying…….

Nigel S
Reply to  Duncan
August 25, 2017 4:42 am

Disagree, a lot of the decisions made in German by the likes of Merkel stem from the guilt they feel for letting that happen. It’s essential to remember history and to keep asking what we would have done.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  Duncan
August 25, 2017 4:56 am

There’s quite a difference between ad hominem attack and illustrative analogy. Quite a big difference.

Roger Knights
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 25, 2017 7:03 am

I agree that the article made a cheap-shot analogy.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 25, 2017 7:31 am

Doesn’t matter how the ball goes up or comes down, just that it sinks the net. 2 points.

Reply to  I Came I Saw I Left
August 25, 2017 9:24 am

This write up did both, “Rahmstorf, with his Gestapo tactics, is using the Nazi-like fear that climate change warriorism has produced”. Attack the messenger, not the message, thought I was reading CNN for a second But I assumed it was Charles decision to include the picture even though the words may not be his.

August 25, 2017 4:24 am

Lysenko gained lots of prizes from a corrupt and stupid administration.

August 25, 2017 4:29 am

Greeting Dr. Ramsdorf with a Nazi salute will probably get you kicked out of the conference. There are other gestures that might annoy and buffalo him. For instance there is a form of inverted Nazi salute. link Probably nobody on this side of the ocean would recognize it. He might notice a couple of goose steps. You could hold your nose to indicate that you smell something bad. Making an expression like you are trying to stifle a laugh might hurt his pride. Here’s a list of rude German gestures.

August 25, 2017 4:34 am

In a red team vs blue team conflict maybe Dr. Duane Thresher could be a good person to have on side, assisting with leading the team even?

Nigel S
August 25, 2017 4:37 am

From the ‘Legal page’ link ‘Finally, we would appreciate the publicity. In fact, we may sue you first.’
I like the cut of their jib(s).

Robert B
August 25, 2017 4:51 am

What’s the trophy? A pair of twisted knickers?

August 25, 2017 5:42 am

Learning contempt for one’s academic committee members is the start of wisdom.

I Came I Saw I Left
Reply to  K.kilty
August 25, 2017 7:37 am

To love good is to hate evil.

James Bull
August 25, 2017 5:44 am

I can see why the geophysicists have been leaving in droves if this is what the politically driven ones at the top are up to.
James Bull

August 25, 2017 6:39 am

“AGU has no idea about climate science in Germany and Rahmstorf is not well-known in America.”
Yeah, that was my first question: Who?

August 25, 2017 6:44 am

“P.S. Most of what AGU and its members do is paid for by your tax dollars. If you haven’t been cowed into silence, protest this climate change prize atrocity by emailing AGU”
Since taxpayer money is involved, we should be complaining to our Congressional representatives and President Trump about AGU promoting an opponent of free speech, when it comes to CAGW.

Reply to  TA
August 26, 2017 9:54 am

…and wasting our money – both on the trip, and fruits of the CAGW conspiracy to rip us off en masse.

August 25, 2017 6:52 am

This post grossly violates WUWT Policy, consisting of a great deal of gratuitous name-calling, which makes the author look just as nutty as his chosen victim/subject.
This is just the sort of thing that appears at Climate Activists sites — rank name-calling, labelling (Nazi here, Denier there, just as offensive in either direction), alluding to untold negative stories — in short, a simple Hit Piece.
WUWT was intended to be better than this.
The actual news, the real story, could have been told in an effective manner rather than this smear.
MODERATOR: I call this post to your attention — just as I would report a similar article at the NY Times to their Public Editor.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
August 25, 2017 3:45 pm

I have to agree with Kip Hansen.
I thought the tone was “off” for WUWT … and sounded decidedly whiny.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  Kip Hansen
August 26, 2017 1:04 am

K.H. — Well put.
As G.B.S observed, “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.” A couple of the linked articles are even worse. This is the sort of stuff I would expect from the Mann, himself.
The Warmists are in the process of imploding — albeit, slowly. We can afford to sit back, making polite, pertinent observations and allow them (and an unco-operative climate) to finish the job.

August 25, 2017 9:49 am

This is a bit off topic and I may incur the wrath of ctm but this more along the line of current events.
I suspect that Harvey at least for a short time will claim to be a CAT 3. My sense of it is the establishment is trying to get rid of the CAT 3 drought. I got suspicious last year when Matthew hung on to CAT 3 status looking like some hope it might jog into FL. I’ve been in CAT 3 wind fields and that was not it. The buoy data showed barely a hurricane at St. Augustine though there was flooding there.
Any case I’m trying an independent verification source now. figuring it’s harder to jigger the data if anyone wants to observe and or comment.
Corpus Christi buoy is currently claiming gusts to 50 kts. Just throwing it out there..
However, the wave heights are 20 ft which is insane for the gulf and the way the hurricane is lining up on the coast I expect some huge flooding. And it’s moving pretty slow. Regardless of category I think this storm is going to turn out ugly.

Reply to  taz1999
August 25, 2017 2:09 pm

Corpus is showing gusts to 61Kts now. The eyewall looks well formed (better if you’re not in the way) and looks to have temporarily stalled. Looks like it’s just about to cross over the continental shelf; that’s where the fun begins. Hope everyone got off the islands.
I see Harvey is claimed cat 3 now (I predicted; and of course it may really be). Well looking at the buoys I’m not convinced but all the other circumstances, this is still an ugly storm.

Jan Christoffersen
August 25, 2017 11:02 am

Rahmstorf probably got the lawsuit-threat idea from Michael Mann, with whom he has co-authored some climate papers.

August 25, 2017 12:27 pm

>[Full disclosure: I (Dr. Duane Thresher) worked with Schmidt for 7 years while I was at NASA GISS. He was on my PhD committee. I am co-author on several papers with him. I’d even say we were friends.]
Are you still friends?

Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 25, 2017 12:50 pm

Rahmstorf and Schellnhuber, both from PIK (Potsdam Institute for climate change consequences research) are the main “science” advisors of Angela Merkel and the Pope…
Here an article from PIK about Rahmstorf:
At the Climate Frontline – Potsdam climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf not only conducts excellent research but also engages in science communication.
Science “communication” mostly in one direction…

Will Greenberg
August 25, 2017 2:44 pm

The story of ”Climate Change” is the claim that insulation mixed into a bath, making 20% less otherwise available warming firelight from the sun never reach earth – due to its refraction to space never to even see a sensor on Earth –
is making sensors detect and depict
more and more light warming earth
as the insulation mixed into the bath that’s conduction chilling it,
makes less and less light even reach Earth to warm it.

August 26, 2017 2:41 pm

You people are all being conned by the owner of this website who is totally funded by the fossil fuel industry, the Koch brothers to be specific. They publish nothing but crap.
[PROVE IT. He is not, he’s never taken a dime from oil companies or from the Koch brothers. You are simply just repeating talking points from haters, and have no proof of your own. You’ve got nothing. Besides, you live in France, what could you possibly know about Mr. Watts personal life. -mod]

August 28, 2017 4:55 pm

This post should have been tagged Climate Ugliness.

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