Stefan Rahmstorf, Climate Ex-Communicator

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach [see update at the end of the post]

Stefan Rahmstorf recently got the AGU Climate Communications Prize, despite acting like a vicious jerkwagon when his claims get questioned by mere mortals, viz:

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

The article begins:

“A freelance journalist [Irene Meichsner] 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, liberal German 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.

SOURCE (originally inadvertently omitted, apologies to authors):  AGU’s “Climate Change: Believe It Or Else” Prize

Here he is, crocodile smile and all …

rahmsdorf

Now, however, he’s had to retract one of his usual BS claims due to errors that he is unwilling to specify … details here.

Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels

Study claimed in 2009 that sea levels would rise by up to 82cm by the end of century – but the report’s author now says true estimate is still unknown
Wonderful fellow, right up there with Michael Mann, Peter Gleick, and the Climategate Unindicted Co-Conspirators … and just as foolishly wrong as the rest of them.
Regards to all,
w.
[Update] Well, that will teach me to read too fast. As Nick Stokes points out, Rahmstorf did NOT write the paper, in fact Rahmsdorf was the one to point out the error. Score … Nick Stokes 100%, and me, 0%.
However, Rahmstorf is still not a candidate for a communications prize … but then clearly, neither am I …
w.
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63 thoughts on “Stefan Rahmstorf, Climate Ex-Communicator

    • Neomarxism/Postmodernism has it’s own logic. So don’t waste your time looking for modernism based logic? Anything that supports Neomarxism/Postmodern Agendas is logical.

  1. “He said there were two separate technical mistakes in the paper, which were pointed out by other scientists after it was published. A formal retraction was required, rather than a correction, because the errors undermined the study’s conclusion.”

    “It used data over the last 22,000 years to predict that sea level would rise by between 7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.”

    7 to 82????? what the h3ll kind of WAG is that?

    • It used data over the last 22,000 years

      Sometimes, when going back that far, everyone mistakes proxy “data” as an actual measurement.
      (Did anybody have a ruler 22,000 years ago? If they did, did they have a pencil and paper to record the “data” down to the centimeter?)

  2. Pride makes one a fool, no matter whether what they said is “right” or “wrong”.
    Pride opens the door to lie to support oneself even when a lie is not required.

    Wonderful fellow, right up there with Michael Mann, Peter Gleick, and the Climategate Unindicted Co-Conspirators … and just as foolishly wrong as the rest of them.

    Yes, a wonderful fellow.

  3. Blind ambition has no fury like an ambition blind German!

    I convened and will now chair a session at AGU17. Back when the session was open for submission I get an e-mail from a German I know at Potsdam, AWI. He “volunteers” to be the, “THE”, invited speaker so that he can qualify for a free round-trip air-tickets! I’ve had the “pleasure” of dealing with these German frauds at AWI pontificating about their MASTER RACE RESEARCH for more than 10-years. I replied “Sure, go ahead, consider yourself invited.”

    Ha ha! Joke is on him! I’ve been doing sessions in Europe and US more on a decade and I knew that this session might not even get enough submissions to manage a Poster Session. Sure enough, Poster session.

    Knowing German MASTER RACE RESEARCHER from AWI like his counterparts there, I doubt he will show! Be funny to sink 90K on the bet at Harrah’s Casino! Ever heard the phrase “German Whale?” I would win! German MASTER RACE RESEARCHER considers poster sessions are for Students. Serious German MASTER RACE RESEARCHER only does Orals in front of Blazing Media Cameras and Video and Champagne and Caviar.

    Perhaps this gives insight to the real reason why the EU centered in Germany or France is destined to fail. And even centered in Brussels it will still fail! It is in the European DNA!

    Ha ha

  4. “Now, however, he’s had to retract one of his usual BS claims”

    The paper is here. The authors were Mark Siddall1,4, Thomas F. Stocker2 & Peter U. Clark3. Rahmstorf was not an author, in fact, he was credited with pointing out the error.

    • I don’t think you’re looking at the right paper Nick, but at the same time it seems Willis isn’t either. It looks like some wires got crossed.

      Rahmstorf’s paper, “Global sea level linked to global temperature”,
      Martin Vermeera,1 and Stefan Rahmstorf 2
      seems to have been confused with Siddall’s.

      Still, Rahmstorf does conclude there will be a 75 to 190 cm rise in sea level by 2100, which is probably what got him in trouble.

      • “I don’t think you’re looking at the right paper”
        It’s the paper cited by the linked 2010 Guardian article as being retracted. The 2009 Vermeer/Rahmstorf paper is noted here. No sign of any Rahmstorf claims there being retracted. It has been cited 1041 times.

      • This is not quite Barts point.
        Whatever the conclusion, independent of the retraction,this is all a bit of a kerfuffle.
        So two eminent climate scientist think there is going to be accelerated sea rise.
        How high do you think the sea will rise at Port Jackson by the year 2100?
        A few years back the local Green Party had posters everywhere on the way to Bondi Beach, another icon, saying all would be inundated.
        They have stopped this.
        Even they have lost this part of the faith in climate science.
        I tend to agree.

      • ” It has been cited 1041 times.”

        Who the hell cares? 1041 idiots cited it, for that matter. Arguments from popularity have nothing to do with science.

        Rahmstorf gets a pass for a 190 cm projection. Almost twice the AR5 projection (I guess the more alarmism the better), but Siddall has to retract for his measly 82 cm projection.

      • Who the hell cares? 1041 idiots cited it, for that matter. Arguments from popularity have nothing to do with science.

        As so often happens here, you read something and then start attributing motivation and implied meaning to what was actually there and go into rant mode.

        Nick stated that it had been cited 1041 times. That is a fact not an opinion. We should care that such an alarmist paper is being cited over a thousand times in other papers and has remained unchallenged. It is acting as part of “the consensus”.

      • Furthermore, why would anyone cite a paper that does not meet the important scientific concept of falsifiability? These type of papers should not be published in a science journal since they are inherently unscientific. (This would apply to Siddall’s paper as well)

    • All this babble and it turns out he was responsible for the correction and not the author at all. It doesn’t matter: the point was to stoke the denial machine and it worked.

      • You really don’t care about intimidation of journalists and reporting of the truth, do you?

        What sort of machine abandons truth and debate?

      • He did not get a correction, he got it retracted because it was flawed, it was not corrected: it longer exists.

        A paper whose maximum sea level rise was about half of that of he published himself got removed from the literature. Maybe we should be looking at whether he used his usually bullying and legal threats to achieve this particular act of GATEKEEPING. This looks like climategate antics all over again.

      • ” usually bullying and legal threats to achieve this particular act of GATEKEEPING”

        There is no evidence of anything like that. Vermeer and Rahmstorf published a paper which came out at about the same time as Siddall’s, so didn’t refer to it. But Siddall in the Guardian link thanked V&R for bringing issues to their attention. Whether that was via the paper itself or a later communication asn’t clear.

        “it longer exists”
        It’s here

    • Now, however, he’s had to retract one of his usual BS claims due to errors that he is unwilling to specify … details here.

      I think this is in error. But that IPCC is not alarmistic enough in the eyes of the Guardian, and cites Rahmstorf instead of the usual consensus, is not a surprise.

      It is sad I have no hope of seeing the sea level in 2100

    • Nick –

      You missed what I was saying I believe. Willis begins with a criticism of Rahmstorf, who wrote the paper I’ve cited below, then smoothly transitions to a notice of retraction regarding a completely different paper written by someone else entirely (Siddell).

      It’s very confusing.

  5. Title should read “Rahmstorf” not “Rahmsdorf.” Nevertheless, the point is well and truly made!

  6. He’s unable to accept a different opinion? He thinks he’s God Almighty or something?

    Oh, my. I’d call him out into the street in a blizzard and invite him to a snowball fight.

    It is imperative to stand up to people like this. I’ve seen more than enough people make claims about themselves that are pure lies, and until they’re embarrassed into retracting what they say, they won’t shut up. And some of them run for office… and win.

    Well, if Mr. Rahmsdorf doesn’t like opposing opinions, that’s tough bananas. I’ll meet him on a street corner in a blizzard with a bucket of snowballs and we’ll see who wins that fight.

    • Sara
      I live in Germany so I must be careful what I say, (internet comments are in general against the law ) writing as you did above could get me jail time.

      • “writing as you did above could get me jail time.”

        That’s a sad commentary on the state of free speech in Europe. The U.S. is the last bastion of free speech in the world. Unfortunately, American Leftist/Socialist/Totalitarian forces are doing their best to change all that and criminalize speech they don’t like.

        I’ll paraphrase another poster by saying they can take my free speech right after they take away my guns. That would probably get me arrested, were I a European. Pathetic.

        I see where the idiot Merkel said she wouldn’t change a thing about her immigration policy. How stupid is she? How stupid are the people that vote for her? That would probably get me charged, too.

        Good thing I’m in the good ole free USA, isn’t it. :) I can say anthing I want. I will speak for the Europeans.

  7. Reading the Guardian article just confirmed that if you want to know where the data is leading, reading this site is a must.
    One of the ways of looking at alarmist statements on sea level is to look at the debate, tide gauge measurements, land use,satellite sea level estimations and volume of the cavernous sea bed with isostatic and thermal expansion.
    As the numbers tumble out there is no sign of catastrophic acceleration of the rate of change of sea level rise.
    Its actually very ho hum, but does not sell papers on a 24 hour news cycle.
    Another area is the science concerning the GBR.
    Its only by speaking to one involved, visiting the reef and reading all I can that I have learned that the reef is undergoing change as it always has.
    Now this is absolutely radical and heretical to some.
    Paradoxically if sea level were to rise dramatically, all those low lying coral reefs would be more likely to survive inevitable tides and El Ninos, so ‘climate change’ would in fact ‘save the reef’.
    Presuming that the science community accepts that shallow pools of water heat up at low tide.
    But then, sorting the narrative keeps on hitting a new tipping point for me.
    I am glad its not my problem, I don’t feel any need to defend orthodoxy, however paradoxical

  8. These guys are going to get testier and worse as the walls come tumbling down. They’ve put themselves up front in the battle and have no wiggle room for stepping back from the edge. They certainly will not be given any quarter in the coming reckoning.

    I’m amazed that Trump simply cancelled CAGW. I recognized how little was holding it all together, but I expected great political inertia to at least give it a dead cat bounce or a chicken with severed head leaping and flopping. Europe expressed disappointment and then began to reconsider their program.

    Many resolved without much enthusiasm to soldier on. Bloomberg defiantly threw away 15million measly dollars to the UN. We see in today’s WUWT the EC looking to scuttle their renewables policies. California and Australia, however, are determined to do massive damage to themselves if the electorate doesnt take a stand.

    Guys like Ramsdorff have to be having nightmares and I’d be surprised if they didn’t have the early stages of the neuroses that the terrible Pause inflicted on so many climate scientists, terminating their careers.

  9. So much for AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics:

    «AGU leadership affirms the international principle that the free, open, and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. As a member of the scientific community and enterprise, AGU also affirms its obligation to foster and support a safe and professional environment in order to learn, conduct research, and communicate science with integrity, respect, fairness, trustworthiness, and transparency at all organizational levels and in all scientific endeavors. This includes all professional interactions within the scientific community and with members of the public. We recognize that failure to meet this obligation harms our profession, our scientific credibility, and the well-being of individuals and the broader community. The culture of science differs internationally, yet integrity must remain inviolate. It is the responsibility of all individuals covered under this policy to ensure the integrity of our scientific practice and to work to prevent actions contrary to the spirit of the above principles.»

    «In addition, AGU opposes all forms of bullying including threatening, humiliating, coercive, or intimidating conduct that causes harm to, interferes with, or sabotages scientific activity and careers.»

    Hypocrites!

    • The public is being had over and over again by scientists and scientific enterprises that fails to identify and adhere to sound scientific and ethical principles of science.

      In this case it would have taken AGU minutes to disqualify Rahmstorf from being worthy of a communication prize – if the committee and the leaders of AGU had knowledge of and respect for the ethical principles of AGU.

      As a coseqeunce of this continued misconduct, AGU gave a climate commination prize to an individual that has actually been convicted for unethical and obviously illegal condict.

      Disgusting.

  10. When you are dealing with a disgraceful attack on someone’s career with total disregard for the damage they are doing, is a lot more than mere hypocrisy. To go to such lengths might indicate a deep dysfunctional psychology. It would be interesting to compare the behaviour of these extreme climate “scientists” with the more extreme behaviour in society as a whole.

      • You responded within 10 minutes of my comment. Obviously you must spend your time reading WUWT comments so you can disrupt any discussion. Ever thought of getting help?

      • NIce ad hom there fella. Clearly you have no response to Nick’s comments.

        Nick is competent and usually on the ball. His presence here is very welcome in challenging some commenters and preventing it just being an echo chamber of irrational ranters like you who have nothing of value to contribute.

      • Well Nick – let me help you with clicking on the link in the post and cite the first few sections of that article:

        «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.
         
        In the name of the people, a ruling was announced on 9 February this year, which was remarkable: the defendant was sentenced by the 28th Civil Chamber of the Cologne District Court, Germany, “to (…) refrain from giving the impression that
        a) the claimant had plagiarised the blogger Richard North and the journalist Jonathan Leake;
        b) the claimant had asked the defendant via the editors of the Frankfurter Rundschau to remove the name of the claimant from the blog post of the defendant “FR withdraws article against the IPCC” and name only the Frankfurter Rundschau.”

        In addition, the defendant must pay the claimant €511.58 plus interest and pay two-thirds of the cost of litigation. The Chamber justified its sentences by noting that it was a case of untrue factual allegations, which infringed the claimant’s personal rights “because the objective misrepresentation cannot be classified as value-free.

        This ruling is particularly intriguing because the defendant is the climate researcher Stefan Rahmstorf …»

        By the way – here is the ruling (unfortunately in Deutch):
        http://www.klimastorch.de/klimastorch/urteil.rahmstorf-vs.meichsner.pdf

      • Disagree to some extent Greg. Nick does open the discussion and give balance in many ways but on most occasions he does so by ignoring the context of the article and finding small points within the article to argue about. Thus sending the entire blog discussion off in a tangent, ignoring the main topic of the posting.

        When faced with an elephant in the room, Nick wants to talk about the color of his toenails.

      • SoF,
        “let me help you with clicking on the link”
        It doesn’t help. There is a lot of huffing and puffing about “untrue factual allegations” etc. But what were they? What did he actually say that is supposed to be so terrible that it inflicted €511.58 worth of damage?

        It doesn’t help that the writer uses dramatic flourishes like
        “the defendant was sentenced by the 28th Civil Chamber of the Cologne District Court, Germany, “to (…) refrain from giving the impression that…”

      • The closest I can get to an English version of the conviction is:
        Download this file:
        https://openjur.de/u/448010.html
        Use translate.google.com to translate the downloaded file.

        However, the article Ideology and climate change: How to silence journalists, linked to in the post, gives a more understandable description of the case: It need to be read in its entirety. However, I think the essence of his scientific misconduct, in this case, is expressed fairly well by these two quotes:

        «The inference to be drawn is that the accusation raised in the article – that the IPCC’s Synthesis Report fails to provide a scientifically sound basis for its assertion – may well be applied to this message. At the same time, it means that the impression created by Rahmstorf in his blog (26 April 2010), i.e. that this assertion was backed up by the above-mentioned study, is incorrect. Rahmstorf includes a link to the study, but in all probability he had not examined it with the necessary care, or else he would probably have noticed the inconsistencies.»

        «There is no one who can or would want to deny Stefan Rahmstorf and other climate scientists the right to criticise interpretations they consider inappropriate and to counter them with others. But anyone who, like Rahmstorf, fails to distinguish carefully between facts and interpretation and applies the one-dimensional criterion of right and wrong to both, enters the arena of a public battle of opinions. Disguised as a scientific expert, he is really a political agitator. He does not fight against false factual claims, but against unpopular interpretations, and in this case he also employs unfair means, as the verdict of the Cologne court documented. The fact that Rahmstorf has now changed or entirely removed certain passages from his blog post of 26 April 2010 without informing his readers about it, all fits into the picture.»

        Anyhow, Ramstorf was convicted for illegal misconduct related to communication of climate science. And AGU has now awarded him the «Climate Communications Prize».

  11. Rahmstorf’s allegations were successful in that the German newspaper had withdrawn the article, the NYT covered the withdrawal and Rahmstorf then gloated about it.

    Will the NYT now report that Rahmstorf was wrong and that a fellow journalist was correct?

      • “did the NYT then report”
        Unlikely. It was a case in a local German court in which the journalist sought a restraining order demanding that
        1. Rahmstorf stop saying (on his blog) that she was getting her stuff from North and Leake
        2. He stop saying that she got Rundschau to ask him to remove her name from his blog article
        3. He stop saying that she hadn’t read the IPCC report.
        The court ruled for her on counts 1 and 2, and against on 3. She was awarded €511 damages but had to pay a share of costs.

        Not really big news in the US.

      • The fact it was in 2011 is not the point, Nick. The point is that he (Rahmstorf) won the science communications prize with this kind of record of defaming science communicators. The AGU had to be aware of this situation, since they haven’t apologized since announcing the award. And the court judgment description is simple and legalistic, but the act (his false, unfounded attack on her) is shameful. Quit trying to excuse Rahmstorf’s actions by reference to the verdict – if you want to defend him, defend what he actually did, not a description of the judgment.

  12. “Now, however, he’s had to retract one of his usual BS claims due to errors that he is unwilling to specify … details here.”

    Willis, the retraction was seven years ago.

    Not ‘now he he’s had to’. Rahter ‘seven years ago, and one year after publication, he had to….’

  13. Let me present my experience with the Indian Geophysical Union [IGU]. They started a magazine/Journal online.

    IGU magazine published an editorial related to global warming and agriculture in October 2014 issue. I happen to see this editorial. Then I talked to him on phone. He asked me send my comments. I sent my observations to the Editor. In the later issue this was published ” titled “Climate change & Global warming” under the Letter to the Editor section along with Editors response on my observations. The text of this is given in the following:

    http://www.igu.in/19-1/12letter%20to%20the%20editor%20and%20response.pdf

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

  14. Nick Stokes The man of straw – stuffed shirt and green as apples -but boy does he yadda yadda yadda

  15. I don’t think attacking Nick Stokes personally for pointing out some facts helps very much. The real problem is the lack of balance in the MSM like the NYT and Guardian in reporting on the whole global warming debate. Sadly it doesn’t surprise me that polemicists get awarded for absurd AGW exaggerations and claims, while anyone who questions what we are seeing is given little right of reply. Anger should be reserved for the outrageous waste of worldwide resources and money that should be being used for real problems. That is what is unforgivable.

    • Moderately Cross,

      I have to agree with you, and I admire your restraint in being only “Moderately Cross”, and thinking that such comments “don’t help very much”

      “Mindlessly puerile and pathetic” was a phrase that came into my mind

  16. The most surprising thing to me is The Guardian actually publishing a retraction from global warming alarmists. albeit more than seven years ago. (The author of the article stopped being the environment correspondent at The Guardian the same year, which could be entirely coincidental.)

  17. Journal articles focused on climate are a confusing mass of reworked multiple-journal repetitions of alarmism based on scenarios made to look like observations. It is no wonder interpretive mistakes are made by the consuming public regarding who stated what in which journals in what year. And no wonder mistakes are made by researchers and then over-looked by poor peer review and their symbolic editors. Both Willis and Nick have acted admirably. The researchers and journal not so much.

  18. In the Nature Geoscience retraction, in which Siddall and his colleagues explain their errors, Vermeer and Rahmstorf are thanked for “bringing these issues to our attention”. Among all unsubstantial “science” that have seen the day of light, this had to be withdrawn. Poor Siddall.
    “One mistake was a miscalculation; the other was not to allow fully for temperature change over the past 2,000 years.” Miscalculation can be corrected. And what “scientific” paper get the temperature change over the past 2000 years right? Is it wrong when it is not good enough for Stefan Rahmstorf ?

  19. “Rough Methods”

    Sounds like the English and their “rough wooing” of Scotland. I.e., rape and pillage…

  20. IMHO Rahmstorf surely doesn’t deserve a communication prize.

    I had several discussions with him on his blog
    https://scilogs.spektrum.de/klimalounge/

    His discussion style seems to me very arrogant. He doesn’t tend to accept an argument against his opinions even if it well reasoned.
    Example: The discussion about Marcott’s holocene reconstruction where Rahmstorf compares short-term variations in the 20th century with long-term variations in tree ring reconstructions (the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem forbids such comparations because the holocene reconstruction has a time resolution of typically 300 years or worse):
    https://scilogs.spektrum.de/klimalounge/palaeoklima-das-ganze-holozaen/#comment-7721
    https://scilogs.spektrum.de/klimalounge/palaeoklima-das-ganze-holozaen/#comment-7725
    https://scilogs.spektrum.de/klimalounge/palaeoklima-das-ganze-holozaen/#comment-7735

    In every writing you feel that he looks down on skeptics. Sometimes he calls them denier (“Leugner”).
    Such a person gets a communication prize? OMG!

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