"Climate research was hijacked by politicians, in order to make their decisions look scientifically given and without any alternative". That is the key message in German climatologist, IPCC lead writer Hans von Storch's new book "Die Klimafalle: Die gefährliche Nähe von Politik und Klimaforschung" (The Climate Trap: The dangerous closeness between politics and climate research), which he has written together with social scientist Werner Krauß.
Von Storch is highly critical of the IPCC reports, which he describes as "co-productions between science and politics". By accepting the "one truth only" basis for political decisions, scientists have made themselves "clandestine advocates", says von Storch. A blend of apocalyptic rhetoric and politically exploited science has driven climate research into a dead end. "It was extravagant to claim, that such a complicated problem as climate change was 'solved', and that there was a consensus about it", von Storch and Krauß write.
The authors also say that it was "scandalous" that Michael Mann and the rest of his "hockey team" broke the scientific free exchange of information rules. The trench warfare damaged science - "open debate, the engine of scientific progress, was abandoned". The loss of credibility has not only damaged climate research - but also the protection of the environment, the authors say.
Although von Storch does not want to be called a climate skeptic, his argumentation is still an important and most welcome step forward towards a meaningful discussion of climate change/global warming. One must hope that his criticism is read - and understood - by the hundreds of climatologists and other scientists who have allowed themselves to be used as tools in a political game.
Read the two Der Spiegel articles here (in German).