AGU’s ‘Climate Change: Believe It Or Else’ Prize Goes To…

Stefan Rahmstorf

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 seven years while I was at NASA GISS. He was on my Ph.D. committee. I am the co-author on several papers with him. I’d even say we were friends.]

This year’s winner, the first non-American to win the AGU Climate Communication Prize is — drum roll — none other than Stefan Rahmstorf! Let’s review some of his accomplishments in communicating climate science.

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.

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 and 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 hi to Rahmstorf for us and include a “salute” so he feels warm and fascistic.

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:,,,,,,,,

Read more about the prize at

Originally posted at PSI