06 December 2011

PIK Responds

The PR office of PIK, the research institute in Germany where Stefan Rahmstorf is employed, has responded to my post last week on the court case between Rahmstorf and a journalist.  PIK sends this email, which they say is on-the-record:
Dear Dr. Pielke,

it has been brought to our attention that on your weblog http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/12/journalist-fights-back-and-wins.html you claim that Prof. Rahmstorf "was convicted of defaming a journalist". I am sorry to say that this statement is not correct.

What in fact happened is that a journalist, Irene Meichsner, applied for a court injunction which was granted in part by the court last February. It has been a civil lawsuit, of course, and the court simply decided that Stefan Rahmstorf should not repeat two sentences he wrote in his blog months before that (and which already had been removed by him from the blog because the journalist asked him to do so). In German law, defamation would mean something very different.

Could you be so kind to correct this as soon as possible?

Kind regards,

Jonas Viering
(PIK PR-officer)
In response I have updated my post.  The opening sentence originally said:
In Germany, there is news today (here) about a prominent climate scientist who earlier this year was convicted of defaming a journalist, Irene Meichsner.
I have revised it as follows:
In Germany, there is news today (here) about a prominent climate scientist who earlier this year saw a court rule against him and in favor of a journalist, Irene Meichsner.  The basis for the lawsuit was what one observer of the German media calls "personal defamation" by Rahmstorf against the journalist.
 I have noted this update at the top of the post.


  1. Jonas Viering said he is sorry that you were incorrect in saying that Rahmstorf "was convicted of defaning a journalist". This seems a bit like the joy discernible in the AGW community when they present evidence that "Global [whatever] is worse than we thought".

  2. Roger, does this mean you have been 'comprehensively debunked'?


  3. Chuck, didn't you know? Roger Pielke Jr. is the most debunked person in the science blogosphere, possibly the entire Web. [(c) Joe Romm]

  4. Is the revision honestly supposed to comply to the correction? I'm not a lawyer but it seems somewhat cheeky to me. And who is that "one observer of the German media"? It's probably not necessary in research at Arizona State to quote any references or to give any data sources but in journalism, it would help to tell the name of this "observer".

  5. Keith had a rather interesting ‘provocation’ about ‘bat-shit’ American verses European Greens. But when it comes to nuclear the shoe is on the other foot. One of the assertions in the comments to that article was that ‘skeptism’ was merely an “anglo-saxon’ phenomena, a characterisation some in our extremely diverse english speaking world might resent – where’s India in this?That by the bye, the fourth largest economy, Germany has abandoned nuclear because it was already in an agitated and ‘green’ mind to use any problem with nuclear to do so and there where very few and marginalised voices that might have said “Hey, the Japanese tsunami, which created untold damage and killed far more people in a first world economy than any natural disaster - 40,000 or more – might have, in fact, proved how ‘safe‘ Nuclear power is. Further, it might be, that nuclear has become a bete noir in that country because to come to terms with that countries grief proved and will prove much more difficult.” Rationality is difficult, as T.S.Eliot might have said.

    And, just as an aside, Germany frightens me, as, I think it does for many British people, for obvious historical reasons. (The recent, apparent ‘annexation’ by Eurocrats of Greece and Italy, egged on by the so called ‘rating agencies’, especially S&P, whose CEO ‘happens’ to be good friends of the German establishment (yes, maybe, the tin hat is on), that every time Merkel wants her way, tends to come out, with it’s tanks on everyone’s lawn.)

    When Germans embrace so much irrationality it always sends a shiver down the spine. It seems today that Germany is the EU and who can trust them?

  6. -4-Jo Do

    Feel free to click on the link provided for the original source.

    And if you think that something is inaccurate in this post (or the original) please do make your case.


  7. @-5-Lewis: Interestingly, from my German perspective, I'm rather afraid of the power of the "anglo-american" "controlled" rating agencies trying to destroy the Euro-zone and possibly the EU as a whole to maximise their profits. Yep, that's true conspiracy-"bat-shit", but it feels that way.

  8. The court *also* ruled against the journalist and in favor of Rahmstorf. It was a two part decision. Of course that's only of interest if accuracy is important.