walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
Published on: February 21, 2010
Left-Wing European Press Attacks IPCC, UN Climate Change “Dilettentes”

The meltdown of the climate change movement is entering a new phase as the European left turns on the UN climate change office and the IPCC.

The German left wing press, one of the world’s strongest supporters of the ‘climate change movement’ is turning against the scientists and UN bureaucrats responsible for leading the movement.  A round-up of German press coverage over the unexpected resignation of UN climate chief Yvo de Boer offers a perspective on the failures of the climate change movement that is both more scathing and more frank than anything the mainstream US press has yet brought itself to utter.

“De Boer’s Resignation is Catastrophic,” runs the headline on Der Spiegel’s English language website.  Die Tageszeitung, a leftish daily, says that De Boer’s resignation may signal the collapse of the effort to stop climate change by treaty: “a signal that world diplomacy is not the way to win the struggle against climate change.”

The German press is also wondering why de Boer has resigned while Pachauri, widely seen as bearing more individual responsibility for the IPCC’s failings than de Boer, still clings to his job.  The Sueddeutsche Zeitung, considered another left leaning newspaper has a much harsher assessment:

At last even the UN is drawing consequences from the disgrace of its climate politics over the last few months. Scientific documents were suppressed; the summit was prepared with such unbelievable dilettantism that it had no chance to succeed; then there was the bitter argument over false predictions about the melting of Himalayan glaciers. The resignation of Yvo de Boer — chief of the UN’s climate secretariat and one of the responsible figures — is overdue.

In France, the left wing Le Monde — the New York Times of France — wrote about a “total confusion” in the global climate change movement following De Boer’s resignation.  According to Le Monde, the diplomatic process has broken down completely; De Boer’s resignation at least brings this out in the open. Le Figaro, a more conservative newspaper, offers an article on the proposal to reform the IPCC made by 5 leading scientists in Nature.  Figaro quotes a leading French scientist who attacks the current process as biased and unfair, given IPCC’s status as a quasi-official body. In another piece, Figaro describes the climate skeptic movement’s attacks on the mainstream consensus (Sorry, the links are to articles in French).

When the British press attacked the IPCC, the US media insofar as they noted the British attacks at all, dismissed newspapers like the Telegraph and the Times as right wing outlets — Fox News in print.  What do they say about this latest inconvenient truth: that left wing papers on the Continent increasingly believe that the movement to get a global climate treaty is dead and that the follies, dilettantism and errors of the climate change advocates rather than the churlishness of their critics is to blame?


The blogosphere has shamed some leading US newspapers into paying perfunctory attention to one of the biggest stories in several years.  But there’s still no sign that the US press is ready to pursue this still unfolding story with anything like the determination it deserves.  Until then, Americans will have to rely on the internet to watch this story unfold — and every day that goes on, the mainstream US media lose readers and respect.

show comments
  • Marcus

    When you already have very few readers and little respect, what is there to lose?

  • JLD

    Well spoken. The MSM’s cover up of this is a disgrace.

  • onegunfu

    well said Marcus. Nothing left to say.

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  • EconRon

    The only thing I can figure is that the MSM has already lost everybody except the extreme left. Maybe the goal is to just hang on to them.

    That said, it does seem stupid that one of the big-3 TV networks is not seeing the light.

    The NYT is lost forever. It panders to the left and would not break that bond with and honest story.

  • Al’s Mom

    You won’t see the US press cover the Climate Change fraud because that would mean that their biggest idol, Al Gore, was a fraud. The US press would rather add another notch to their journalistic malpractice belt then suffer any criticism of the AGW cult leader.

  • noahp

    On another site posted under “Kevin” I found the following(roughly):

    If once every 30 years we find snow cover over most of the hemisphere North of 45 degrees, then surely it is not too warm and if the accumulated snow and ice between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay melts every summer then surely it is not too cold! And we will survive.

  • Snorri Godhi

    The European press published the Danish cartoons when the British and American press didn’t dare. Now the British press has partially redeemed itself, but the American press still seems stuck in political correctness.

  • SC Mike

    Today’s (Monday, 2/22/2010) WaPo brushes off ClimateGate and IPCC disorders in making the case for climate legislation as a form of insurance:

    It seems to us there are two key arguments that can provide some shelter for politicians who want to do the right thing. The first is to acknowledge a level of uncertainty in the predictions and make the case for taking out an insurance policy, as would any prudent homeowner. It’s true that we don’t know for sure how many degrees warmer the Earth will be, on average, by 2050 or what effect this will have on the ferocity of storms or coastal flooding or starvation-inducing drought. But it’s also true that, as the science has progressed, the predictions have become more dire, not less — and that they are still as likely to be too optimistic as the reverse. If there is action that can be taken, now, to begin to reduce the dangers, why would we not do so?

    To the editors what’s happening outside the beltway should not dissuade the administration and Congress from ramming through legislation to de-carbonize the nation.

    Other than that, nothing to see, folks, just move along…

  • http://yahoo JOHN calomiris

    I would rather freeze my ass off than have to shed my clothes to live in Gore`s world

  • JohnMc

    Come now. If your religious belief system had just been ripped from you would you publish it page A-1? Of course not. That is what much of the liberal establishment here is going through. AGW was the secularists religious blanket that made them feel warm inside.

    Ripped from them, they do not know how to react. Best reason I know for the deafening silence of the American Press.

  • Rich Vail

    SC Mike, what you’re saying is that you think it will be ok for the government to turn off the power every night at 11 pm and turn it back on at 6 am…either that or you’re going to voluntarily radically change your life style…because that’s what you’re demanding.

    If “cap and trade” is passed, it will double the cost of everything in this country…and the resulting inflation will occur almost overnight…it will literally wipe out the American economy. The bill proposed by congress will add roughly $2500 dollars per year to your electric bill, double the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel (which will instantly raise the cost of everything from food…to the beer you drink) because those who produce the food you eat and the things you buy won’t absorb the cost of this instant taxation…they’ll pass it on to the consumer.

    The resulting crash will cause a world-wide depression…because while we don’t produce as much as we used to…we still consume a large percentage of the worlds goods, though the Chinese and Indians are rapidly closing that gap.

    Your utter ignorance is appalling.

  • Tampa, FL

    Re: (“…but the American press still seems stuck in political correctness.” Snorri Godhi)

    A lot of it is no longer political correctness but straight up deception and misrepresentation of so many things. That is why most of the american press has lost all credibility.

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  • Arty

    Face it much of the American media is celebrity faces and “bubble headed bleach blondes” following a script. Their star-power-fueled egos won’t allow them to report anything that contradicts their world view. Admit that the mouth breathing knuckle draggers were right and the beautiful people were duped? No way! Ain’t going to happen.

  • Ken

    Rich Vail, have you not seen that it is the *Washington Post* that is demanding action, and that SC Mike, of whom you say “your utter ignorance is appalling” is CRITICIZING them? His closing statement “nothing to see, folks, just move along…” is obvious sarcasm.

    As for myself, I would certainly like to see more of the energy mix coming from nuclear power and far less from fossil fuels, and that is to a very large extent because the oil is in the wrong place – it’s making the wrong governments rich.

  • Mike S

    This is too funny! So, once again, Americans who rely solely on their MSM are the last to know anything: they only heard the name “Van Jones” on the very day he announced his resignation; the ACORN-video scandal, just a couple of days before Congress voted to stop funding it; and, evidently, they won’t be hearing about “problems” with the “settled” AGW “science” until after the IPCC completely disbands and its former members slither off to find other cushy, do-nothing jobs in the UN bureaucracy!

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  • Australis

    Maybe the change will come when US media let go their armies of “environmental reporters”.

    During a period of drastic payroll cuts in all other departments, reportage on ‘the environment’ has grown like a weed. And once on staff, the reporter has to churn out daily articles – usually about Global Warming.

    If this bread-and-butter topic fades away. many of these new reporters will fade with it. They probably prefer not to file biassed reports – but,hey, it’s different when the family income is at stake.

  • Kate

    “Ripped from them, they do not know how to react. Best reason I know for the deafening silence of the American Press.”

    I think you’ve got it!

    I’d give my right arm to be around the Associated Press offices these days. They cranked out Disaster Warnings on a daily basis for a long, long time.

  • Frank G. Ross Sr.

    Oil is in the wrong place, The USA and Canada. And the wrong governments are getting richer however we could change that by producing what we have a abundance of.
    Oil went from $150 a barrel to $36 when Bush did away with his fathers order blocking offshore drilling. Obama won the election and speculators knew the greens would have a friendly face in the White House and they were right. Obama’s blocking oil production all over the central/western US and oil is $80 a barrel.

  • Duke

    The US press and media have been in the tank of the Progressives for so long honestly they cant tell what’s the truth and what’s not any longer, so its unfair to call them on it, we here in the states aren’t the stupid herders they so aptly refer to us as in there editions. However its good to know that were not alone in the ability to distinguish, S _ _ T from Shinola.

  • Taliesin319

    If it wasn’t for Great Britain none of us Americans would have any news. MSM
    here is 90 % corrupt and are no more than cheer leaders for the Annointed One and his far left liberal cohorts. The only news that
    gives both sides is FoxCable News which one turns to for 3 hours nightly from 8pm-11pm. Never have I seen the Fourth Estate
    in so dire a condition. Thanks for keeping us

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  • bob

    You know had the left wing loonies not have been so extreme and dire in their prognostications there could have been room for reasoned debate. I personally think that we should be doing all we can to limit our consumption and waste output just because I don’t like looking at garbage and don’t particularly like breathing smog. But I also think we shouldn’t be destroying economies and taxing people to death to fund a massive wealth redistribution scheme disguised as a “climate change” boogeyman.

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