Most probably you have seen it on Wattsupwiththat, though it has made the round in all the denier blogs. Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt is cited to have said, that some climate scientist were proven to be fraudsters and has called for the investigation of the IPCC by German scientific institutions. What you will probably never hear by those outlets of misinformation: Helmut Schmidt never said this. Not, that he would not say stupid things once in a while. He is more than 90 years old, he is ignorant about natural sciences, and when he was chancellor he was rather not famous for putting the environment on the agenda. But he didn’t say it. I checked with the bureau of the former chancellor, Mrs. Krüger-Penski, and she says that what was on display on the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG) website and what was cited all the time by deniers was not what Schmidt has said. What he has said is, what is on display under the very same links on the MPG site and what you could have read at the German weekly news paper DIE ZEIT, where Schmidt still is co-publisher. Schmidt never called IPCC scientists fraudsters.
So, what is the background for this? It should be clear, that especially in Germany it should be a great propagandistic success for deniers, if they could present Helmut Schmidt as a witness. He was famous in Germany for mastering critical situations like a flood in Hamburg or the years of communist terror in Germany, and he has a standing for many outside of the socialdemocrat party under liberals and conservatives as well. For many people in Germany his opinion has weight like comments from a former president who left his office successful and without any scandal. So, it was quite a find, when a manuscript could be found on the website of the MPG, where Schmidt on a centennial celebration of the leading German scientific society Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (former Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft) on January 11th, 2011, in a welcome speech allegedly has made the remark. However, it is not clear, how this half sentence made it into the text. It was not said.
Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation put it on the website thegwpf.org on March 6th. From there the usual propaganda chain of denial web sites was started. Bob Carter took the information about the word of the chancellor and wrote on March 7th on the website of the Quadrant that it may not be enough, that German scientific organisations look into the case, because they might be in the fraud, too. Yes, it has become really nuts on this stage already. And then it only went down hill. Bob Carter was allowed to copy his work into Wattsupwiththat later the same day and it made the round in denier websites around the world until now and coming. In Germany, however, Benny Peiser noticed on March 8th, that in the version of Schmidts speech made public in the magazine DIE ZEIT the ominous words about proven fraudsters were missing. Quickly Peiser declared that Helmut Schmidt was censored by his own newspaper. So he added the story of the suppression of those who speak out against the IPCC. It was wrong again.
After contacting the leader of the PR-department Mrs. von Aretin at MPG about who said what, she contacted the bureau of the former chancler. On March 16th I received the message from Mrs. Krüger-Penski that Schmidt never said the half sentence about fraudsters and that the correct version of the speech will be put on the MPG website. On March 17th the website corrected the speech, which is, what you will find now under the denier links to the MPG. On March 21th I received a second Email from another assistant of the former chancellor, who confirmed that the speech which was on the website of the Max Planck Gesellschaft before, was a sketch and not authorized.
Don’t expect deniers to correct what they have said. For them it is “mission accomplished, misinformation spread.”