Prosecute the torture.

February 8, 2010

The Trib And The IPCC

Selective Sourcing by Richard Mellon Scaife's braintrust.

Something we've come to expect.

Take a look. This is from today's editorial page at the Tribune-Review:
When an engine blows blue smoke, it's best to look under the hood. After the IPCC's melting-glaciers claim backfired, deeper investigation by inquiring minds raised more questions.

Among them, the 2007 IPCC assertion that climate change threatens up to 40 percent of the Amazon rain forest. The Sunday Telegraph of London reports the reference isn't tied to peer-reviewed science but to a report by an environmental advocacy group, the World Wildlife Fund, which focused on the detriments from logging. Proponents insist the climate claim is sound.

IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri, under pressure to resign, calls growing skepticism "totally unfounded." If so, then open all the IPCC's findings to an independent peer review -- and stop blowing smoke.

Let's go take a look at that Telegraph article. And here's where we find the selective sourcing from the braintrust. Here's what they left out:
Scientists fear the controversies will be used by climate change sceptics to sway public opinion to ignore global warming — even though the fundamental science, that greenhouse gases can heat the world, remains strong.
Not surprising that our friends on Mellon's payroll would conveniently omit that part.

Again, the science is strong enough for the Pentagon (but not, or so it seems, strong enough for the Trib braintrust).

I do love, however, the irony of the Trib criticizing anyone for the use of advocacy research. How often does the Trib rely on the "research" from the Scaife-supported The Heritage Foundation? The Allegheny Institute?

Yea, I thought so.


EdHeath said...

It does sound like there are some quality control problems at the IPCC. In my opinion, I agree with the statement in the Telegraph that the IPCC shouldn't accept or use reports from "pressure" groups, or at least not unless those reports have been scientifically reviewed.

At the same time, I agree the Trib editorial totally over-reaches. They are taking a reasonable concern and expanding it to cover unrelated reports. It should be possible to easily identify the sources of all reports the IPCC cites, and if they come from groups such as the World Wildlife Fund, whether those reports were peer reviewed. That's what computers are for.

This Trib editorial was more clever than others, in that it first referenced a previously discredited IPCC report. Still, to then imply there are several questionable reports is dishonest at best (the first issue the Trib raised has been resolved, and the only other issue in the Telegraph article is an issue I heard about at least two years ago involving MOAA). I mean, we expect editorials to draw conclusions from stories written (usually in their own paper), but making stuff up reflects poorly on the paper and the editorial staff.

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