What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 2, 2010

The Trib Gets It Wrong On Climate. Again.

Like that old schoolyard game of "telephone", Scaife's braintrust at the Pittsburgh Tribune Review gets some very important details wrong.

Isn't a newspaper (or even a "news" paper like the Trib) supposed to, you know, get is basic facts straight?

Take a look:
The "progressive" Chicken Littles are at it again, this time in Cancun at the United Nations gathering of global-warming cluckers. The Telegraph of London reports that Professor Kevin Anderson presented a paper claiming that "the only way to reduce global emissions enough — while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow — is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next 20 years." Pecans apparently still are in season.
The whole hub-bub over Anderson's "rationing" suggestion comes from this article in the Daily Telegraph (and even they spin). The Trib's spins on the Telegraph's spin.
In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.

Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration.

As the world meets in Cancun, Mexico for the latest round of United Nations talks on climate change, the influential academics called for much tougher measures to cut carbon emissions.

In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.
Now take a look at this blog. Keep in mind that the blog's writer, Donna Laframboise, is something of a climate skeptic (She calls the IPCC report The Climate Bible and is writing a book called Decoding the Climate Bible: Almost Nothing You’ve Heard About the UN’s Global Warming Report is True. She writes:
A news article in yesterday’s Telegraph newspaper has sparked a mini firestorm in the climate blogosphere. That article was titled: Cancun climate change summit: scientists call for rationing in developed world.

Note the use of the plural. If one reads the article closely, though, only one person discusses rationing – Kevin Anderson, a UK professor of energy and climate change who also serves as director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

The article implies that rationing is being advocated by a collection of journal articles published by the Royal Society, but this is not the case. I electronically searched all 14 of those articles. None of them contain the word “ration” – or appear to discuss the concept – not even the paper for which Anderson is the lead author.
The closest she gets to finding anything in the paper resembling what the Telegraph (and, by extension, the Trib) says was in Anderson's paper was what she found in the paper's conclusion:
...the logic of such studies suggest (extremely) dangerous climate change can only be avoided if economic growth is exchanged, at least temporarily, for a period of planned austerity within [rich] nations...
That's it. Laframboise concludes that the writer of the Telegraph piece:
...who appears to have interviewed Anderson, fails to make it clear that the bit about rationing represents Anderson’s personal opinion. It is highly misleading to suggest, as her article does, that this measure enjoys the support of “physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions.”
And yet the Trib said he "presented a paper" at the Conference calling for rationing. Why can't they get their climate facts straight? They could have just pointed out what Laframboise wrote, that Anderson has been advocating rationing for years. But then they couldn't slam the Cancun Conference, could they?

I found all this stuff in about 30 minutes. Why couldn't they?

Embarrassing, isn't it?

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