Fiona Harvey : Whoops, Cat !

Now, I’ve met Fiona Harvey, and she gives the general impression of being a reasonable woman, with her own mind, smart, knowledgeable and pragmatic.

What she writes about is Environment in general, but she takes in Policy, Politics, Economics and Science, and her output is normally balanced, accurate, and free from interference from propaganda and propagandists. Well-rounded, I’d say. Informative and straight.

So how come she’s writing a Financial Times article with quotations from extreme Climate Change sceptics and deniers ?

I suspect a heavy editorial hand :-

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6d1fd25c-9a69-11df-87fd-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=728a07a0-53bc-11db-8a2a-0000779e2340.html

“Research says climate change undeniable : By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent, Published: July 28 2010”

This particular article, when picked up by CNN, has been heavily criticised by a Climate Change Science web log “The Way Things Break” :-

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/07/29/climate.change.noaa.ft/#fbid=Sv6nSUfQRmO

http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/new-study-lays-out-11-indicators-of-a-warming-world-media-focuses-on-contrarian-views/

“New study lays out 11 indicators of a warming world, media focuses on contrarian views : July 29, 2010 : Mainstream media reports continue to mislead in the name of “balance”…”

Whoops, cat !

What to make of this ?

Well, first off, I’d suggest that the views of the Climate Change sceptic-deniers quoted by Fiona Harvey are really quite outlandish, not-stand-up-in-a-court-of-law-type claims.

I think that Fiona Harvey was probably under orders to include sceptical-denial views, and chose some hugely outrageous examples in order to do what she was told, yet at the same time indicating to her readership how sane the Science appears by comparison.

For example, would you trust this man’s opinion on Climate Change Science :-

“…David Herro, the financier, who follows climate science as a hobby, said NOAA also “lacks credibility”…”

Maybe Fiona Harvey was instructed to pull as much web traffic to the Financial Times as possible, by offering up something a little itchy and scratchy for the media-followers to get their complaining teeth into.

Maybe Fiona Harvey has written in such a way as to protect her job, or maybe she genuinely believes that ridiculous, inaccurate and highly contentious sceptic-denier opinions need to be aired, one more tiresomely time.

Maybe, and this is a bit of a long-shot, maybe somebody from the corporate world has decided to shove the Financial Times around a bit for being so…so…scientific about Climate Change, and demanded some “balance”.

After all, Climate Change policy is going to involve spending some money in new directions, and that’s going to cost a bit, for a few years. And some people need to be protecting their baselines in the short-term from all that regulation and taxation that will drive the Renewable Energy transition.

Anyway, I give you the Financial Times article in a bit more detail, editing out all the doubt. If you get blocked from reading it through the URL Uniform Resource Locator HTTP Hypertext Transfer Protocol Internet Address, try Googling the headline and click their link – it should show the article in full :-


http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/6d1fd25c-9a69-11df-87fd-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=728a07a0-53bc-11db-8a2a-0000779e2340.html

“Research says climate change undeniable : By Fiona Harvey, Environment Correspondent, Published: July 28 2010”

“International scientists have injected fresh evidence into the debate over global warming, saying that climate change is “undeniable” and shows clear signs of “human fingerprints” in the first major piece of research since the “Climategate” controversy.”

“The research, headed by the US National Oceans and Atmospheric Administration, is based on new data not available for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of 2007…”

“The NOAA study drew on up to 11 different indicators of climate, and found that each one pointed to a world that was warming owing to the influence of greenhouse gases, said Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring at the UK’s Met Office, one of the agencies participating.”

“Seven indicators were rising, he said. These were: air temperature over land, sea-surface temperature, marine air temperature, sea level, ocean heat, humidity, and tropospheric temperature in the “active-weather” layer of the atmosphere closest to the earth’s surface. Four indicators were declining: Arctic sea ice, glaciers, spring snow cover in the northern hemisphere, and stratospheric temperatures.”

“Mr Stott said: “The whole of the climate system is acting in a way consistent with the effects of greenhouse gases.” “The fingerprints are clear,” he said. “The glaringly obvious explanation for this is warming from greenhouse gases.””

“Some scientists hailed the study as a refutation of the claims made by climate sceptics during the “Climategate” saga. Those scandals involved accusations…of flaws in the IPCC’s landmark 2007 report, and the release of hundreds of emails from climate scientists…”

““This confirms that while all of this [Climategate] was going on, the earth was continuing to warm. It shows that Climategate was a distraction, because it took the focus off what the science actually says,” said Bob Ward, policy director of the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics.”

“…Jane Lubchenco, the administrator of NOAA, said the study found that the average temperature in the world had increased by 0.56° C (1° F) over the past 50 years. The rise “may seem small, but it has already altered our planet … Glaciers and sea ice are melting, heavy rainfall is intensifying, and heat waves are more common.””


It’s time we started getting our truth unadulterated and undiluted, in my view.

You, editorial line management at the Financial Times, unhand that young woman freethinker !

The story she covered was about Science and the reality and gravity of the situation. That message should be presented unmuddled and uncompromised, or the Financial Times editors are not doing their job properly, in my view.

Don’t they owe their readership the most accurate information on the real risks and opportunities accruing from Climate Change ?

If companies and investors get in at the basement of the Low Carbon Transition, if capital and assets are directed towards the development and deployment of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, then in the mid- to long- term, these players will be in the best financial position.

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