Richard Black : “Bad Boy” ?

Richard Black takes the subject of Climate Change as far away from the actual science as possible, by apparently giving in to resentment over his treatment at the hands of Joseph Romm :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/09/something_new_and_not_altogeth.html

“‘Warmist’ attack smacks of ‘sceptical’ intolerance : Richard Black | 16:42 UK time, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 : It seems that something new, and not altogether welcome, may be happening in the politicking over climate change. I have written before of the orchestrated villification that comes the way of climate scientists from some people and organisations who are unconvinced of the case for human-induced climate change – “sceptics”, “deniers”, as you wish. Journalists, including your humble correspondent, receive our fair share too. This week, for the first time, I am seeing the same pattern from their opponents. Joe Romm, the physicist-cum-government-advisor-cum-polemicist, posted a blog entry highly critical of the Arctic ice article I wrote last week. Headlined “Dreadful climate story by BBC’s Richard Black”, it takes me to task, essentially, for not mentioning human-induced climate change explicitly. He then gives my email address and invites his readers to send in complaints. Many have, perhaps swayed by judgemental terms in his post such as “spin”, “inexcusable”, and “mis-reporting”, with several citing his interpretation as gospel truth. He is as entitled to his views as anyone else. But this is, at least in my experience, the first time that “warmers” – those who, like Dr Romm, believe climate change is taking us to hell in a handcart and who lobby for more urgent action on the issue – have resorted to the internet equivalent of taking banners onto the street in an attempt to influence reporting of the issue. At least, that is the surface complaint; what my omission hides, he hints heavily, is an agenda aimed at downplaying the impacts of humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions…”

What makes Richard Black, or his editor, think it’s a good use of his time to cover this matter ?

He has admitted, in my direct hearing, that he hasn’t really read the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report, so maybe he should start there instead of covering the A, B, C of normal BBC “environmental reporting protocol” ?

Continue reading Richard Black : “Bad Boy” ?

The Independent “in association with Shell”

I rubbed my eyes, but the logo didn’t disappear. The Independent newspaper article had a graphic explaining that the article was “in association with Shell” :-

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/newenergyfuture/a-climate-for-european-action-2068570.html

Further clue : the author was Tom Burke, “Mr Clean Coal” to those of us that know of him.

The article was great, up until the paragraph :-

“Without deploying carbon capture and storage technologies for coal and gas, Europe has no workable climate policy…”

Well, we knew Tom Burke was going to say that, didn’t we ?

But why was the article “in association with Shell” ? Is this the start of advertising masquerading as opinion articles ?

What could possibly link Royal Dutch Shell to Carbon Capture and Storage ? The “Enhanced Oil Recovery” (EOR) angle, possibly – Shell offering to pump Carbon Dioxide down into its depleting oil and gas wells in an attempt to raise the pressure on the remaining hydrocarbon, to squeeze it out.

Continue reading The Independent “in association with Shell”

Media Gets Obama Bypass

It seems like Team Obama will be bypassing the mainstream Media in their Climate Change communications :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/12/us-document-strategy-climate-talks

“…A document accidentally left on a European hotel computer and passed to the Guardian reveals the US government’s increasingly controversial strategy in the global UN climate talks…Top of the list of objectives is to: “Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change.” It also talks of “managing expectations” of the outcome of the Cancun meeting and bypassing traditional media outlets…”

There you have it. I’m not surprised, given the appalling behaviour of some of the Gentlepersons of the Press in recent months… Continue reading Media Gets Obama Bypass

Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

The Climate Change “sceptics” are calling it “Amazongate”. I’d rather like to rename it “Investigate”, because of the appalling lack of investigative journalism that surrounds latest news of the Science of the Amazon basin.

Why is it that so many mainstream newspapers repeat the same lazy accusation that somebody has uncovered “yet another error” in the IPCC report ? This looks like a flawed attempt to create a narrative of scandal, where there is actually nothing to find.

Many expert commentators have tried to explain that, yes, the IPCC had a couple of problems, where they have used information that was not peer-reviewed Science, and findings that other experts disagree with. But no, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report still stands, and is still the best statement that Sciencekind can give on the subject of Climate Change.

There is no evidence of the kind of wrongdoing in the work of the IPCC that the Climate Change “sceptics” claim. So why do the journalists carry on with the narrative of doubt ? Could it have something to do with the fact that they don’t check the facts ?

And why do most of the mainsteam news organisations take the same line, with the same sloppy thinking and poor arguments replicated in article after article ? Could it be that there is no investigative journalism left these days ?

Why does it have to fall to the independent web loggers to point out the facts ? Why can’t the newspapers at least hire Environment writers who have studied Climate Change Science ?

Continue reading Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

Poor (middle-aged) old George Monbiot ! He really feels like he’s been wasting his time trying to get through to people to communicate about Climate Change :-

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/03/08/the-unpersuadables/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/mar/08/belief-in-climate-change-science

I don’t think that he should despair. What the ordinary, Tabloid-reading , Daily Telegraph-reading, Times of London-reading or even Guardian-reading man-or-woman-in-the-street thinks about Climate Change Science doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as the policymakers know the direction of travel required. That is, towards strong regulation on Carbon Emissions.

And anyway, I think that the problem of Climate Change “doubt” can be resolved relatively easily – by educating those who work in the Media.

Let me begin my argument by asking a question : is it right and fair and balanced to pitch Dr Benny Peiser against Professor Phil Jones on the subject of the Science of Global Warming ?

I ask this, because this is effectively what happened during the hearings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1st March 2010, when Dr Benny Peiser and Lord Nigel Lawson were first in the seats, and then Professor Phil Jones and Professor Edward Acton sat in the seats later on :-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

How You Were Taken In : The Manufacture of Doubt

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

Please do watch Naomi Oreske’s magristral (not “magisterial”, since she’s female) presentation on her new publication “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming” in the YouTube above.

The presentation is somewhat marred by poor audiovisual capture, but it’s fascinating, all the same, and good to hear her logical argumentation; and be reminded of what has been happening for the last 50 years in the public “debates” on Science.

The Media have still not gotten to grips with what Science actually is, and how to present it, and how to research it, and often end up interviewing and reporting people who are either not expert in the field they are asked about, or have an underlying agenda for misinformation being published.

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : The Manufacture of Doubt

The Climate Obstructers’ Gameplan

If you have any doubt that Science is under assault from the Climate Change Obstructers (self-styled “sceptics”), you need look no further than this piece of what I consider to be utter, utter, fetid 30-day-old left-in-the-sun tripe :-

http://spectator.org/archives/2010/03/04/global-warming-flaks-reduced-t

The number of outright inaccuracies in the piece is astonishing, including the switch on what Phil Jones really claimed about “statistically significant” global warming.

And it concludes with clear evidence of a globally organised campaign to bring down Climate Change Science, by hook or by crook :-

“There is vastly more material here than you will ever be able to absorb. I realized as I ploughed my way through it, or some of it, that the conclusion is encouraging. I am confident now that the official version is going to be overwhelmed, and that the mainstream media reporters are going to be overwhelmed, too. They are right now facing their own Tsunami of dissent. Politicians know very well what is happening, and cap and trade will not pass the U.S. Senate.”

“Coverage at such warm-supporting organs as the Washington Post and the New York Times has been reduced to a strategy of denial. They have been forced to deny that that there is any problem with the official story beyond what the climate officials themselves admit (and they admit very little — little more than typos).”

“But it doesn’t matter. The web has made all the difference and the reporters working to uphold the official version have more and more been forced into a defensive crouch. The exposure of this massive fraud will be a watershed in the history of environmentalism and it will continue to unfold whatever the mainstream media think or say.”

We have a (non-violent) fight on our hands, not of our own choosing : keep telling the truth, and insisting on correcting falsehoods; or face an uphill ramp of complications and delays.

Continue reading The Climate Obstructers’ Gameplan

“What’s Nuked, Pussycat ?”

[ NOTE FROM JOABBESS.COM : ALL UNEXPLAINED QUOTATIONS ARE TAKEN FROM TRANSCRIPTS OF THE SIMPSONS EPISODE “FRAUDCAST NEWS”, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. ]

[ AS AN INTERESTING ASIDE, IT’S CURIOUS THAT THE SIMPSONS CARTOON MAKES MORE SENSE THAN A GREAT DEAL OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA JOURNALISTS WHEN THEY ATTEMPT TO WRITE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. ]

“I’m going to change this town’s accurate impression of me – I’m going to buy every media outlet…It’s time to win back the love of those hateful morons.”

Amy Turner at The Sunday Times (“yeah ! I’m a feeeeeature cooooolumnist”), in my humble opinion, makes a really poor show of comprehending what’s really going on in the “Blogosphere” (“now there’s a thousand freaks xeroxing their worthless opinions”) :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article7043753.ece

As the Blogger Tim Lambert (“the pen is mightier than the flaming bag of poop”) at the Deltoid makes clear, her article could easily be criticised as a blatant attempt to frame the whole Blogging world with her own narrative (or probably that of her ultimate boss, Rupert Murdoch), seemingly deciding on her readers’ behalf who to accept as the “big fish” in the Blogosphere, and who to dismiss as “the amateurs”; and then quoting one of her trusted “big fish” Roger Pielke Jr :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/article7043753.ece

“…Among these minnows are controversialist bloggers like Tim Lambert, who are professionally unqualified to engage in the substance of most debates (certainly the case with respect to my own work)..”

Continue reading “What’s Nuked, Pussycat ?”

Journalism Makes Confession On Global Warming

One by one, the newspapers are coming to the altar of Anthropogenic Global Warming to make their confession.

I’m actually quite surprised that journalists can understand the Science sufficiently to be able to write accurately.

Wonders will never cease !

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703819904574551303527570212.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsTop

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1233622/Copenhagen-climate-summit-Q-A.html

A joint editorial will be published worldwide :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/06/papers-copenhagen-leader

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/06/copenhagen-editorial

“‘Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation'”

Besides all this affirmation, letters are being written :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article6946458.ece

Untidy Minds #3 : Janet Daley

We’ve had Oxbridge Classics and Language graduates denying Global Warming in the Press in the last couple of weeks; now we’re on to the political commentators.

Why Global Warming Science is a matter for adversarial politics, you know Left and Right, liberal and conservative, I don’t know.

Global Climate Change is affecting us all, and pretty much the same steps will need to be taken by whichever party is in power, in whichever country. It doesn’t really have a political flavour. It’s not a matter of choice, or choice of policy. Climate Change policy is not based on political ideology.

Continue reading Untidy Minds #3 : Janet Daley

The Tetchiness of Richard Black

[ UPDATE : More science on solar irradiation change and how it cannot explain the high levels of recent Global Warming : http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/a-problem-of-multiplicity/ ]

Some people have been asking why I’ve been so picky about Richard Black, the BBC environmental journalist.

I found fault with a blog post of his that had a lot of good, illuminating stuff in it, yet still managed to misdirect people, in my opinion.

What we read in the papers, online and watch on the television has a longlasting effect on us. If the news is skewed, and if it continues to be skewed, we are being manipulated.

Continue reading The Tetchiness of Richard Black