Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise has been watching the climate world since 2009. What she sees isn't pretty.

Suzanne Goldenberg: Eco Activist Disguised as a Journalist

The Guardian‘s environment correspondent couldn’t be more one-sided if she herself were on the IPCC’s payroll.


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The UK’s Guardian newspaper tells us that Suzanne Goldenberg is its “US environment correspondent.” This makes her sound like a reputable source of information.

In fact, she’s an environmental activist disguised as a journalist. Last week, Goldenberg authored a piece about the current state of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Did she mention that serious, mainstream newspapers such as the London Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and the Sunday Telegraph have all called on its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, to resign? Did she mention that economist Richard Tol, who has been involved with the IPCC since 1997, has publicly declared twice this year that Pachauri needs to go (see here and here)?


Did Goldenberg find space in her 1,000-word piece to mention the InterAcademy Council review of the IPCC that was conducted in 2010? You know, the one that attempted to provide Pachauri with a face-saving exit strategy by observing that a 12-year appointment for an IPCC chairperson “is too long for a field as dynamic and contested as climate change”?

I’m afraid not. In fact, she failed to mention that historic review at all. The fact that it found “significant shortcomings in each major step of [the] IPCC’s assessment process” apparently isn’t newsworthy. The fact that it criticized the IPCC for claiming to have “high confidence” in many statements for which there is actually “little evidence” isn’t something she thinks the public deserves to know a few weeks before the IPCC releases its new ‘blockbuster’ report.

Nor does she reveal that, when IPCC insiders answered a questionnaire connected to the above review, they said Pachauri was a disgrace. They said his longtime claim that the IPCC relies solely on peer-reviewed literature was an absolute fairy tale. They also complained that many IPCC authors are “clearly not qualified” personnel from obscure nations rather than world-class experts.

Instead, Goldenberg presents us with activist whitewash:

The IPCC shared the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore in 2007. But in 2010, the UN climate panel was forced to admit there was an error in the report on the rate of retreat of Himalayan glaciers.

The error was in one paragraph in a 900-page report. But it was seized on by those who doubt the science behind climate change, and those who oppose controls on carbon pollution, to try to damage the credibility of the entire IPCC exercise. [bold added]

Does Goldenberg tell us that the source of the Himalayan glacier error was a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) publication? That the IPCC has a track record, in other words, of basing high-profile conclusions on activist propaganda?

Does she mention that my first book on the IPCC (the first journalistic examination of this 25-year-old UN body) found that two-thirds of the 44 chapters in the IPCC’s 2007 report included at least one author with documented links to the WWF? Does she mention the comically lame press release the WWF issued in response to my conclusion that the IPCC has been infiltrated – and, therefore, wholly compromised – by activists?

Sadly, no.

Evidently, Goldenberg thinks her job is to defend the IPCC from those who are trying to damage its credibility. She couldn’t be any more one-sided if she herself were on the IPCC’s payroll.


Goldenberg’s story is backed up here



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