Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

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

Delusions Climatic & Otherwise @ the New York Times

The New York Times publishes pablum about the IPCC.

NYT editorial

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The international edition of today’s New York Times is entertaining if you examine pages eight and nine together.

On the right (page nine), there’s an ad for the newspaper, in which it claims to be “the world’s finest journalism” and urges people to purchase a digital subscription that will “ensure” access to “trusted global news coverage and insight.” On the left (page eight) the Times runs a single editorial. Editorials are the official voice of any newspaper.

The sub-headline that accompanies today’s editorial refers to the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

In an ominous report, the world’s top scientists say a global energy revolution must begin within 15 years [bold added]

Three paragraphs down, we read that:

The I.P.C.C. is composed of thousands of the world’s leading climate scientists… [bold added]

Yes, a newspaper that thinks it’s producing the world’s finest journalism still hasn’t noticed that

  • The IPCC provides no proof whatsoever that it is composed of the world’s top scientists. In fact, it declines to make public the CVs of its personnel.
  • Certain IPCC lead authors and chapter leaders have historically been graduate students a decade or more away from earning their PhD (see here and here)
  • Other IPCC lead authors are poorly qualified individuals from obscure nations, who were selected to give the report an international flavour.
  • 60% of the people who helped produce this latest report have never worked with the IPCC before (see the bottom of p. 3 of this PDF). Was there really a 60% turnover rate in the world’s top scientists since the last IPCC report appeared in 2007?
  • IPCC personnel have so little power, they aren’t able to alter their chapter title by a single word. In reality, these people are mere cogs in a large, bureaucratic, UN machine.
  • Many IPCC personnel are not “scientists” in the way that term is normally understood. They are, instead, economists, geographers, policy wonks, UN employees, and activists.

The New York Times is demonstrably not offering what it claims to be offering: trustworthy news and insight.

Whoever wrote and approved today’s editorial is years out-of-date. There’s no meaty analysis here, just mindless parroting of the IPCC party line.

Times readers deserve better than this.

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2014 by in climate bible, ethical & philosophical, media and tagged , , .
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