Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.

The Backstory to the ‘Fleeing Species’ Claim

Journalists aren’t telling you that the lead researcher behind the species-are-fleeing-global-warming story has come to questionable conclusions in the past.

August 21, 2011

Behind the Aliens-Will-Smite-Us News Story

The up-and-coming generation of scientific minds appears to assume that humans are a pox on the planet.

August 19, 2011

Why I Won’t Be Renewing my ‘Economist’ Subscription

Rather than helping to keep climate authorities honest, The Economist magazine now serves up a steady diet of green pap. When sound journalistic judgment leaves the building, I stop renewing my subscription.

August 17, 2011

The Y2K Scare, the Media & Climate Change

Media coverage of climate change has a great deal in common with how the press covered the Y2K scare. There’s little evidence that news outlets learned much from that embarrassing episode.

August 9, 2011

Calling Skeptics Stupid Doesn’t Convince Anyone

How does calling me stupid and equating me with a Holocaust denier advance the debate? Is the fate of the planet really at stake – or are we just playacting in a sandbox?

July 23, 2011

Chris Landsea and the Moral Midgets

The scientific community expects us to trust its judgment on the question of whether global warming is the fault of human beings. But its response to the Chris Landsea affair demonstrates that that judgment is impaired.

July 7, 2011

The Activists, the Media, and the Public

When activists hoodwink the media – and questionable environmental scare stories are the result – why don’t we care?

June 24, 2011

Pachauri’s Cause

The chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says responding to climate change is part of a larger goal: transforming the world economy.

June 21, 2011

Hansen, Suzuki & Greenpeace

Regarding James Hansen’s (tax-payer funded) salary, David Suzuki’s despair, and Ross Gelbspan’s professional activism.

April 12, 2011

Message From Australia

Australians are outraged by a Prime Minister who, prior to last summer’s election, said there’d be no carbon tax – but is now implementing one. At a recent protest rally, a scientist explained why he thinks the dangerous global warming hypothesis has been proved wrong.

March 27, 2011

The IPCC Mythology (direct quotes)

I’ve compiled a database of more than 160 quotes about the IPCC. Here are examples of journalists, government officials, and activists repeating the highly-questionable IPCC marketing message.

March 20, 2011

Earth to Scientists

Half a century ago, a science journalist discovered that anything less than reverential reporting was interpreted by scientists as hostility. It would seem that climate scientists who label critics ‘anti-science’ come from a long tradition.

March 18, 2011

Green Math: Let’s Spend a Billion to Save $8 Million

The person in charge of green energy projects for a group of Los Angeles community colleges wanted to cut down trees and obliterate playing fields so that $1 billion could be spent on alternative energy installations. Power currently costs these colleges less than $8 million a year.

March 7, 2011

All For a Nobel Cause

How often does the media imply that IPCC Peace Prize winners are scientific Nobel laureates?

January 24, 2011

The Uses and Abuses of a Nobel Prize

A news story tells us we should believe a report because a “Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist” is associated with it. But the Nobel turns out to be the same Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore – and the report’s findings are highly improbable.

January 19, 2011

Is a Meteorologist a Drought Expert?

Why does the media keep interviewing a meteorologist about droughts & floods instead of those with genuine expertise?

January 13, 2011

Does Global Warming Look Like Australia?

In early 2009 the Los Angeles Times said hot, dry Australia was a warning to us all – and that things would only get worse. The very next year, dry areas were flooded and snow fell during the summer.

January 7, 2011

World Wildlife Fund Infiltrates UK Government

Environmental advocacy groups strive to influence government. In 2006 a senior WWF executive simultaneously became chairman of a UK government body. Meet the Defence Ministry’s idea of propriety.

December 30, 2010

The Climate’s Gonna Kill Us (Circa 1974)

News reports from the 1970s said ocean temperatures were dropping, polar ice was growing, and the coldest temperatures in 200 years were being recorded at the Arctic Circle. We were told be worried. Very worried.

December 17, 2010

If the Science is So Persuasive, Why the Theatrics?

If climate change science is so convincing, why did Timothy Wirth schedule James Hansen’s historic 1988 testimony during the hottest time of the year? And why did he sneak into the hearing room the night before & open the windows so there’d be no air conditioning?

December 11, 2010

New York Times Reporter Spanks the UN

Andrew Revkin has identified a mistake in a UN climate negotiations document. This same “small error” has also appeared in the headlines of two UN press releases.

December 5, 2010

Kevin Anderson: The Ration Card Man

Kevin Anderson says additional nuclear power plants are unnecessary because climate change can be easily dealt with. Instead, he wants to establish a costly, intrusive, liberty-restricting bureaucracy to ration your access to energy.

November 30, 2010

Suzuki’s Children (The Political Kind)

Dan Kellar is a geography student at the University of Waterloo. He is writing a doctoral thesis under the supervision of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author and already teaches climate change courses to impressionable undergraduates.

Last week Kellar prevented a journalist from speaking to a campus audience about her new book. He says that because (he thinks) she’s lying free speech doesn’t apply to her.

November 16, 2010

Monkeys Could Do This

Al Gore said global warming caused Hurricane Katrina and that hurricanes were going to get worse. This gave insurance companies an excuse to increase premiums by tens of billions. How embarrassing that US hurricane damage has since fallen to less than half the historical average.

Perhaps those who lost their properties because they could no longer afford to insure them will forgive & forget.

November 14, 2010

Splattergate – Six Weeks Later

An essay by an Australian writer attempts to answer the burning question: what were the environmentalists thinking? What sort of bubble does one need to inhabit to imagine that a video in which children are executed for insufficient carbon-cutting enthusiasm is funny?

November 12, 2010

Lest We Forget the Importance of Liberty

To a large degree the climate change story is a media story. Journalists are supposed to be guard dogs, not lap dogs. Instead, they’ve become arbiters of scientific truth – refusing to report on non-conformist perspectives.

Last of a five-part series.

November 11, 2010

Margaret Atwood Should Resign From PEN International

As Vice President of PEN International, Margaret Atwood has pledged to oppose “any form of suppression of freedom of expression.”

But she sits on a board directors with a man who says some people have no right to free speech. She has written the foreword to a book by David Suzuki – who thinks politicians should be jailed for their climate change views. She has also encouraged her Twitter followers to visit a web page that says a TV station that hasn’t even begun broadcasting should be stopped.

November 10, 2010

Slaying the Unicorn

The campaign against ‘Fox News North’ threatens the intellectual freedom of all Canadians.

November 8, 2010

When is a Job Offer Not a Job Offer? (Part 2)

What kind of company invites you to be part of a bold new television station and then, a few months later, shrugs and mumbles that it was all a practical joke?

November 6, 2010

When is a Job Offer Not a Job Offer? (Part 1)

Invited in May to join a new Canadian television station, I was supposed to be a contrarian voice on topics such as global warming and David Suzuki. By October, the broadcaster had lost its nerve.

I’m a bit player in this drama. The bigger picture is that Canadians will continue to be fed the same old pablum.

November 5, 2010

Still Clueless in Australia

Journalist Margot O’Neill has just completed an Oxford University sabbatical on climate change reporting, but her views aren’t much altered from a year ago – when she accused IPCC critics of embracing conspiracies.

November 4, 2010

Wind Power’s Double Standard

Wind power companies would never be allowed to set up shop in the first place – and could not remain in business – if they were penalized in the same manner as oil companies for the bird deaths they cause.

November 1, 2010

Message to Young Journalists: Connect the Dots

Invited to speak to journalism students, here are a few ideas I’ll try to communicate: First, large increases in heating bills are the result of green energy policies. Second, these policies are the result of our belief that carbon dioxide emissions are harmful. Third, that belief is the result of reports written by the IPCC. Fourth, much of what we’ve been told about the IPCC and how it works is not true.

October 29, 2010

The Media Messes Up

Journalists said Toronto’s mayoral race was too close to call. In fact, a winner was declared eight minutes after the polls closed. So go ahead, take their word for it when they tell you about global warming.

October 26, 2010

Transformational Canadians

Please nominate Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick as “Transformational Canadians.” Help a Canadian newspaper understand the enormous contribution these gentlemen have made to the climate debate. Nominations close November 26th.

October 11, 2010

The Politics of Fear

According to many commentators, conservatives are now ascendant because they have invoked the politics of fear.

So where are the denunciations of the politics of fear employed by greens? They’ve played that hand for years – exploiting & targeting kids in the process.

September 24, 2010

Seven (Real) Questions for David Suzuki

David Suzuki has been asked a series of softball questions by a mainstream newspaper reporter. My own list of questions begins with:

1. You think there are too many human beings, that our numbers over-burden planet Earth. Why, then, did you yourself father five children?

September 20, 2010

Anti-Science Claim Is Devoid of Meaning

During the first half of this month, activist-scientist-blogger Joe Romm described other people as anti-science on 16 separate occasions. This is the equivalent of a toddler calling everyone from the babysitter to grandad a poopy head.

September 17, 2010

Extreme Nonsense

Canada’s weekly news magazine currently has a cover story declaring that extreme weather is “only going to get worse.”

Remember the 2008 story in the same magazine that said $200 per barrel oil was imminent, that commuters would become petroleum refugees & that the suburbs would shortly turn into ghost towns?

August 27, 2010

Climate Bible’s New Authors Announced

831 people will help write the next edition of the climate bible. We’re being told their names and countries of residence but not much more. How do we know if they really are the world’s top experts?

June 23, 2010

How Many IPCC Scientists Say So?

The media frequently declares that thousands of scientists all agree that the planet’s slight warming in the late 20th century was due to human activity. In fact, only a few dozen people – working on one particular chapter of a much larger report – had a voice in that discussion.

June 11, 2010

The Media, Mother Nature and Oil Spills

Journalists go on and on about “fragile” Mother Earth. But the available evidence suggests she can bounce back quickly from oil spills.

June 1, 2010

James the Irreverent

British blogger James Delingpole is feisty and irreverent. In person, he exudes a joyful love of life. I took some photos of him in Chicago, June 2010.

May 30, 2010

Shielding Climate Orthodoxy from Free Speech

American professors are encouraging journalism students to suppress certain kinds of news so that the public won’t be confused by climate skepticism. This turns journalists into arbiters of truth and treats the public like children.

May 5, 2010

Earth Day & the Media

A historian says that while “other social movements…were frequently ridiculed or dismissed…the mass media accorded considerable respect to the environmental cause” when Earth Day was founded 40 years ago.

April 22, 2010

Reuters’ Climate Change Fiction

One day entire books will be written about the mainstream media’s pathetic coverage of the climate change debate.

February 24, 2010

Just One Cotton-Pickin’ Minute

How did the Toronto Star manage, within a period of 66 days, to go from telling us our very survival was at stake due to global warming to arguing that, well, fighting pollution is a good idea?

February 11, 2010

What She Said About the Climate Bible 3 Months Ago

If the climate bible includes significant mistakes, if it uses newspaper & magazine articles to make its case, if it relies on literature generated by activist organizations – then it is rather a different animal from the uber-respectable paragon of virtue so many journalists have described. Bamboozled by the PR machine that is the IPCC, they’ve passed along bad information to the public.

February 2, 2010

The Big Picture: the Y2K Lesson

Certain ideas resurface again & again throughout human history. One of these is the notion that our world is on the brink of collapse. Revisiting news reports about the Y2K computer bug prior to the turn of the century provides an excellent reminder of how the media hypes all sorts of scare stories.

January 13, 2010

Science Says: Hop on One Foot

Scientific investigation produces facts. But even when we have full confidence in the accuracy of these facts we must still choose how to respond to them. When activists insist there’s only one possible response they’re attempting to preempt important democratic discussions, to silence our voices, to substitute their own views for those of the community.

December 19, 2009

Copenhagen Banner: Scrap Capitalism

Climate change protesters who decline to distance themselves from the capitalism-is-the-problem crowd aren’t really serious. If they were, they’d declare loudly that the merits of various political systems is a separate debate.

December 13, 2009

Al Gore: Not This Thinking Woman’s Thinking Man

The media call Al Gore an “eco prophet” and the “thinking man’s thinking man.” So why did Gore repeatedly tell Slate magazine that “the most recent [climategate e-mail] is more than 10 years old” when, in fact, it was less than a month old?

December 12, 2009

Bias: How the Media Distort the News

Bernie Goldberg worked on news shows for 28 years at CBS television. His book has illuminating things to say about purported investigative news programs & other topics. “Scaring the hell out of people makes for good television,” he writes, “even when it makes for shallow journalism.”

Exploring a long list of highly questionable media scare stories, Goldberg reminds us that, in 1987, Oprah Winfrey told her viewers 1 in 5 American heterosexuals would be dead from AIDS within 3 years.

October 23, 2009

Predicting the Future: Zero Visibility Possible

Wild-eyed, apocalyptic predictions about the future are not news.

September 15, 2009

Did IQs Drop Sharply?

Aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan is fully equipped to assess the charts and graphs that supposedly demonstrate global warming. His conclusion? The data is dodgy & the numbers have been manipulated.

August 26, 2009

Aerospace Pioneer Dismisses Global Warming

Burt Rutan designed SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded craft to enter space & return. Having examined the arguments supporting the global warming hypothesis, this exceptional engineer is less than impressed.

He says the Earth’s climate has always changed & always will. He also accuses the IPCC of weighting one group of data 390 times more than another in order to transform falling temperatures into rising ones.

August 19, 2009

Slurs, Smears & Money

Skeptical climate scientists are often accused of being motivated by financial gain. So why does Al Gore charge $175,000 to deliver a speech? If global warming is really a planetary emergency, why won’t he deliver the same talk for $50,000?

June 19, 2009

On the Cusp

I believe in debate. I believe in questions. I believe anyone who wants everyone else to change their lives had better have a persuasive argument.

May 16, 2009