Dana Nuccitelli’s lie of omission in the Guardian

In Bjørn Lomborg’s  latest oped: Global Warming’s Upside-Down Narrative Lomborg points out the following:

  1. The IPCC says unmitigated climate change will cost 0.2-2% GDP/year in 2070.
  2. The IPCC says climate policies in 2070 will cost more than 3.4% and likely much more than that.

This is why climate mitigation makes no economic sense: the cure costs more than the disease.

But, wait, “Skeptical Science” tank driver Dana Nuccitelli has an op-ed today in Guardian where he claims the IPCC uses only a select range of measures: the 0.2-2% is expressed in “annual global economic losses”, while the other is expressed “as a slightly slowed global consumption growth.”.

He only achieves that by cutting out the actual quote from IPCC report, as you can see in the screen cap helpfully provided by Lomborg in his Twitter feed that compares texts. Note the ellipsis:

Nuccitelli_lie_of_omission

Source:  [ https://twitter.com/BjornLomborg/status/458628793825890305 ]

And that’s why we label the Dana Nuccitelli/John Cook “skeptical science” enterprise in our blogroll as a category all their own, “Unreliable”.

Nuccitelli eliminated the full text of that section of the third IPCC report so he could bolster his headline claim “preventing global warming is the cheap option”.

Imagine the screaming if any climate skeptic did something like that in an MSM venue.

Meanwhile Lomborg in his op-ed points out what is really worth worrying about, and it isn’t the beloved global warming “crisis” of the Skeptical Science Kids.

We live in a world where one in six deaths are caused by easily curable infectious diseases; one in eight deaths stem from air pollution, mostly from cooking indoors with dung and twigs; and billions of people live in abject poverty, with no electricity and little food. We ought never to have entertained the notion that the world’s greatest challenge could be to reduce temperature rises in our generation by a fraction of a degree.
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bj-rn-lomborg-says-that-the-un-climate-panel-s-latest-report-tells-a-story-that-politicians-would-prefer-to-ignore#bd8cy6Bgh00L3roM.99
We live in a world where one in six deaths are caused by easily curable infectious diseases; one in eight deaths stem from air pollution, mostly from cooking indoors with dung and twigs; and billions of people live in abject poverty, with no electricity and little food. We ought never to have entertained the notion that the world’s greatest challenge could be to reduce temperature rises in our generation by a fraction of a degree.
Read more at http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bj-rn-lomborg-says-that-the-un-climate-panel-s-latest-report-tells-a-story-that-politicians-would-prefer-to-ignore#bd8cy6Bgh00L3roM.99

We live in a world where one in six deaths are caused by easily curable infectious diseases; one in eight deaths stem from air pollution, mostly from cooking indoors with dung and twigs; and billions of people live in abject poverty, with no electricity and little food. We ought never to have entertained the notion that the world’s greatest challenge could be to reduce temperature rises in our generation by a fraction of a degree.

Lomborg makes more humanistic sense than Nuccitelli, and he doesn’t have to make lies of omission to get his point across.

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51 Responses to Dana Nuccitelli’s lie of omission in the Guardian

  1. Bill H says:

    Is anyone really surprised by this?

  2. Curious George says:

    Unreliable? Aren’t they reliably steadfast?

  3. Jay Currie says:

    But….but…Dana left 97% of the quote intact.

  4. philjourdan says:

    You are known by the company you keep. And cook is flocking with some fowl birds.

  5. asybot says:

    Jay Currie says:
    April 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    But….but…Dana left 97% of the quote intact.
    Sooo…. I guess it is settled then ?? I am soooo relieved I can now sleep at night.

  6. Pathway says:

    But Lomborg doesn’t fit the Malthusian meme of overpopulation will destroy the planet, so he must be discredited.

  7. NZ Willy says:

    Remember that the original scare was the “runaway greenhouse effect”. Today we know that was all in their minds. But without that boogie man, they wouldn’t be in the political driver’s seat like they are. We mustn’t forget those original lies, they need to called out for them over and over again, chased with them relentlessly. Since they lied then, therefore they’re lying now, and if not, why not?

  8. dbstealey says:

    NZ Willy says:

    Since they lied then, therefore they’re lying now…

    Lie once, and no one will trust you. Keep lying, and it’s the boy who cried “Wolf!”

    They lie constantly. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

  9. William Abbott says:

    Lie is a strong word. But in this case… “lie” is understating the deliberateness of Nuccitelli’s deception.

  10. Gunga Din says:

    You know what they say about a “free lunch”. There’s no such thing. It’s only free to those at the trough.

  11. Louis says:

    “2. The IPCC says climate policies in 2070 will cost more than 3.4% and likely much more than that.”

    But the text quoted from the IPCC report mentions median losses of 3.4% in 2050, not 2070. I checked Lomborg’s essay and couldn’t find any reference to the year 2070. The closest text I could find to the above quote is the following:

    “The third installment of the IPCC report showed that strong climate policies would be more expensive than claimed as well – costing upwards of 4% of GDP in 2030, 6% in 2050, and 11% by 2100. And the real cost will likely be much higher…”

    Okay, I see now that the “2070″ wasn’t from a quote, just a summary point. So perhaps the year 2070 comes from the mid range year (rounded down to the nearest decade) in the following quote:

    “The second IPCC installment showed that the temperature rise that we are expected to see sometime around 2055-2080 will create a net cost of 0.2-2% of GDP…”

  12. Mark Bofill says:

    :>
    My all time running favorite of Dana’s is here, where he sets up and knocks down the amazing straw man of projections Lindzen never made, openly acknowledges that he’s refuting projections that Lindzen never made, but could have made, if he’d only made them, and declares victory.
    He’ll top that someday, but until then that’s my snickerdoodle. :)

  13. charles nelson says:

    It’s probable that more people will read that Nutticelli piece here than at the Guardian.
    But on the other hand Warmists detest scrutiny…so let’s keep the microscope trained on them!

  14. thallstd says:

    Anthony, perhaps you should rename your SKS category from “Unreliable” to “Lieable”

  15. Alan Robertson says:

    Isn’t Dana Nuccitelli paid to make this sort of editorial statement? Doesn’t he also rigorously edit any skeptical points of view from the Guardian’s comment threads? Doesn’t this make him a paid propagandist? As such, isn’t his veracity completely questionable? The words “meretricious mendacity” come to mind.

  16. Gunga Din says:

    thallstd says:
    April 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Anthony, perhaps you should rename your SKS category from “Unreliable” to “Lieable”

    ========================================================
    8-)
    But, as it says, “Due to (1) deletion, extension and amending of user comments, and (2) undated post-publication revisions of article contents after significant user commenting.”

  17. Mark Bofill says:

    Alan!

    Doesn’t this make him a paid propagandist? As such, isn’t his veracity completely questionable?

    Are you questioning the integrity of Drillbit Dana?!?
    /sarc :)

    Yeah, I know. I’m not nice when it comes to Dana. It’s a strange quirk of mine that I hold grudges when people snip my responses in discussions. Go figure.

  18. pottereaton says:

    He’s a propagandist and an incompetent one at that.

  19. Caleb says:

    RE: Alan Robertson says:
    April 22, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I wonder the same thing, but is there proof?

    This fellow’s behavior is reaching a level of putrid disregard for civil procedure that makes even jackasses refuse to share the same stall. Why would anyone persist in acting such a way?

    In normal circles such behavior makes you poor. This gives you reason to pause, and you then reappraise your approach to life. However, if he is paid, perhaps he thinks he has a reason to persist in behaving in a way repellent to even donkeys.

  20. Lloyd Martin Hendaye says:

    EBSFDNC

  21. John F. Hultquist says:

    I think we should start a call for next Earth Day, namely, all those still spouting cAGW shall heat and cook in-home for the day using only twigs and dried animal dung. For a small charge equal to the cost of just 1% of 1 gigantic wind turbine I will ship 100 pounds of this highly desirable fuel to Dana Nuccitelli. He should have to collect his own supply but being I nice guy I offer to accommodate his needs.

  22. hunter says:

    Dana fibs for the greater good, so it is all OK. And we are evil to point this fib out.

  23. pat says:

    VIDEO: 22 April: CTV: Josh Elliott: Make climate change matter, or else, author argues
    The planet is slowly heating up, says Canadian author Tom Rand, and we need to wake up before the climate change gets worse.
    That’s the message behind Rand’s new book, “Waking the Frog.” Rand uses the old story of a frog swimming in a slowly-warming pot of water to illustrate the dangers of climate change, and the need to adopt new measures like a carbon tax…
    “People don’t react to numbers and rational arguments,” he told CTV’s Canada AM on Earth Day. “You can’t just throw numbers at people because it will just scare them into submission, or they simply won’t let it in.”
    The threat of climate change makes people uncomfortable, Rand said. That’s why the narrative needs to shift from a scientific one to a market-driven one…
    Rand sees the cost of a carbon tax as a kind of climate insurance that everyone could buy into…
    “We can solve this problem,” Rand said. “We live on the cusp of the 21st century, but if we don’t solve this problem, most of our civic structures will crumble this century.”
    Rand said the financial strain of a carbon tax would be temporary as society shifts to a more sustainable energy model based on solar, wind, geothermal and next-generation nuclear technologies.
    “You need to tell a story about hope,” he said.
    http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/make-climate-change-matter-or-else-author-argues-1.1786746

    CTV’s headline – “AUTHOR” argues? VENTURE CAPITALIST is more like it:

    Carbon Talks: Tom Rand, Cleantech Investor & Advisor
    Tom Rand is a successful cleantech venture capitalist, inventor of the Green Bond, cofounder of North America’s greenest Hostel, Planet Traveler, and the author of 10 Clean Technologies to save our World. Tom is also Lead Cleantech Advisor at the MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s largest innovation center in Toronto that helps entrepreneurs by providing advice and acting as a catalyst to generate economic activity from promising intellectual property.
    It’s hard to keep pace with Tom Rand. When he speaks it’s like a tsunami of ideas surging forward, leveling pessimism and apathy in its wake. Rand is a big thinker and he is happy to share his views with anybody who wants to make a real difference in the low- carbon economy.
    Unlike many who believe it is impossible for the world to wean itself off of fossil fuel, Rand disagrees. Rand not only believes that it is possible to de-carbonize the world’s economy, he’s written a book about it…
    “It is not rocket science,” Rand commented, “the technologies have been proven and their economic benefits are clear. All we need are courageous leaders and imaginative Chief Financial Officers to drive this change.” All we need, it would appear, are more Tom Rands.
    http://www.carbontalks.ca/innovator-profiles/tomrand

  24. Rattus Norvegicus says:

    There’s a difference between statement 1 and statement 2. Can you spot it?

  25. Jeff L says:

    3 cheers for Lomborg ! Everyone should have to experience / visit life in a third world country to understand what a real problem is – no electricity, no sanitation, no food ! To suggest that a minor change in temperature is our biggest problem is to admit that you have no experience in the real world.

  26. DaveA says:

    They estimate the uncertain cost of uncertain secondary impacts of uncertain temperature change.

    Kudos to Lomborg for trying, but it’s arguing over some number which has been pulled out of an expensive hat.

  27. David Ramsay Steele says:

    It’s possible that Nuccitelli just made a slip.

  28. BoulderSolar says:

    Uh I don’t get what was wrong about the elimination of that sentence. The deleted percentages are the cumulative effect of an annual reduction of between .04-.14% of GNP. This is in comparison of .2-2% per year if we do nothing. It seems to me that Nuccitelli’s point is correct and the deletion of text is not misleading. What am I missing here?

  29. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    Most of it was true so that makes it RIGHT. Its the percentage that counts (for them). Lie never happens because they are always RIGHT.

  30. john vonderlin says:

    Last week I visited SkepticalScience out of boredom and noted the scarcity of comments to his postings. Well, like a drunk that spies an open mike on Karaoke Night I couldn’t resist. I was mildly surprised to discover my comment was moderated and deleted for claimed ad hominem attacks. My worst crime was apparently my response to some overwrought poster who had managed to use some form of the word “vicious” in three straight lines of his rant about despoilers of our Earth. I commented that while I heard the passion he had for his opinions, he should consider switching to De-Caf and buy a Thesaurus. Needless to say I’m at least slightly honored to have acquired this particular skeptic’s merit badge, the Double D or Dana Deletion.
    While I’m here, I’d like to point out that the “Waking the Frog” book’s title praised above is based on an anecdote that is apparently not true. Several weirdly curious people have done the experiment recently and the frog just hops out of the pot. While I wish Mr. Rand good luck in his literary foray, I would caution him that building a book’s premise on a faulty anecdote is not the road to success, as my Sex Education book, titled “Hairy Palms,” showed,

  31. tumpy says:

    Adaption also protects us better from current weather events etc… so some of the cost already offset and mitigation overall has greater benefit and will save lifes currently as risk from storm surges etc… its a no brainer!

  32. Txomin says:

    Lomborg talks about the tragedy that lies behind the caricature that is Nuccitelli.

  33. Lomborg is right. Nuccitelli is wrong.

  34. M Courtney says:

    Is this a chance to test the UK’s new replacement for the Press Complaints Commission?

  35. Anthony Watts says:

    @ M Courtney

    Maybe somebody in the UK will take up the mantle on that?

  36. Martin A says:

    I don’t understand why the abbreviation “SS” is not used for the Skeptical Science website.

  37. Henry Galt. says:

    I usually defer to the adage “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” but, I have never seen a picture of Nutticelli where he is not sneering or seemingly so.

    Martin A says:
    April 23, 2014 at 12:42 am

    Because they asked. I ignore the request because they are what they are.

  38. Steve C says:

    Martin A says: (April 23, 12:42 am)
    “I don’t understand why the abbreviation “SS” is not used for the Skeptical Science website.”

    Martin, many people here, understandably, feel much the same about them. However, Our Host has (rightly, IMO) decided that recycling old WWII terminology to insult your opponents in an argument is unacceptable and does not help the discussion. Keep cool, and resist the temptation, no matter how strong: we have the facts on our side and simply don’t need to resort to tacky insults like … er, certain people I could name, but won’t in the name of good taste. ;-)

  39. knr says:

    Nuccitelli is the classic example of little man made big in their own minds by circumstances , but in fact remaining small. SS was set up as fanzine for ‘real climate ‘ because people really were not buying that RC , staffed by ‘the team’ , was in anyway independent or honest in its coverage.
    Like the rest of the ‘team’ Cooks little gang can only function where they allowed to fully control the argument, hence the need for lying , changing others words or in this case sins of omission. That the Guardian has chosen to hand itself over to this gang is no surprise, after all it did it before with Bob ‘fast fingers ‘ Ward .
    Probable the best approach is to let them circle their wagons , spend all their time patting each other on the back and claim ‘great victories’ for keep the sceptics out . While having nothing to do with them , for neutrals will rapidly get tired of the increasing levels stupid claims they spout in their reinforcing circle , as they try to out ‘hate the sceptics’ each other, and so walk away.

  40. Martin A says:

    Henry Galt. Steve C

    Fair enough, if they asked.

    I had assumed that they coined the name of their website in the expectation of such an abbreviation being used. I would go with their apparently self-generated photoshop images of themselves in stormtroop uniforms.

    [Before WW2, there was a British company the Swallow Sidecar company. They started building cars, using components from the Standard car company. It became known as SS Cars Ltd and their leading models were styled "SS Jaguar". In 1945/6 production restarted with virtually the same models as in 1939, but the company changed its name to Jaguar. Understandably.]

  41. Dave says:

    You can’t expect people like Dana Nuccitelli tell the whole truth, they’re too busy throwing it under the bus.

  42. Clovis Marcus says:

    I would not spend too much time on a press complaint. This is a blog hosted by The Guardian and is clearly an op-ed rather than anything to do with reporting facts.
    Our only hope is that Dana is tarnishing his reputation to the extent that he will be heard and SkS and The Guardian but no respectable platform will disseminate his stuff without a thorough check on its veracity.
    In the meantime his noble cause corruption should be disseminated and called out as widely as possible.

  43. Jason Calley says:

    Nucitelli is a base fellow; he lyed.

  44. Blarney says:

    I’m sorry everybody, but in this (rare) case, Dana appears to be right. The quoted text appears to be saying that the mitigation actions will reduce the projected wealth *at specific points in time* (that is, 2030, 2050, 2100) by some percentage. The loss is *NOT* per year (contrary to the second red note in the picture). So if, say, there is a projected loss of 4% in 2050, and by 2050 our wealth is expected to be 100 times that of today, the 4% figure means it will be only 96% that of today. The actual loss on a per year basis is much much smaller (something around 0.3%?).

  45. Russ R. says:

    The main issue here is with the IPCC and their inability (or unwillingness) to provide a straightforward “apples-to-apples” comparison of the relative costs and benefits of mitigation vs. adaptation.

    They’ve presented adaptation costs for an increase of x degrees as an economic loss, and mitigation costs to limit the increase to x degrees as a reduction in consumption growth. To most people this might sound like the same thing, but economically speaking, this is an “apples-to-oranges” comparison (consumption is only one slice of the economic pie).

    But it’s even more confusing than that because for any increase of x degrees, the two costs are additive, not an “either-or” comparison.

    The one thing you can’t do with the numbers provided is to directly compare the mitigation cost to the adaptation cost for a given temperature rise (e.g. 2 degrees). What you can do is compare the combined costs of mitigation and adaptation for various future temperature rises (e.g. 2 degrees vs. 4 degrees) .

    For example:

    For a 2 degree increase, we should expect both low adaptation costs (since 2 degrees is mostly harmless) and high mitigation costs (to limit the temperature rise to only 2 degrees). You have to add together the small economic losses, with the very large reduction in consumption growth (while allowing for uncertainties in both).

    For a 4 degree increase, we should expect significantly higher adaptation costs, but much lower mitigation costs. Add these together (allowing for uncertainties), and then compare the total against the 2 degree scenario.

    (My expectation is that the uncertainties will completely swamp the calculated difference.)

  46. Doug Proctor says:

    “…annualized consumption growth in the baseline that is between 1.6% and 3.0% per year.”

    The gross consumption growth by 2030 from 2014 would be therefore between 40.0% and 94.3% [1.29% growth for 86 years to get 300% at 2100, and 2.29% growth for 86 years to get 900% at 2100: the numbers are date-interpretable]. I think Dana is picking up the claim that the cost would be 1-4% (median 1.7%) of the 40 – 94% growth, meaning you couldn’t detect the slowdown in the economy.

    That is what I think the IPCC/Dana is saying, not what Lomborg is saying, that the cost would be greater than the growth EACH YEAR.

  47. tadchem says:

    “Unreliable”? This is sheer Mendacity!

  48. Phil R says:

    I’m surprised that he’s still employed at Tetra Tech (if he still is). If I were one of their clients and I saw how willfully he mangled the evidence and distorted the truth, I’d have serious concerns about the truthfulness and accuracy of anything he did. (I would also think that as his employer, they might be concerned about how he might reflect on the company and how vulnerable the company might be if he were so cavalier with the facts in company reports.)

  49. Lomborg makes the common mistake that Nuccitelli cares about people dying. Fewer people is the goal of so many environmentalist, not the problem.

    This in 1996 from Ted Turner :
    “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

    Today that total is closer to, wait for it, 97% (96.54%).

  50. Brian H says:

    If there was ever any doubt that the misrepresentation was deliberate and intended to impoverish, or even crash, the planet’s economy, this should remove it.

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