The Elephant We’re All Inside – Junk Journalism on Climate, or Too Big to Cover?

The irony is just too thick, I’ll leave it to WUWT’s readers to pass judgement on this one… Just The Facts

From ABC News – The Elephant We’re All Inside – Junk Journalism on Climate, or Too Big to Cover? – By Bill Blakemore – Excerpts Follow:

“A number of the world’s professional climate scientists are perplexed by — and in some cases furious with — American news directors.

“Malpractice!” is typical of the charges this reporter has heard highly respected climate experts level — privately, off the record — at my professional colleagues over the past few years.

Complaints include what seems to the scientists a willful omission of overwhelming evidence the new droughts and floods are worsened by man made global warming, and unquestioning repetition, gullible at best, of transparent anti-science propaganda credibly reported to be funded by fossil fuel interests and anti-regulation allies.”

“Why this decline in persistent coverage?

It seems unlikely to last; all responsibly sourced reports from around the world — “as solid as science ever gets,” say eminent climate scientists — suggest the increasing impacts will soon force news directors to offer more coverage and explanatory reporting to a public that will appreciate getting it.”

“‘A Crime Against Humanity’

A number of climate scientists have told this reporter they agree with those, including NASA scientist James Hansen, who charge fossil fuel CEOs are thus guilty of a “crime against humanity,” given the calamity that unregulated greenhouse emissions are quickly bringing on.”

“The Many Findings at Nature’s Edge

In our “Nature’s Edge” reporting at ABC News, begun several years ago with the aim of getting our arms around the daunting climate story by putting it in the context of all sorts of “news from where nature and human nature meet,” we have found some delightful and surprising new avenues opening up.

One of the basic premises of the Nature’s Edge reports, in both video and digital print, is that the global warming story is clearly a story about the question, “What will the humans do?” — and therefore a story about the need to understand human nature better — even overall collective human nature, as a species, so to speak — for upon it may rest any success in dealing well with this immense crisis.”

Read more: Bill Blakemore: The Elephant We’re All Inside – Junk Journalism on Climate, or Too Big to Cover? – ABC News

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cui bono

There’s *not enough* alarmism in the MSM?? Must be a conspiracy. 🙂

meltemian

Desperation or what??
They’re getting very strident, the end must be getting closer.

Geoff Sherrington

‘transparent anti-science propaganda credibly reported to be funded by fossil fuel interests and anti-regulation allies’
Personally, I’m getting sick of this connection, for I have seen scant evidence of any significant program.
Not one CAGW climate sceptic I know – and that’s quite a few – has received a cent or more from either asserted donor.
Those who believe in this line need to produce evidence or shut up, because it’s getting quite close to slander and class action. Show me an entry in a recent annual report and accounts of any groups who are funding as alleged and you might change my perceptions.

DirkH

“all responsibly sourced reports from around the world — “as solid as science ever gets,” say eminent climate scientists ”
WHAT? Has the IPCC changed its rules? Or does this mean that “eminent climate scientists” consider pamphlets from the WWF as valid as say, Einstein’s theory of general relativity?
In that case, where has a theory by the WWF made a prediction that was tested?
I guess the “eminent climate scientists” share a room with Harry Reid’s insider source right next to a six foot invisible rabbit.
Could someone explain the word “science” and the scientific method to Bill Blakemore? And maybe “journalism”?

Peter Miller

Wow! Junk journalism at is best.
However: it comes back to a very important point for sceptics:
1. Most of us believe there is some AGW is happening, but that its effects have been mostly beneficial. This will probably continue, but its effects will be small and dwarfed by natural climate cycles.
2. Alarmists try and link disbelief in CAGW – which is a classic example of bad, unsubstantiated science – to a disbelief in AGW.
This is the big lie in ‘climate science’: alarmists linking the BS theory of CAGW to the mildly interesting phenomenon of AGW.

Peter Stroud

“A number of climate scientists have told this reporter they agree with those, including NASA scientist James Hansen, who charge fossil fuel CEOs are thus guilty of a “crime against humanity.”” Ah, but only those in the Western developed nations, of course.

oldseadog

I am in dispair that nowhere does Mr. Blakemore question the “science”.
I know I keep saying it but until MSM starts to look at the real data CAGW hysteria will continue to thrive.

3x2

Junk Journalism on Climate – he should have stopped right there and saved some time

rogerknights

“A number of the world’s professional climate scientists are perplexed by — and in some cases furious with — American news directors.
“Malpractice!” is typical of the charges this reporter has heard highly respected climate experts level — privately, off the record — at my professional colleagues over the past few years.
Complaints include what seems to the scientists a willful omission of overwhelming evidence the new droughts and floods are worsened by man made global warming, and unquestioning repetition, gullible at best, of transparent anti-science propaganda credibly reported to be funded by fossil fuel interests and anti-regulation allies.”

I’ve always suspected this sort of private pressure has been applied. The “consent” of the MSM has always looked partly “engineered” by high-pressure tactics. They’re the sort of tactic that expensive, savvy media consultants would suggest, and they’re the sort of thing self-righteous zealots would engage in anyway.
In the aftermath, when this madness delaminates, it will be interesting to hear more details of this emerge, when the MSM is challenged to explain its complicity in it.

I’m for free speech, but there are limits even to that and e.g. you can’t just stand in a crowded cinema shouting fire when there clearly is none.
Fortunately most people now are ignoring these people.
Unfortunately, that means if there ever is a real fire a lot people will ignore it.

KnR

Junk Journalism=“Nature’s Edge”

Jimbo
mfo

Despite all their tricks and all their grants they’re losing the scientific debate and they’re losing the public debate so they want to create a law which makes them right. However every time a CAGW activist drives a car or uses their computer they are an accomplice to the mythical wrongdoing of technological and scientific progress which inhabits their bitter narrow minds.

SunderlandSteve

“Complaints include what seems to the scientists a willful omission of overwhelming evidence the new droughts and floods are worsened by man made global warming”
If they have this overwhelming evidence, why havn’t they presented it yet?
Come on guys, don’t keep it to yourselves!

This piece from Bloomberg today takes the prize for junk climate science journalism IMO.
Politicians Who Deny Climate Change Cannot Be Pro-Business
A sample,
Here’s what makes the general silence on climate and the mocking from the self-identified pro-business party so absurd: tackling climate change is the smartest thing we can do for both our public health and our private sector. Reducing carbon emissions from our power plants, cars, and factories cleans the air and saves a lot of money. At the macro level, the burning of coal alone costs the U.S. about $350 billion per year in health (asthma, heart attacks, and so on) and pollution costs. At the micro level, from companies down to households, the opportunities to get lean and save money are vast.
If reducing ‘carbon emissions’ saves money, how come it costs so much?
I don’t know if the author is so ignorant he doesn’t understand the difference between CO2 emissions, and particulate carbon, hydrocarbon and other noxious emissions, or whether he is indulging in deliberate deception.
It then goes on to quote the usual subsidy and rent seeking suspects.
Ignorance of science and economics wrapped up in one package.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-07/politicians-who-deny-climate-change-cannot-be-pro-business.html

DEEBEE

I knew the Republican were a greedy bunch. But their party mascot too. What is the world coming to.

I would like to be able to direct idiots like Bill Blakemore to some reasonably accessible overview of Climate Science as we truly know it, that is agreed by the majority of us skeptics.
With this in mind originally, I wrote up my basic piece Curious Anomalies in Climate Science to be accessible by intelligent lay people yet acceptable to scientists. I always wondered why WUWT did not include a page of “introductions” pages and websites. I then realized that my personal take on the science might be too far out along the “skeptical” line for some here, and conceived the idea of a wiki that would be built by climate skeptics, that could answer John Cook’s “debunks” item for item in bite-size articles – and provide a good foundation for the return to good science – and rehabilitate many good scientists like Monckton and Tim Ball who have been shamefully smeared and tarred.
Then I wanted to include in the wiki, the ability to host reasonable research, as I find the work of Nikolov and Zeller to be. But since N&Z were dismissed here, IMHO unfairly, I had to get to the bottom of the problem… which led to my investigating Roderich Graeff whose ten years of experimental work clearly show me that we need to modify the statement (not the essence) of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This modification would answer all those who believe that 2LoT undermines the work of N&Z. Graeff has shown this in his hundreds of simple, clear experiments. But with a few notable exceptions like Prof Sheehan who has run conferences on contemporary challenges to 2LoT, the universities don’t even want to look.
Sound familiar, anyone?
I still hope to replicate Graeff’s work myself in time. I’ve visited him and have not a shadow of doubt that his work is of Nobel-deserving standard – and would indeed recast the foundations of Climate Science and put it on a far more secure footing. But by now, I’m too far out from even the mainstream of Climate Skeptics to cope alone – and I have other work to do. I want to pass on the management and development of the wiki because I still believe passionately that it is needed – for such as Bill Blakemore.
I would still love to see a page here with links to introductions that exist, like my own, even if it is felt that disclaimers are needed.

Lady in Red

It’s getting sillier by the week, month, year. ….Lady in Red

John V. Wright

Bill Blakemore, three initials for you.
BBC.
You are either dishonest or stupid.

Wow. I had to go to the link to confirm for myself it was a real ABC News piece. I thought for sure it must have come from something like The Onion.

mycroft

Malpractice!! when the MSM picks up on the malpractice of the climate science community,
and NGO’s, enviromentalists, then they can shout about malpractice…staggering two faceness ..again. do your job journalists look into the sceptics claims then see who’s doing the malpractice???

I posted the following over there & several hours later it has not appeared:
Can anyone show us actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing dangerous global warming?
Keep in mind that Nature puts out 96% of the CO2, man only 4% and Al Gore’s ice cores show CO2 increase FOLLOWING temperature by 800 years, unusual weather, melting glaciers, etc., is not proof that man is the cause, the climate was warmer in the medieval, Roman, Egyptian and Minoan times and water vapor causes more greenhouse effect than CO2.
So just what is the evidence anyway?
Thanks
JK

Goldie

James Hansen never drives a car? Never heats his home or his office using gas or grid electricity? Never uses fossil fuel powered public transport? …. If he does, perhaps he would volunteer to stand trial for his personal crimes against humanity. Otherwise he’d be a phoney, wouldn’t he?

Ryan

The overwhelming evidence that we are heading for a climate catastrophe would surely be a number of minor climate events leading to the deaths of millions of people? Hasn’t happened yet has it? Amazing therefore that AGW gets greater press coverage than tsunami protection. Go figure.

ozspeaksup

as time passes and all their fry n die or drown crud becomes proven false even to the most ignorant and credulous of the masees.
I have to admit I am really going to enjoy knowing so many of the prominent liars like hansen the mannikin flim flannery and karoly in aus..are going to be out or work, or shovelling crap for a living..
reading climate spectator an aussie online warmist pro govt rag tonight,
stating the global eradication of CFCs even though the science was unproven it was still proof they could do it..
ah
but they FAIL to mention we cut the cfcs and yet? they now find ozone holes up nth.
so that, like carbon lies…worked a real treat didnt it?
🙂
seem to remember ken lay and enron and a lot of profits to them over trading cfc shares too.
fool us once…BUT NOT twice!

Shevva

With the political will deflating and the common (wo)man after hearing such pronouncements as ‘Children will not know what snow is’ and then having three snow filled winters followed by wet summers, the only option left is the to run back to the scare tactic.
The world really is moving on and the greenies really can’t grasp the damage they have done to themselves over the last few decades.
I always thought bender summed up the greenies best ‘Kill all humans’

Rob

Try this the next time someone screams “anti-science propaganda credibly reported to be funded by fossil fuel interests and anti-regulation allies!” or such: Open your laptop and type “oil industry anti global warming propaganda” in the Google search bar. Surely someone out there has compiled a comprehensive list of all the examples of the fossil fuel industries’ attempts to manipulate the public. There must be a very popular website or blog that exposes all the “propaganda” right?
Well, you’ll find a lot of sites containing accusations of propaganda, but pathetically scant actual examples of such. I think I even heard crickets coming from the speakers.
Then go to YouTube and type the same thing into their search bar. Surely there must be scores of Exxon Mobile TV commercials brainwashing the public with their evil anti-science “propaganda” right?
Nothing.
Now tell your friend to play close attention as you go back to Google and YouTube and remove the words “oil industry anti” and just leave the words “global warming propaganda” in the search bars of both sites.
Hit the “Enter” button and watch the gates of Hell open up.

Harold Ambler

James Hansen thanks Bill Blakemore in the Acknowledgements of at least one of his books. I suspect that much of the ire from “scientists” that Blakemore is “reporting” emanates from the man who doesn’t appear to know that the storms of his ancestors were as bad, or worse, as the storms that his grandchildren are going to see. Hansen, as an unhinged scientist pining for the days of witch-burning, is not alone in wishing for more complete control of the media, of course.

Doug Huffman

Another tune whistled tunelessly by the tone-deaf lamestream media as it tip-toes past its graveyard of forgotten favorite conspiracies.

Maus

Ryan: “The overwhelming evidence that we are heading for a climate catastrophe would surely be a number of minor climate events leading to the deaths of millions of people?”
Nono. That’s weather. Climate is an average of weather and so has nothing to do with weather. It’s man that controls the weather and the climate then reflects that. The only reason we still have droughts and the like is to ensure greater consumption of fertilizer, plastics, and other oil based products. By the way, have you heard of Nicola Tesla?
On a more serious note: Climate Scientists seem to have it in them to test the adage “Never argue with a man who buys his ink by the barrel.” If they don’t mind their tone, then the MSM will mind it for them. The truth be damned, this is Journalism.

Keith Pearson, formerly bikermailman, Anonymous no longer

DirkH says: September 10, 2012 at 12:45 am
I guess the “eminent climate scientists” share a room with Harry Reid’s insider source right next to a six foot invisible rabbit.
I guess that would be Jimmy Carter’s infamous ‘attack rabbit’? Seriously, these people on the Left pushing this idea that the MFM is being criminally quiet, are of the same crowd who claim that the same MFM is entirely in the tank for the Right.

Lucy Skywalker, your site was the type of cheat sheet reference work I did find useful early on as a skeptic, and the effect of gravity on the sky I’d love to read about some day, but I will just state for the record that your link to wires coming out of a cheap foam box taped together with a laser printed “GRAVITY MACHINE” sign above blogging about “us” all having to somehow change the whole of physics, subjected me to a spike of social panic just as I’m starting to boast of skeptical activism in real life, even here on the Upper West Side. You delighted me back in the day by pointing out that local Siberian temperature records did not match the hockey stick’s appended global average temperature. If academia ignores you, make a two minute video and try Kickstarter.

anarchist hate machine

Screams of ‘anti-science’ ring hollow, seeing as what they do isn’t science. This point needs to be hammered on more and more.

lurker passing through, laughing

Perhaps Lewadowsky could run another of his high class surveys to find a the conspiracy behind this.
The true believers are such maroons. As we head towards yet another year of fewer tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, and droughts, the AGW hype industry shifts into yet more shrill and deceptive claims.
And now they openly rely on conspiracy theory to explain their failures, which that a**hat from Australia claims skeptics are guilty of.
AGW extremists are such obvious, transparent worthless kooks.

Ermmm… Where is that elephant putting its trunk?

To quote Elvis Costello, from the time when he was mildly interesting, ABC News seems to be “as much of the alphabet as” Mr. Blakemore knows “how to use.” Most journalists seem to have an ego:reason ratio to rival James Hansen’s.

Steve C

Just as I was thinking “I’ll bet those ’eminent climate scientists’ talking about ‘as solid as science ever gets’ are just the regular handful of the usual suspects, not the thousands of Petition Project’ers”, the next paragraph mentions Hansen. Case proved, methinks!

polistra

The good part is that infinite greed always fails sooner or later. When 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000% of everything is not enough, when you continue to scream and scream and scream and scream for 999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of everything, people get tired. And we’re already well into the tired phase.

KevinM

I believe the author is applying a bit of irony here. What I read between the lines is “Hey scientist, produce something that sells newspapers, or buzz off.”
The tendency of the liberal-arts-humanist-writer type seems to be production of human interest pieces, which the author acknowledges in the quoted part. Perhaps the humans are losing interest in “big disaster coming, but not today”, and reverting to their preffered stories- “small town hero maimed by industrialists, but still in fighting spirits”. The sympathy between those two themes is what has kept the media on the CAGW wagon.

Frank K.

“‘A Crime Against Humanity’
A number of climate scientists have told this reporter they agree with those, including NASA scientist James Hansen, who charge fossil fuel CEOs are thus guilty of a “crime against humanity,” given the calamity that unregulated greenhouse emissions are quickly bringing on.”

So where are our NASA GISS “scientists” on this? Are they going to defend their boss’ ugly and vile threats against “fossil fuel CEOs”? And who are these “scientists” who agree with Hansen in making these threats? Why do they never talk about these threats?

leftinbrooklyn

Good to see that we as a species still have enough common sense to reject the hysterical emoting of lunatics & their ‘End is Near!’ signs.
For a while, it looked like exhaling would become attempted murder.

JJ

“Complaints include what seems to the scientists a willful omission of overwhelming evidence the new droughts and floods are worsened by man made global warming, …”
What are they talking about?
The recent droughts in the US, such as the awful two year Texas drought and the spring fires in Colorado, are a direct result of the La Nina that had been sitting off the west coast of the US for the last two years. La Nina is below average sea surface temperature. Cooler water leads to less evaporation, which means less water put into the air to rain down on the western US. Or so the ‘climate scientists’ tell us.
Of course, they also tell us that global warming is supposed to make La Ninas more rare, and El Nino more common. So, global warming should lead to fewer droughts in the western US, not more.

mstickles says:
September 10, 2012 at 2:41 am

Wow. I had to go to the link to confirm for myself it was a real ABC News piece.

Exactly my reaction. The collection of quotes seemed so surreal and the propositions so jumbled, that I had to look up the original article to understand whether article was satire or someone had truly gone off at the deep end.
Having read all of the reader comments at the location of the original article, I am left with absolutely no doubt in my mind that all of the readers who wrote in on that article have a far better understanding of climate, climate science, climate politics and of the politics of climate reporting than Bill Blakemore managed to illustrate.
His article reads like a rambling collection of nonsense written by someone who became overwhelmed by the responsibility of having to write a sensible overview on the status of climate reporting.
How in the world did Bill Blakemore sneak his article by his editors? Was there no one who saw the need to perform quality control on the nonsense he wrote?

Gunga Din

One of the basic premises of the Nature’s Edge reports, in both video and digital print, is that the global warming story is clearly a story about the question, “What will the humans do?” — and therefore a story about the need to understand human nature better — even overall collective human nature, as a species, so to speak — for upon it may rest any success in dealing well with this immense crisis.”

======================================================================
So, they are going to look into human nature to understand why fewer and fewer are taking CAGW stories seriously. More Lewpapers?
What they should do is look into human nature to expose why and how this “immense crisis” was foisted upon us in the first place.
foist (foist)
tr.v. foist·ed, foist·ing, foists
1. To pass off as genuine, valuable, or worthy: “I can usually tell whether a poet . . . is foisting off on us what he’d like to think is pure invention” (J.D. Salinger).
2. To impose (something or someone unwanted) upon another by coercion or trickery: They had extra work foisted on them because they couldn’t say no to the boss.
3. To insert fraudulently or deceitfully: foisted unfair provisions into the contract.

pyromancer76

There is the smell of desparation in the air. Or solidifying one’s base. It’s as if this November U.S. election is the real deal for the screaming warmistas, even on a global basis. If the more free marketeers win and enhance energy development, then new (renewed) affluence led by this country will be the model to emulate, at least by those countries who have not sold their souls to government/crony corporate control.
I keep waiting for signs that the funding of AGW is changing. One sign I can see is that the crony corps owning major media are losing profitability and market share. I will be happiest when the EPA has been busted and when the higher education bubble has taken out the multitude of grants to non-science climate/sustainability/environmental “science”.

Canman

I think the biggest problem for CAGW proponents is their unwillingness to debate. Whether major portions of the science are settled or not, implications and policy are clearly debatable. Here’s my climate debate wishlist:
Al Gore vs Christopher Monckton — Two non climate scientists who have assumed prominent positions for their respective sides. They also both elicit similar distain from their respective opposite sides. Gore has recently complained about the lack of coverage that AGW is getting. Debating Monckton might be an effective way to get some coverage. Gore once generated a huge amount of attention for NAFTA by debating Ross Perot on Larry King’s CNN TV show.
Joe Romm vs Peter Huber — Two MIT alums who are energy experts with diametrically opposed veiws on the subject.
Naomi Orestes vs Joanne Nova — Both write a lot about behind the scenes financing and influence.
Michael Mann vs Steve McIntyre — The two most prominent opposing figures in the controversy over Mann’s Hockey Stick Chart.
Bill McKibben vs Philip Stott — Both have an old time preacher like style.
Thomas Freidman vs George Will — The admirer of China’s “enlightened” leadership vs the libertarian drifting conservative.
George Monbiot vs Matt Ridley — Two philosophically opposed Brits.
Peter Sinclair vs Elmer Beuregard — Two sarcastic videographers. Peter Sinclair of “Climate Crock of the Week” vs Elmer Beuregard of “Minnesotans for Global Warming”.
Chris Mooney vs Anthony Watts — The expert on climate science communication vs the highest climate blog traffic communicator.

So I looked for a biography on this guy… Since he “confirms” so much he must be a PhD Stats specialists — 0r maybe an Atmospheric Physicist — right? Well — I could not find his Biography, but I did find this gem.
http://greenliving.lovetoknow.com/Polar_Ice_Caps_Melting
Facts of the Melting Ice Caps
The Times Online states, “the ice caps are melting so fast that the world’s oceans are rising more than twice as fast as they were in the 1970s.” A study by Anny Cazenave of the National Centre for Space Studies located in France shows the melting effect is also due to thermal water expansion. Cazenave’s studies show that by 2010, the Thames River in London could rise by eight to thirty-five inches.
Bill Blakemore of ABC News in a report as far back as 2006 found that the Earth is melting at both ends, which could harm coastal towns. Even the naysayers who say the ice caps are fine can’t deny the facts from the National Academy of Sciences, that tells us the Earth’s surface temperature rose one-Fahrenheit degree in the last century.
All of this melting is thought to be directly related to humans and greenhouse gases. Things like carbon dioxide, nitrous, and methane gas are all contributing factors. Jay Zwally, a NASA glaciologist says, “the warming ocean comes underneath the ice shelves and melts them from the bottom, and the warmer air from the top melts them (polar ice caps) from the top.” Still others argue the ice caps are melting due to human damage to the ozone layer.

Who could argue with the accuracy of those predictions…???? Clearly theis group has the story!
Truly ABC and Bill Blakemore are a group that know how to combat misinformation by — need I say it? Comedy!
Incredible!

dp

When your product is news you will bend every effort to grow your news market. Same with any business. The market in news cannot be separated from entertainment seekers but productized news sources don’t care. Even stupid people have money and if they are in your demographic, do what is needed to hang on to them. Perhaps that is why news agencies are found in such abundance at social media sites.

Here are two more facts:
1) In his recent paper, Lewandowsky defined “conspiratorial thinking” as “the attempt to explain a significant political or social event as a secret plot by powerful individuals or organizations.”
2) Blakemore argues above that the mainstream media is reporting “anti-science propaganda” in compliance “fossil fuel CEOs” “crime against humanity.”