MSM Coverage

Seems like the reputable media are starting to recognize what’s going on with respect to Climategate and the IPCC ‘Gates’ so hyped by the denialists and pseudoscience blogs.

There’s an editorial in today’s New York Times about Yvo de Boer’s resignation from the UN. What’s key is that they recognize that the ‘mistakes’ in the IPCC AR4 report are ‘trivial’ but that the times are ‘fragile’:

His resignation comes at a fragile moment in the campaign to combat climate change. The Senate is stalemated over a climate change bill. The disclosure of apparently trivial errors in the U.N.’s 2007 climate report has given Senate critics fresh ammunition. And without Mr. de Boer, the slim chances of forging a binding agreement at the next round of talks in December in Cancún, Mexico, seem slimmer still.

Here’s an editorial in today’s Washington Post: Climate Insurance, in which the term ‘trivial’ is repeated about the mistakes in the IPCC AR4:

THE EARTH is warming. A chief cause is the increase in greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans are at least in part responsible, because the oil, gas and coal that we burn releases these gases. If current trends persist, it’s likely that in coming decades the globe’s climate will change with potentially devastating effects for billions of people

Contrary to what you may have read lately, there are few reputable scientists who would disagree with anything in that first paragraph. Yet suddenly we’re hearing that climate change is in doubt and that action to combat it is unlikely. What’s going on?

First, climate science is complex, and there is much that we still do not understand. Politicians, advocates and scientists who have claimed a level of certainty unsupported by evidence — about exactly how climate change will unfold or is unfolding — have not helped the cause. Second, as in any research effort being conducted by thousands of scientists across many years and many countries, mistakes will be made in the research or in its collection and reporting. The mistakes that have been revealed recently — about, most prominently, the likely melting rate of Himalayan glaciers — need correcting. But in the overall picture, they are trivial.

They conclude:

Our view is that it makes no sense to give up before trying — especially since measured government action could unleash technological innovation that in turn would make the costs far less than predicted.

And all the more so when — and this is the second key point — the action that would have the most beneficial effect with regard to climate change is in the national interest anyway. A gradually rising carbon tax made sense even before “global warming” entered most people’s vocabulary. Almost as useful would be a simple cap-and-rebate system that required industry to pay for greenhouse-gas emissions. Either would reduce American dependence on dictators in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela while lowering air pollution of all kinds. Neither would require a complicated government bureaucracy of the kind that has understandably alarmed some people while giving others a pretext for opposition. And if politicians can’t bear to stand behind an increased tax, the revenue from either proposal could all be returned in a fair and progressive way.

Wow — advocating a carbon tax. Seems like the WP agrees with Hansen.

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About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

5 Responses to “MSM Coverage”

  1. Wow, reading that Washington Post article was like a breath of fresh air.

    In stark contrast in Canada we have this nonsense:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/22/lorne-gunter-again-and-again/

    Care to write a letter to the editor of the Edmonton Journal Policy Lass?

  2. I am writing a letter for a relative to send who has a different last name than I do. 😉

    • Thanks Susann! I now know of at least four letters to the editor that have been submitted, none have appeared in print yet.

      Have you read the latest revelations by Dr. Santer about McI behaving badly? If not, you really have to read Santer’s article over at RC.

      PS: Hey, and I really like the new look of your blog!

  3. After the gates, I thought we’d have a round of watches. It would sound more economical to gather infos around an author, rather than building stories out of single events.

    Sadly, it stopped at Boulton, and it was only for biograpical details. It is sad, since we could have expected a Lord Lawson of Blaby watch, a Peiser watch, a Richard Thomas watch, an Edward Acton watch, a Sir Muir Russell watch, a John Beddington watch, a Julia Slingo watch and a Bob Watson watch. It’s never too late, so let’s hope the situation will soon be corrected.

    The first two names should make nice watches.

    PS: Nice new style. Nice new old hat too. Synthetic? Can’t see the name of the painter.

  4. Couple things:

    1. “TM” is better than “MSM”. Traditional Media versus MainStream Media. Using the second asserts that people who actually think aren’t ‘mainstream’.

    2. There is a very serious problem in the WashPost editorial: “What’s going on?” The Washington Post editorial board has taken zero responsibility for their role in fostering the confusion via publication of George Will / Sarah Palin / Bjorn Lomborg / etc in OPEDs and through “faux and balanced” items in articles that exaggerate the extent of debate in the science. See, for examples and discussion of the editorial, http://getenergysmartnow.com/2010/02/22/washington-post-editorial-board-confusion-is-bad-even-if-were-at-fault/

    3. WashPost editorial board has been a proponent of a carbon tax for awhile.

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