How appallingly the media reports climate change

That\’s the thesis, we\’re not doing anything about it because the media never tell anyone about it.

Or as you might describe it, she\’s whining that no one will show her propaganda. Which is probably a good thing:

Our consumption of those goods – a highly inefficient use of our natural capital – has wrought a long list of environmental consequences. Staggering deforestation, check.

Most odd really. The rich countries are reforesting. Have been for decades. The low point in the US was the 1920s for example, since then the forest covered area has been growing. And yes, this near century old \”secondary\” forest is pretty much indistinguishable from the areas that never were cut down to farm.

So, we seem to have a correlation between wealth and not deforestation then.

Weather may fade, but pictures of post-drought west Texas, hurricane-ravaged New Orleans and submerging countries such as Tuvalu are a stark reminder that climate change carries not only an economic or environmental toll, but also a human one.

And Tuvalu ain\’t submerging either.

Hmm, maybe we should popularise this woman\’s ideas. Show them up for what they are then? You know, like wrong?

31 thoughts on “How appallingly the media reports climate change”

  1. Tuvalu is sinking – a bit. But nothing to do with climate or weather. It’s all to do with it’s geography. It’s an atoll so it’s basically sand on top of coral. And sand is always blown or washed away. And it’s the rate at which it is replenished which means that the land is shrinking and lowering. If anything it could be said that Tuvalu is sinking due to man – but man changing the island itself rather than indirectly via climate change.

  2. Re Texas, Nothing much has changed in the climate since records began – except the rainfall is slowly increasing. If Tuvalu is sinking, it’s due to the weight of the runway bringing an increasing number of eco-tourists to the island -somewhat similar to the Maldives.

  3. What can you say about someone who trots out the outright lie – even disagreed with by the IPCC – that there is a link between worbal gloaming and extreme weather events? There simply isn’t any such link, as has repeatedly now been shown.

  4. I’d be a lot more open to solutions about climate change if these “solutions” weren’t solar panels, central planning and the death of consumer capitalism. I like consuming, thank you very much.

  5. Timmy, you need to brush up your comprehension skills.

    “America’s miasma of misinformation on climate change: With serious reporting of global warming by US media virtually nonexistent, it’s no wonder Americans are paralysed in denial”

    is entirely reasonable (depending on your defn of reasonable. With it defined as “doing a good job of presenting the science, as presented by IPCC”, she’s right). And does not paraphrase into:

    “That’s the thesis, we’re not doing anything about it because the media never tell anyone about it.”

    What she appears to be complaining about is misleading reporting by the media. And, presumably, by blogs, which you’ve just helpfully proved.

  6. William M. Connolley

    It may well be that reporting on climate change is less geared towards alarmism in the US than in Europe (where there is most certainly misreporting by the media but the other way around). I guess what is really interesting if we accept this thesis is that the one country where there is “misreporting” is also the one country that has reduced its CO2 consumption…. There must be a lesson in there somewhere

  7. No Mr Connelly, most of the “misreporting” (aka, in your part in particular) is better known as flat outright lying about it. No, it is no it reasonable, there its no “paralysis in denial”, rather, people are seeing through what should be entirely transparent misinformation coming from the usual idiots like Hansen et al.

  8. “is pretty much indistinguishable”: depends who’s looking, I suspect. It might look very different to a historical botanist. (The equivalent in Britain certainly does.)

  9. WMC>

    Do you accept that the article begins with a misrepresentation of the facts in the very first paragraph? Don’t you think that might have something to do with the reasons no-one believes a word of the hype?

    Incidentally, what happened to your pledge to be open and transparent about the fact you’re paid to post these comments on blogs by those with huge vested interests in pushing alarmism? That didn’t last long, did it?

    Bit of an honesty deficit here; no wonder no-one believes you however loudly you have a tantrum.

  10. Dave, if you’ve got some evidence for WMC’s “pledge” to be open about the implausible “fact” you claim, please link to it.

    I welcome WMC’s comments on AGW here, as a counterbalance to the weight of opinion to the effect that inconvenient facts should be denied.

    Tim has a fair point about deforestation, but the thrust of Anna Clark’s piece is right.

  11. It’s pretty dishonest. This, for example:

    Already, at least 25 million climate refugees and counting are facing the consequences.

    She links to a report which says global warming could generate 25 million climate refugees, which she then changes to present tense as if there were 25m folk living in refugee camps already, which they are not. No wonder people aren’t bothering to listen if this is how the message is presented.

  12. Dave> Incidentally, what happened to your pledge to be open and transparent about the fact you’re paid to post these comments on blogs by those with huge vested interests in pushing alarmism? That didn’t last long, did it?

    You made it all up. Out of nothing at all. no wonder no-one believes a word you say.

    > Staggering deforestation, check. Increasing greenhouse gas emissions, check. Rising heat, sea level, and incidence of extreme weather events

    Of all of those, I take it that “incidence of extreme weather events ” is the only controversial one – the others are all true (Timmy’s silliness about “The rich countries are reforesting” is indeed just silliness – all we’ve done is export our deforestation). The proposed cite – to WMO – is unambiguous; but WMO isn’t a great source for that kind of thing. However, if you assert “There simply isn’t any such link, as has repeatedly now been shown.” then it should be easy enough for you to provide reliable cites for the disproof. You haven’t, so far.

  13. WMC>

    You made the pledge in regard to your Wikipedia antics. Or did you not actually pledge it, just promise to pledge? I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about, so don’t weasel out by pretending not to because I’ve got some insignificant detail wrong.

    As for the extreme weather events – check your masters at the IPCC. I doubt whoever pays you will be very happy to see you getting the party line they pay you for wrong.

  14. …..all we’ve done is export our deforestation……

    That’s actually a load of bollocks.

    Most deforestation is done by landless peasants for the purpose of subsidence farming. Their problem is not being part of the global economy. If they were supplying us with goods, their impact on forests would be much less.

  15. WMC
    This deforestation we’ve exported, I take it you know that this country for one has been largely devoid of tree cover for a very considerable time ? We’ve been importing timber since the early Middle Ages at least, not that we didn’t still have plenty of usable timber ourselves, just that other people’s trees were often better for the jobs they were used for, it’s that dreadful trade thing again.

  16. Lukewarmers like me are frankly as pissed off with the ranting that goes on from convinced CAGW types as any supposed redneck denier. It’s impossible to get through that wall of self righteous indignation that anyone could possibly even doubt what they are telling us. That article is a classic example, dripping with contempt and ill disguised snobbery and projecting her own intolerance on to others, religious nutjobs basically.

  17. Dave: put up or shut up. Anna Clark’s article links to online evidence for each of her claims, so we can determine for ourselves the strength of her case. I commend her example.

  18. PaulB

    I have had a quick look at some of the links she provides, I haven’t got time to go through them all carefully but here’s my impressions. Two are links to a National Geographic picture site, not proof of anything, one appears to be a Green business blog, hardly unbiased, another is the WHO, who love a good scare. Not impressed I’m afraid.

  19. Dave> I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about

    No, not a clue. As PaulB suggests, how about you put up or shut up?

    As for extremes… as it happens I’m not too far away from RP Jr’s take. I think he exaggerates for effect a little. But for a journalist writing an article: should she prefer the WMO, or some blogger? Actually she should probably use neither, but actually read the IPCC SREX report, as should you, or indeed anyone who really wants to talk about this stuff (that doesn’t include me, BTW, I’m not really interested in the extremes stuff).

    Thornavis> I take it you know that this country for one has been largely devoid of tree cover for a very considerable time ?

    Sure. But we’re still deforested.

    Dave> google his name. He’s notorious.

    Damn right I am:

    http://www.conservapedia.com/William_M._Connolley

    Still, it beats being an anonymous non-entity, eh?

  20. Another anonymous non-entity’s take on the article:

    There might be some truth lurking behind her opening sentence but as written it’s nonsense: you can’t make more goods than have ever existed. Not possible, dear.

    Ah, here we are. She has garbled a 1992 claim made by Alan Durning of the Doomwanker^WWorldwatch Institute: ‘Measured in constant dollars, the world’s people have consumed as many goods and services since 1950 as all previous generations put together.’ That was the WI’s own calculation based on data in a 1989 book by Angus Maddison. More goods and services in 40 years than in 80 centuries? Sounds a bit unlikely.

    Deforestation? What others have said.

    Tuvalu should be able to keep growing at the same pace as sea-level rise for a century or two.

    The 25 million climate refugees thing is from the Institute of Made-up Numbers (which, interestingly, announced only last week that more numbers have been invented since 1950 than have ever existed in history).

    The shark think is wrong, too. Her linked source says that, on average, four people are killed in (unprovoked) shark attacks every year. That’s worldwide. The US-only average (her car-fatalities stat is US-only) is about two.

    In short, a miasma of misinformation.

  21. The interesting thing about sea-rise figures is that they are adjusted to remove any separate rising of the land that is still occurring in many places after the recession of the glaciers and ice sheets of the last ice age.

    So in many places, while the seas are rising, the land is rising as well.

    This is not well publicised.

  22. MrPotarto: Not quite. The globally averaged sea level is adjusted upwards to allow for the slow expansion of the ocean basins as post-glacial rebound sucks rock into the continents to feed their rise. If you see what I mean.

    The adjusted estimates are useful for some purposes but not for predicting the impacts of sea-level rise, yet that is how they are often used. The difference is only about 10% but it’s still naughty.

    That coastal land is rising in many places is a separate issue and is quite well publicized (except at the trials of Greenpeace activists, where a particular expert witness always fibs about what’s what, sea-level-rise-wise).

  23. VP: No. I suppose you’re referring to this.

    When Connolley… attempted to correct mistakes on Wikipedia’s climate change
    article, he was accused of “promoting his own POV [point of view] and of having systematically erased any POV which did not correspond to his own”. His anonymous opponent brought him before Wikipedia’s court of last resort, the Arbitration Committee, where Connolley was, for a time, duly punished: he was only allowed to make one “revert” a day, apart from cases of vandalism. Though this sentence had more to do with breaches of etiquette, with Connolley’s not suffering fools gladly, than with the promoting of a biased perspective, the case resonated deeply as it highlighted what can befall respected experts who wade into controversial wiki-waters

    Not suffering fools gladly is rather the theme of this blog.

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