Joe Romm: N.Y. Times and Elisabeth Rosenthal Face Credibility Siege over Unbalanced Climate Coverage | ThinkProgress: "Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University,
whom the NYT itself quoted last year as “an expert on environmental communications,” emailed me that the piece is “the worst, one sided reporting I have ever seen.”
When I called him up, he went further saying:
In this article, the New York Times has become an echo-chamber for the climate disinformation movement.
You might think it impossible for any newspaper — let alone the one-time “paper of record” — to run a story raising “accusations of scientific sloppiness” about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that never quotes a single climate scientist. You might think it inconceivable that the NYT would base its attack on the accusations and half-truths provided by “climate skeptics, right-leaning politicians and even some mainstream scientists” where
- The one climate skeptic quoted is the The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (TVMOB) — who pushes outright lies such as “There hasn’t been any global warming for 15 years” and who labels young people who disagree with him “Hitler Youth.”
- The right-leaning politician is Sen. John Barrasso, who is so far out he tried to stop the gathering of intelligence on the national security threat posed by climate change.
- The “some mainstream scientists” is in fact only Roger Pielke, Jr. (!!), who has a Ph.D. in political science, who has said, “I am not a climate scientist,” who — far from being mainstream on this subject — is a long-time critic of the IPCC who has been attacking scientists’ reputations for many years.
Rosenthal doesn’t actually quote a single mainstream scientist attacking the IPCC.... Since I don’t want to bury the lede as Rosenthal does, let me start with start with her ninth paragraph:
The panel, in reviewing complaints about possible errors in its report, has so far found that one was justified and another was “baseless.” The general consensus among mainstream scientists is that the errors are in any case minor and do not undermine the report’s conclusions.
But why let the fact the story is essentially trivial from a scientific perspective stop it from being a front-page rehash of mostly innuendo and unproven charges?
Rosenthal immediately continues:
Still, the escalating controversy has led even many of them to conclude that the Nobel-winning panel needs improved scientific standards as well as a policy about what kinds of other work its officers may pursue. “When I look at Dr. Pachauri’s case I see obvious and egregious problems,” said Dr. Roger A. Pielke Jr., a political scientist and professor of environmental science at the University of Colorado….
Now when you read “many of them” — many “mainstream scientists,” that is — in a serious piece of journalism on climate science, you would expect the reporter to then quote at least, say, two, three or maybe four scientists, and not, say, zero, zilch, nada....
The bottom line: The NYT has published a broad brush smear of climate scientists in this piece from a variety of biased and questionable sources — while demonstrating that the charges are half-truths and/or trivial from the overall perspective of climate science. And it is unconscionable that the piece doesn’t actually quote a single climate scientist, while offering up Roger Pielke, Jr. as representative of how mainstream scientists view the IPCC and Pachauri.
I’ll end by repeating the comments sent me by Robert Brulle, professor of sociology and environmental science at Drexel University:
The worst, one sided reporting I have ever seen. In this article, the New York Times has become an echo-chamber for the climate disinformation movement....
UPDATE: Climate scientist Ken Caldeira has just sent me an email titled, “I can’t believe the New York Times has done it again …” that reads in its entirety:
Does Roger Pielke Jr really believe that Pachauri is exaggerating the climate change problem in order to obtain more funds for his nonprofit research center?
If Pielke is going to make insinuations in the New York Times about the ethics of Dr Pachauri, he owes it to us to make his beliefs clear. He should state clearly which of the following two statements he believes:
(a) Dr Rajendra Pachauri is exaggerating the climate change problem in order to obtain more funds for his nonprofit research center.
(b) Dr Rajendra Pachauri is not exaggerating the climate change problem in order to obtain more funds for his nonprofit research center.
For a man with a $49,000 salary, donating all of his consulting fees to nonprofit organizations would ordinarily be seen as a sign of professional integrity and dedication. It is outrageous that Pielke attempts to turn this around and use it to insinuate an ethical lapse. It makes one wonder about Pielke’s motives.