Monday, November 22, 2010

My Local Fishwrap Prints An Op-Ed

On Friday morning I'm rushing off to work and take a quick peek at the Montreal Gazette and see an editorial entitled, "The Senate was right to kill the climate-change bill," by Tom Harris. At the bottom it reads that he is the executive director of an organization called the International Climate Science Coalition.

 Sounds official. They even sound like they might be an environmentally concerned group of people. But if that's so, then why would they be happy about Stephen Harper and his undemocratic machinations to kill the climate bill? And why would there be the usual threats that are so commonplace now every time industry and corporations see a bill or regulations they don't like, "It'll cost thousands of jobs!"

So when I got to work I quickly did a google search and sure enough Tom Harris is the head of an organization that spends their time lying about global warming, its' possible impacts while ignoring the actual science altogether. Don't believe me? Go have a look at their official sight. The information that Al Gore has tried to get people to sit up and notice? Indoctrination! According to one editorial the sight is promoting, Global Warming has been made up! Never mind that 97% of scientists who are members of the National Academy of Science agree that Global Warming is real and it has a human footprint. Tom Harris and his organization don't deal in facts. They deal in obfuscation and corporate propaganda.

And this is tripe is published in a major media outlet with no mention as to what it is his organization is about, who they represent, the shadowy organizations they are aligned with,  nor are there any scientific facts for anyone to hang their hats on. They have aligned themselves with the discredited conspiracist Alex Jones the very thoroughly debunked Lord Monkton. They have also trumpeted the so-called "climategate" affair which has been repeatedly proven to be no scandal whatsoever.

Without overstating the obvious, the very least the newspaper has an obligation to do is inform its readers of who the author is and what his or her potential conflicts of interest might be. An op-ed on the science of Global Warming without any science is absurd but this is what passes for journalism in the 21st century. It's shameful and ultimately works against all our interests to have a debate about science between scientists and the propagators of opinion journalism. In a better world, this wouldn't be a fair fight.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like you missed my letters to the editor in today's Montreal Gazette and Edmonton Journal - they are here:

You write, "97% of scientists who are members of the National Academy of Science agree that Global Warming is real and it has a human footprint."

Of course GW is "real". So is sunrise and gravity.

Of course "it has a human footprint." But that human footprint appears to be very small in comparison with the natural component.

BTW, my piece in the Gazette does of course include solid science - read it again, please.

I'll ignore your smears, ad hominems and cutsy cartoon as they are simply too silly for words. This is a serious topic.

Tom Harris

Executive Director
International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)
P.O. Box 23013
Ottawa, Ontario
K2A 4E2