Thursday, September 23, 2010

The MSM And Global Warming

Earlier this week I was pointed to a particularly egregious BBC article by Richard Black on the extent of this year's Arctic sea ice melt. As Black looks for every description to describe why the phenomenon is happening other than the "controversial" theory of global warming he also manages to never mention CO2 emissions; the 30 billion tonnes of CO2 humankind pumps into the atmosphere yearly as perhaps being one of the reasons. He also mischaracterizes the science citing an outdated prediction about when the Arctic will be free of summer ice so as to push a narrative that can only be described as one that has climate scientists forwarding exaggerated claims. So no need to worry or take action -- after all there will still be ice in the summer of Arctic in 2013, and the claims, by inference, are all exaggerated anyhow.

The last 12 months have been unusually warm globally - according to Nasa, the warmest in its 130-year record. This is partly down to El Nino conditions in the Pacific Ocean, which have the effect of raising temperatures globally.

Here's a question off the top of my head -- has El Nino ever helped raise the global average to similar record setting levels or is this in keeping with the projections and models that climate scientists have been forecasting for some time now? Joe Romm over at Climate Progress gets pretty warm under the collar about this, not as much because of the misreporting on the story, but the source. For him, like me, the BBC is a venerated news organization and to read this kind of slipshod reporting coming from them is disheartening.

He also fails to mention the rapidly diminishing volume of sea ice which of course is more to the point so far as warming and a changing climate are concerned. Go check out this video that explains how ...the Arctic has been the fastest-warming region on the planet.  This video tells the story of how it has been changing, as seen from satellites above, and submarines below, touring through years of hard research — in three minutes. Some of the key findings: sea ice is thinning even faster than it is shrinking in area, and Greenland has been shedding ice at an accelerating pace — with consequences for sea level.

And this is by no means the only example of BBC wankery. In the hottest decade in recorded human history, one that's seen record temperatures all around the globe there was a headline that asked "What Happened to Global Warming?"

In a post that describes the dramatic decline in the quality of reporting at the BBC on the subject of global warming there is an apt description of the problem with the false 'he said/she said' dichotomy of American style journalism where science is concerned. Where complete falsehoods and fabrications are juxtaposed and given equal weight with facts, the example of two guys in a bar is used: One man is arguing that 2 + 2 = 4 and the other that 2 + 2 = 6. The BBC solution to reporting on this disagreement (the rest of the MSM as well)? Put them both on TV and suggest that the answer must lie somewhere in the middle.

You can see the problem with that, right?

UPDATE: This is what Global warming looks like:


(be patient takes a while to load)


This is what Global Warming looks like from NRDC Broadcast Videos on Vimeo.

Being a Dickhead

Canada`s Finance Minister Jim Flaherty must be looking at some ugly internal poll numbers because he says Canada can`t risk an election! This is so stupid the Liberals call him out on it immediately and call him a dickhead. Stephen Harper tries to pretend losing is winning -- which fits in nicely with the new motto he adopted just this summer, Ignorance Is Strength!

Stealing Pages From The Bush Playbook

As a Canuck, it`s an odd experience to watch Stephen Harper operate using a game plan lifted from the playbook of one of the more discredited politicians of our time: George W. Bush Jr. A man who has been vilified for his emptying of the U.S. treasury, starting two morale sapping wars, spying on Americans, outing a CIA agent, staining his country`s reputation by sanctioning rendition and torture, but the worst thing he may have done is to divide his nation into two separate camps both angry and distrustful of each other. A state of affairs that sadly exists to this day. Seems Harper was paying attention it seems and is seeking to emulate Bush in every manner possible -- I mean how else can you interpret his actions?

 On Monday came a report from the Globe and Mail that the Tories were happy with the divisive nature of the gun-registry debate seeing it as a way to pick up disgruntled rural voters from the opposition. This explains why they`ve ignored repeated offers of compromises on the registry could be changed to reflect rural concerns. They don`t care about the issue -- they`re playing at dog-whistle politics and you can bet money that they will employ it again during in the forthcoming election.

Yesterday there was the story about highly personal information including confidential medical and financial information belonging to an outspoken critic of Veterans Affairs, Sean Bruyea that found its way, including part of a psychiatrist's report, into the briefing notes of a cabinet minister.


Mr. Bruyea uncovered the documents as part of a 14,000-page Privacy Act request about himself. He asked for the information in 2007 to discover why certain medical coverage by the department was denied to him. Among other things, he found his file had been accessed by hundreds of federal bureaucrats, including policy makers.

Then there`s the story that`s all over the Canadian blogosphere but has received little notice in Canada`s MSM, about Alex Hundert the G20 activist who was rousted and dragged to jail by the police. Hundert had returned home to his residence at 10:30 pm after speaking at Ryerson University when he was arrested by seven Toronto police and RCMP officers, Seven!!! He is being incarcerated at Metro West Detention Centre for an alleged breach of his bail condition of non-participation in public demonstrations -- speaking at a University conference is now apparently a public demonstration.

Then there's the steady drumbeat of, lions and tigers and bears oh my! The Tory version of course is a bit different. It goes, Liberals, and Socialists and Separatists, oh for pity`s sake don`t let them govern or western civilization will end and the terrorists will win!

Intimidation, bullying and fear. That`s the GWB jr playbook in a nutshell. For some reason I'm reminded of the tactics used against Richard Clarke and Joe Wilson and anyone else who stood in the bushies way. Are Canadians and the Canadian press going to let them get away with this would be my question about Harper's playbook? Is anyone noticing the slide into American style he/said/she said rhetoric?