“Together we can have a blockbuster impact on the world,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon tells Hollywood heavyweights at a forum on global climate change, reports the Los Angeles Times.
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Washington Post “reporter” Juliet Eilperin is back to her biased ways.
When the paper’s ombudsman gave her a polite spanking for biased climate reporting last fall, he concluded by saying:
It’s a close call, but I think she should stay on the beat. With her work now getting special scrutiny, it will become clear if the conflict is real.
You be the judge of whether the conflict is real.
Below is her front-page, above-the-fold article on Climategate in today’s Post. In addition to her own personal slants, keep in mind that Eilperin’s husband is a global warming activist with the way-left-of-center Center for American Progress.
Our comments are bold and in brackets.
Series of missteps by climate scientists threatens climate-change agenda
By Juliet Eilperin and David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, February 15, 2010; A01
With its 2007 report declaring that the “warming of the climate system is unequivocal,” the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won a Nobel Prize — and a new degree of public trust in the controversial science of global warming. [This is mere assertion to enhance Eilperin’s ensuing narrative. What is the evidence that the IPCC or the Nobel Prize committee built public trust in the hypothesis of manmade global warming during 2007? Are we to assume that the mere fact of these pronouncements bolstered public opinion?]
But recent revelations about flaws in that seminal report, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are undermining confidence not only in the panel’s work but also in projections about climate change.[The 2035 date in glaciergate is not a mere “typo” nor is it the product of “sloppy sourcing.” 2035 was the actual date trumpeted by the IPCC for Himalayan glacier melting, although there was no scientific data, study or analysis to support it. Similarly, the claim that global warming would destroy 40% of the Am azon rainforest was based not on a study but on an article on forest fires in an activist group magazine.] Scientists who have pointed out problems in the report say the panel’s methods and mistakes — including admitting Saturday that it had overstated how much of the Netherlands was below sea level — give doubters an opening. [Earth to Eilperin: Skeptics have been pointing out these very same problems (e.g., since 1999 on the Himalayan glaciers) — but of course, you’ve been too busy promoting the alarmist narrative to pay attention.]
It wasn’t the first one. There is still a scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change. [A consensus about CO2? Among who?] But in the past year, a cache of stolen [What is the evidence that they were “stolen” versus, say, leaked? Were the Pentagon papers “stolen”?] e-mails, revealing that prominent climate scientists sought to prevent the publication of works by their detractors, has sullied their image as impartial academics. The errors in the U.N. report — a document intended to be the last nail in the coffin of climate doubt — are a serious problem that could end up forcing environmentalists to focus more on the old question of proving that climate change is a threat, instead of the new question of how to stop it. [No matter what information is produced, Eilperin simply cannot imagine that climate alarmism is more fantasy than fact. Juliet, is there any fact that could change your mind about global warming — or are your views set in stone?]
Two Republican senators who have long opposed a cap on carbon emissions, James M. Inhofe (Okla.) and John Barrasso (Wyo.), are citing the errors as further reasons to block mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, Barrasso called for an independent probe into the IPCC, suggesting that the United States should halt any action on climate until it verifies the panel’s scientific conclusions. [Eilperin: Verification = Heresy]
Inhofe said Thursday in the Senate that the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to curb greenhouse gases should be reexamined, since the U.N. panel’s conclusions influenced the agency’s finding that climate change poses a public threat. “The ramifications of the IPCC spread far and wide, most notably to the Environmental Protection Agency’s finding that greenhouse gases from mobile sources endanger public health and welfare,” Inhofe said. On Friday, a coalition of conservative groups filed a petition to overturn the EPA’s finding on the same grounds.
“There is a sense that something’s rotten in the state of the IPCC,” said Richard H. Moss, a senior scientist at the Joint Global Change Research Institute at the University of Maryland, who has worked with the panel since 1993. “It’s just wildly exaggerated. But we need to take a look and see if something needs to be improved.” [“Wildly exaggerated”? Exactly what has the IPCC ever been right about? Yesterday, Climategate’s Phil Jones’ admitted there’s been no warming since 1995, despite ever-rising CO2 emissions. It seems the “exaggeration” is on the alarmist side.]
The IPCC climate assessments are, by any standard, a massive undertaking. Thousands of scientists across the globe volunteer to evaluate tens of thousands of academic documents and translate them into plain-English reports that policymakers can understand. [Eilperin: Massive Undertaking = Too difficult to be expected to get right]
Climate researchers say the errors do not disprove the U.N. panel’s central conclusion: Climate change is happening, and humans are causing it. [How does this square with no warming since 1995?] Some researchers said the U.N. panel’s attitude — appearing to promise that its results were infallible, and reacting slowly to evidence that they were not — could undermine the rest of its work. [What specific part of their work is correct, Juliet?]
“What’s happened here is that there’s an industry of climate-change denialists who are trying to make it seem as though you can’t trust anything that is between the covers” of the panel’s report, said Jeffrey Kargel, a professor at the University of Arizona who studies glaciers. “It’s really heartbreaking to see this happen, and to see that the IPCC left themselves open” to being attacked. [Are you a denialist if you say there’s been no warming since 1995? Is Phil Jones, then, a denialist? Are you a denialist if you say the Himalayan glaciers won’t melt by 2035? Does that make IPCC chief Rajendra Pachauri a denialist? What “industry” of denialists? Is there also an “industry” — a multi-billion dollar one at that — of alarmists?]
Kargel said he noticed an error in the report of the IPCC’s second working group, a research unit, in 2007. The report said huge glaciers in the Himalayan mountains might disappear by 2035. Some glaciers are melting, but they are too enormous to disappear that quickly: “It’s physically impossible to kill the ice that fast,” Kargel said.
He said colleagues regarded the error as too ridiculous to fuss about until recently. [FYI, the “too ridiculous” Himalayan glacier error was cited in Senate testimony or mentioned by various senators numerous times in 2009 to justify global warming as a national security issue.] Last month, the journal Science printed a letter to the editor that traced the origins of the mistaken data: The U.N. panel seemed to have quoted an activist group’s report, not a peer-reviewed study. And, in citing another source, it appeared to have committed a serious typo: The year 2350 had become 2035. [IPCC chief Pachauri new of the problem but opted to remain silent.]
Another line that has sparked scrutiny reads, “Up to 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation,” and links to a report co-written by the World Wildlife Fund. The analysis cited key work by Woods Hole Research Center senior scientist Daniel C. Nepstad, but the link to an advocacy group instead of a peer-reviewed paper infuriated conservatives. [The work was about forest fires, not climate change.]
“The underlying science is certainly there, but the citation process the IPCC went through is sloppy. [The underlying science is where? Did Eilperin bother to ask?] There’s no other word for it,” said Doug Boucher, director of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at the Union of Concerned Scientists. [UCS is an alarmist activist group. Where’s the balance?]
The IPCC did not respond to requests for comment. [Has the IPCC ever before failed to respond to a Washington Post inquiry? I bet not.]
Roger Pielke Jr., a political scientist and environmental studies professor at the University of Colorado, said that the U.N. panel could hurt its own public standing by not admitting how it exaggerated certain climate risks or connections, such as linking higher insurance payouts to rising temperatures when other factors are driving this trend. [“Could hurt”?]
“The idea that the IPCC can or should strive to be infallible is really not helpful,” Pielke said. “When errors and mistakes are inevitably found, the fall is that much further. . . . There’s a real risk that the public perception could swing [toward greater disbelief in climate science]. Even though the reality is that the science — the underlying science — hasn’t changed.” [Pielke makes a loaded comment: infallibility is an impossible standard for anyone or group. Still, the UN wants to manage the global energy supply through internationally binding carbon caps. Shouldn’t it at least make sure its claims match up with reality and are backed up by actual data and studies?]
The error about the Netherlands was in a background note in the 2007 report that said 55 percent of the country lay below sea level, but that figure included areas that were actually above sea level and prone to flooding. [Didn’t anyone in the Netherlands notice the error?]
U.N. Foundation President Timothy E. Wirth, whose nonprofit group has highlighted the work of the IPCC, said that the pirated e-mails gave “an opening” to attack climate science and that the scientific work “has to be defended just like evolution has to be defended.” [Note how Eilperin attempts to elevate climate alarmism to evolution. But Wirth is just another science-hating alarmist. He once said, “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”]
It is unclear whether the controversy will hamper passage of a bill to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which has stalled in the Senate. [Is Eilperin actually suggesting that Climategate is having no effect?] Paul W. Bledsoe, of the bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy, said that if people want to know why the “bill is having a hard time in the Senate, I would rank [concern about climate science] lower than the economy and the financial meltdown.” [The NCEP is a yet another alarmist group that favors cap-and-trade. What would you expect it to say?]
Scientists are debating whether they need to revamp the IPCC process or scrap it. The journal Nature published an opinion section Thursday in which several researchers floated ideas on how to change the U.N. panel, along with a piece written by Moss and others showing how scientists could increase collaboration across disciplines to produce more accurate climate projections more quickly. [Since none of its climate projects have been at all accurate, what does “more accurate mean?”]
And Christopher Field — co-chair of the second working group for the IPCC’s next assessment — said the panel needs to improve its fact-checking, even if it means enlisting report contributors’ students to help do the job. [Terrific, so in the future, the IPCC will be able to blame students.” BTW, how about that fact of no warming since 1995? Do we have to wait for the students to check that?]
“My goal is to produce a report that’s 100 percent error-free, to the maximum extent possible,” he said. “The fact that the IPCC runs on volunteer labor makes it a challenge, but it’s too important a challenge to ignore.” [So maybe its a good idea to wait on the policy until the IPCC can do that? Did anyone make that suggestion? Did it occur to Juliet to ask it?]
Note that this article contains NO comments from the skeptics. I know Eilperin knows who we are and I know she knows how to get a hold of us. So what’s the deal? Throw your readers a bone… or would that ruin the alarmist narrative?
Let the Washington Post ombudsman know that Juliet Eilperin has returned to her biased ways — pillow talk will do that, I guess.
New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt responded to our request to examine the propriety of Andrew Revkin’s reporting on Climategate. Not only is Revkin part of the Climategate story (he’s mentioned in the e-mails) but he clearly has a special relationship with the Climategate actors that calls into question whether he can report on them without bias.
Here’s Hoyt’s whitewash of the issue, interrupted by our comments where warranted:
December 6, 2009
The Public Editor
Stolen E-Mail, Stoking the Climate Debate
By CLARK HOYT
AS world leaders prepare to meet tomorrow in Copenhagen to address global warming, skeptics are pointing to e-mail hacked from a computer server at a British university as evidence that the conference may be much ado about nothing. They say the e-mail messages show a conspiracy among scientists to overstate human influence on the climate — and some accuse The Times of mishandling the story.
[Not to get off-topic, but there is no evidence of any hacking or theft of the e-mails. They were collected in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and were then stored on a public server — inadvertently or not. Info stored on a public server is legally available to the public.]
Although The Times was among the first to report on the e-mail, in a front-page article late last month, and has continued to write about the issue almost daily in the paper or on its Web site, readers have raised a variety of complaints:
Some say Andrew Revkin, the veteran environmental reporter who is covering what skeptics have dubbed “Climategate,” has a conflict of interest because he wrote or is mentioned in some of the e-mail messages that the University of East Anglia says were stolen. Others wondered why The Times did not make the e-mail available on its Web site, and scoffed at an explanation by Revkin in a blog post that they contain “private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye.” What about the Pentagon Papers? they asked.
Others contended that The Times was playing down a story with global implications, coming as world leaders consider a treaty to limit the amount of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere from autos, power plants and other sources.
Luis Alvarez Jr. of Charlottesville, Va., was outraged that a front-page article on President Obama’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States had not a single mention of the e-mail, in which one scientist, for example, said he had used a “trick” to “hide” a recent decline in temperatures.
Richard Murphy of Fairfield, Conn., said, “Given that the hacked e-mails cast doubt on some of the critical research that underlies the entire global warming argument, I am astounded that The Times has treated the issue in such a cavalier fashion.”
Does Revkin have a conflict of interest, as Steven Milloy, the publisher of JunkScience.com, and others contended? Why didn’t The Times put the e-mail on its Web site? And, most important, is The Times being cavalier about a story that could change our understanding of global warming? Or, as The Times’s John Broder, who covers environmental issues in Washington, put it, “When does a story rise to three-alarm coverage?”
Erica Goode, the environment editor, said that as soon as she learned that Revkin was mentioned in the scientists’ e-mail, she consulted with Philip Corbett, the standards editor. She said she read the roughly one dozen messages containing Revkin’s name and decided they showed a reporter asking for information for news articles, with “no particular close relationship with the scientists other than the fact that he knew them.” Goode and Corbett said they agreed that Revkin did not have a significant conflict and was good to go, with an acknowledgment in the article that he and other journalists were named in the e-mail.
[The-emails also showed, as mentioned by Hoyt below, that Revkin was, to some extent, a “reliable” reporter for the Climategaters. More on this point later. In large part, Climategate is all about the credibility of Revkin’s long-time sources… and to no one’s surprise, he helped give them a clean bill of health.]
I read all the messages involving Revkin, and I did not see anything to keep him off the story. If anything, there was an indication that the scientists whom some readers accused Revkin of being too cozy with were wary of his independence. One, Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, warned a colleague, Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia, to be careful what he shared with “Andy” because, “He’s not as predictable as we’d like.”
[Isn’t “not as predictable as we’d like” a giant red flag? The Climategaters, of course, would like a reporter to carry their water 100% of the time. So if Revkin was only 95% efficient for them, we can see where they would be 5% unhappy. But isn’t a reporter’s 95% pliability a problem? Has Revkin ever had a skeptical thought? ]
As for not posting the e-mail, Revkin said he should have used better language in his blog, Dot Earth, to explain the decision, which was driven by advice from a Times attorney. The lawyer, George Freeman, told me that there is a large legal distinction between government documents like the Pentagon Papers, which The Times published over the objections of the Nixon administration, and e-mail between private individuals, even if they may receive some government money for their work. He said the Constitution protects the publication of leaked government information, as long as it is newsworthy and the media did not obtain it illegally. But the purloined e-mail, he said, was covered by copyright law in the United States and Britain.
[As discussed above, the e-mail was not purloined. This paragraph, however, is simple distraction from the main issue — i.e., should Revkin have been the reporter on this story.]
I think that any notion that The Times was trying to avoid publishing the e-mail messages is a manufactured issue. On Freeman’s advice, the paper linked to them — on a skeptic’s Web site as it happens — and they were a click away for anyone who wanted to examine them.
The biggest question is what the messages amount to — an embarrassing revelation that scientists can be petty and defensive and even cheat around the edges, or a major scandal that undercuts the scientific premise for global warming. The former is a story. The latter is a huge story. And the answer is tied up in complex science that is difficult even for experts to understand, and in politics in which passionate sides have been taken, sometimes regardless of the facts.
[It’s a story that Andrew Revkin long ago made up his mind about — and that decision is evident in his Climategate reporting.]
John Tierney, a Times science columnist, explained in Science Times last week the most controversial revelation so far in the e-mail — Jones’s effort to “hide the decline” when preparing a graph for the cover of a report to be read by policy makers. The graph, showing sharply higher temperatures in the last several decades, relied in part on tree ring data, until the rings began to diverge from thermometer readings and show a decline in temperatures. Jones and his colleagues did not believe that data and removed it from the graph, substituting direct thermometer readings without explicitly acknowledging the switch.
“The story behind that graph certainly didn’t show that global warming was a hoax or a fraud, as some skeptics proclaimed,” Tierney wrote, “but it did illustrate another of their arguments: that the evidence for global warming is not as unequivocal as many scientists claim.”
[The most important revelation in the e-mails is IPCC muckety-muck Kevin Trenberth’s admission that he doesn’t understand energy flows in the atmosphere — which means that there’s no way he or anyone else can competently model the atmosphere. This is devastating.]
Revkin said last week on his blog that he was asking a variety of researchers if the e-mail changed our understanding of global warming. One, Roger Pielke Sr. of the University of Colorado, who has been critical of what he called “the climate oligarchy,” including some of the scientists involved in the e-mail, replied that it did not. Pielke has characterized some scientists in the field as inbred and wedded to their views, but he said that the temperature measurement by Jones’s group was only one of several showing a long-term warming trend, and that there was no doubt that carbon dioxide produced by humans was a major factor.
[Not precisely true. Pielke’s position is more that human activities in total are a major climate driver — not CO2 emissions alone.]
But Revkin and Tierney both told me that, after that broad understanding among scientists, there is sharp debate over how fast the earth is warming, how much human activity is contributing and how severe the impact will be.
[And just where does any of this uncertainty show up in Revkin’s articles? In Revkin’s initial Nov. 20 article about Climategate he wrote, “The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.” ]
“Our coverage, looked at in toto, has never bought the catastrophe conclusion and always aimed to examine the potential for both overstatement and understatement,” Revkin said.
[On the eve of the Waxman-Markey vote, June 26, 2009, the New York Times lead editorial stated, “We also urge them to read the scientific analysis forecasting the catastrophic costs to the planet, this country’s security and its economy if global warming is left unchecked.” “Catastrophe” is also a favorite global warming adjective of the Time‘s columnists and op-ed writers, especially Paul Krugman. Does Revkin read his own paper? Does Revkin read his own articles? I did a Nexis search and found the word “catastrophe” in dozens of his climate articles dating back to 1997.]
Goode, his editor, said: “We here at The Times are not scientists. We don’t collect the data or analyze it, and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists” and the expertise of reporters like Revkin.
[I guess it never occurred to Goode that Revkin and the Climategaters have so much personally invested in global warming hysteria that they could never walk back without great embarrassment the alarm that they’ve sown. They have no choice but to proceed with the hysteria. Moreover, the official policy of the New York Times is full-speed ahead with global warming hysteria. Every Times‘ news article and editorial/op-ed on climate is crafted to sow alarm and dismiss dissent. Goode is correct that Revkin is not a scientist — he is a climate activist masquerading as a reporter.]
So far, I think The Times has handled Climategate appropriately — a story, not a three-alarm story.
[They seem pretty upset in the UK — CRU chief Phil Jones has had to step down. Penn State has announced an investigation of Climategater Michael Mann. Sen. Inhofe has requested an congressional investigation. Obama changed his Copenhagen plans after Climategate broke. I dunno… sounds like at least a five-alarmer to me.]
The public editor can be reached by e-mail: email@example.com.
Washington Post Ombdsman Andrew Alexander responded in his weekly column to our posting last week (“Juliet Eilperin and the Saudia Arabia of Bias“) about reporter Eilperin’s conflict of interest — her husband works on global warming for the alarmist activist group Center for American Progress.
On one hand, we’re glad to see Alexander discuss the issue in his column and actually quote us, albeit anonymously — our statement, “Wouldn’t it be nice if every activist group owned its own Washington Post reporter?”, was attributed to “one [blogger].”
On the other hand, Alexander failed to explain precisely the nature of Eilperin’s journalistic sin. The problem is not simply that she is married to a global warming activist; the problem is that her articles are demonstrably biased. Post readers missed this distinction because Alexander neither gave examples (as we did) nor identified our blog, which raised the issue in the first place.
Alexander allowed Eilperin to get away with claiming that a “church-state separation” exists where her and her husband’s work overlaps. You mean, he works on climate for a major activist group and she reports on climate for a major newspaper — and they never talk about the subject? Is this realistic? Does Alexander respect the intelligence of his readers?
In any event, shouldn’t the self-proclaimed flagship paper in the world’s most powerful city hold itself to a higher standard than such self-policing? How about the standard to which Caesar supposedly held his wife, i.e., avoiding even the appearance of impropriety. Is Eilperin the only Post reporter who can use “carbon dioxide” in a sentence?
Alexander also excused Eilperin with the fact that she covered climate before she married her now-activist hubby. According to Alexander’s logic, then, since Eilperin’s reporting has always been biased, her marriage to an activist is not really relevant. We disagree. Eilperin’s marriage to an activist makes unbiased reporting from her even less likely.
Alexander then resorts to the old Washington trick of citing a “conservative” to let Eilperin off the hook. American Spectator and Washington Times‘ editorial writer Quin Hillyer “believes [Eilperin] to be ‘a very hard working journalist who tries very hard to be fair,'” wrote Alexander.
But Hillyer’s “belief” about Eilperin’s “trying hard” is as ridiculous as it is biased itself. First, Hillyer’s evidence of Eilperin’s absence of bias is her 2008 article about ethanol’s greenhouse gas emissions.
But this example only reveals Hillyer’s own unfamiliarity about ethanol and the greens, who only ever supported ethanol to mobilize farmers on the climate issue. When farmers served their purpose, the greens switched and began to oppose biofuels. The purpose of the exercise, as is often the case with green activism, was to play interests off each other and to cause public policy/economic/energy chaos that requires government intervention.
Next, Hillyer has a personal soft spot for Eilperin because, when he worked for Rep. Bob Livingston and she wrote for Roll Call, Eilperin “was always willing to listen.”
Gag us with the Sunday insert.
Comically, Alexander concludes,
It’s a close call, but I think she should stay on the beat. With her work now getting special scrutiny, it will become clear if the conflict is real.
What “close call”? Alexander’s article also excused three other Post reporters who have conflicts of interest. Maybe he meant to say, “It’s no contest” instead.
And what “special scrutiny” is he talking about? Her conflict is glaring and the Ombudsman just publicly excused her.
I’m not even sure that Alexander understands what journalistic bias is or how it can manifest itself.
In excusing Post editorial writer Ruth Marcus, who is married to the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Alexander wrote,
… she recuses herself from discussions involving FTC matters and doesn’t write about them.
Of course, not writing about the FTC — i.e., self-editing — is also a form of bias. And then there’s the larger issue of her husband being appointed to a political position by President Obama. Forget about the FTC, would Ruth Marcus ever dare criticize any part of the Obama administration?
Alexander is no doubt familiar with “buy-us” at the Post — remember the “salons” with Post reporters that were up for sale at $25,000 a pop? But he seems to need a tutorial on “bias.”
Check out John Broder’s ‘hit’ piece on EPA economist Alan Carlin in today’s New York Times. Our comments in bold.
Behind the Furor Over a Climate Change Skeptic
By JOHN M. BRODER
WASHINGTON — Alan Carlin, a 72-year-old analyst and economist, had labored in obscurity in a little-known office at the Environmental Protection Agency since the Nixon administration. [As far as Broder is concerned, Carlin may just as well not even exist.]
In June, however, he became a sudden celebrity with the surfacing of a few e-mail messages that seemed [Seemed = Didn’t really happen] to show that his contrarian [Contrarian = crazy] views on global warming had been suppressed by his superiors because they were inconvenient to the Obama administration’s climate change policy. Conservative commentators and Congressional Republicans said [Said = Lied] he had been muzzled because he did not toe the liberal line.
But a closer look at his case and a broader [ Closer and Broader = The facts Broder likes] set of internal E.P.A. documents obtained by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act paint a more complicated picture. [Complicated = Susceptible to fact-twisting]
It is true that Dr. Carlin’s supervisor refused to accept his comments on a proposed E.P.A. finding, since adopted, that greenhouse gases endangered health and the environment, and that he did so in a dismissive way. [And that’s all there really is to this story.]
But the newly obtained documents show that Dr. Carlin’s highly skeptical views on global warming, [Skepticism = Clinical insanity] which have been known for more than a decade within the small unit [Small = Obscure and insignificant] where he works, have been repeatedly challenged by scientists inside and outside the E.P.A. [And haven’t those “outside” scientists been challenged by others?]; that he holds a doctorate in economics, not in atmospheric science or climatology [What’s Al Gore’s Ph.D in? Oh yeah, he doesn’t have one.]; that he has never been assigned to work on climate change [That’s proof that Carlin doesn’t know anything.]; and that his comments on the endangerment finding were a product of rushed and at times shoddy scholarship, [Keep in mind that we’re talking about an agency that set an arbitrary deadline to declare plant food and human exhalation a hazard to the public welfare.], the EPA’s as he acknowledged Thursday in an interview. [If Carlin indeed used the word “shoddy” to describe his work, I’m sure that it was in an entirely different context than Broder’s use.]
Dr. Carlin remains on the job and free to talk to the news media, [Because the Obama administration is merciful] and since the furor his comments on the finding have been posted on the E.P.A.’s Web site [Posting = Ignoring]. Further, his supervisor, Al McGartland, also a career employee of the agency, received a reprimand in July for the way he had handled Dr. Carlin. [Clearly, in Broder’s view, McGartland should have been made a Hero of the Soviet Union while the aged crank should have been Gulag-ed.]
Dr. McGartland, also an economist, declined to comment on the matter. But top officials of the agency said his decision not to forward Dr. Carlin’s comments to the E.P.A. office that would be writing the final report had been his own and not directed by anyone higher up in the agency. [If economist Carlin is not qualified to submit comments, why would economist McGartland be qualified to reject them?]
Adora Andy, the agency’s chief spokeswoman, called the accusation that Dr. Carlin had been muzzled for political reasons “ridiculous.” [Not sure why Broder would include Andy’s unqualified comment here since it is clearly contradicted later in the article by McGartland’s actions.]
“There was no predetermined position on endangerment, and Dr. Carlin’s work was not suppressed,” Ms. Andy said in an e-mail response to questions. “This administration has always welcomed varying scientific points of view, and we received much of it over this process.” [Both statements are false. The endangerment finding was always part of their strategy for coercing Congress and business into CO2 regulation. The Carlin affair debunks the second statement.]
Dr. Carlin said he was concerned less about how he had been treated than about what he described as the agency’s unwillingness to hear the arguments [Arguments = Rantings] of climate change skeptics. He said there was an obvious “imbalance” between the billions of dollars the government had spent building a case for dangerous climate change and the lack of attention to a handful of skeptics [Skeptics = Lunatics] like him.
The affair began in March as the E.P.A. was rushing [It’s OK for the EPA to rush, but not Carlin?] to document the scientific justification for its proposed finding that emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases endangered public health and the environment. The finding was largely an updated version of a similar report, prepared last year under the Bush administration, that came to the same conclusion. But the Bush administration never acted on the research or issued an actual finding. [More Broder sleight-of-hand. Left-leaning, pro-alarmism senior EPA staff reached their conclusion under the Bush administration and, surprise, they haven’t changed their minds, but now work for a sympatico President.]
The agency’s officials were acting in March under severe time constraints to prepare the finding for the E.P.A. administrator, Lisa P. Jackson, who was planning to issue it in mid-April, fulfilling a presidential campaign pledge by Barack Obama. [These time constraints are arbitrary and self-imposed.] The finding set the stage for the government to regulate greenhouse gases for the first time, an initiative that will resonate through the economy for decades. [Interesting how Broder says that the finding “will resonate.” But, in fact, this is only a proposed rule. Or is he acknowledging that the fix is in? I thought the EPA spokeswoman said the agency was open to all points of view.]
Dr. Carlin, long known as a skeptic on global warming, was not invited to submit comments on the document. But he was determined that his views be heard. [Skeptics = Bad people. Determination = Boorishness.]
He rushed [OK for EPA, but no one else?] out a 93-page report that cited a variety of sources in raising questions about global warming and the usefulness of government action to combat it. In an accompanying e-mail message to superiors, he said the belief in global warming was “more religion than science” and warned that regulating carbon dioxide would be “the worst mistake that E.P.A. has ever made.”
Agency officials and outside experts who reviewed his report as a result of the outcry over the episode have said they found it wanting in a number of ways. It included unverified information from blog posts, they found, quoted selectively from journal articles, failed to acknowledge contradictory information and may have borrowed passages verbatim from the blog of a well-known climate change doubter. [Sounds like anonymous and ad hominem attacks to me. Is this journalism, John?]
In the interview Thursday, Dr. Carlin admitted that his report had been poorly sourced and written. [Broder implies that Carlin admitted his arguments were wrong. But Carlin is more likley referring to form, rather than to substance.] He blamed the tight deadline.
“There are numerous problems with it,” he said. “I wouldn’t dream of sending it to a journal in its current form. It is totally unacceptable for that type of thing. But it was either do it in four and a half days or don’t do it. I had to take some shortcuts.”
According to e-mail messages that were among the documents obtained this week under the Freedom of Information Act, Dr. McGartland had earlier tried to discourage Dr. Carlin from filing comments on the proposed finding and told him that whatever he submitted was not likely to affect the final report, implying that the decision had already been made. [McGartland to Carlin: “Our mind is made up. Don’t confuse us with the facts.”] After receiving Dr. Carlin’s comments, Dr. McGartland told him that he would not forward them to the office preparing the final report. [McGartland = McBureaucrat of the Year?]
“The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round,” he wrote on March 17. “The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.” [McGartland to Carlin: “It’s too late to be right.”]
A few minutes later, he instructed Dr. Carlin to “move on to other issues and subjects.” He also told Dr. Carlin not to discuss climate change with anyone outside his immediate office. [Does Komrade McGartland know that we live in America?]
The e-mail messages most embarrassing to the E.P.A. came to light in late June, when someone sympathetic to Dr. Carlin leaked them to the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative group [Conservative = Crackpot] that regularly produces [Produces= Fabricates] studies critical of research that advances a case for climate change and government actions to address it. The institute distributed the material widely, and a number of conservative commentators and Republican lawmakers seized [Seized = Made a mountain out of molehill] on it as an example of what they called Democratic suppression of science. [Everyone knows only Republicans suppress science.]
Dr. McGartland was “counseled” by his superior “to assure that professional differences are expressed in appropriate and considered ways,” according to one of the newly released documents. [Expressed = Suppressed]
Dr. Carlin said he and Dr. McGartland had not spoken to each other since June. [The silent treatment doesn’t sound like workplace retribution to me. I’m sure all EPA employees are now eager to be candid about their views.]
In its article “Fossil-energy interests contribute heavily to GOP in climate fight” (July 22), Greenwire reports that,
Oil companies, electric utilities and the coal industry have poured more than $250,000 this year into the coffers of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s House fundraising arm that has played a lead role in attacking Democrats who supported climate legislation.
Gee… I wonder how much Al Gore, his partners at Kleiner-Perkins and Generation Investment Management, Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street firms, General Electric and all the USCAP companies, the wind, solar and biofuels industries, and all the other climate/energy rentseekers have “poured” into the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee — or is that not worth reporting, Greenwire?
Just because the Washington Post‘s sponsored salon concept failed to launch doesn’t mean that pay-to-play journalism is dead at the newspaper.
Sunday’s Outlook section, the opinion/book review section of the newspaper, features three front-page articles which, essentially, are advocacy pieces for increased funding of NASA.
In addition to the self-explanatory “Let’s Reach for the Stars Again” and “Return to the Heavens, for the Sake of the Earth,” Outlook’s front-page spotlights a book review (“We Used to Call Them Space Cowboys“) that concludes by observing that manned space exploration “was the kind of thing that great nations do.”
Inside the Outlook section is another article touting robots in space (“Robots With the Right Stuff“), a piece taunting Americans with the notion that a living hot-air balloon like Richard Branson may out-compete NASA (“Rocketing Past NASA“) and a final article (“You’re Not the Center of the Universe, You Know“) opining that we can overcome our “infinitesimal place” in space by being clever enough to figure out the universe’s master plan.
You may agree or disagree with articles’ general implication — that U.S. taxpayers should step-up funding of space exploration — but what’s more interesting is that the Outlook section this week seems to have been sponsored by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, federal contractors that would no doubt like to nurse off the taxpayers via NASA contracts.
Both Lockheed Martin and Boeing took out full-page advertisements in the Outlook sections — which probably cost about $125,000 each.
So has the Post replaced the aborted $250,000 salons with $250,000 worth of advertising for pro-whatever articles in the Outlook section? Will the Outlook section next feature a series of pro-climate bill articles accompanied by full-page ads from climate bill rentseekers like Exelon, General Electric, Goldman Sachs and others?
Hey Washington Post ombudsman, inquiring minds want to know.