Lorne Gunter: Incompetent or Lying? Either Way, Worth Firing

Fri, 2008-07-25 15:06Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Lorne Gunter: Incompetent or Lying? Either Way, Worth Firing

An earlier post of the errors/misrepresentations in a recent Lorne Gunter column in the National Post has attracted a host of comments and a few that further debunk Gunter’s passionately inaccurate talking points.

DeSmog reader Dave Clark, for example, offers this:

Yet another whopper from Gunter:

“Snow coverage in North America this winter was greater than at any time in recorded history.”

In fact, (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) the 2008 January coverage at 17.0 million square kilometers was identical to the average for that month from 1973-2008. Years having equal or greater January snow coverage include every year from 1974-1985, except the marginally lower years of 1976 and 1980.

An earlier post of the errors/misrepresentations in a recent Lorne Gunter column in the National Post has attracted a host of comments and a few that further debunk Gunter’s passionately inaccurate talking points.

DeSmog reader Dave Clark, for example, offers this:

Yet another whopper from Gunter:

“Snow coverage in North America this winter was greater than at any time in recorded history.”

In fact, (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) the 2008 January coverage at 17.0 million square kilometers was identical to the average for that month from 1973-2008. Years having equal or greater January snow coverage include every year from 1974-1985, except the marginally lower years of 1976 and 1980.

So, Gunter says that Al Gore is “calling on his country to abandon all fossil fuels within 10 years.”

That’s not true. Gore challenged the U.S.to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewable energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years.

Gunter says that “worldwide, there are nearly half as many glaciers advancing as retreating.”

That’s not true. Gunter’s own reference source says, “Climate change is causing roughly 90% of the world’s mountain glaciers to shrink.”

Gunter says, “Greenland isn’t melting.”

That’s not true. This NASA report - the most recent available - shows “that 2007 marked an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet and, remarkably, melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average.”

Gunter says, “Snow coverage in North America this winter was greater than at any time in recorded history.”

Per the comment and impeccable scientific source above: THAT’S NOT TRUE.

More than 50 per cent of Canadians believe that there is still a legitimate scientific debate about whether human activities are causing climate change. That’s not true and hasn’t been for a long time, but you can hardly blame Canadians for being confused; when journalists (and journals) of record have this much contempt for science, truth and their unsuspecting readers, it’s completely to be expected.

Somebody should sack this character and should start insisting that his paper (and all the papers in the CanWest Global conglomerate) carry stories that are, well, true from now on. 


For more on the who’s who of the climate denial industry, check out our comprehensive climate deniers research database.

 

Comments

Gutner is spreading outright, boldface lies. If he was any kind of journalist he would be ensuring that what he says is truthful. Journalists are bearers of truth and we rely on them to deliver news about what’s going on the world as we go about our busy lives.

He shouldn’t just be fired, he should be put in jail for spreading lives that put every one of us and our children at risk.

It’s no wonder none of us believe newspapers anymore.

At the least Gutner is serving to make his own profession less credible than it already is.

Do the newpapers actual pay money to Gutner for his disservice?

= He shouldn’t just be fired, he should be put in jail for spreading lives that put every one of us and our children at risk. = Jason Elliot

You tell’em Jason. :P

I hate to defend Lorne Gunter but I will comment on one of his points:

“Snow coverage in North America this winter was greater than at any time in recorded history.”

Gunter was referring on the whole winter season, not just the month of January. What about the months of February, March and April?

According to the NOAA, numerous areas of the country set snowfall records during the months of March and April.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2007/snow0708.html

So how did North America and/or the Northern Hemisphere fare for snowfall this winter? Anyone with some good data?

I’d like to know what snowfall records have got to do with AGW. Variations in precipitation matter only insofar as it is a predicted outcome of AGW. Record snowfall doesn’t mean it isn’t warming. In fact, it can be a sign that the temperatures were higher than normal, as it can be too cold to snow. At -40C you aren’t going to get a blizzard, just ice fog.

I am waiting to hear about the temperature values over the past winter in Ottawa, where we came very close to beating the record snowfall. I will bet my next month’s mortgage payment that the winter was warmer than usual. The ground didn’t even freeze properly.

Fern Mackenzie

Temperatures were higher than average, Fern, but I don’t have recorded data for you. Warmer temperatures mean less ice cover over waterways, and water evaporates more than ice will into the air. Warmer air also holds more moisture … hence a greater snowfall.

This is one my favourite “facts”, because it really shows that Gunter is clueless:

“And while global temperatures increased slightly in June, through the end of May, the nine-month decline in temperatures beginning in September was greater (0.8C) than all the warming of the 20th century (0.6C).”

First of all, of course, fluctuations from normal within a year have little relationship with the long-term trend. If you look at recent monthly data from NASA, you’ll see fluctuations within each calendar year. For example, this year, January, a relatively cool month, was .35 deg C above the baseline, while March was .72 deg C, a whopping .4 deg “increase” in only two months! But the real point, of course, is that these fluctuations, whether up or down, are occurring on top of an undeniable long-term upward trend. After all, all recent months are *above* the long term average, although some more than others.

Now, January, 2008 was a relatively cool month. In fact,you have to go all the way back (wait for it!) to January 2000 to find a colder January. That, too, was a La Nina year, by the way. But before 1990, there are hardly any January figures that *aren’t* cooler than last Jabuary.

So a nine-month decline wouldn’t mean much anyway. But where did it come from? The NASA GISS data only shows a .3 deg difference between August, 2007 and last May. Another mystery in the addled, topsy-turvy imagination of Lorne Gunter.

NASA Discovers 70% Of Global Climate Due To Pacific Ocean Oscillations - Not CO2

Wonder where we have heard that before? http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/5693

Lets see now, so far:
That’s 70% from PDO
~50% from cleaner Air
~30% from livestock
~20% from solar variation
~20% instrument error
So 190% natural causes….. hmmmm
CO2 is looking a bit wimpy these days.

…and you know it gary.
Don’t come back until you’ve got something worthwhile.

Prove it.
And don’t come back until you can.

And for the intelligent ones among you:

This is really interesting;
Power and fuel from Algae reactors. http://cc.pubco.net/www.valcent.net/i/misc/Vertigro/index.html

How about you prove your garbage?

I am not the one trying to make people believe that a harmless trace gas (plant food) is going to destroy our world. (AGW)
I am not the one fudging the numbers to make it appear that the world is still warming. (GISS)
I am not the one trying to impose taxes to control social behavior in the name of a poorly supported hypothesis. (cap and trade)
I am not the one making millions of dollars by milking the weak minded. (Carbon Offset Credits)
I am not the one trying to rewrite history to make our current small warm optimum period into something unprecedented. (Michael Mann, Al Gore)

I could go on but you get the point.

both of you grow up!

I am not the one trying to make people believe that a harmless trace gas (plant food) is going to destroy our world. (AGW)
1) It’s only harmless in low concentrations. It’s downright toxic at higher ones. That’s why submarines and spacecraft have atmosphere scrubbers – surely, at the very least, you’ve seen Apollo 13?
2) It’s plant ‘food’ (for a given definition of ‘food’), yes – but more of it will only equate to more plant growth if and only if it’s the constraining resource (Law of the Minimum). Turns out, it isn’t.
3) AGW doesn’t say CO2 will destroy the world. It says it’ll dramatically and irreversibly change our ecosystem. The PLANET is fine. The planet AS WE KNOW IT isn’t. There’s a difference.

I am not the one fudging the numbers to make it appear that the world is still warming. (GISS)
Doesn’t explain why HadCRU shows comparable warming, or why satellites – even those run by Christy and Spencer – show comparable warming. So, either GISS isn’t wrong (the adjustments, by the way, are well-documented) or all of them, including denialists, are involved in a warmist conspiracy.

I am not the one trying to impose taxes to control social behavior in the name of a poorly supported hypothesis. (cap and trade)
Poorly supported enough to have endured a century of peer-reviewed research without being overturned, sure.
And if you equate cap-and-trade with taxation, then your understanding of economics (or, to be fair, just these two vastly different approaches) is as bad as your understanding of science.

I am not the one making millions of dollars by milking the weak minded. (Carbon Offset Credits)
Funny, you could replace “carbon offset credits” with “the denial playbook borrowed from big tobacco” and you’d get a true statement.

I am not the one trying to rewrite history to make our current small warm optimum period into something unprecedented. (Michael Mann, Al Gore)
Got evidence that it happened this quickly before?
Especially because Mann’s research is supported by several other studies unconnected to him or bristlecones?
All of those are summarized in the IPCC report, but since denialists insist “the IPCC removed the hockey stick”, it’s evident they didn’t see it:
http://www.aip.org/history/climate/xmillenia.htm
They didn’t remove it – they brought in the whole team.

Gary, I’m beginning to wonder if you got all of your information from Milloy here. Where’s the research to back your claims?

1) It’s only harmless in low concentrations. Anything below 5000ppm
2) It’s plant ‘food’
And is already improving Crop yields
3) AGW doesn’t say CO2 will destroy the world.
Pure Porpoganda. No proof or support.

So, either GISS isn’t wrong
It is. There are many recent comparrisons showing Hansens Bias. Few people Cite them anymore because it is getting embarrasing.
None of the others show current warming.

And if you equate cap-and-trade with taxation, then your understanding of economics
Cap & trade isjust one form of taxation, Pure Carbon tax is the other. Neither will affect climate. Both will transfer wealth.

(Carbon Offset Credits)
Please don’t even try to defend this obvious Rip off Scam.

(Michael Mann, Al Gore)
Got evidence that it happened this quickly before?1910 to 1940 for one.

Especially because Mann’s
Mann’s Graph is the most thourghly discredited bit of garbage in the history of AGW. The Evidence so easy to look up, only someone that does not want to find it could miss it.
IPCC did remove the original. The simply altered the time scale to begin after the LIA to not be so embarrasing.
The Evidence for all of the above is readily available to anyone within minutes on Google.
Don’t take my souces, find your own. Then you can’t pull the usual AGW spin and say it was a bad source.

What sources, Gary? You just make up any old garbage.

What specifically were you not able to find?
It is all readily available.
International mining standard for safe CO2 level.
Any chart of global crop output.
GISS? http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/05/21/
Recent increases.- see any chart of 20th century.
Carbon Offsets- Please…
Mann’s Hockey Stick…. OHHHH PLEASE!!! tooo obvious.

Any One of these takes seconds to pull up on Google.

Gary said: “2) It’s plant ‘food’ And is already improving Crop yields”; “Any chart of global crop output.”

Not quite correct Gary. Yes, world production may be going up but that is not the most important factor. Crop yield (i.e. tonnes per acre) is a much better parameter to follow. This has been going down in the US (corn and soy beans) for the past 20 years. Most likely due to higher temperatures but do not rule out the possibility that it may be due, in part, to higher CO2 levels as well.

“We conclude that gradual temperature changes have had a measurable impact on crop yield trends. The slope of regression (ry) indicates a roughly 17% relative decrease in both corn and soybean yield for each degree increase in growing season temperature. Previous modeling studies predict changes of similar magnitude for a 3° temperature increase, suggesting that the observed sensitivity is higher than previously expected (6)”.

Climate and Management Contributions to Recent Trends in U.S. Agricultural Yields. David B. Lobell and Gregory P. Asner; Science 14 February 2003, Vol. 299, p. 1032

Other reports show the same thing with rice in Asia.

The only reason total yields have gone up, and it is only in the past year or so, is that much more land has been devoted to their culture due to the recent spike in prices.

Gary, if you are going to make outlandish claims, at least do some research first, it will save embarrassing your self.

Ian Forrester

Since your arguments are all highly debatable and several studies show just the oposite as usual.
Cherry pick all you want. CO2 is still plant food and on the whole Beneficial to the world food production effort.

Just did what you suggested. You are the one who can’t provide any sources for your wrong information.

Get a life and quit supporting those who are putting the future of the Earth as we know it in danger. It shows how arrogant and selfish you are.

Ian Forrester

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3354#more-3354

Good news for Desmoggers worried about atmospehric CO2 levels:

Testimony of Roy W. Spencer Before the US Senate EPW Committee: Latest Research on Climate Sensitivity to CO2

Excerpts: Regarding the currently popular theory that mankind is responsible for global warming, I am very pleased to deliver good news from the front lines of climate change research. Our latest research results, which I am about to describe, could have an enormous impact on policy decisions regarding greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite decades of persistent uncertainty over how sensitive the climate system is to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, we now have new satellite evidence which strongly suggests that the climate system is much less sensitive than is claimed by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Another way of saying this is that the real climate system appears to be dominated by “negative feedbacks” – instead of the “positive feedbacks” which are displayed by all twenty computerized climate models utilized by the IPCC. (Feedback parameters larger than 3.3 Watts per square meter per degree Kelvin (Wm-2K-1) indicate negative feedback, while feedback parameters smaller than 3.3 indicate positive feedback.)

If true, an insensitive climate system would mean that we have little to worry about in the way of manmade global warming and associated climate change. And, as we will see, it would also mean that the warming we have experienced in the last 100 years is mostly natural. Of course, if climate change is mostly natural then it is largely out of our control, and is likely to end – if it has not ended already, since satellite-measured global temperatures have not warmed for at least seven years now.

Realclimate on Roy Spencer:

http://tinyurl.com/3h4qy5

“…Roy does have a handful of peer-reviewed publications, some of which have quite decent and interesting results in them. However, the thing you have to understand is that what he gets through peer-review is far less threatening to the mainstream picture of anthropogenic global warming than you’d think from the spin he puts on it in press releases, presentations and the blogosphere…”

Testimony before the US Senate is not peer-reviewed.

Agreed Spencer is at least a scientist, and a climatologist. I can respect his journal publications on the topic, that is what scientific debate is about, his other comments tend to be a bit more silly but at least he is for real. However, that same cannot be said about the countless numbers who claim to be experts but have little (like 1 in the last 30 years not to name names) to no publications at all on climate, many of whom get outed on the posts here.

Is James Hanson’s testimony before the US Congress peer reviewed?
IS Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth”, peer reviewed?

Are sean’s comments peer reviewed?

Given that AIT is not a scientific study, but is based on many of them and speaks to the general public, it does pass muster:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/al-gores-movie/

Despite a couple of scientific errors, “Gore gets the science right, just as he did in Earth in the Balance”. Consider this the inverse of the “Swindle” show, which gets a few points correct but misrepresents everything else.

Prof. John Brignell at http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/2008%20July.htm#refereeing has an interersting take on peer reviews and how it has become corrupted. It includes this bit on the IPCC:

“The creation of the UN IPCC was a cataclysmic event in the history of science. Here was a purely political body posing as a scientific institution. Through the power of patronage it rapidly attracted acolytes. Peer review soon rapidly evolved from the old style refereeing to a much more sinister imposition of The Censorship. As Wegman demonstrated, new circles of like-minded propagandists formed, acting as judge and jury for each other. Above all, they acted in concert to keep out alien and hostile opinion.

‘Peer review’ developed into a mantra that was picked up by political activists who clearly had no idea of the procedures of science or its learned societies. It became an imprimatur of political acceptability, whose absence was equivalent to placement on the proscribed list.

As global warming alarmism stumbles inevitably towards the later stages of Langmuir’s Laws, its defenders have become increasingly shrill. The pressure on science, both from external politicians and internal quislings, has become intense.

The question of whether science can ever recover its innocence is moot. After life as a harlot on the mean streets of political imperative, a return to the sanctity of the cloister looks out of the question. If so, humanity has forever lost a bright jewel in its culture.”

Science as a harlot? It’s the denialists who lie and cheat for money and/or out of stupidity.

Wiki about Brignell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Brignell

He’s a hoser. Always has been. Some people simply make careers out of devil-advocacy, but he’s always been a real piece of work.

Pretty much all media needs weeding and is due for some kind of severe comeuppance, and I can think of no better candidate than Gunter for beginning the process. Turf him!

Lorne is part of a groupthink structure called Civitas.

http://thetyee.ca/Mediacheck/2005/11/29/HarperBush/

A network is already in place to assist Harper in foisting his radical agenda on the Canadian people.

In 2003, he delivered an important address to a group called Civitas. This secretive organization, which has no web site and leaves little paper or electronic trail, is a network of Canadian neoconservative and libertarian academics, politicians, journalists and think tank propagandists.

Harper’s adviser Tom Flanagan is an active member. Conservative MP Jason Kenney is a member, as are Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Michel Kelly-Gagnon of the Montreal Economic Institute, the second and third most important right-wing think tanks after the Fraser Institute.

Civitas is top-heavy with journalists to promote the cause. Lorne Gunter of the National Post is president. Members include Janet Jackson (Calgary Sun) and Danielle Smith (Calgary Herald). Journalists Colby Cosh, William Watson and Andrew Coyne (all National Post) have made presentations to Civitas.

I thought that this was a blog related to climate.

You shouldn’t drop your political drawers in public, AARONB.

The National Post has always employed hacks. It’s a lot like the Bush administration: ideology matters–competence not so much. There are no real standards on the opinion side of some newspapers. The Post is the most glaring example I’ve seen.

Read the Globe sometime Rod, they publish more then their share of left wing idiots; Salutin and Stanford being two that come to mind.

Spencer’s paper will of course be attacked by the cult and the multibillion dollar AGW industry because it marks the beginning of the end and they know it.
The hype will get more and more shrill and ridiculous as they try in vain to salvage reputations and investments.

Of course it won’t work and they will all mysteriously vanish out of embarrassment.

Note the level of hyperbole in these comments. “Shrill and ridiculous” describes them pretty well. Gary must have studied under Lorrie Goldstein.

“beginnings of the end” and “final nails in the coffin” of AGW have there been now, Gary?

You’re always good for a laugh, at least.

I would say “get used to it”
Before 2007, few people had heard of or cared about AGW.
In 2007, Al Gore and the IPCC saw the writing on the wall and pulled out all the stops in an attempt to get their changes in the works before the truth got out.
They over played it to the point that people began to take an interest and finally started to read and learn about what was behind it.
In 2008 the real story is emerging.
2008 is marked as the year that AGW died.
History will record it as the end of a myth based era when the massed actually began to look at science and stopped listening to environmentalists.
In the nest decade, environmentalists will be reduced to carnie status.

I admire Lorie Goldstein to having the backbone to speak out against the AGW scam in a very hostile politically correct world where deviation from doctrine can be career limiting.
Roy Spencer even more, since he has more to lose.
AGW is absolutely the best tool the lefties have ever had and they will guard it with what ever it takes to the bitter end.

‘warmers’ of ‘dropping their political drawers in public?’

News Flash: for deniers it is all about and only about politics.

None of it is about the science, that’s for sure.

Time for another remedial reading class, Exusian. I didn’t “accuse” warmists or anybody else of anything. I merely noted that AARONB had written a lengthy left-wing political diatribe with no relation whatever to climate.

However, since we’re on the subject, I find it odd that most warmists posting here (Steve is one happy exception) are wild-eyed leftists in the ’60s mold. The same mindset that saved the snail darters and almost killed the U.S. nuclear industry seems to be at work here. i.e. it’s not so much climate change (about which most of you have only a vague understanding) as anti-humanistic disdain for modern high-tech society that drives you.

ZOG, you are one deplorable and disgusting person with your personal insults to people who show everyday day by what they do and say that they are far superior to you.

Why not try and be civil once in your life, you can be a big boy by letting us know who you are, maybe you do something useful that we can see. Otherwise you are just an ignorant ant disgusting troll.

Ian Forrester

Yeh, sure, identify myself, when I live in the same city as a Neanderthal gun nut whose idea of winning the minds of people who think that he is a mindless $hit disturber is “attack, attack, attack.”

BTW, I didn’t see any relevance of your spewing to the post to which you were apparently referring.

Hey, Knuckledragger, how’s the biotech business? Maybe you should lick your wounds and concentrate on some sort of honest work. That might even sweeten you nasty disposition.

Are you Exusian’s Daddy or something? I think that, if he is so inclined, he is probably capable of responding to my post.

We see a pattern. Are ZOG’s real initials L.G.?

You are one sad excuse for a human being. You hide behind a wall of anonymity and hurl defamatory insults to anyone who challenges your level of educational advancement and knowledge. You should be banned from this site till you stop your libelous and defamatory insults.

Are you afraid your mother or neighbours or co-workers find our what a worthless piece of pond scum you are?

You are selfish and uncaring for the rest of humanity with your continual unsupported venomous attacks on AGW and science in general.

Do us all a favour and get lost.

Ian Forrester

How does one go about “defaming” anyone with your colossal level of arrogance and ignorance?

You and your foul vocabulary should have been banned months ago but haven’t been because you are a brainwashed believer and therefore welcome on DeSmog, without reservation.

Now shuffle back into your cave and dream dreams of your own significance.

You are an ignorant and disgusting person, I don’t know why DeSmogBlog allows you to post your disgusting filth.

You should be banned along with the other trolls who provide nothing of substance only lies, insults and defaming remarks to the honest posters who try and discuss AGW in a rational manner.

I’m sure the quality of the discussions would greatly improve if the trolls were banned.

Ian Forrester

Getting a little frustrated because Glo-BULL Warming isn’t going the way you want any more?
You seem … Irritable.
Try some Fiber.
It may also help push through some of that BS as well.

Your mama? Your bigger mama?

This string has really deteriorated, you guys. I think it’s adequately on the record that we all have a low opinion of one another, but gosh it’s nice when an actual argument breaks out.

Can we park the casual invective and get back to making points - perhaps adding information or criticizing actual content?

Since there is no good science t support the AGW hypotheses, it really does come down to politics.
The IPCC, a Political body formed by the people that gave is the oil for food scam, began their agenda with the stated goal of achieving social change.
If that is not politics, nothing is.

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