Wall St. Journal Shows Why It Is Under Attack For Climate Science Denial By Publishing Another Dodgy Column

The Wall Street Journal has been spiced up substantially recently thanks to a series of adverts on its own pages attacking the paper’s slanted coverage on climate science.

The Washington Post has reported on the background to the advertisements and the group running them — the Partnership for Responsible Growth (PRG).

But basically, it goes like this.  PRG analysed a couple of decades of content from the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper and found it stunningly out of step with mainstream science, while being remarkably in step with the talking points of fossil fueled climate denialist think tanks and the views of Murdoch himself.

PRG analysed 201 WSJ editorials going back to 1997 and found not a single one of them acknowledged that fossil fuels cause climate change. This is like writing a couple of hundred articles on lung cancer without ever mentioning cigarettes.

The story was largely the same when PRG looked at columns and op-eds published by the paper.  Of the 279 op-eds published since 1995, just 40 reflect mainstream climate science, or 14 per cent. Of 122 columns published since 1997, only three per cent accepted as fact that fossil fuels cause climate change, or endorsed a policy to cut emissions.

All up, of the 602 op-eds, columns and editorials published since 1995, just 44 “treat fossil fuel-driven climate change as a reality”, the analysis found.

So-Called Skeptics Clinging To Slippery Strands Of Climate Science Denial

This a guest post by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, of the University of Western Australia.

THE guy next to you in the pub turns around and says, “Popcorn doesn’t exist”… and he adds, “but it grows naturally on trees! And it’s good for you!”

Popcorn doesn’t exist but grows naturally on trees and is good for you? Would you entrust that fellow with the lives of your children if their future depended on logical coherence? No. No one would place any confidence in such incoherence.

Sadly, the public in some countries - in particular in Australia and the U.S. - is drenched in such incoherence in the form of climate denial. This incoherence often goes undetected.

To see why, it is helpful to analyze those messages from purported “skeptics” in some detail. For example, earlier this week on the same day that Australia’s only national broadsheet, the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian, received an adjudication by the Press Council against them for likening wind energy to pedophilia - yes, they really did say that - the paper also ran a piece that proclaimed future global warming to be minimal and beneficial to the planet.

Yes they really did say that, by dutifully reprinting a piece that ran in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal the day before. Is there any truth to this comforting news?

No. To see why, it is helpful to survey the three major strands of climate denial.

Australian Meteorology Bureau Corrects Record On Former Research Head William Kininmonth's Actual Climate Change Experience

WHEN it comes to climate change science, as with most things in life, it pays to listen to actual experts with a solid background in their field.

On Monday the Wall Street Journal and, later, The Australian newspaper, ran an editorial from a group of climate science contrarians which claimed global warming had stopped and that CO2 was food for plants, rather than a potential pollutant. 
In a scathing response in the WSJ, also published by The Australian, 38 genuine climate change scientists, explained the original WSJ 16 were “the climate-science equivalent of dentists practising cardiology.”
“While accomplished,” the response explained, “most of its authors have no expertise in climate science. The few who have are known to hold extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert.”
The group also debunked the misleading notion that global warming had stopped. “Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade,'' the group wrote. “In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally that our planet is getting hotter.”
Several journalists and bloggers, including Media Matters, have also investigated the expertise of the signatories to the original op-ed, which included members of free market think-tanks, climate science denial organisations and even a former researcher for Exxon.
One of the WSJ 16 in question, did appear on paper though to have some solid experience on his CV. William Kininmonth, a long-time sceptic of human caused climate change, was described in the WSJ editorial as the “former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology”.

WSJ a DeSmog fan? Sure looks that way

Check out the new Wall Street Journal's Energy blog. Why am I telling you this? Because it looks like they're fans of ours.

And it might surprise some to know that DeSmog is a big fan of the great journalists at the WSJ. It's the narrow-minded editorial staff we have issues with.

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