Canwest News Service cuts full-time Environment beat reporter position

UPDATE: word on the street is that Canwest reporter Juliet O’Neill will now be covering off environment reporting for the CanWest chain, while at the same time covering the goings-on of the two main national political parties, the Liberals and the NDP, as well Heritage Canada and issues affecting Alberta.

I am hearing rumors today that the largest news outlet in Canada, Canwest News Service has cut out its full time environment beat reporter position. This, despite opinion polls finding that environmental issues remain the second biggest concern for the Canadian public.

I have calls and emails into contacts at Canwest. Will let you know when I hear more.

A troubling trend in Global Warming Denial on the internet

Our 2008 analysis of global warming misinformation finds that there was a very significant upswing in online activity.

This trend should be troubling to US policymakers and campaigners wanting to implement new greenhouse gas reduction strategies.

Here’s the stats we’ve generated as evidence of our conclusions (click any of the images to enlarge):

“Global Warming” + hoax

A Google blog search for the term “global warming” + hoax between January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009 reports 49,719 page results. The same search for the previous year reports only 22,077 page results.

American Meteorological Society gives top honors to Dr. James E. Hansen

NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen has been chosen by his peers to receive the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Meteorological Society (AMS).

Jim Hansen is performing a tremendous job at communicating our science to the public and, more importantly, to policymakers and decision-makers,” said Franco Einaudi, director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

“The debate about global change is often emotional and controversial, and Jim has had the courage to stand up and say what others did not want to hear,” Einaudi added. “He has acquired a credibility that very few scientists have. His success is due in part to his personality, in part to his scientific achievements, and in part to his refusing to sit on the sidelines of the debate.”

As Andrew Revkin notes on his DotEarth Blog:

“Whatever one thinks of James E. Hansen’s mix of climate science and policy advocacy (just explore comments here for a cross-section of views), it’s hard not to take note when the country’s largest organization of weather specialists, the American Meteorological Society, gives this veteran climatologist its top honor.”

Secret 2007 Aussie Defence report warns of climate conflict

The Syndey Morning Herald has obtained the summary of an Australian Defence Department report titled: Climate Change, The Environment, Resources And Conflict.

The 2007 report states that:

“Environmental stress, caused by both climate change and a range of other factors, will act as a threat multiplier in fragile states around the world, increasing the chances of state failure. This is likely to increase demands for the ADF to be deployed on additional stabilisation, post-conflict reconstruction and disaster relief operations in the future.”

A similar report was released by a blue-ribbon panel of 11 of the most senior retired U.S. admirals and generals in 2007, which concluded that:

“Global climate change presents a serious national security threat that could affect Americans at home, impact U.S. military operations, and heighten global tensions”

You can download a full copy of the US report here: National Security and the threat of Climate Change (PDF).

We’ve contacted the Sydney Herald for a copy of the Autsralian Defense report that they obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. If we get a copy we’llmake it available on DeSmogBlog for download.

Does Sterling Burnett actually believe what he says about global warming?

UPDATE: NASA has released it’s 2008 temperature data finding that last year was the ninth warmest year since 1880.

Sterling Burnett, a “senior fellow” at the oil industry friendly National Center for Policy Analysis is claiming in a release today that global warming is a hoax because it is cold in Minnesota this winter. Really?

If only Burnett were right, we could move on and forget about this whole global warming thing. Unfortunately, Burnett is way off base which is no surprise considering this is the same Fox News pundit that compared Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth to Nazi war-time propaganda. It looks like Burnett has a penchant for making grandiose claims, most likely because they get him facetime on Fox News.

Burnett and the NCPA’s press release today declaring that “global warming is likely not a result of man-made activities” conveniently omits two key facts that seriously bring into question Burnett’s understanding of the basics:

1. Climate versus weather: the Nobel prize-winning climate scientist Dr. Andrew Weaver recently opined in a news article that, “Every time there is a freaking snowfall, it seems like everybody is going, ‘What’s going on?’ It’s frustrating as a climate scientist.”’

It’s frustrating for Weaver because people (i.e. Sterling Burnett) get climate and weather confused. In the article “Snowstorms don’t mean climate change threat has passed” Weaver describes weather as “what is here and now, like the sun shining or rain falling. Climate, on the other hand, is more long-term.”

Weaver explained climate change as a “shift in the distribution of the likelihood of the occurrence of weather events towards the warm”. He continued, “What that means is it doesn’t mean that it will never be cold; it means that the likelihood of it being cold diminishes with time, and the likelihood of it being extremely warm increases with time.”

You would think that someone like Sterling Burnett, who goes around touting himself as a “leading authority” would understand something so fundamental as the difference between weather and climate.

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