Industry "think" tank cherry-picks to prove point

Mon, 2006-12-11 10:51Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

Industry "think" tank cherry-picks to prove point

Here is a great example of spin, this time by the oil-money backed Media Research Centre and it's affiliated group “NewsBusters.” The goal of the intrepid team at Newsbusters is to “expose and combat liberal media bias.” Well, here's a little bias from News Busters themselves.

According to a recent UK Telegraph story, an upcoming report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will claim that “mankind has less of an affect on global warming than previously supposed.” A leading UK climate scientist explains that this downgrade is a refinement simply “due to better data on how the climate works rather than a reduction in the risk posed by global warming.”

The Telegraph story then goes on at length, here are some of the quotes:

“The bottom line is that the climate is still warming while our greenhouse gas emissions have accelerated, so we are storing up problems for ourselves in the future.”

“… the panel reports that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has accelerated in the past five years. It also predicts that temperatures will rise by up to 4.5 C during the next 100 years, bringing more frequent heat waves and storms.

“It [the new report] warns that carbon dioxide emissions have risen during the past five years by three per cent, well above the 0.4 per cent a year average of the previous two decades.”

“Britain can expect more storms of similar ferocity to those that wreaked havoc across the country last week, even bringing a tornado to north-west London.”

“The report paints a bleak picture for future generations unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. It predicts that the climate will warm by 0.2 C a decade for the next two decades if emissions continue at current levels.”

Sound pretty grim? Not to Newsbusters , the battlers of “bias.” They cherry-pick the “downgrade” quote, ignore the rest of the article and then use it as some strange vindication for climate change “skeptics” like Senator James “global warming is a hoax” Inhofe. Maybe when NewsBusters means “combating bias,” they really meant to say “confusing bias.” Here's Inhofe's news release on the Telegraph story that pretty much follows the same tact.

Watch for more and more so-called “skeptics” to pop up and tout the Telegraph article as vindication for their fringe science beliefs.

ThinkProgress takes a cut at this story as well.  

[x]

A worldwide transition to low carbon fuels could save the global economy as much as $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, according to two reports published Thursday by the Climate Policy Initiative.

By switching to renewable energy sources, the high costs associated with extracting and transporting coal and gas could be avoided, the reports, titled Moving to a Low Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon...

read more