New York Times pegs global warming as top environmental issue

Tue, 2008-01-01 12:10Bill Miller
Bill Miller's picture

New York Times pegs global warming as top environmental issue

The warming of the planet is the overriding environmental issue of our time, with former vice-president Al Gore playing a crucial role in raising public awareness. Although the appetite for decisive action is growing – except at the White House – the U.S. is still a long way from a comprehensive response to the challenge.

Several Democratic hopefuls in this year’s presidential campaign are stepping up to the plate, but most Republicans are still dithering.

The Times has thrown down the gauntlet in 2008 by identifying climate change as the top environmental issue, citing numerous examples showing just about everybody but the Bush Administration wants to take action.

Polls say voters are alarmed, governors in some two dozen states are sprinting past the White House by agreeing among themselves to lower carbon gases, federal courts have ordered the executive branch to begin regulating these gases, and the Senate has undertaken a bipartisan bill to slash emissions by nearly 65 percent by 2050.

Sensing momentum afoot, Democratic hopefuls have offered aggressive plans that would go beyond the Senate bill and reduce emissions by 80 percent by mid-century; one has even called for a 90-percent cut. Republicans, in contrast, have offered little in the way of a plan to address global warming. One exception is Arizona Senator John McCain.

Ironically, the League of Conservation Voters found in a study that as of two weeks ago, the five main political talk-show hosts had collectively asked 2,275 questions of candidates in both parties, but only 24 questions even touched on climate change.

So the media isn’t doing its job by casting the spotlight on the issue. Even the Times fell down in its editorial, which wrapped up by stressing the need to fully understand the cost of the new efficiencies and technologies required to reign in emissions.

What about the cost of doing nothing?

Comments

"So the media isn’t doing its job by casting the spotlight on the issue."

Remember the good old days, when the popularly held belief was that the job of the news media was simply to report the news?

But, then, Mr. Miller is referring to The New York Times -- the newspaper which nurtured the delicate talents of such journalistic greats as Walter Duranty and Jayson Blair -- a paper where every page is the op-ed page.

What sad times we live in, when such a tendencious, political agenda-driven paper is so cruelly rejected by the peasant masses!

http://tinyurl.com/2xegm7

Heh. The wiggly green line says it all.

Rob, what is news? After all, we had some rain at my place today -- is that news? An old lady died in our town today -- is that news?

News should be a collection of data about the changing world that affects the political decisions of an informed public. As such, all news is intrinsically political in intent.

Nor can any individual declare what constitutes objective news reporting -- because nobody is objective. Everybody has an axe to grind and everybody has their own expectation of what constitutes "the news". Thus, some people would like the news from Iraq to concentrate on deaths, problems, and failures, while another group would like the news to concentrate on heroism by American soldiers, school openings, and happy Iraqis. What's the real news?

It's pointless to argue that a particular news source presents a biased version of the news. Well, yes, if they're clearly distorting the facts, then such accusations are justified. But ultimately every news organization exercises JUDGEMENT. There's no way to define judgement, no formula, no rule, nothing. If you don't like the judgement of the New York Times, DON'T READ IT! If you prefer Newsweek, the Economist, The Christian Science Monitor, The Piscataway Herald, or even The Newsletter of the American Nazi Party, fine, read that. You can be as well-informed or as poorly-informed as you wish.

The reason why the NYT is so often cited in stories such as this is simple: regardless of your petty opinion, the great majority of American editors hold the NYT in high esteem. They consider it to be one of the top newspapers in America. You're welcome to your own judgement that all those editors are idiots. Indeed, you're welcome to your own judgement that everybody who disagrees with you is an idiot. But for the rest of us, it is useful to note that a newspaper with such a great reputation has come to this conclusion. That doesn't prove that the NYT is right -- what it shows is that the American journalistic community is coming around to accept Mr. Gore's general point of view. It's like a poll whose results are pretty clear: a steadily increasing number of people now accept the basic AGW hypothesis. That doesn't mean that you're wrong. It is certainly possible that you and Mr. Moran and small percentage of humanity are right and that billions of other people are idiots. Hell, there are still people who say that the earth is flat, and that evolution is wrong. They could be right, too.

"Rob, what is news? After all, we had some rain at my place today -- is that news? An old lady died in our town today -- is that news?"

As tedious as it may strike you, that would be news. Or is your preference for opinion presented as fact?

"As such, all news is intrinsically political in intent."

Exactly at which dismal liberal arts community college did you pick up that steaming malformed lump of mush-headed postmodernist nonsense?

"Nor can any individual declare what constitutes objective news reporting -- because nobody is objective."

LOL! Of course, because, as we all know (now), there's no such thing as so-called "objective reality". Spare me your solipsistic bafflegab.

"It's pointless to argue that a particular news source presents a biased version of the news."

No, actually it's not pointless at all. Did you miss my mention of Walter Duranty and Jayson Blair?

"There's no way to define judgement, no formula, no rule, nothing."

Do you wear a beret and sip absinth, too?

"If you don't like the judgement of the New York Times, DON'T READ IT!"

Okay, I won't then. Apparently I'm not the only one, if the 5-year equity chart for NYT is any indication.

"The reason why the NYT is so often cited in stories such as this is simple: regardless of your petty opinion, the great majority of American editors hold the NYT in high esteem. They consider it to be one of the top newspapers in America."

Well, if you say so. I guess we'll just have to take your word for it. Personally, I prefer to use my own mind.

"But for the rest of us, it is useful to note that a newspaper with such a great reputation has come to this conclusion."

I understand "reputation" -- or at least the perception of reputation -- overrides all other considerations for postmodernist enthusiasts. However I dispute that the NYT has a particularly good reputation. You seem to think it does. I'm guessing it flatters your delusions more than The National Review, or something.

"That doesn't prove that the NYT is right -- what it shows is that the American journalistic community is coming around to accept Mr. Gore's general point of view. It's like a poll whose results are pretty clear: a steadily increasing number of people now accept the basic AGW hypothesis."

You mistakenly extrapolate that a claimed increase in popularity of Gore's espoused ideology among journalists must translate to acceptance among the general population. In other news, 1+1 now equals 3.

"That doesn't mean that you're wrong. It is certainly possible that you and Mr. Moran and small percentage of humanity are right and that billions of other people are idiots."

For one thing, I hardly think "billions" of people accept your agenda. Secondly, even if they did, it still wouldn't substantiate your hysterical agenda. I realise that it may be difficult for a postmodernist to accept, but reality is not a popularity contest. Exhibit A:

"According to a national survey of 1,000 adults, fully two-thirds of Canadians believe in angels (66 per cent) and nearly half believe in spirits and ghosts (48 per cent). Another 10 per cent of people are convinced their own residence is home to a supernatural presence."
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=8d14788b-5e37-452c-94d9-579b1f0ac352&k=10898

"Hell, there are still people who say that the earth is flat, and that evolution is wrong. They could be right, too."

Oooooh! What a cruel zinger. You don't hear that one very often -- marginalizing anyone who is skeptical about recieved Global Warming wisdom, or anyone who questions whether Global Warming actually constitutes a "crisis". Well done! All three of us will probably cry ourselves to sleep tonight.

Or not.

According to Bill Miller, the ideal United States "progressive" happy-land contains a news media who's "job", apparently, is to unquestioningly reproduce ideological propaganda, viz:

"Even the Times fell down in its editorial, which wrapped up by stressing the need to fully understand the cost of the new efficiencies and technologies required to reign in emissions."

How dare they suggest anyone should attempt understand anything?! I can see why Mr. Miller gets so exercised over this. Apparently he believes the editors of the NYT are employees of a PR firm, like him.

"federal courts have ordered the executive branch to begin regulating these gases"

Of course, what would "progressive" utopia be without legislation through judicial fiat supplanting a merely democratically elected executive branch? Who does Bush think he is, the President of the United States of America, or something?

"Sensing momentum afoot, Democratic hopefuls have offered aggressive plans that would go beyond the Senate bill and reduce emissions by 80 percent by mid-century; one has even called for a 90-percent cut."

Speaking of Democrats and momentum, let's see just how that Democrat congress is working out:

http://www.pollingreport.com/CongJob.htm

Oooo, ouch! There's "momentum", all right -- just not the kind Bill Miller seems to imagine. Maybe they should have planned for 150% emissions cuts?

one denialist just don't understand that there is a thing called consensus:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/science/01tier.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/are-there-are-any-good-weather-omens/

How long can this denialism be allowed to go on?

I was flattered to see you take such a strong interest in my report. Two comments, yet! I look forward to hearing more from you in future.

Cheers

No doubt that global warming is very debated. I, however, have never heard that man is causing global cooling. For this - all I can say is that I hope that the people that believe this is natural are not wrong. But if man is causing at least part of the problem then why not do all we can. One thing not in dispute is that we cannot continue to use non-renewable sources on energy forever.
Are you familiar with the ground floor movement to take solar to the masses by a company called Citizenre? They are trying market solar with an approach similar to satellite TV, cellular telephones, and alarm systems. That is to provide the customer a complete solar system with no upfront charges and make money from a service contract. In this case the service contract would be a rent agreement. They intend to put a complete solar system on clients home. When the system produces electricity, it will lower the bill from the current utility provider. In most cases the savings from the lower bill will more than cover the rent fee that the company intends to charge. The company currently has no product available but intends to deploy in the middle of 2008. They are currently taking reservations and have over 26,000 takers so far. I have written several articles on this company in my blog and even have a couple of videos that I have recorded at www.solarjoules.com. Feel free to take a look. I welcome comments. As in any start up business, a chance exists that they may never get off the ground and fulfill any preorders, but if this is the case - the potential client has not lost anything. If you cannot afford the upfront cost of solar today, this may turn out to be a great alternative. This solution would mean that we could produce at least a little less pollution and would be a great step "just in case". And hey, the fact that you will save money on your electricity bill over time is a pretty good reason to look into it as well.
If anyone would like company information you can go to www.jointhesolution.com/razmataz.

Facts:

1) The global sea ice area is above average, see:
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

2) There is no increase in global temperature over the last 10 years, see:
http://www.remss.com/pub/msu/monthly_time_series/RSS_Monthly_MSU_AMSU_Channel_TLT_Anomalies_Land_and_Ocean_v03_0.txt
(And the year 2007 is the coldest on record for this millenium.)

Johan, I looked at your graph and I think you have misunderstood its meaning. It demonstrates a strong trend towards diminishing sea ice. There is an interesting fluctuation at the very end, but to ascribe any significance to that fluctuation in the presence of all that other data would be an exercise in idiocy. I suggest that you report back every month when each new data point is added, with breathless commentary on the meaning of the latest facts just in.

KNOWN Emission Costs reigning in emissions?

1)Cost of the new efficiencies and technologies
2) Simultaneous greening trend has also been observed, characterized by a longer growing season and greater photosynthetic activity (interannual variations atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration data and ecosystem carbon dioxide fluxes)
3) Temperatures over northern latitudes having risen by about 1.1 °C and 0.8 °C, respectively, over the past two decades
4)These observations have led to speculation that spring and autumn warming could enhance carbon sequestration and extend the period of net carbon uptake in the future. Here we analyze interannual variations in.
5) Northern terrestrial ecosystems lose carbon dioxide in response to autumn warming, offsetting 90% of the increased carbon dioxide uptake during spring. autumn-to-winter carbon dioxide build-up. We find that both photosynthesis and respiration increase during autumn warming, but the increase in respiration is greater. In contrast, warming increases photosynthesis more than respiration in spring.
6) If future autumn warming occurs at a faster rate than in spring, the ability of northern ecosystems to sequester carbon may be diminished earlier than previously suggested. An autumn-to-winter carbon dioxide build-up, suggests a shorter autumn net carbon uptake period not explained by changes in atmospheric transport alone and, together with the ecosystem flux data, suggests increasing carbon losses in autumn. We find that both photosynthesis and respiration increase during autumn warming, but the increase in respiration is greater. In contrast, warming increases photosynthesis more than respiration in spring.
7) Extinctions in widely dispersed patches of habitat synchronized in a way that is explained by global warming.

[x]

A study published by Geophysical Research Letters sheds new light on the connection between California's epic drought and human-induced climate change.

The study carries the decidedly wonky title, “Probable causes of the abnormal ridge accompanying the 2013-14 California drought: ENSO precursor and anthropogenic warming footprint.”

A subscription is...

read more