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NYT Hypes Leaked Documents To Promote Climate Alarmism

Front-page story claims ‘near certainty’ on warming,’ warns of dire impact of climate change even though IPCC says leaks were ‘misleading.’

Nytimes06-29-1914The New York Times is quick to forget the past when it doesn’t promote their agenda. In Nov. 2009, the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was involved in the “ClimateGate” scandal, but that didn’t stop the paper from hyping leaked information from an upcoming IPCC report on Aug. 20.

However, the BBC reported that the IPCC has said those leaks were “misleading.” That didn’t stop the Times from publishing a front page story by Justin Gillis, the paper’s resident alarmism reporter.

That article downplayed the inaccuracies and information revealed as part of the ClimateGate scandal labeling them as “minor errors.”

The ClimateGate scandal began on Nov. 20, 2009, when someone leaked thousands of emails and documents from a major climate science group: the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), including statements by scientists that there was a lack of “warming” they couldn’t explain. Other emails revealed a desire to keep the public from getting their hands on raw data, and to suppress scientists with opposing views. While its own emails were not leaked, the IPCC was closely tied to much of this research and some of its experts were involved in the email correspondence.

But the Aug. 20, Times article “Panel on Warming Cites Near Certainty on Cause,” said that “after winning the Nobel Peace Prize six years ago, the group became a political target for climate doubters, who helped identify minor errors in the 2007 report. This time, the panel adopted rigorous procedures in the hope of preventing such mistakes.” This viewpoint wasn’t too surprising, since The New York Times downplayed that scandal as it was happening.

During ClimateGate, an email was made public from Kevin Trenberth, lead author of three IPCC climate change reports, which stated that “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t” and that the CERES data showing rising temperatures was “surely wrong.” That email was sent to Michael Mann, a Penn State scientist who developed a “hockey stick” graph for rising global temperatures which was used by the IPCC in 2001. That graph has since been discredited, but Mann continues to be cited as a global warming expert.

In fact, the Times article cited Mann to bolster its argument that the findings of the upcoming IPCC report was probably understated. Mann said, “I think the I.P.C.C on this point has once again erred on the side of understating the degree of the likely changes.” This “understated” report included claims that sea levels could rise by as much as “a bit more than three feet” by 2100. The article concluded with a commonly used dismal future scenario where great cities near the coast around the world are threatened to be wiped off the map by surging seas.

In late 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association had found that global sea levels had risen at less than half the rate claimed by the IPCC from 2005 to 2012. They rose about a half inch per year, which at that rate would be only a bit more than 5 inches in 100 years.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the IPCC, has been in hot water before, but has somehow managed to retain his post. Pachauri was involved in promoting “HimalayaGate” in 2010, where a claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035 was unverified and later debunked. When that glacier claim was first criticized in 2009, by Professor Graham Cogley, a glacier expert, Pachauri denounced the criticism as “voodoo science.”

In what Pachauri would later deny was a conflict of interest, the scientist who made the initial claims about the Himalayan glaciers, Dr. Syed Hasnain, worked for Pachauri at The Energy and Resources Institute – an organization that managed to “win a substantial share of a $500,000 grant,” for that glacier story, according to the British news outlet The Telegraph. The Telegraph suggested that “what we may soon be looking at is not just ‘Glaciergate’ but ‘Pachaurigate.’”

Even the head of Greenpeace UK called for Pachauri to resign from his position as head of the IPCC. But in 2010, the Times was quick to jump to Pachauri’s defense,  calling the accusations against him “half truths.”

In that 2010 piece, the Times referred to those who questioned Pachauri and the IPCC as “climate skeptics, right-leaning politicians and even some mainstream scientists.”

The author of the Aug. 20, 2013 story about the upcoming IPCC report, Justin Gillis, has often written climate change apocalypse stories in The New York Times. Gillis has been quick to dismiss and even ridicule any skeptics of the climate alarmism. Some of his reporting was so bad, that Professor Roger Pielke Jr., an environmental scientist at the University of Colorado, called one of Gillis’ articles “so bad that it might just be the worst piece of reporting I’ve ever seen in the Times on climate change.”

Mike Ciandella, Business and Media Institute

 

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