In a seemingly endless battle, even small victories deserve to be noted. And it is indeed a small victory on the climate-change front that The Star’s public editor, Kathy English, reports on in today’s edition.
In dismissing a complaint against the Toronto Star’s publication of a New York Times report about repercussions of climate change on the Louisiana coast, Canada’s National NewsMedia Council has affirmed two important principles.
First, the council indicated that fair and accurate reporting on some subjects — most importantly, climate change — need not engage in what is known in journalism as “false balance” – that is, a perceived need for journalists to seek out “the other side” of a controversial issue when the overwhelming scientific consensus strongly supports one side.
False balance wrongly seeks to provide equal weight to two sides of an argument when in fact the evidence-based information indicates there is no real argument.
In adjudicating the complaint, brought by Georgetown resident Pav Penna in response to a New York Times article attributing climate change as a reason for the relocation of residents of Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, the Council told Penna
… it is a journalistic standards organization, not “an arena for assessment of or debate on deep science” and pointed out that the article did not say that climate change is the sole reason for changes on Isle de Jean Charles.
“Journalistic standards related to fairness and balance has been satisfied in the article’s noting of factors such as subsidence and channel cutting,” it stated. “Council finds this is a reasonable balance considering the weight of scientific and expert views.”
In the greater scheme of things, this victory perhaps means very little, but at least it establishes the principle that fair and balanced reporting does not require the inclusion of those that hew to ‘junk science’ and other similar crackpot ideas that seek to deny the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is not simply ‘a theory among theories,’ but rather an established fact.
Those who take exception are, of course, free to read the favourite organs of the far right, including The Sun and The National Post, both of whom rarely let facts get in the way of a good screed.
. . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: A Very Small Victory
I would say Jimmy Kimmel does a pretty good job:“I have a theory,” Kimmel said. “I think maybe Sarah Palin wants global warming. It’s cold in Alaska. It would be welcome up there. But, the idea that she knows more than 97 percent of scientists … . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Taking On Sarah Palin’s Idiocy
Yet one more reminder of our collective folly:Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: And To Round Up The Week
I admit I am a bit of a weather geek. To witness nature’s fury and our powerlessness in its face is truly humbling. However, the other reason for my fascination with our increasingly volatile and destructive weather is the rueful recognition of our col… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Four Days In A Wild Weather Week
Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz says we should follow the scientific evidence about climate change, and then goes on to ignore it with confabulation and obfuscation. In Cruz world, it is all just a cover for the government’s desire to have tot… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Some Americans Sure Do Love Their Ignorance
Monday night most of the world went to bed seeing Canada with an arrogantly evil smirk on its formerly amiable face. By the next morning all they could see was a million-dollar
It’s not easy to tell the truth — particularly when people don’t want to hear it. Linda McQuaig caused something of a political firestorm awhile back for suggesting that . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: On The Way Out
Every evening at 6:30, I try to take about 10 minutes to watch NBC Nightly News, the object of my interest not American politics but the apocalyptic imagery of the West Coast wildfires. Every night seems to bring reports of new conflagrations and tragedy, and every night my anger grows, not just for the loss . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Angry For Good Reason
You can access part one here.
Logical fallacies The reason why there’s a 97% consensus is because of the many lines of evidence that humans are causing global warming. Human fingerprints are being observed in heat escaping out to space, in the structure of the atmosphere and even in the changing seasons. Another denialist technique . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Signs Are Everywhere – Part 2
It is only the ideologically blind who refuse to see the signs. Whether we live on the West Coast, Central Canada, or the East Coast, we are being affected by climate change, More protracted droughts. More wildfires. More oppressive heatwaves. Or unseasonably cool conditions.
Of protracted winters I will not even speak.
So what . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Signs Are Everywhere
When moral imperatives and climate change denial meet head on, you know who feels they occupy the higher ground when The Heartland Institute is involved. The following video captures their reaction to the upcoming encyclical by Pope Francis on climate change. My favorite comment is made by the gentleman who just can’t find it in . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: From The Heartland
Well, this is bauble budget day, the day the Harper regime makes its big pre-election push to convince us that all is right with the world, and that our natural selfishness is something we should revel in, not revolt against. It is a day in which further plundering of the federal coffers is presented . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Canada’s Outlier Status
David Suzuki explains how the Koch Brothers, the largest U.S. leaseholder in the Alberta tar sands, use their vast wealth to fund climate change denial.
The post Oiling the machinery of climate change denial and transit opposition appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.
Stupidity, it has been said, is contagious, and one has to wonder whether a particularly virulent virus is running through the Conservative tent these days. First there was Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP Rick Nicholls suggesting that evolution shouldn’t be taught in schools, as he doesn’t believe in it. Now comes word of similar sentiments . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Could It Be A Virus?
Science takes things apart to see how they work. Religion puts things together to see what they mean. They speak different languages and use different powers of the brain.
-Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Great Partnership
As the quotation above suggests, the schism between scientific fact and religious belief is, in fact, one that shouldn’t exist. . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Why Has Accepting Scientific Fact Become A Matter Of Choice?
I know I would be if this kind of regular and much-watched commentary portrayed my nation as so egregiously stupid:
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The willfully ignorant will be offended, the critical thinker gratified, by this video:
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We have to be prepared to leave most of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground. So says a new published report.
Expect none of us, neither our political ‘leaders’ nor our fellow citizens, to rise to the occasion.
Recommend this Post . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: If We Want To Save The Planet…
Yesterday, The Mound of Sound had a post on the role that Pope Francis is playing in the climate change debate. Given his growing moral authority and extensive popularity throughout the world, those with vested interests in retaining the status quo that is destroying the earth, and their aiders and abettors, (Stephen Harper et alia), . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: Politics and its Discontents 2015-01-02 11:29:00
Of course, right-wing groups like the Fraser Institute never let facts and data get in the way of a rabid ideology:
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The above picture helps to illustrate why industrialized nations seem so cavalier about climate change. Click here for details.
Meanwhile, Stephen Harper’s climate soul mate, Australia’s Tony Abbott, has just extended a giant middle finger to the world’s developing countries: Australia is resisting a last-ditch push by the US, France and other European . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: This Explains A Lot
George Shultz is a Republican with a PhD in economics form MIT and a long record of public service. Jeffrey Simpson writes:
Mr. Shultz will turn 94 next month, but his interest in public issues persists. His latest interest is climate change. He’s bought an electric car, placed solar panels on . . . → Read More: Northern Reflections: Use Your Eyes
Clearly, based upon the shameful falsehoods she uttered at yesterday’s U.N. climate summit about Canada being a “global clean energy leader” doing “its part” to cut carbon emissions that warm the earth, Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq’s preference is clear. Recommend this Post
Watch this video and you’ll know what I mean:
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Tuesday’s post discussed the apparent disappearance of a committee made up of representatives from Environment Canada, the Alberta government and oil and gas companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the tarsands. Investigative reporter Mike De Souza provides important new information about this committee on his website.
Putting the heat on Environment Minister Leona . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: No Surprise Here- An Update