tip off

The Australian lies to its readers about Climate Change

As noted in the Open Thread by Liz A, Tim Lambert has spotted a horrendous piece of, shall we say, “quote engineering”, from The Australian’s Cut and Paste column.

Here’s the quote that they present as contradicting the Prime Minister’s quote:

Julia Gillard at a press conference on Monday: The science is telling us that climate change is real. The government accepts the science. We accept the science from our own CSIRO. We accept the science from our own weather bureau. The advice indicates that if we do not cut carbon pollution, average temperatures around Australia could increase by between 2.2 to over 5C by 2070.

From the true believers. Robert K. Kaufmann, Heikki Kauppi, Michael L. Mann, and James H. Stock in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday: Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. Data for global surface temperature indicate little warming between 1998 and 2008. Furthermore, global surface temperature declined 0.2C between 2005 and 2008. This seeming disconnect may be one reason why the public is increasingly sceptical about anthropogenic climate change.

See, it’s not warming and we don’t know why! Trouble is, that’s not an actual paragraph from the paper. It’s been constructed by taking the first sentence of the abstract, the first and second sentence of the body of the paper and the fourth sentence of the bosy of the paper. If you look at the bits that they left out, you’ll see why. First, the rest of the abstract:

We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations. As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consistent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.

Gee, their conclusion is the opposite of what Cut and Paste implied. And here’s the sentence they snipped from the body of the paper:

Although temperature increases in 2009 and 2010, the lack of a clear increase in global surface temperature between 1998 and 2008 (1), combined with rising concentrations of atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse gases, prompts some popular commentators (2, 3) to doubt the existing understanding of the relationship among radiative forcing, internal variability, and global surface temperature.

Dear Cut and Paste, although you can cut out mentions of temperature increases, it does not mean that temperatures have not increased.

Remember that this dishonest piece of misinformation comes from the newspaper that only a few weeks ago said:

Regular readers of this newspaper will be aware of our consistent support for a market-based price on carbon as the most efficient method of reducing emissions. But regardless of our considered position, this newspaper takes seriously our duty to provide news coverage on policy debates that covers all significant information, views and perspectives. We respect the intelligence of our readers and have confidence in their ability to make up their own minds. We operate on the understanding that you expect us to provide as much relevant information as possible, enabling you to be well-informed. It is our unwritten compact.

Unbelievable.

16
  • 1
    Barry 09
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    That’s why nobody is buying their Rags , going the same way as the bolt report , down hill fast , with no brakes.

  • 2
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I think they have taken the term “cut and paste” a little too literally with this one.

    As I mentioned on open thread… can we alert MediaWatch to this one?

  • 3
    Josh Holloway
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of a related effort by Rupert’s Fox Nation in the US: http://mediamatters.org/blog/201107050010

  • 4
    Sancho
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    This is quote-mining of Intelligent Design magnitude. Next up they’ll be skipping entire chapters of books by using ellipses.

  • 5
    quantize
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Newspeak taken to new lows…snip snip snip

    I’m really starting to appreciate that editorial for its unashamed bare-faced bufoonery…we now have a mission statement to hold up again reality from now on.

    They fail their own claims repeatedly on closer examination. Of course the whole point is most of their audience can’t be bothered examining any closer so long as their conservative bias is sated with drivel….

  • 6
    quantize
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    ‘against’ (typo!)

  • 7
    Sancho
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    It’s not warming and we don’t
    know why!

    Trouble is…if you look at…the…conclusion…this…comes from [the Australian].

  • 8
    monkeywrench
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Unsurprising that they cheated with the quote. This is the news organisation that hacks the voicemail accounts of murdered children, remember. A little creative editing is barely an eyebrow-raiser.

  • 9
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    “It is our unwritten compact”

    And not worth the paper it isn’t written on.

  • 10
    calyptorhynchus
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    Ah denialists, you’ve got to love them, 5 years ago they were quoting papers that didn’t mention global warming to prove it wasn’t happening. Now they’re quoting papers that you have to edit or misunderstand to prove their case.

  • 11
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I think I get it now. I’ve applied the CP algorithm to the oz’ mission statement:

    Regular readers of this newspaper will be aware of our consistent support for a market-based price on carbon as the most efficient method of reducing emissions. But regardless of our considered position, this newspaper takes seriously our duty to provide news coverage on policy debates that covers all significant information, views and perspectives. We respect the intelligence of our readers and have confidence in their ability to make up their own minds. We operate on the understanding that you expect us to provide as much relevant information as possible, enabling you to be well-informed. It is our unwritten compact.

    This is what I get:

    Regular readers of this newspaper will be aware of our consistent … method of reducing … the intelligence of our readers and … ability to … make up their … minds.

  • 12
    quantize
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    This is what I get:

    Regular readers of this newspaper will be aware of our consistent … method of reducing … the intelligence of our readers and … ability to … make up their … minds.

    Top post MoC…funny…sad, true and funny

  • 13
    JamesH
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Though it makes me angry, “the australian lies about climate change” is up there with “the sun rises in the east” as a non-story.

  • 14
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    q@12

    I’ve been wanting to do one of those for a while. This particular occasion made it worth the effort :-)

    JH@13

    It’d be a story if the sun was trying to pretend that it wasn’t there.

  • 15
    Rich Uncle Skeleton
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    To quote a typist down Southbank way: if they are right, why the need for so many untruths?

    One wonders if their deception could be actionable in a court of law?

  • 16
    quantize
    Posted July 7, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    “the sun rises in the east” as a non-story.

    So that makes it ‘ok’ and we should just ignore it?

    You haven’t thought that through

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