Newsweek Editor Admits Global Warming Article Was Misleading


I think Hell hath frozen over.  Here is the contributing editor of Newsweek absolutely demolishing last week’s disgraceful global warming article in it’s magazine: (h/t Newsbusters)

The story was a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading.


NEWSWEEK’s "denial machine" is a peripheral and highly contrived story. NEWSWEEK implied, for example, that ExxonMobil used a think tank to pay academics to criticize global-warming science. Actually, this accusation was long ago discredited, and NEWSWEEK shouldn’t have lent it respectability. (The company says it knew nothing of the global-warming grant, which involved issues of climate modeling. And its 2006 contribution to the think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, was small: $240,000 out of a $28 million budget.)

The alleged cabal’s influence does not seem impressive. The mainstream media have generally been unsympathetic; they’ve treated global warming ominously. The first NEWSWEEK cover story in 1988 warned the greenhouse effect. danger: more hot summers ahead. A Time cover in 2006 was more alarmist: be worried, be very worried. Nor does public opinion seem much swayed. Although polls can be found to illustrate almost anything, the longest-running survey questions show a remarkable consistency. In 1989, Gallup found 63 percent of Americans worried "a great deal" or a "fair amount" about global warming; in 2007, 65 percent did.


But the overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don’t have a solution for this problem. As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale-as NEWSWEEK did-in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.

I was about to look out the window and look for snowflakes until I got to this part:

What to do about global warming is a quandary. Certainly, more research and development. Advances in underground storage of carbon dioxide, battery technology (for plug-in hybrid cars), biomass or nuclear power could alter energy economics. To cut oil imports, I support a higher gasoline tax—$1 to $2 a gallon, introduced gradually—and higher fuel-economy standards for vehicles. These steps would also temper greenhouse-gas emissions. Drilling for more domestic natural gas (a low-emission fuel) would make sense.

Yes!  All is right in the world now.  Newsweek is still the bastion of leftist idiocy.  But at least this time the guy admits they were a bit biased.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Jay Ambrose in the New York Post really slammed Newsweak too:


August 12, 2007 — NEWSWEEK magazine, which tells us in a recent edition about a “well-funded,” global-warming “denial machine,” is itself something of a trashing machine, a journalistic pretender that mistakes smear for substance.

The stumbling, bumbling exercise in ad hominem McCarthyism takes it as an unchallengeable truth that global warming is a human-induced catastrophe that could be readily prevented, and concludes there is just one way to explain the “naysayers” to this holy writ: They are part of a “well-coordinated,” heavily financed scheme cooked up by self-serving corporate interests to dupe the public and confuse or buy off politicians.

The article not only fails to make so sweeping a case, but skips over a fact that the rawest newsroom rookie should have picked up – namely, that the Chicken Littles have outspent the cited think tanks and other groups in trying to inflict everyone with the willies, scientific exactitude be hanged.

As some of the skeptics have noted in response to Newsweek’s nastiness, the expenditures of the doubters are in fact dwarfed by the multimillions skillfully deployed by environmental groups. Sure, some corporations have sought to persuade lawmakers and the public that the alarmism is itself a danger, and why not? These businesses could be badly damaged by some suggested policies that, in terms of actually achieving anything, might be little more than voodoo dances.

Newsweek thinks they would be jim-dandy. On the basis of what analysis? Nothing precise is offered.

The more you read the Newsweek piece, the more you notice it excludes still other information and argumentation that doesn’t suit its thesis, material that is hugely important in understanding the issue but might get in the way of advocacy. It mentions Al Gore’s apocalyptic movie about warming, for instance, without noting how misleading it was on some questions, and nowhere does it even hint at how so many alarmists have leaped over scientific justification in their near-biblical prophecies of coming calamity.

An article aiming to provide well-rounded, helpful, praiseworthy news reporting might have discussed the Kyoto treaty with some semblance of comprehension. The treaty would accomplish next to nothing in and of itself, as even many of its proponents agree, while it could very well do serious harm to the economies and people of rich and poor nations alike, as a number of economists have argued. Newsweek might even have conceded that some Kyoto signatories in Europe have done far less to limit greenhouse-gas emissions than the dreaded Bush administration.

The most egregious transgression of the article is something else, however. It is the demonizing of “contrarian scientists” and questioning think-tank analysts who are surely as honorable as those who would carelessly abuse their good names.

The article goes out of its way to tell us that one nonapocalyptic scientist, Patrick Michaels, has earned $165,000 from interested industries, as if his scientific conclusions were dictated by this money that constitutes one small portion of his livelihood.

If the magazine thinks that is how the world works, why didn’t it similarly point out that NASA’s James Hansen, a supporter of John Kerry in the last presidential election and one of the most outspoken scientists about the threat of warming, received a $250,000 prize from the Heinz Foundation, administered by Kerry’s wife?

Everyday decency and an understanding of the need for unfettered discussion in a democracy should have informed the Newsweek reporters and their editors that while it’s OK to probe and push and ask tough questions, it is intellectually unsupportable and cruel as well as contrary to the public good to treat those on one side or the other of this kind of complicated, difficult, policy-oriented dispute as conscienceless bad guys, their hired hands or maybe dupes or dolts.

Even now, dissenters to the global-warming orthodoxy are providing us with all sorts of countervailing possibilities that could ultimately save us from irrecoverable policy decisions, and the last thing you want to do is scare them into shutting up. The only people who would do that are those so arrogant as to think they possess the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. The Newsweek reporters don’t. Despite their insistence that you are part of a “denial machine” unless you call an unsettled science settled, the science of global warming is unsettled.

Totally slanted and biased reporting!