The Emperor’s Old Clothes

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on February 10, 2010

Remember the story of the emperor and his new clothes? The emperor is actually naked, a fact that everyone acknowledges after a child points it out.

In the sequel, “The Emperor’s Old Clothes,” the emperor is still naked, and everyone realizes it except for an Associated Press reporter who keeps writing paeans to the emperor’s wardrobe. Or something like that:

President Barack Obama’s administration is forming a new agency to study and report on the changing climate.

Climate change has drawn widespread concern in recent years as temperatures around the world rise, threatening to harm crops, spread disease, increase sea levels, change storm and drought patterns and cause polar melting. . . .

NOAA recently reported that the decade of 2000-2009 was the warmest on record worldwide; the previous warmest decade was the 1990s. Most atmospheric scientists believe that warming is largely due to human actions, adding gases to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.

The AP dispatch, by Randolph E. Schmid, makes no reference whatever to the recent revelations of scientific misconduct and misrepresentation at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the University of East Anglia and other academic institutions. Even the New York Times, in reporting on the new agency, acknowledges the scandals, if only to say that “planning for the new unit was not related to” them.

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NOTE: The scientific conduct of climate researchers has come under increasing heat … over leaked e-mails [published in November] that, critics say, raise questions about the arguments that global warming threatens the world. (from a November USAToday article)  In February, it was reported that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published inaccurate and unsubstantiated data in a climate change report.  Several recent polls have revealed that public belief in climate change is weakening.