I have in the offing a longer piece on Climategate, dealing with an underlying issue that I've not seen taken up in detail yet. Whilst there is a lot of good work already done on analysing the confluence of political, financial and media interests behind Climategate, there is a snake in the grass yet to be properly aired.....more on that in the next few days.
In the meantime I felt compelled to write a brief blog post though because of today's headlines. Whilst a lot of deserved focus has gone to the Express printing a Climategate story on its front page, the lesser known breakthrough appears to have been in the Environmental-Shill extraordinaire - the "Independent".
For as front page news, the "Independent" has reported on the climate sceptics within the Tories. As soon as I saw it I wondered how many people, up until that point, were even aware that there *were* climate sceptics in the party. What is especially surprising is that the coverage of this dissent actually seems fairly even handed. They still couldn't bring themselves to mention Climategate however, though it was great to see David Davis's contribution, referring to proposed Green measures as "hair-shirt policies".
Then, of course, one gets to the rest of the paper.
On the front page, above the 'Cameron hit by Tory backlash on environment' is a big 'RED ALERT' banner highlighting the "FREE 20-page climate change supplement" inside. Looking through it after having read the coverage of the Tory sceptics, it is difficult to believe that the paper does not have an editor who not only has multiple-personality disorder, but also co-exists in two different parallel universes.
All the usual platitudes are there in the supplement:
- The front page of the supplement has the obligatory picture of cooling towers belching evil -uh - water vapour into the air.
- Turn the page and not only are we told that we have "Twelve days to save the world", but "We face a threat as terrible as that posed by Hitler". Godwin's law invoked even before we hit the first sentence? For fucks sake.
- Next its "Time to confront the invisible enemy that threatens us all". This section goes on to detail how "No government in the world now thinks that global warming is hugely exaggerated".
- Loads of terrifying statistics on the next page, including the Independent surpassing itself yet again, and after its recent screaming frontpage warning of rises of 6 degrees, now ups the stakes to 7 degrees. No source is given of course.
- And then, (after a full page advert for Soya) - surprise! The recent floods in the UK are signs of AGW! Full colour, two page spreads of high waterlines.
- It gets even worse on the next double page - almost nothing but dramatic pictures of the recent bushfire in Australia.
- And more! Another two page spread showing the devastation from Hurricanes. All courtesy of course of our invisible enemy!
- The final doublespread - showing a large body of ice - quotes "a selection of public figures who ought to know what they are talking about". I found that particularly funny as I thought I'd zero in randomly on one and landed on James Lovelock. He says "...the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now unprecedented". This is a blatant falsehood. If he'd appended "human- contributed" carbon dioxide it would have been true. Who cares about precision on this issue though, eh?
- We're almost done at this point - with a full page table outlining different scenarios given various rises in temperature, from 2 degrees through to six degrees. All of which, as the article states at the top, based upon the figure that "the world grew 0.74 degrees hotter in the 20th century". What seems to have passed the writer by is that it is this very figure that is now in serious doubt as a result of Climategate. Doesn't stop a good bit of scaremongering though, because the page is finished off, after detailing successively more terrifying scenarios with - guess what!? That's right, the obligatory picture of a stranded polar bear. FFS.
If you're still conscious at this point, a big bonus buried within pages 26-27 of the paper is a hit piece on Ron Paul who is - according to the "Independent" a promoter of a "radical brand of extreme libertarianism" (I thought it was just plain old 'Libertarianism' myself...) He apparently appeals to "libertarian-minded college kids" (not us, sensible, adults obviously) and is "the token nutjob". Of particular note is what the paper has to say on his economic policy; apparently wanting to end the monopoly position of the Fed is wanting to "take the US back to a Nineteenth-centure version of every-man-for-himself capitalism".
It's been a long while since I've read anything in the Independent beyond its latest hysterical front page. Its simply difficult to imagine a more sickeningly obvious propaganda rag with a very loose grasp on accuracy. I can only hope - like the New Statesman - that it continues hemorrhaging readers. Its demise is long overdue and well deserved.