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« Water, water everywhere | Main | Parliament does statistical significance »
Wednesday
Jan022013

Quality, quantity, both or neither

Climate Central reviews the extent of media coverage of global warming in 2012. As part of their article, they list the most prolific environmental journalists. Here they are:

Journalist

Publication

2012 Stories

Andrew Freedman Climate Central 172
Fiona Harvey The Guardian 135
Michael D. Lemonick Climate Central 134
Bob Berwyn Summit County Citizens' Voice 112
Ben Geman The Hill 99
Suzanne Goldenberg The Guardian 90
Matthew L. Wald New York Times 81
Andrew Restuccia Politico 76
David Biello Scientific American 75
Barbara Lewis Reuters 75 
Andrew Revkin New York Times 75
Juliet Eilperin Washington Post 73
Nina Chestney Reuters 72
Louise Gray The Telegraph 72
Damian Carrington The Guardian 71
Michael Marshall New Scientist 62
Bryan Walsh Time Magazine 62
Mike De Souza Post Media News 61
Alister Doyle Reuters 57
Maria Gallucci Inside Climate News 54
Justin Gillis New York Times 54
Ben Cubby Syndey Morning Herald 51
Ken Ward Jr. Charleston Gazette 50
Richard Black BBC 48
Pilita Clark Financial Times 46
Seth Borenstein Associated Press 45
Jennifer Dlouhy Houston Chronicle 45
Kate Sheppard Mother Jones 45
John M. Broder New York Times 44
Zack Colman The Hill 44
Lauren Morello ClimateWire 43
David Wroe Melbourne Age 43
John Vidal The Guardian 42
Steve Curwood Living On Earth 40
Peter Hannam Fairfax Media 39
Deborah Zabarenko Reuters 39
Stephen Leahy Inter Press Service 38
Evan Lehmann ClimateWire 38
Bruce Gellerman Living On Earth 37
Steve Mufson Washington Post 37
Umair Irfan ClimateWire 36
Valerie Volcovici Reuters 36
David R. Baker San Francisco Chronicle 35
James Bruggers Louisville Courier-Journal 35
Wynne Parry LiveScience 35
Felicity Barringer New York Times 34
Diane Cardwell New York Times 32
Alex Morales Bloomberg News 32
Nathan Vanderklippe Globe and Mail 32
Neela Banerjee Los Angeles Times 31
James Murray Business Green 31
Brad Plumer Washington Post 31
Tom Arup Melbourne Age 30
Doyle Rice USA Today 30

I was wondering if it might be instructive to add another column outlining the scientific qualifications of these most active global warming writers. Perhaps readers might like to add the detail in the comments.

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Reader Comments (36)

No freelancers

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

Is there anyone with even a luke-warmist outlook amongst that lot?

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Borenstein of the AP regurgitates whatever The Hockey Team wants to appear.


In the U.S., National Propaganda Radio ( otherwise known as National Public Radio ) is The Hockey Team's wholly-owned broadcast platform. Its "Science" reporters Jon Hamilton, Christopher Joyce and Richard Harris are hopelessly partisan.

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterDiogenes

The truth is that major media interest in global warming has virtually disappeared since the Copenhagen conference was sabotaged by climategate. Democracy killed carbon trading in the USA and the banks were never going to let their Indian or Chinese clients sign anything binding.

So, it's really down to us in Britain to continue perpetrating the lie. The undemocratic EU can set targets and the City of London can make a profit. Like its inventor Enron, carbon trading was beaten by its own ambition and criminality.

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

Using his photo and LinkedIn this is the education of Andrew Freedman:


Tufts University - The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
MALD, International Environmental and Resource Policy; International Negotiations and Conflict Resolution
2007 – 2010
Columbia University in the City of New York
MA in Climate and Society, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption; International Relations
2008 – 2009
Tufts University
B.A., Political Science

Jan 2, 2013 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Mott

Sufficed to say, in most reportage, a relevant scientific university degree, or something akin to qualifications are not the required benchmark in most of these left leaning liberal organs.

Therefore, no real surprises there then - quite evidently it ain't necessary to comprehend - it's the (green) message and its communication, the conveyance which is the be all and end all.

Now that the science of CAGW has been defenestrated, these hacks are in need of alternative employment, mind you with the demise of the printed press going on apace, that would seem an unlikely possibility to be in journalism.
Moreover, the constant and desperate hyperbole to 'cry wolf' on the latest purported 'climate disaster' - all the old chestnuts have recently been revived; unprecedented SL rise, Pachauri recently on melting glaciers in the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro again, Arctic sea ice melt, supposed Western Peninsula melt Antarctica etc. It all points, to a final wretched and despondent cast of the dice.

Honestly, it can only lead one to the conclusion that the CAGW argument (if there ever was one in the first place) has been well and truly lost.

Jan 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Richard Black's is a mystery - but he was once a BBC sound engineer - to George Monbiot's producer

Roger Harrabin - English?
Leo Hickman English and American Studies (ENGAM)

Jan 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I wonder if anyone could do a diagram outlining their relationship to each other and to green organisations?

Jan 2, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

What has happened to Harrabin?

Has he been sidelined by the BBC or is he working on some huge alarmist story to wind up the punters?

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Andy,

As far as funding of Climate Central is concerned, looks almost like a money laundering operation.

http://www.climatecentral.org/about/funding/

Is it really necessary for all those government entities, with their own "outreach" machines to funnel addtional funding to this activist site?

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn M

Lethal combination of 3rd generation frittering away the family money (Handbags and gladrags, anyone?) and the distasteful practice of government agencies spending taxpayers money to have themselves lobbied.

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

I don't see much in the original article about inclusion criteria.

Curious that they credit Louise Grey of The Daily Telegraph with being a journalist.....

Schrodinger's Cat
Mister Harrabin? - as far as i can see at the moment he's scampering around orchestrating Global Weirding - latest effort is a dozen scary weather programmes pushed out simultaneously by BBC regional news teams as part of the 2102 ɹǝɥʇɐǝʍ ǝɯǝɹʇxǝ ɟo ʍǝıʌǝɹ ɔqq and the odd luke warm piece on fracking - just to cover himself.

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:23 PM | Registered Commentertomo

In the interest of fairness calling Fiona Harvey and Louise Gray journalists is bit off , their more like a human photocopying machines for any rubbish the green advocates push out.
And to be really fair the Guardains entry staff of environmental 'journalists' do the pretty much the same thing however they do add there own little bits of nastiness in too. Who can forget what GM called people who fly or liked AGW sceptics too.

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Since many who waffle on about Climate Change have degrees in English (and its variants), I would assume that is the main academic qualification of these people.

Who needs a qualification in science if you are only going to regurgitate what you are told.

Jan 2, 2013 at 7:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

Not sure that qualifications count for much. e.g.

Damian Carrington is the Head of Environment at the Guardian... He has a PhD in geology from the University of Edinburgh, where he also did post-doctoral research, and a degree in Earth science from the University of Cambridge.
What counts for me is that Richard Betts once apologised here for letting his name be associated with an article by Carrington. Also, Damian once asked me to reveal my identity on a Guardian thread. When I did so, in a spirit of friendly co-operation, I was promptly banned.

Jan 2, 2013 at 8:04 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Christopher Booker is not on the list and neither is James Delingpole. I wonder why?

Jan 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Perhaps my eyesight is failing, but I don't see my old friend Monbiot on the list.

Old friend because in 2008-9 in one of his rants over Yamal he inadvertently gave me the link to Climate Audit, thence WUWT, BH et al, and we both lived happily ever after.

Is he now focussing all his protest efforts into anti-Tesco superstores?

Jan 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM | Registered CommentermikemUK

As well as omitting Monbiot, the list omits other noted journalists who have written extensively on climate issues such as Christopher Booker at The Telegraph, George Will at The Washington Post, and Lawrence Solomon at Canada's National Post. Neither does the list include Australia's Andrew Bolt, Tim Blair, Piers Akerman, Janet Albrechtson who have all written on climate issues. There will be many others of a more sceptical inclination.

It would seem that the list is merely a recital of the stenographers in the thrall of the alarmists, and who paint every new piece of information as "worse than we thought".

The sheer volume of articles is impressive. Less so, I suspect, is their impact on public opinion.

Jan 2, 2013 at 8:34 PM | Unregistered Commentermondo

This list shows how ineffective they are. With no sceptics getting major MSM "time" the warmists should have won "game set and match". Conversely we could conclude that the list shows how effective blogs are in comparison to MSM papers.

Jan 2, 2013 at 9:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

mikemUK ,
Monbiot has been much quieter on climate since climategate and written on a wider range of subjects. He has the odd knee-jerk but I suspect that he sensed, consciously or otherwise, that if he was seen as a one-trick pony it wouldn't be good for his career if the whole edifice crumbled.

Jan 2, 2013 at 10:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterartwest

Reuters alone distributed 279 articles.

Jan 2, 2013 at 10:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosualdo

Strange to find the Telegraph's Geoffrey Lean missing from the list - according to journalisted.com, he had 115 articles published in 2012 - not every single one about climate change but the majority of them touching on climate, I'd have thought.

Jan 2, 2013 at 10:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

What are journalists for? Is the word 'Journalist' defined as 'uncritical regurgitator of heresay'?

Jan 2, 2013 at 10:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

What would be more interesting would be a study of how many of those "stories" could be identified as minimally altered press releases from advocacy groups. I suspect close to 100%.

If my experience of the Scottish press is any guide, a simple text comparison of stories from around the same time period will show that they contain substancially the same text.

Jan 2, 2013 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterNW

Ben Cubby at the SMH just regurgitates stories from the usual suspects. I don't think he generated any "original journalism" in 2012 at all.

Jan 2, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterboy on a bike

NW

churnalism.com is always worth a try.

Katabasis did some spadework on Frack Off in 2011 and some further stuff relating to further automating the retrieval and displaying the results... HERE

I don't subscribe to an overall conspiracy - more a kind of collective mania, but not actually much better than a conspiracy in final effect. Having said that - the few unattributed sources and wide dissemination of some stories does indicate a certain level of manipulation.

It would be useful I think to run the churnalism engine against all the listed scribblers to at least sort the people who actually think and write from the lazy plagiarists (I'm feeling generous tonight)

Jan 3, 2013 at 12:32 AM | Registered Commentertomo

@mondo: Although George Will does write the occasional piece blasting the AGW catechism for the Washington Post, he doesn't do so often enough to crack the 30-piece threshold. Juliet Eilperin, the Post's resident Hansen mouthpiece, recently ran afowl of the Heartland Institute over reporting inflated oil-industry contributions to that body. Details follow.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/05/wapos-juliet-eilperin-retracts-false-heartland-claims/

Jan 3, 2013 at 2:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterJBirks

@Jan 2, 2013 at 8:19 PM | mikemUK

Monbiot has backed right off CAGW, and I think he may have even publicly stated he would not write about it any more (or at least as often), though my wife heard him on R4 a few weeks back informing us that the world would heat up by 4 to 6 degrees centigrade this century.

Also, he keeps finding that cherished beliefs of his, such as peak oil, are in truth a crock of shit, and has it seems to me been having a very public nervous breakdown for a good 18 months. Nevertheless, this has not stopped him telling us all how we should and should not live our lives.

Jan 3, 2013 at 6:14 AM | Registered Commenterjeremyp99

jeremyp99:

Monbiot ... has it seems to me been having a very public nervous breakdown for a good 18 months.
16 years with no warming; serial failure to achieve international agreement; tumbling US emissions due to shale gas; serial failure of Met Office predictions; revelations of IPCC shenanigans .. none of these things have budged the mainstream media one iota on catastrophic man-made global warming.
A public nervous breakdown by a well-known journalist might just do it.

I’m working on it.

Jan 3, 2013 at 7:41 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Global warming stories never make it on to the main Guardian or comments page these days. They very rarely used scientists to write AGW stories. Although they cannot challenge media lies, they weren't going make idiots of themselves.

The Guardian started their coverage with Viscount Porritt, Lord Melchitt, Oliver Tickell, George Monbiot, Zak Goldsmith, David de Rothschild etc. Demonstrating the common ancestry of the British aristocracy and the extreme right wing deep ecology movement. They were ridiculed off the stage.

They continued with the world's first sub tabloid journalist, George Monbiot, lifestyle correspondent Leo Hickman, Damien Carrington and John Vidal who is actually a lot posher than Lord Monckton. They stepped up the moderation and simply banned anyone who knew what they were talking about. Monbiot used obvious propaganda techniques, bringing the debate down to an emotional level, calling opponents 'deniers', 'astroturfers' etc.

The Copenhagen coverage was openly sponsored for about a year before by Shell. That is a major management decision made no doubt by chief executive Carolyn McCall who later showed her commitment to the cause by saving the planet as chairman of Easyjet.

There was elaborate and expensive (external writers) damage control following climategate, but the game was over. They have transferred from oil company scam global warming to insurance scam climate change. Even that is low key now.

The '100 months to save the planet' series continues. Like a deranged Nostradamus who refused to sell his house, professional miserablist Andrew Simms preposterously sits alone in the middle of a giant motorway complex declaring the end of the world.

Jan 3, 2013 at 8:39 AM | Unregistered CommentereSmiff

I would think George Monbiot has more pressing problems:

"A spokeswoman for McAlpine confirmed that Bercow, Davies and Monbiot were three of the people McAlpine's lawyer Andrew Reid, of the firm RMPI, had in mind when he said that they were looking at twenty "high profile" tweeters who alluded to his client in relation to Newsnight's inaccurate claim that a high profile Tory politician was involved in child sexual abuse. "
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/nov/23/mcalpine-libel-bercow-monbiot-davies

"Guardian columnist George Monbiot will not be supported by the newspaper in any legal action brought by Lord McAlpine, a spokesman has confirmed, leaving him funding his own potential legal costs. "
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9683457/Lord-McAlpine-Guardian-will-not-pay-George-Monbiots-legal-costs.html

Jan 3, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterConfusedPhoton

As I pointed out on the recent Wind of not much change thread, Pilita Clark of the Financial Times wrote a well researched and informed article about the folly and expense of wind farms. link so she at least is due some kudos.

Jan 3, 2013 at 9:49 AM | Registered Commenterlapogus

The Torygraph has a habit of publishing unattributed articles, e.g. today's:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/9775425/Changing-weather-patterns-will-make-the-perfect-British-lawn-a-thing-of-the-past.html

The article quotes Professor Julia Slingo of the Met Office saying "We should all be worried about climate change, we are taking the planet into unchartered territories through our own activities. We are taking our planet into a climate that we haven't seen for a very, very long time, going back to before there were gardens in the UK."

Might the reporting of this extraordinary claim within an article about the (potential) demise of the lawn-as-we-know-it suggest that even the Torygraph's cut-and-paste department is getting bored?

Jan 3, 2013 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterOld Forge

OF: I suspect that the increase in unattributed warmist propaganda in the Telegraph is a function of the decreasing credibility of "the queen of the press release", Louise Gray whose by-line usually heads up this kind of unreflective propaganda. The lesson here is that, in the end, churnalism is self-defeating.

BTW I should note that the on-line Telegraph - for the first time in my experience - has deleted a comment on a recent contribution by Louise where I noted (reasonably and politely) that her apparent devotion to getting press hand-outs by warmist lobby groups into the paper isn't what most people would describe as "journalism".

Jan 3, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterUmbongo

The list does seem odd, as others have mentioned. Some prominent names are missing.

Three of them (the warmie Australians from the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Fairfax) are all employed by the Fairfax group, which is currently going broke at a rate of knots and whose readership is sinking like a stone. A lot more people read and comment on the writings of journalists from rival publications, such as Andrew Bolt and Piers Akerman, who are employed by News Ltd, and who are sceptics.

While I agree that most science and environment journalists are mathematically and scientifically illiterate, I don't think that formal qualifications, or lack of them, is the issue here. I had to learn a bit of maths and stats and science for jobs that I had over the years - and would call in the experts to check my work before I opened my big mouth. It's about professionalism and ideology, not qualifications, IMO.

Jan 3, 2013 at 11:41 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

"Therefore, no real surprises there then - quite evidently it ain't necessary to comprehend - it's the (green) message and its communication, the conveyance which is the be all and end all." - Athelstan.

This. The Green Message is, "You must submit."

Jan 5, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

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