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Hot air, indeed



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Some of you may recall how the current media front-page treatment of “global warming” followed an era of front-page stories warning of the looming catastrophic, Man-made global cooling, but without the seemingly appropriate transitional story along the lines of “Humanity’s fate reversed.” Is it possible that today’s Washington Post story – quite typically styled “The Facts on Emissions, or a Lot of Hot Air?” – signals a similar curiosity, if on a scale far less grand?

WaPo has leapt from bemoaning the supposed, wretchedly rogue U.S. falling behind our European superiors, to running a story criticizing the administration’s rather subdued claim to being a champion of emissions performance.

Their beef? Apparently not every major industrialized country actually keeps records of its emissions – hmmm, if that is as material as this story indicates then certainly it was worth noting in the “U.S. out of step” stories? – therefore, it is possible that the U.S. claim to have done better than the rest might not actually be true. Oh, and the reasons the U.S. numbers look so good really have nothing to do with Bush, anyway.

So we have gone from saying how horrible Bush is to how his record’s not as great as it might look and besides he doesn’t deserve the credit. The transitional story that’s missing this time is again the report that the conventional wisdom is upside down.

The Post also quotes environmentalists as saying this is no big deal since “carbon dioxide emissions are up during the whole of the Bush presidency.” Presumably this refers to emissions in 2006 being higher than before Bush took office, which is true but barely so (through 2006 U.S. emissions were up 0.38% per year over 2000 emissions, per the Energy Information Administration and the pre-publication 2006 figures cited by the Post; that’s compared to 1.07% per year for the EU-15 using EIA and pre-publication EU numbers); US emissions were up vastly more in 2000 compared to 1992 (1.73% per year, also per EIA figures), as well. I

f Bush’s record or the U.S. performance under Bush is so terrible, it must be terrible compared to something. Clearly, by its absence the comparison with the Clinton-Gore administration isn’t a fair one, and now we know that comparing ourselves to the rest of the world isn’t, either, because not all of them keep score. You know, usually the greens aren’t so vague about precisely what’s eating them.

The lesson here is that we see, yet again, the media’s (and particularly WaPo’s) unwillingness to directly report on facts that aren’t consistent with the prevailing media template of warming-bad-U.S.-worse. This is the same way they treated Steve McIntyre’s recent expose of NASA’s surface temperature error, reporting on it only well after the fact for purposes of giving the alarmists a platform to diminish its significance. Just like today’s story.

Meanwhile, as recent PG posts below have shown, the public remain unconvinced of the alarmists’ case. Is it possible the public picks up on the prevalence of such slanted coverage, and their skepticism is one consequence?



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