A (belated) Congratulations to the New Zealand Herald

My apologies for the lack of posts of late. This one has been at the back of my mind for some time. I have previously been very critical of the coverage of climate change in the New Zealand Herald. As such, I was pleasantly surprised to have seen an article which questions the validity of alarmist warming predictions by Jim Hopkins. I quote some sections below:

If you’re worried about all the things you have to worry about, cheer up. Here’s one thing you won’t have to worry about any more. Global warming (remember, this was a prediction) will be the Great Disappearing Act of 2011. It will sink like a stone, exit stage left and generally melt away. Whoopee! [and]

We just don’t need to worry about it any more. That’s all. The prediction holds. Global warming has disappeared.

It is refreshing to see that such a piece published. My view is that there is a debate, and the media should address both sides of the debate. That is, that the media should cover both the alarmist and the skeptical view points evenly, or at least give some kind of balance. As such, I am in the surprising position of saying congratulations to the New Zealand Herald.

However, before getting carried away, a quick search for the term climate change also pulled up an article reviewing the year for the US, and which says (emphasis added):

Pipeline opponents, who included thousands of protesters outside the White House, blasted it as a retrograde step that deepened fossil fuel dependence even as a biblical succession of extreme weather – tornadoes, floods, fires, droughts and hurricanes – associated with climate change saddled the economy with 12 US$1 billion events.

There is no evidence that links these kinds of extremes with climate change (e.g. see here for a commentary on a recent IPCC report by Judith Currie). The New Zealand Herald is not alone in attribution of extreme weather events to climate change, which seems to be a commonplace in many media outlets. However, it is the kind of reporting that feeds into public alarm, and does so with no science to back up the alarm.

However, having put this niggle out of the way, the Jim Hopkins article is a good start. All we need now is some reporting on the findings of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition (regarding the dodgy dealings on the New Zealand temperature record), and perhaps some reporting on the murky involvement of NIWA employees in the manipulation of peer review.

However, all credit to the NZ Herald for publishing a view from outside the alarmist camp!

Happy New Year and let’s hope for more balance in 2012!

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