In what is presented to readers of an Associated Press report as a done deal, the Netherlands will impose a mileage tax on drivers beginning in 2012. It goes beyond most if not all other government-imposed taxes in that it will charge more during so-called peak times or if a vehicle is considered a heavier polluter.
The abolition of two other taxes is apparently the mechanism for enticing the Dutch into acquiescing to this intrusive arrangement.
Media bias watchers will not be surprised to know that the AP's unbylined Saturday report saved the government's overhyped promises for the report's second-last paragraph, and the tax-detailing punch line for the final one.
Here are some excerpts (bolds are mine; I believe that "mike" in the first paragraph refers to "micrometer"):
Are the upcoming Copenhagen climate talks really about nothing more than hammering out a world-wide agreement about carbon emissions to curb warming? Not according to martial arts professional and actor Chuck Norris.
If MSNBC is the "place for liberal politics," CNN is the place for latent America bashing, especially its corporations.
On his Oct. 22 CNN program, Rick Sanchez wore his American guilt like a badge of honor and said he wasn't going to stand for America to look bad because of what a corporation had been accused of doing, in this case Chevron (NYSE:CVX), whether they did it or not.
"We do a lot of this, and I'm glad you like it," Sanchez said. "What we do is we try and connect with what's going on in our hemisphere, this is important. In this case, how it is that often time our image as Americans - this is never a good thing - can be sullied by the behavior of an - of an American corporation abroad. And then they end up not representing us well."
On Oct. 23 ABC's "Good Morning America" aired back-to-back segments promoting climate change and, strangely enough, slamming hamburgers. First, George Stephanopoulos worried that Americans were becoming too complacent about global warming and discussed possible climate solutions with "Superfreakonomics" author Stephen Dubner. Dubner suggested choosing a kangaroo burger over a beef burger as a possible solution. Then Stephanopoulos interviewed Michael Pollan, author of "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and discussed the carbon footprint left behind by a McDonald's quarter-pounder with cheese.
Pollan said that "you're eating oil" when you're eating a burger: "You need oil to make the fertilizer to grow the corn. You need petroleum to make the pesticides to grow the corn. You need oil to move it all around the country."
Factoring in production, processing, and shipment, Pollan claimed that a quarter-pounder cheeseburger amounts to 26 ounces of oil. "What it tells you is that the carbon footprint of that burger is really big," said Pollan. "The result is a product that takes a huge environmental toll and obviously takes a health toll as well."
As the old saying goes, a photo can say a thousand things. But what it can't say is how it can be used to say one thing, but really be another thing. And that's just how The New York Times used it.
In the Oct. 9 issue of the Times, an article by Simon Romero and Clifford Krauss examined the events in a decade-and-a-half-long legal battle between a left-wing environmental group, supposedly representing the people of Ecuador, and Chevron over pollution allegedly left behind by Texaco.
However, the Times took liberty with a photo of "murky" polluted water with its Oct. 9 story, one that could lead a reader to Chevron is really at fault for pollution in Ecuador. (h/t Carter Wood, ShopFloor.org) The photograph, taken for the Times by Moises Saman (for photo see here), was captioned "a pool of oil in Lago Agrio, an Ecuadorean town in the Amazon where Texaco left contamination."
David Letterman is not just wearing his political views on his sleeve, as a one of his shows production executives recently pointed out. Now he's allowing his show to be used as a platform for leading Democrats to advocate action on liberal causes.
On Sept. 21, President Barack Obama appeared on CBS's "Late Show with David Letterman" and used his show to promote his health care/health insurance reform initiatives. But the very next night on Sept. 22, he had former President Bill Clinton on to publicize the efforts of the Clinton Global Initiative, one of which is to give aid to nations with rampant poverty.
Letterman set up Clinton to make a point about global warming. The "Late Show" host said he didn't understand how in this day and age people can still not have access to clean drinking water.
You know him as Han Solo or Indiana Jones, but these days, "Harrison Ford Fights for Planet." Or so says "Good Morning America."
ABC's morning show devoted an entire segment on September 21 to actor Harrison Ford touting "Team Earth", an "action campaign" dealing with "pressing environmental issues." Ford said, "We need to come together, umm, to create solutions to the pressing, uhhh, environmental issues that face us ... "
With the entire on-air cast of GMA surrounding him, Ford stated that "... it's the time to come together and, uhh, make an effort to, uhh, um, make people understand that we require - not just here in the United States but throughout the world - meaningful climate legislation, uhh, from all of our leadership."
Far from questioning the need for climate legislation, Ford's hosts helpfully prodded him along. Diane Sawyer chimed in, "And there are a lot of people who think this ... these are the months it must be done. We have to address what we're going to do if we're going to do something."
This could be dismissed as anti-human - but the theory the environment can be saved by encouraging the use of birth control is one that has been popular with media some environmentalists.
CNN's Lou Dobbs certainly hasn't shied away from the idea. On his Sept. 21 broadcast, Dobbs revisited an early report that the true path to environmental salvation wasn't by curbing greenhouse gas, but instead by subscribing to a Malthusian theory that slowing the growth of human population was the best path.
"We have more tonight on a story that we first brought to you last month, Dobbs said. "There is new evidence of the negative impact of overpopulation on our environment. The biggest threat to the environment isn't, it turns out, gas-guzzling cars or power plants but rather having too many children all around the world."
The ADC maintains it was working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there were only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites. A subsequent May 15 New York Times story followed, but neither CBS nor the Times gave much credence to the possibility of corruption in the Ecuadorian courts.
In an interview with CNBC Asia from the World Capital Market Symposium on the Aug. 10 broadcast of "Squawk Malaysia" Krugman said the stimulus that passed earlier this year was inadequate.
"We should be doing something to give the world, well give each of the major economies more of a jolt," Krugman said. "I mean, we've had these stimulus packages, but they were all inadequate. The United States, it was clear from day one that this wasn't going to be big enough."
Greenpeace and the Canadian-born actor joined forces against Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) and accused the company of "breaking green promises" for not producing products completely free of PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants. Activists from the radical environmental group painted a giant message on the roof of Hewlett-Packard's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. that read "Hazardous Products."
And in addition to the rooftop graffiti, Greenpeace set up an automated message to dial HP employee's numbers and then play them a recorded message from Shatner.
Barack Obama’s energy czar appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to discuss the cap-and-tax bill passed by the House last week on a razor-thin margin. Carol Browner got stumped by Fox’s Steve Doocy while questioning her ability to speak to the subject, which prompted her to declare Doocy “unfair” for blindsiding her. You be the judge — should Doocy have wondered whether Browner had bothered to read the bill she was promoting on national TV, or is that “unfair”?
Have you ever read a newspaper article and walked away stunned that the writer seemed to be totally oblivious to the real story or left some significant questions unasked?
Conservative readers of the June 9 Washington Post could understandably answer yes to the aforementioned question after reading the front page story "Early Lesson in Eco-Activism Comes From Economics Book."
Casting about for a cause, the Young Activist Club at Piney Branch Elementary settled on something close at hand: the hundreds of polystyrene trays and plastic utensils discarded daily in the school cafeteria.
After 120 days of the new presidency, the automobile industry provides some of the best evidence of an administration that favors the heavy hand of government meddling in the private sector. And as is the case with mostcoverage of President Obama and his policies, criticism of his automotive tinkering has been sparse.
On May 19, Obama announced a 30-percent increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would come to a 35.5 miles per gallon (mpg) average for both cars and light trucks. It will equate to a higher percentage increase for cars, up from its current level of 27.5 mpg standard to 39 mpg starting in 2016. And the average for light trucks would rise from 24 mpg to 30 mpg.
"We have set in motion a national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for new trucks and cars sold in the United States of America," Obama said during his May 19 announcement.
While reporting on the Obama administration’s plan to impose higher fuel standards on cars and trucks on Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith asked Obama environmental advisor Carol Browner: "As a former long-time administrator of the EPA, how overdue is this?" Browner replied: "It is long overdue. You know, Congress stood in the way of tougher fuel economy standards for a long time. That finally was fixed."
Smith did question the higher price of cars for consumers that would result from the tougher standards: "With the added price tag cost to these average vehicles, and much higher -- higher gas mileage and fewer emissions, what is my incentive, what is my dollar incent – incentive to buy a car like this?" Browner argued that consumers would save money in the long-run due to better gas mileage: "...whether you want to buy a bigger car or a smaller car, they will all be more efficient, and cleaner. So we're preserving the consumer choice, but giving every consumer the opportunity to save money at the pump." Smith replied: "Will SUVs and pickup trucks go the way of the dinosaur, though?"
On the face of it, the idea of the government being able to regulate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted into the atmosphere seems absurd. After all, it's a gas emitted by, among other things, human breathing.
That's the point Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, was making when he criticized the new policy that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate CO2 - much to the chagrin of MSNBC "The ED Show" anchor Ed Schultz.
"The Republican from Texas, Barton has already made it clear he's one of Congress' biggest deniers on man-made climate change," Schultz said during his "Psycho Talk" segment on his May 13 broadcast. "Now he's got a new one. The Congressman spoke with Newsmax - there's a news source - on Monday. Now, based on his interview, if you were a runner, I'd be a little bit of nervous about your favorite sport."
You might expect this sort of simple revelation from the New York Times reporting, but a May 11 article declared that when Chevron hires a former reporter to tell the company's side of the story, it's intended to make them look good - or not as bad as the eco-activists deem appropriate.
After CBS's "60 Minutes" aired a one-sided segment attacking Chevron (NYSE:CVX) for a mess the oil company contends it is not responsible for, a Times article by Brian Stetler questioned the merits of their efforts to counter the claims, specifically in hiring a former CNN reporter to speak on the company's behalf.
"As a demonstration of just how far companies will go to counteract negative publicity, the Chevron case is extraordinary," Stetler wrote. "Gene Randall, a former CNN correspondent, spent about five months on the project, which was posted on the Internet in April, three weeks before the ‘60 Minutes' report was shown on May 3."
Pelley's report featured a suit filed by the Amazon Defense Coalition, a group described as "eco-radicals," who are trying to squeeze $27 billion from Chevron for environmental cleanup that the nation's government signed off on more than a decade ago. Pelley described ADC as working on behalf of 30,000 villagers, although there are only 48 named plaintiffs, to win funds for so-called environmental damage in Ecuador's rain forest from then-Texaco Petroleum's (Texpet) operation of oil well sites.
On Sunday’s CBS ‘60 Minutes,’ anchor Scott Pelley, who once remarked that global warming critics were the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, identified the American coal industry as one of the main culprits of climate change: "The future of our climate might be summed up in one question, what do we do about coal? Coal generates nearly half the electricity in the United States and in the world. But it is the dirtiest fuel of all when it comes to carbon dioxide, or CO-2, the leading greenhouse gas. A few days ago, the Obama administration declared, for the first time, that CO-2 is a threat to human health and it plans to impose limits."
Pelley’s story did feature a representative of the coal industry, Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers, who actually called for limitations on carbon emissions: "It's my judgment it is a problem. We need to go to work on it now. And it's critical that we start to act in this country...Our goal line is substantially to reduce our carbon footprint, to de-carbonize our business, by 2050." However, that wasn’t good enough for Pelley: "Four decades? That's a long time."
Pelley followed up by citing left-wing global warming activist Jim Hansen: "2050 is too late. We will have guaranteed disasters for our children, grandchildren, and the unborn." Pelley explained: "Jim Hansen is NASA's top climate scientist. He's credited with some of the earliest and most accurate projections on climate change. He thinks that Rogers plan leaves the Earth in the oven decades too long."
President Barack Obama burned roughly 9,000 of jet fuel yesterday, Earth Day, and that only to deliver one speech in Iowa, reports CBS News's Mark Knoller in an April 22 Political Hotsheet blog post.
As if that weren't amusing enough, Knoller notes that the Air Force and the White House wouldn't disclose to Knoller how much fuel the president's plane burns on an average flight, so he had to consult with the manufacturer of the 747, Boeing:
In flying to and from Iowa today, President Obama took two flights on Air Force One and four on Marine One.
The press office at Andrews AFB wouldn’t give me the fuel consumption numbers for the 747 that serves as Air Force One without the approval of the White House Press Office, which as I write this has yet to be given.
But Boeing says its 747 burns about 5 gallons of fuel per mile. It’s 895 miles from Washington to Des Moines, so a round trip brings the fuel consumption for the fixed-wing portion of the President’s trip to 8,950 gallons.
Not once in his story did Stone press Bonds on specifics about how she expected to replace jobs lost due to the anti-mining regulations that she pines for, nor did he raise an eyebrow to Bonds practically suggesting that West Virginians would be better living in shotgun shacks without electricity (emphasis mine):
Don’t you dare go buy that $300 department store satin dress for your senior prom; a Captain Planet costume is more appropriate. Some high school students are entering an online video contest called Project Green Prom in which they promise to create a “zero waste event” for their high school prom.
For the next 25 days, high school students have the opportunity to send in three minute videos describing their ideas to create a more environmentally-friendly prom to the Web site teensturninggreen.com. The contestants can win eco-prom dresses from top designers, “sustainable” beauty products, and the grand prize winner gets a trip to New York City for a full “Green Prom Makeover.”
But the media is not reporting this push to get high school students to incorporate political pressure into what is already a night full of pressure to get the right date, get the right dress, etc. The only places this contest appears are on left-wing, “green” sites like greendaily.com, www.treehugger.com, and mothernaturenetwork.com.
Uniquely among Monday’s broadcast evening newscasts, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams read a short item citing a "disheartening" report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicting that the world is in danger of suffering effects of global warming that will take 1,000 years to reverse unless "immediate action is taken to cut greenhouse gases." Williams: "The folks at NOAA ... say that if carbon dioxide continues to build up unchecked in our atmosphere, then the effects of global warming could be irreversible for more than a thousand years. That could mean severe drought in some parts of the world. Researchers conclude things are not hopeless as long as immediate action is taken to cut greenhouse gases."
Below is a complete transcript of the item from the Monday, January 26, NBC Nightly News, as read by Williams:
More proof that America has been delivered from the eight years of hell that were the Bush administration: Environmentalists are happy again. That’s according to CBS Evening News on Jan. 26.
Reporting on the orders President Obama issued yesterday to overturn Bush Administration decisions regarding automotive emissions, Chief White House Correspondent Chip Reid said, “On Capitol Hill critics said the action could set the struggling American automobile industry back even further, but the change in course delighted the president’s audience, long suffering environmental activists.”
Had it been a Republican president undoing the draconian environmental policies of a Democrat president, would Reid have talked of “long suffering manufacturers?” “Hard pressed entrepreneurs?” “Much put-upon businesses?”
"The thing I noticed... the smell change. You can smell the fuel. There's a very large carbon footprint out here. Were we taxing this, it would be expensive," Fox New Channel anchor Shepard Smith quipped to colleague Neil Cavuto, in live coverage from Washington shortly before 4 p.m. on Inauguration Day.
Smith and Cavuto were watching the slow-moving presidential limousine make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the presidential parade reviewing stand.
There's no pleasing the greeniacs, I suppose. Eco-evangelism knows no holiday as environmentalists take aim at the buses ferrying caravans of Obama fans to the swearing-in.
Perhaps showing that the only criticism of Obama the print media finds worthy of printing is mild critiques from the left, today's "Inauguration Watch" digest in the Washington Post has the story in a 5-paragraph squib printed on page B4:
Environmental advocates are concerned about the impact on air quality caused by the thousands of buses that are descending on Washington.
Clean Air Watch Director Frank O'Donnell said the "virtual armada of diesel buses" rolling into town might actually have a positive impact. Black clouds of soot might be exactly what it will take to raise awareness for policy change, he said.
2008 was the safest year ever to be an American miner. The combined number of fatalities from all forms of mining was the lowest ever.
2007 (latest information available) also shows the lowest "all-injury" rate for miners on record by far.
Yet Ken Ward Jr.'s early-January contribution at the Charleston (WV) Gazette to the spate of final-month Bush-bashing pretended that this data doesn't exist. Instead he gave the impression of an opposite situation. Media outlets have been trying and failing to make this case since the Sago Mine Disaster of January 2006 (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog), even while the safety stats have generally showed nearly continuous improvement.
The good folks at Media Matters for America are displeased with the New York Times having the nerve to point out the hypocrisy inherent in environmentalists destroying the environment.
For those that don't actually care about such things, the Sundance Film Festival began last Thursday, and as the video embedded right demonstrates, the organizers are supposedly going to great lengths to make this year greener than ever.
Unfortunately, such efforts seem to be failing according to an article published in the Times Arts section Saturday.
This didn't sit well with MMA's Eric Boehlert who in a posting at the group's County Fair blog Sunday seemed oblivious to his own hypocrisy:
Climate realists around the world have contended for years that the real goal of alarmists such as Nobel Laureate Al Gore and his followers is to use the fear of man-made global warming to redistribute wealth.
On Monday, one of Gore's leading scientific resources, Goddard Institute for Space Studies chief James Hansen, sent a letter to Barack and Michelle Obama specifically urging the president-elect to enact a tax on carbon emissions that would take money from higher-income Americans and distribute the proceeds to the less fortunate.
The eco-socialism cat was let out of the bag on page five of a PDF Hansen published at Columbia University's website on December 29 (emphasis added, h/t Britain's Guardian, file photo):