New York Times's environmental reporter Justin Gillis earned an unusual two-column lead story part in Saturday's paper, part of his long-running scarefest series, "Temperatures Rising." The latest entry: "Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears." (Though that scary headline turns out to be upon further review a bit premature.) Gillis committed his usual smear of warming skeptics: "Climate-change contrarians, who have little scientific credibility but are politically influential in Washington...."
Will New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis offer an addendum to his alarmist March 8 report, "Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years," in the face of new information that discredits the underlying data?
In that story Gillis summarized a report (whose lead author is Oregon State University earth scientist Shaun Marcott) to declare without hesitation:
2012 was another banner year for bias at the New York Times, from slanted coverage of campaign 2012, to bizarre displays of unfairness to conservatives. The Times also intensified its push for liberal legislation on issues dear to the heart of its readership, like fighting "climate change" and amnesty for illegal immigrants. Here are some of the worst bits of bias from the year that was. (There's a more comprehensive version of this article on Times Watch.)
Taking Sides With Mitt Romney's Snobby Liberal Neighbors
The New York Times's alarmist environmental reporter Justin Gillis made the front of Business Day Wednesday with a left-wing protest movement at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, which is apparently "at the vanguard of a national movement": "The Divestment Brigade."
A group of Swarthmore College students is asking the school administration to take a seemingly simple step to combat pollution and climate change: sell off the endowment’s holdings in large fossil fuel companies. For months, they have been getting a simple answer: no.
As they consider how to ratchet up their campaign, the students suddenly find themselves at the vanguard of a national movement.
New York Times environmental reporters Justin Gillis and John Broder teamed up on Monday to unload some hot warming bias: "With Carbon Dioxide Emissions at Record high, Worries on How to Slow Warming." Gillis (pictured) in particular has a history of apocalypse-now! style climate reporting that has been ridiculed by actual scientists in the field. He and Broder certainly didn't hedge, taking as fact the theory that temperatures are rising inexorably because of man and will result in "higher seas and greater coastal flooding, more intense weather disasters like droughts and heat waves."
Gillis's preoccupation with the alleged dangers of overpopulation and overuse of natural resources are reminscent of the alarmism created by Paul Erlich's book The Population Bomb, which notoriously predicted in 1968 that 65 millions Americans would die of starvation in the 1970s (more like dieting).
Justin Gillis of the New York Times has written a long article that criticizes Dick Lindzen of MIT by quoting several scientists who disagree with him. But Mr. Gillis overlooks historical evidence that strongly supports Lindzen’s position that the climate has negative feedbacks that will limit human-caused global warming.
Gillis, a true believer, proudly told the Columbia Journalism Review in April that it was a "scandal" the media was failing to connect the dots between "weird weather" events and permanent climate change, and compared climate-change skeptics to people who don't believe in evolution.
New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis's interview with the Columbia Journalism Review put his unapologetic "climate change" activism on display, and compared climate-change skeptics to people who don't believe in evolution.
(Environmental scientist Roger Pielke Jr., who nominated Gillis's December 2011 piece accusing Republicans of blocking measures to document "climate change" as perhaps "the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change," says the interview unmasks Gillis as more advocate than journalist.)
The New York Times most apocalyptic environmental reporter Justin Gillis returned with another scary front-page story Wednesday. Last Christmas, Gillis penned a warning about Republicans imperiling climate research funding that environmental scientist Roger Pielke Jr.called "perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change."
His latest is even more urgent: "Sea Level Rise Seen as Threat to 3.7 Million." The story is based on research from Climate Central, which employs Heidi Cullen as chief climatologist. Cullen is notorious for suggesting in 2007 that meteorologists who doubt global warming should have their credentials revoked.
While former environmental reporter Andrew Revkin showed a double standard in his Wednesday coverage of Climategate versus his coverage of documents swiped from climate-change skeptics, he looked positively fair compared to the hostile reporting on the stolen documents Thursday by Times colleagues Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman, “In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching.” The reporters suggest a highly dubious two-page "Climate Strategy" memo "closely matched that of other documents" in tone and content, reminiscent of the paper's September 15, 2004 headline in defense of the infamous Rathergate fraud: "Memos on Bush Are Fake But Accurate, Typist Says."
Gillis and Kaufman accuse Heartland of fighting “climate science,” and cast its opponents as noble “defenders of science education.” Skeptics would accuse them of using classrooms to spread global-warming hysteria. (Last Christmas, a piece by Gillis was eviscerated by a climate scientist as “perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change.”)
Unlike the Times’s arms-length treatment of the “Climategate” emails, the Times embraced these stolen documents in much the same way it welcomed the secret and classified diplomatic cables from Wikileaks, while giving only lip service acknowledgment to Heartland pointing out at least one of the trove is a fake:
New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis took the left-wing idea of extreme weather equaling harmful global warming to heart in his front-page Christmas Day “news analysis” lamenting the Republican block of measures that would document “climate change” more closely, in “Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year.” But an environmental scientist eviscerated Gillis’s article as “perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change.”
In the days leading up to Hurricane Irene's march through the Northeast, journalists repeatedly suggested that the storm was yet more evidence of climate change.
"The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?" asked the New York Times' Justin Gillis in his August 28 piece.
HLN guest host Don Lemon asked scientist Bill Nye on Wednesday if the storm was proof of climate change. Nye answered that it was "consistent with all the predictions of climate change models" and added that the United States is behind the times in taking action on climate change. "There's no other developed world country that isn't very concerned about climate change," Nye asserted, and ABC's weatherman Sam Champion agreed.
Gillis’s latest story, admittedly written when Irene looked more dangerous than it turned out to be, was also guilty of disaster hype.
The scale of Hurricane Irene, which could cause more extensive damage along the Eastern Seaboard than any storm in decades, is reviving an old question: are hurricanes getting worse because of human-induced climate change?
The top headline on MSNBC.com on Saturday morning declared "The granddaddy of all gushers? Not this spill." They touted a New York Times story:
President Obama called the leak in the Gulf of Mexico "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced." But scholars are debating that description.
It's a good idea for reporters to question politicians' bluster about history. But it certainly sounds to Obama critics like an "It's not so bad quite yet" spin. The Times story goes off the spill question and into other disasters. It's certainly true that the Johnstown flood (with 2,200 deaths) trumps an oil spill in its human toll. Reporter Justin Gillis grew more conceptual: