When will they ever learn? Herald reprints Telegraph’s tawdry climate lies

Why would the New Zealand Herald choose to reprint a review of a book steeped in climate denial, under the headline The game is up for climate change believers in the week between two major climate reports from the IPCC? The review, by Charles Moore, a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, an up-market British newspaper noted chiefly for its unwavering support of the right wing of the Conservative Party, appeared on the Telegraph’s web site over the weekend — over a year since the book was first published. Someone at the Herald clearly thought that Moore’s views on The Age of Global Warming by former banker and right wing think tank denizen Rupert Darwell, would add something to the paper’s coverage of climate matters. If they did, one wonders whether they bothered to read it first, because Moore’s review is little more than extended paean of praise to Darwall’s conspiratorial thinking — global green conspiracy, capture of science by politics — all the tropes that traipse through the “works” of Delingpole, Wishart and Lawson. Worse than that: it makes factual errors that anyone paying the slightest attention to the content of the Herald — which you might expect its own staff to do — should have been able to pick up. Even worse: the Herald failed to notice that the Telegraph‘s own Tom Chivers noted that Moore was talking nonsense:

…whatever the merits of the book, Charles has made a howling, awful error in his very first paragraph, quoted above. Let’s look at it again:

The theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more.

No, it isn’t.

It simply isn’t. Whatever your thoughts on anthropogenic climate change, and whatever your thoughts on hockey sticks and the IPCC and “watermelons” and Climategate and urban heat islands and all these vexèd things, there is simply no sense in which “the theory of global warming is a gigantic weather forecast for a century or more”.

Chivers proceeds to demolish Moore’s review, and finishes his piece with this damning comment:

Charles has utterly misunderstood the issue, and told an entire scientific discipline that he knows best, and it’s important that someone points out that he’s got it wrong.

There’s more — much more — that Moore gets wrong. Here’s a sentence from his penultimate paragraph:

Last week, the latest IPCC report made the usual warnings about climate change, but behind its rhetoric was a huge concession. The answer to the problems of climate change lay in adaptation, not in mitigation, it admitted. So the game is up.

Utter tosh. Next week sees the release of the third part of the IPCC’s fifth report, devoted in its entirety to mitigation. It will undoubtedly point to the need to urgently reduce emissions. The Herald news pages will, I’m sure, go to some lengths to ensure that they provide good coverage of this important news.

But no notion of “balance”, or of reflecting a range of opinion can excuse printing factually incorrect propaganda from overseas. The Herald‘s foolish editorial team (or an ideologue hiding therein) made the paper look stupid today. It would be funny, if it weren’t so seriously wrongheaded — and dangerous for sensible public discourse on this crucial issue.

[Update 9/4/14, 8:45am: In the last hour the Herald has published Tom Chivers’ response to Moore’s review, but there is no link from Moore’s review to the riposte, or any other acknowledgement that it is clearly factually incorrect. At least it proves someone at the Herald is awake and following Twitter…]

6 thoughts on “When will they ever learn? Herald reprints Telegraph’s tawdry climate lies”

  1. And, of course, ‘aha, see, the game is up, it’s all about adaptation now’ is the line the loyal little Denier organic spambots have been feeding us.

    Sadly, it appears to pay to have a sound grasp of just how dumb, and easily-manipulated, your target audience is.

    Even more sadly there are more than a few in the media so lost in their cynical ‘look at me I’m a political insider, now I decide who gets to play at “he said” and who’ll be “she said” in return’ world that they are equally incapable of grasping that ‘dangerous’ really is the operative word.

    You really wouldn’t know it was the future of the planet at stake here…

  2. I suppose this utter clap trap that the NZ Herald shamefully engraved into its archives (once again I should say) is the outcome of either: complete stupidity and ignorance of the editors as Gareth pointed out, or, direction of the editors by corporate interests through its part Abbottalian ownership APN. In Abbottalia APN publishes a plethora of papers from Queensland through NSW. Perhaps Bill has a perspective on this from his vantage point. What do we know about the directors of APN and their connections to the climate change denial circus?

    We can only assume that the small fellowship of ACT sympathizers posting here from time to time will jump up and down with glee and celebrate this rubbish. No doubt we will hear from them soon….

    Lets hope that many people will take the Herald to task over this!

  3. Charles Moores review of the book is of course nonsense, but fortunately the Herald has today written a related article in the Opinion section that gives the other side of the debate.

    Some Journalist called Tom Chivers at the Daily Telegraph writes an article that is very critical of Charles Moores analysis. Tom is their environmental writer and makes some excellent points.

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