Saturday, February 20, 2010

Missing News: Wong 'fully duped" according to climate researcher

Updated 5/4/2010-see outcome
ABC'S MISSING HEADLINE: "Wong 'fully duped' according to climate researcher"

ABC DID NOT REPORT: As of 8.00 am 20/2/2010 ABC we can find no reference on the ABC website to a recent controversial speech by Climate Change Minister Penny Wong given to the NATIONAL COASTAL CLIMATE CHANGE FORUM ADELAIDE, 18 FEBRUARY 2010. In the speech Senator Wong referred to several errors in the IPCC's 2007 assessment report, asserting for catastrophes:

"Another claim is that the IPCC exaggerated economic losses from catastrophes attributed to climate change.
The IPCC has described these claims as “misleading and baseless". The scientist has gone on the record to say his peer-reviewed scientific paper was correctly represented in the IPCC report.
There may well be dispute about the cost of catastrophes, but the science on the link between these catastrophes and climate change has not been credibly challenged."

This assertion has been challenged by Roger Pielke Jr. a professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In his blog Professor Pielke refutes Senator Wong's assertions and concludes:  

"The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence linking rising global temperatures to the increasing catastrophe losses around the world. Ironically enough, the scientific evidence includes the paper cited by Wong to suggest the opposite. Despite this fact, and the obvious IPCC misrepresentations on this subject, Australia's Penny Wong concludes:

There may well be dispute about the cost of catastrophes, but the science on the link between these catastrophes and climate change has not been credibly challenged.
Score that as one fully duped policy maker by the IPCC's spin and misdirection."

THE COMPLAINT: Given a senior international academic has effectively stated that Senator Wong mislead the public on an area of critical policy importance why has this news not been reported on?  

Can the ABC please provide a report on this important news so Australian audiences can be made aware of this news. 

ABC editorial policy 5.2.2 (f) states: Be questioning. Serve the public interest by investigating issues affecting society and individuals. 
It appears the ABC is not meeting its policy obligations on this issue.

OUTCOME"I refer to  your emails of 23 March and 20 and 16 February 2010.
As previously advised, Section 5.2.2(d) of the ABC Editorial Policies states that editorial judgements are based on news values. What is, or is not, considered newsworthy is a decision made at the discretion of ABC News editorial managers, based on their considerable editorial experience.  ABC News editorial managers will continue to assess stories on climate science on their merits.
The ABC Editorial Policies are available online at the attached link;

Please be assured that your comments and news suggestions have been noted and conveyed to our program areas."
COMMENT:News is only News for so long. Non reporting of certain news items can be considered as bias.

UPDATE: Given that this concerns a senior Cabinet Minister we remain baffled as to why the ABC has not covered this story. If Pielke is correct then either Minister Wong needs to issue a correction, or resign.

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