Tag Archives: Washington Post

Dana Milbank speaks to Experts

A few weeks ago Dana Milbank wrote a column for the  Post where he had some suggestions on how to combat global warming.

I’m glad he has used the access to experts afforded to Post staffers to learn:

 “To remove carbon from the atmosphere, we could bury wood and agricultural waste…”.

 This is called land filling, it’s where most trash goes.

I’m not an expert, but perhaps he could use the vast resources at the Post to learn if paper is made from wood. (And paper products, too?) Next, find another expert to learn if most paper is made from 1000 year old redwoods or 2nd, 3rd, 4th generation trees grown on tree farms. (Yes, I am aware that the Post does buy its paper from unsustainably managed virgin tropical and boreal forests, but most paper is more locally produced). Then, find another expert to explain about the energy inputs (all of the inputs) required to recycle paper. Another expert will be needed to explain land fill capacity. (Hint: landfills aren’t forever, Hint 2: What’s with all that space in “flyover country”? ) Finally, find yet one more expert to put it all together.

Here are some potential outcomes from the final expert’s analysis.

  1. Recommends that landfills be re-named “carbon capture facilities”.
  2. Tells you that if you’re the sort of person who believes a trace gas like carbon dioxide is in any way a significant climate driver, you should stop recycling paper and wood based products.
  3. Mr. Milbank may learn that a large portion of the trash in the DC area is burned, so stopping paper recycling would have fewer benefits there.

Mr. Milbank will need to be careful to ask only experts. If one does this oneself, one may stumble on to sites like epa.gov, where information can be misleading and contrary evidence is omitted. Make sure to ask the right experts though. Don’t ask the ones who made predictions about the swine flu. Or hurricane activity. Or Arctic ice extent. Or the ARRA keeping employment under 8%. Or President Obama’s health care reform reducing premiums 

The Post Sells Access, Part 2 of 2 – The Publisher Stonewalls

Katherine Weymouth Publisher of The Wahington Post, wrote a letter to the readers blaming the  author of a “flyer” with mistating the context of the events. No mention of why money was involved.

The Post “Sells” Access, Part 1 of 2, The News Media Miss the Real Story

Par for the course, the news media have missed the real story of the Washington Post “selling access’.

If an executive were to pay a lobbying firm to get that kind of access, it would cost a lot more than $25,000 in billable hours. $25,000 is the catering bill for a Washington insider dinner/cocktail party. A small party at that. The real story is not that the Post was selling access, but that financial conditions have deteriorated so drastically that the parties could no longer be expensed without a care. What were up to now limited to insider cronies are now available to the public. The Post finally gets a chance to practice the egalitarianism it has always preached.

Light Bulbs, Windmills, Electric Cars… What’s the Point?

This story had a little factoid that caught my eye. It’s a window into the whole man-made global warming phenomena.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062902499_pf.html

166,000,000 to 14.

Or

11,857,142 to 1.

 That’s the ration of car emissions to one 500MW coal fired power plant. For the money spent on saving GM we could have built 7GW of nuclear power and then some.

Climate Reporting – Getting Colder

Climate reporting is getting colder with respect to accuracy. On April 7 the Washington Post published a woefully reported article on Arctic ice, claiming that it was in rapid decline and misrepresenting George Will while they were at it. Yesterday on May 18, only a month from the solar maximum at the North Pole, Arctic ice remains at an extent greater than any measured by the IARC satellite (which went online in 2002)’

 Last year, uninformed press release rewriters posing as “journalists” ran story after story predicting Arctic catastrophe because of the fragile “first year ice”. This year the articles bemoan the lack of “multi-year ice” as the Post’s article typifies.

 Next year, will the crisis be the dearth of Arctic ice older than three years?

 The ongoing crisis is the surplus of credulity within the news media.

Earth Day Confidence

Earth Day seems to have passed without what had become a customary media blitz. Yes, it was mentioned, but the hype has definitely been toned down.

Could it be due to the economy? Tight finances drive consumers away from luxury “green” products. Without marketing dollars for these “green” products, media corporations, including the news media, are not going promote something without getting paid.

Or could it be the public opinion polls that indicate that the public is slowly being educated about man-made global warming? Earth Day used to be about picking up trash and planting trees, but about a decade ago recipients of global warming research grant money really made a big push into Earth Day. The newest opinion polls indicated that a growing plurality of Americans are realizing that climate is subject to natural changes and that the much promoted “90% confidence” of the IPCC  may just be part of a confidence game to secure more funding.

As George Will has accurately pointed out, global ice extent is well above the historic (30 year) median. At this writing, Artic ice extent is at a 7 year high, despite poorly researched articles in news media publications like the Washington  Post that predict increasing losses.

To be clear, (As the President likes to say), the Post article spoke about ice “volume” and the loss of “multi-year’ ice that is older than two years.

Is ice older than two years critically important to the Artic, or will the same reporters write an article next year about the critical loss of ice older than three years?

Fairness

 

E. J. Dionne, writing in the Washington Poston the 26th about the benefits of raising taxes, at one point make an appeal to fairness. I was struck by his notion, certainly not unique among members of the news media,  of fairness.  

If one were to conduct a survey on the question “If person ‘A’ has $50K taxable income and pays $6700 in taxes, how much should person ‘B’, who has 20 times more taxable income pay?” I assume the most common answer would be “20 times more” or $134,000. I’m pretty sure the people who would answer “48 times more” (the current tax code) or higher would be outliers.

Mr. Dionne and his brethren seem to equate “more able” with “less entitled”. Otherwise how else could they justify confiscating the fruits of a person’s labor at different rates without serious moral consideration? The right to one’s own labor is a pretty important civil liberty. There’s even a Constitutional Amendment to clarify the issue.

When considered on moral grounds it’s amazing what Mr. Dionne is willing to compromise civil rights for. Read the ARRA (Stimulus Bill) or the recent Omnibus Spending bill to see what Mr. Dionne thinks justifies infringing  civil liberties.