Published: Fri, August 11, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

NY Times Adds Major Correction Undermining Story on 'Suppressed' Climate Change Study

NY Times Adds Major Correction Undermining Story on 'Suppressed' Climate Change Study

Under the front-page sub-headline, "Fears of Suppression", the article claimed the draft report had "not been made public" by the Trump administration but "a copy of it was obtained by The New York Times".

The scientific report is working its way through the federal review process and, Hayhoe says, "has passed peer review, public review, agency review by all agencies and departments with relevant expertise, and review by a committee of the US National Academy of Sciences that was specially convened with the sole objective of reviewing this report".

The 27th annual State of the Climate report, prepared by more than 450 scientists from almost 60 countries under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's watch, said 2016 marked the third straight year of record warmth.

It appears that to save face, the Times added the phrase "while it was not widely publicized" to the correction. Making the report public at least forces the Trump administration to explain why it does or does not stand behind the science.

Global annual average atmospheric Carbon dioxide concentration was 402.9 parts per million (ppm) which surpassed 400 ppm for the first time in the modern atmospheric measurement record and in ice core records dating back as far as 800,000 years, the NOAA said.

But the report also says that "crucial uncertainties remain".

Some of the key findings of the report are that the average temperature in the U.S. has increased dramatically since 1980 and that recent decades have been among the warmest in the past 1,500 years. What is very clear is that the New York Times has lost any sense of objectivity on the issue. Even so, the article continues to carry this line: "Another scientist involved in the process, who spoke to The New York Times on the condition of anonymity, said he and others were concerned that it would be suppressed".

Keep this in the file when the Times reporters and columnists slip into high dudgeon about the White House displaying a lack of curiosity or a lack of respect for the importance of getting facts right.

Despite the correction, the Times piece still contains language worrying that "the Trump administration could change or suppress the report".

A White House official told CNN it will "withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date".

Next up: A tweet about the "failing" New York Times from a certain fellow. But it still remained online at the Internet Archive's site. "It was not a well-known site to us and the point is that the people who shared the draft with us were not aware of it either". The last report was released in 2014. The coinage for this is the now-ubiquitous term "fake news".

Actually, from what we've seen of past reports, it likely should be rewritten to reflect real science, diverging views and the emerging evidence that global warming science is fraught with outright fraud. In that sense, the leaked report helps isolate the president, his fellow doubters and his allies, such as Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, whose combined regulatory moves would reduce curbs on emissions and set the stage for accelerated drilling and mining on federal lands.

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