‘InsideClimate News’: Propaganda for Alarmism (balanced reporting would neuter their mission)
By Robert Bradley Jr. -- December 7, 2017
“Why bad news and bad news only? Don’t the very reporters and staffers at InsideClimate News want to add optimism to their professional lives? Or is climate alarmism just a day job, a 9-to-5 gig, after which the real world comes into focus?”
“What would happen if some intrepid reporter or story gatherer broke the mold and reported on global lukewarming or on the benefits of CO2? What would his or her boss say? What would the head of fundraising say? What would the donors say?”
I read InsideClimate News (ICN) daily. And I am perplexed to see a nonprofit writing/information organization claiming the mantle of “clear,” “objective,” “independent,” and “non-partisan” dish up 100% climate alarmism and ad hominem argument against critics of the same. One would think that voluntary transactions between consenting adults, the ebb and flow of science, and skepticism against intellectual and political elites would be enough to investigate such topics as:
- Controversial US wind power projects
- Rent seeking in the US energy market (fossil fuel and renewables)
- Cronyism at the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
- Cronyism at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
- Etc., etc.
Most recently, I received this ICN request for donations:
In the last few days, The New Yorker, Politico, and the Washington Post were all writing about ICN.
They were covering the sale of Time Inc. and the Koch brothers’ big stake in the deal, and ICN figured into the analysis of what it would mean. How the Kochs treated us provided an indication: The company paid for attack ads aimed at us and our publisher, “personalizing the public-relations battle in a manner usually reserved for gutter political campaigns,” as the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer put it.
It was the first time, but hardly the last we’ve been attacked for doing our job. A gas industry lobby group, a Canadian timber company, and ExxonMobil have also tried to silence our Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism.
Now here’s your chance to go against the big money interests that want to keep us quiet and keep you in the dark.
Starting today we’re going to double the power of your donation with a dollar-for-dollar match.
Your support has been instrumental in allowing us to have one of our best years ever since our founding 10 years ago.
Help propel us into the next decade with as generous a contribution as you can muster.
Director of Strategic Development
Companies such as ExxonMobil and Koch Industries have a duty to expose factual mistakes and unmerited bias against inadequate reporting. The fact that they do so is no prima facie evidence of wrongdoing. ICN should own up to their mistakes, not pretend they did not make them.
Dear Beth Daley. Why all the climate alarm and angst against consumer-driven, taxpayer-neutral energy choices? Why not investigate and report on the benefits of the human influence on climate, not only the purported negatives? Why all the doom and gloom on the science front–and guilty-until-proven innocent attitude toward oil, natural gas, and coal?
My New York Times, for example, runs stories such as this.
Carl Simmer, “A Global Greening,” New York Times, April 5, 2017.
“… Dr. [J. Elliott] Campbell and his colleagues have discovered that in the last century, plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years. Writing in the journal Nature, they report that plants are converting 31 percent more carbon dioxide into organic matter than they were before the Industrial Revolution. The increase is because of the carbon dioxide that humans are putting into the atmosphere, which fertilizes the plants, Dr. Campbell said.”
Cecilia Kang, “Arctic Ice Melts, and a Digital Rush Follows” (December 3, 2017)
“But in a surprising, and bittersweet, side effect of global warming — and of the global economy — one of the fastest internet connections in America is arriving in Point Hope, giving the 700 or so residents their first taste of broadband speed.
The new connection is part of an ambitious effort by Quintillion, a five-year old company based in Anchorage, to take advantage of the melting sea ice to build a faster digital link between London and Tokyo.
High-speed internet cables snake under the world’s oceans, tying continents together and allowing email and other bits of digital data sent from Japan to arrive quickly in Britain. Until recently, those lines mostly bypassed the Arctic, where the ice blocked access to the ships that lay the cable.
But as the ice has receded, new passageways have emerged, creating a more direct path for the cable — over the earth’s northern end through places like the Chukchi Sea — and helping those emails move even move quickly.”
Why bad news and bad news only? Don’t the very reporters and staffers at InsideClimate News want to add optimism to their professional lives? Or is climate alarmism just a day job, a 9-to-5 gig, after which the real world comes into focus?
What would happen if some intrepid reporter or story gatherer at this organization broke the mold and reported on global lukewarming or on the benefits of CO2? What would his or her boss say? What would the head of fundraising say? What would the donors say? As the intellectual debate over climate science (not to mention economics and policy) thaws, as climate pluralism grows, maybe such a small civil war can he hoped for.
But until then, the predictable beat goes on ….
Appendix: What Is ICN?
“Our mission is to produce clear, objective stories that give the public and decision-makers the information they need to navigate the heat and emotion of climate and energy debates,” their website states. The About section adds:
InsideClimate News is an independent, not-for-profit, non-partisan news organization that covers clean energy, carbon energy, nuclear energy and environmental science–plus the territory in between where law, policy and public opinion are shaped.
We are staffed by professional journalists, many of whom bring decades of experience from leading media organizations in the nation, including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, ProPublica, Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg News and Frontline. We have earned national recognition for our work and many of the most prestigious awards in journalism, including the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting.
Founded in 2007, InsideClimate News is incorporated in the state of New York and is a 501 c 3 tax exempt organization operating with IRS approval as a public charity. It is government by a Board of Directors and guided by best practices in non-profit management.
ICN has a statement of Editorial Independence:
InsideClimate News maintains a strict firewall between our news coverage and sources of revenue.
We accept gifts, grants from individuals and sponsorships for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and never on the basis of donor support.
Our organization may accept support for coverage of particular topics but our editorial staff determines what those topics are and ICN retains full editorial control of the resulting coverage.
Donors receive no special or preferential coverage and have no control or influence over the editorial direction of any coverage. Editorial copy is never shared with anyone, including donors, prior to publication.
We do not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office, nor do we accept donations from sources who our board of directors or editors deem could present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our editorial independence.