Feb
20
2013

Why Does a Climatologist Need to Explain Economics to Joe Nocera?

NASA climatologist James Hansen has tried to explain to New York Times columnist Joe Nocera why he's so wrong about the tar sands, but Nocera's account of their argument makes it seem like explaining anything to him would be an uphill battle.

Feb
19
2013

Friendly Oil–Not the Venezuelan Kind

Exhibition-on-the-tar-san-005

With the Keystone climate protests in Washington bringing climate change back into the media, we're hearing a lot about how the Keystone pipeline will, at the very least, mean that we'll be getting our oil from a nice country.

Dec
18
2012

Fracking: Too Much of a Good Thing, Says Planet Money Guy

Photo:Flickr/joshlopezphoto

There is no serious discussion of environmental costs borne by the public, and there is not one word about climate change–a pretty shocking oversight when one considers the potential ramifications of a massive new investment in a fossil fuel industry.

Oct
25
2012

NPR Could Use Some 'Energy Independence' of Its Own

NPR's Tom Gjelten

NPR's Tom Gjelten had a story on Morning Edition today (10/25/12) that made an important point about a prominent fallacy in the energy debate–and then spent the second half of the story falling into the exact same fallacy. The story questioned the constant use of the phrase "energy independence" in political discussions of U.S. energy policy. Gjelten noted: In truth, it would be virtually impossible for any country to be totally independent where energy is concerned. Not only would it have to produce all its own oil; it would also have to be independent of the global economy. Like sugar, […]

Oct
23
2012

WaPo: Racism in Obama TV Ad?

romney-coal

The Obama campaign has released a new ad criticizing Mitt Romney for having a Swiss bank account and wanting to keep tax breaks for corporations that offshore jobs.  The commercial's most devastating line: Romney once railed against the deadly pollution from a coal plant. I know what you're thinking: Totally racist, right? That's sort of the point of Karen Tumulty's piece today in the Washington Post (10/23/12). Under the headline "Obama's 'Not One of Us' Attack on Romney Echoes Racial Code," Tumulty uses complaints from right-wing bloggers to lead a discussion about the commercial, which she says "echoes a slogan […]

Oct
19
2012

Every Green Energy Failure Is News

Photovoltaic panels, Germany. Photograph by Bernd Sieker.

USA Today (10/17/12) ran a story about a battery manufacturer filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. But the story might as well have been a press release from the Mitt Romney campaign. "Another Blow for Green Energy" read the headline. Wendy Koch's piece led off with this: An electric vehicle battery maker that was awarded $249 million in federal stimulus funds filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on Tuesday, giving GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney potential ammunition to attack President Obama's green-energy subsidies. It's a short article, but it's hard to avoid the central theme: This is good news for the […]

Oct
12
2012

FAIR TV: Chavez vs. Corporate Media, Greening Fracking, NYT's Mideast Time Machine

FAIR TV takes a look at how the U.S. media handled the Venezuelan election, how the Washington Post "greened" fracking and how the New York Times used a time machine to "fix" a headline about Israel/Palestine. Watch it, share it with your friends and please leave a comment below.  

Oct
11
2012

Washington Post Greens Fracking

Poster at anti-fracking protest in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Bill Baker.

The Washington Post editorial page (10/5/12)  weighed in on the contentious environmental issue of fracking. No surprise–they're all for it. "Fracking's Green Side" is the headline in the print edition. (The Web version is different.) The editors write: Those who would ban fracking or regulate it into oblivion ignore the exceptional benefits that inexpensive natural gas can provide in the biggest environmental fight of our time–against climate change. Of course, many people who fight climate change don't think fracking is the answer. They point to the considerable local environmental hazards–water and air pollution, for starters–but they also question the argument […]

Sep
14
2012

FAIR TV: Chicago Teachers vs. Corporate Media, NYT and Torture, WashPost and Big Oil

Sep
14
2012

WaPo's 'Lively Debate,' Brought to You by Big Oil

FAIR's new action alert shows how the Washington Post failed to disclose to readers that a two-page spread on the election-year energy debate was based on events the paper co-sponsored with the American Petroleum Institute. We're asking people to write to the Post's ombud about this conflict. Please feel free to share your letter in the comments section below.

Aug
24
2012

Pointing Out How the Magician Does His Tricks Would Just Be Rude

Buddy the Bunny in a Top-Hat

In a New York Times story (8/24/12) about Mitt Romney's energy proposals, reporters Eric Lipton and Clifford Krauss make this observation: With gasoline prices again approaching $4 a gallon, Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee, is also trying to merge energy and economic policy in a way that will make voters see increased energy production as a pocketbook issue. Note that Lipton and Krauss don't say that increased U.S. energy production will actually affect the $4-a-gallon price of gas and hence the voters' pocketbooks; that would be inaccurate, since oil is a global commodity and it's impossible for the U.S. […]

Nov
24
2009

WP (Re)inventing a Green Nuclear Renaissance

How many times does nuclear power get to have a "comeback"? At least one more, the Washington Post Anthony Faiola reports today (11/24/09), under the headline "Nuclear Power Regains Support," and the subheads "Tool Against Climate Change" and "Even Green Groups See It as 'Part of the Answer.'" The "greening of nuclear power" story is a perennial corporate media favorite (Extra!, 1-2/08), and no example of the genre would be complete without the environmentalist-turned-nuclear-lobbyist whose financial ties to the nuclear industry go politely unmentioned. In this case, it's Stephen Tindale, described as the former head of Greenpeace's British office and […]