The following article form Anthony Watts at WUWT is an update to John O'Sullivan: Is Skeptic Tom Harris a Dirty Denier of Climate Change?
Editorial: The Guardian doesn’t give a damn about accurate reporting nor its own editorial code
- Anthony Watts - WUWT
Strong headline, I know. But the headline is rooted in actions (and lack thereof). Readers may recall the smear job done by Guardian reporter Suzanne Goldenberg to Tom Harris at Carleton University in Ottawa which I covered in detail here: Fake moral outrage translated to smear: media upset that students can choose to take an elective course on climate change at Carleton.
Readers may also recall that in that story there’s a recorded transcript of the interview with Harris by Goldenberg, and it seems nothing substantive that Mr. Harris had to say made it in to Goldenberg’s story.
Before I published my investigation, Mr. Harris wrote a letter to the editor to the Guardian to set the record straight. It has been 10 days now and they still have not published it. Harris sent me a copy of the letter yesterday and I too sent a letter off to firstname.lastname@example.org and asked if they were going to publish it. According to my mail server logs, they received it, and it is now late in the day in London, so one can reasonably assume the answer was no. Since the Guardian does not apparently care about offering balanced reporting, (there’s no evidence it has been printed via Guardian’s own search) I’m presenting the letter from Mr. Harris here.
Feel free to upload my letter to The Guardian (below) to your superb site (minus my home address at the end, please), as you were suggesting. I did get an auto-response from “Letters editor, the Guardian” so there is no question that they received it. But they never published it.
Spring has sprung in Ottawa. Hope it is nice in CA too!
From: Tom Harris
Sent: February 29, 2012 1:19 AM
Subject: Re – “Heartland associate taught ‘biased’ climate course at Ottawa university”, Feb 28, 2012
I am commenting about the article found at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/28/heartland-associate-climate-scepticism-ottawa-university
. I understand you may wish to shorten my letter somewhat.
To the editor,
As primary target of Guardian Environment Correspondent Suzanne Goldenberg’s attack piece “”Heartland associate taught ‘biased’ climate course at Ottawa university” (Feb 28), I am very disappointed with this, my first interaction with your publication.
Contrary to the headline of the article, when I last taught at Carleton University, ending in April 2011, I was in not a “Heartland associate”. As was made clear to Goldenberg in our communications, I did not become an unpaid policy advisor with Heartland until only a few months ago.
Contrary to Goldenberg’s assertion that “Heartland’s core mission is to discredit climate change”, Heartland is committed to encouraging a full, open and honest dialog about the issue, and I explained to Goldenberg that they even hosted a friendly public debate between a “skeptic” and an “alarmist” at their last climate conference in Washington DC seven months ago.
Contrary to Goldenberg’s statement that the review of the Earth Sciences course was “an expert audit”, I explained to her that it was conducted by biologists who did not even bother to communicate with me about their opinions of the course before going public. This is especially odd considering the lead author is a postdoctoral fellow at Carleton.
Contrary to assertions in the subject piece, the course is well supported by peer reviewed literature and was no way extreme, merely concluding that we are a long way from understanding climate science well enough to be able to make definitive forecasts about the future but that we must help vulnerable peoples adapt to inevitable climate change.
If Goldenberg really believes that statements such as “The only constant about climate is change”, “carbon dioxide is plant food” or “the Amazon jungle is a relatively new formation, in geological terms” are even slightly controversial, then I suggest she take Professor Patterson’s course in 2013. It can be taken via the Web at a modest fee.
Executive Director, International Climate Science Coalition
Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2
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