Deceptive climate headline

Pro­fes­sor Mike Hulme of East Anglia Uni­ver­si­ty who attend­ed the con­fer­ence and chaired one of the ses­sions explains.

The six key mes­sages are not the col­lec­tive voice of 2,500 researchers, nor are they the voice of estab­lished bod­ies such as the World Mete­o­ro­log­i­cal Organ­i­sa­tion. Nei­ther are they the mes­sages aris­ing from a col­lec­tive endeav­our of experts, for exam­ple through a con­sid­ered process of screen­ing, syn­the­siz­ing and review­ing of the knowl­edge pre­sent­ed in Copen­hagen this week. They are instead a set of mes­sages draft­ed large­ly before the con­fer­ence start­ed by the orga­niz­ing com­mit­tee, sift­ing through research that they see emerg­ing around the world and inter­pret­ing it for a polit­i­cal audi­ence.” Extract from a Pro­fes­sor Mike Hulme (empha­sis added)

As usu­al, there is some lazy, unpro­fes­sion­al jour­nal­ism behind these reports. An ‘alarm­ing’ press-release? “OK, print it!” Had the jour­nal­ists been both­ered to check the con­fer­ence web­site they would have seen the ridicu­lous dis­claimer at the bot­tom of the ‘Key Mes­sages’ release that should have altered them to the base­less claims.

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