Reuters: Republican Party “Actively Caused Climate Collapse”

Reuters News Agency is carrying an extraordinary article claiming that the Republican Party “actively caused climate collapse” and that it is “in the pay of the fossil energy industry”.

The highly unusual story is ostensibly on the subject of the tax that the Australian government plans to levy to cover the costs of the floods in Queensland, but soon veers off into what can most charitably be described as a rambling diatribe on global warming and how the Republicans caused it.

Citing someone called “Jansen” the article says that the Queensland floods were “exactly the kinds of events” that climate scientists have been predicting since the early 1980s, such as “below-zero blizzards due to Arctic melt”:

But these kinds of climate disasters are in our future too. These are exactly the kinds of events that climate scientists (from Jansen in the early eighties on) have been saying will become more common here too, as carbon dioxide levels rise.

How are we going to pay for the damage from an increasing number of droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and below-zero blizzards due to Arctic melt, all the result of climate change?

Reuters. Australia Raises a Tax to cover the Cost of Climate Change.

It’s difficult to begin to describe what’s wrong with this extract in terms of journalism alone, never mind climate science. For a start, where is “here” exactly? One presumes America, but Reuters is a British company with offices all over the world, so “here” could be literally anywhere. And who is “Jansen”?  Dr James Hansen of NASA GISS, perhaps? Or Eystein Jansen of the Bjerknes Centre in Norway who studies climate change by looking at sea-bed sedimentation? Who knows?

Is coherence now merely optional when writing a news article?

Reuters then goes on to say that history will record that the Republicans actively caused climate change. Not that they stood back and let it happen, mind you, but actively caused it:

History will show that Republicans and their Astroturf sub-party the Tea Party, both in the pay of the fossil energy industry, actively caused climate collapse, by preventing policies that grow clean energy to prevent it.

Reuters. Australia Raises a Tax to cover the Cost of Climate Change.

The by-line notes that the piece was provided by the “Matter Network”. The Matter Network Inc.’s ‘About‘ page boasts that it has “recently [been] selected as a leading content provider to Reuters’ Green Business News Service”.  If that article had my name on it, I wouldn’t be doing too much boasting, but maybe they feel differently. Its mission statement informs us that “Matter Network’s mission is to inform and activate the sustainability revolution.”

The advisory board of the Matter Network makes probably the most interesting reading of anything on their site. It shows that it’s not some nickel-and-dime backstreet operation, but a well-financed and supported PR effort:


R. James Woolsey: Partner, Vantage Point Venture Partners, former Director, Central Intelligence Agency

Suzanne Woolsey: Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute, Former COO, National Academy of Science

Reese Schonfeld: Co-Founder and former President, CNN

J. Scott Briggs: Former President, ZIff-Davis Publishing

Barry Briggs: Former President, C/Net Media

Mike Edelhart: Serial Internet Media Entrepreneur, former CEO Zineo, Executive VP, Ziff Davis Publishing

35 responses to “Reuters: Republican Party “Actively Caused Climate Collapse”

  1. If only this were true. The Republican Party was following along like lemmings on the climate change issue. It took a group of outsiders and angry citizens to help the GOP find some backbone on this.

  2. I guess Jansen is Eystein Jansen?

    • Thanks, Oxbridge. I’ll include that possibility in the post.

      I just cannot believe that any editor at Reuters could see this and still pass it. It’s vague, irrational, poorly-worded and incredibly partisan. Sic gloria and all that.

  3. Reuters is headquartered in London, but owned by Thomson Reuters, a Canadian holding which is in turn owned to 53% by the Thomson family of Canda. The Thomsons bought Reuters in 2008. Current head of the Thomson family is David Thomson, 3rd Baron Thomson Of Fleet.,_3rd_Baron_Thomson_of_Fleet

  4. I thought of posting a comment on Reuters but stopped when I saw their registration by-line “Latest news and raw video from over 129 counties (sic). Accurate data and analytics on 10,000 companies. Unbiased coverage, direct from Reuters….”. Yeah, right.
    Why all the whingeing when Aussies have seen this many times before and pride themselves on their self-reliance? Going soft under their green-backed government, are they? And losing the Ashes again …!

  5. None of the news agencies seem to be much use these days.

    However they really ought to consider what they write. What could be more beneficial to ‘the cause’ than an almost presentable reason for introducing a new tax? After all a few months of coal shipments to China should see Queensland recover the costs of the recovery. Will poeple around the rest of the country get a tax rebate then? Or is Gillard’s government setting up a concept that amy disaster – flood, drought, fires, locusts, whatever, can attract a tax so that, in time, they can all be rolled into one continuing ‘Green’ tax on a permanent levy basis?

  6. View from the Solent

    WTF is a “climate collapse”?

  7. This was actually quite shocking. The penetration of absolutely barefaced propaganda into the ‘balanced’ media coverage hits a new low.

    And the ‘advisory board’ for Matter Network is revealing too: a former CIA man, now a venture capitalist (no conflict of interests there, then), someone from the resolutely unbiased and open-minded NAS (yup, joke), a CNN biggie and a bunch of people from ZD Publishing and its various net spin-offs. I’ve had some direct experience of ZD and CNet, and neither inspires confidence.

    All in all – bizarre and not a little disturbing.

  8. Entertaining, I was speculating just yesterday in my article about who has kept this thing going for such a long time:

    “Does a huge lapse in mainstream media reporting allow the global warming crisis to stay alive?”

    The new US House GOP committee chairmen aren’t just presented with a ‘witch hunt’ opportunity to score a few points on the ClimateGate scandal, conservatives everywhere now have an unprecedented opportunity to expose the far-left agenda once and for all. Yes, doctoring temperature data is bad, but when people pushing an ideology resort to portraying critics as villains using an unsupportable accusation, solely to distract us from seeing the IPCC’s highly questionable claims about humans causing global warming, we have a huge problem. When an entity as globally influential as the mainstream media fails to seriously question any part of it, and actually joins in on the push, then we have a monumental problem.

  9. That will be the famous Reuters employer of Adnan Hajj

    Reuters website: “Our policy is to send news to our customers only after scrutiny by a group of production editors who ensure quality standards are maintained across all our news services. When we get something wrong, our policy is to be honest about errors and to correct them promptly and clearly

  10. The battle cry of the leftists: Everything’s the fault of those damn Republicans! And Libertarians too when they feel like expanding the List of Those Responsible For Everything That’s Wrong In The World.

  11. I don’t know where to begin. The article reads like something a 3rd grader has written. Devoid of truth and mixing the weather with climate.

    How are we going to pay for the damage from an increasing number of droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and below-zero blizzards due to Arctic melt, all the result of climate change?

    “wildfires” – (more humans, arson)
    below-zero blizzards due to Arctic melt
    “all the result of climate change?”

    “But these kinds of climate disasters are in our future too.”

  12. Meant to add:

  13. By the way the comments on the infantile Reuters page says it all. The author of the piece, Susan Kraemer, is being slapped upside the head by commenters. Great entertainment!

    • LOL! I hadn’t seen those. Very funny, she’s taking a real shellacking, by the looks of it, and rightly so. Thanks for pointing that out, Jimbo.


      • She deserves it, given that it sounds like her article is little more than a hit piece against Those Who Disagree With Me wrapped up with talk of taxes, climate change, Australia and other things.

        I’m sure the Tea Party will be surprised to find out it’s on some kind of payroll. I thought it was largely composed of ordinary people who are dissatisfied with Obama amongst other things, and has no real affiliations as a group, even if individuals will say they vote Republican.

  14. Is “climate collapse” the latest alarmist meme? When did it replace climate disruption? Has James Hansen been told?

    • I wonder how the collapse of a 30-year mean of weather data should look like. As a 30-year mean obviously dampens high frequencies, it will be a slow motion collapse. (Not that a journo would understand a word of what i write.)

    • Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse [Hardcover]
      David W. Orr [2009]
      “”It is rare to find so many fresh insights between the convers of one book. We are all indebted to David Orr for his incisive thinking.”–Lester R. Brown, President, Earth Policy Institute, and author of Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization”
      “”If you want to read the latest, and one of the most streamlined yet comprehensive accounts of our predicament, I’d recommend Down to the Wire by David Orr, an Oberlin College professor who has long been one of the country’s leading environmental thinkers. He lays out the dangers, and he lays out the plans that would be needed to counteract those dangers; it’s all there in simple and unavoidable prose.” –Bill McKibben, New York Review of Books”

  15. Re Reuters. As DirkH pointed out, it is now part of Thomson Reuters. Look a little deeper and we see yet another reason why they are totally biased on the AGW story. That is, that Sir Crispin Tickell, the “Godfather of Climate Change,” is on the board of Thomson Trust.

    If you are not familair with this man behind the curtain you need to read this, for starters:

    I have not found it yet, but judging by the relentless AGW propaganda generated by AP, there MUST be something similar there. I don’t even know who owns AP but that, and who runs it, would tell us a lot.

    It seems that the only thing unprecedented about current climate change is the massive vested financial interests devoted to extorting power and money from it. That was true for the castes of high priests, etc., back in the sun god days too but it has reached whole new heights now.

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  18. Pingback: Reuters : Republicans Making The Climate Collapse | Real Science

  19. Mervyn Sullivan

    There was a time when great British institutions, amongst which I include Reuters, could be relied upon for their objectivity and impartiality. Sadly, such organizations have succumbed to political correctness, bias and lack of objectivity. Reuters … the UK Met Office … the BBC … The Royal Society … and on and on it goes … have allowed themselves to become agencies of ‘spin’, taking it upon themselves to promote and indoctrinate people into believing that CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels is causing catastrophic global warming… a concept that is simply not supported by any empirical evidence.

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  21. Love this site. Well, if that don’t beat all! There was oil money handed out and I didn’t get a penny? I’m a tea partier! Exxon, call me!

    It was initially Global Warming. It quit warming, so a rename was in order:

    Climate Change: Really, they had it kinda covered with this one, except it didn’t convey BAD change.

    So we get Global Climate Disruption! And that added the GLOBE back in so you wouldn’t forget we need to have a global government. Plus it sounds kinda bad.

    But how can you outdo “Climate Collapse”? Well, first let’s spell it correctly: “Klimate Kollapse” or “климата коллапс” in its native Russian.

    We could call it Eugenics II, but it doesn’t sound scary enough. It’s probably more accurate to call it: DIE, DIE, DIE, Evil Human Parasites! (especially the conservative ones)

  22. “below-zero blizzards due to Arctic melt, all the result of climate change?”
    Excuse me, but what would be “above-zero” blizzards? Rain?

  23. In a word, illucid.
    Reuters should be ashamed of themselves for allowing a story on Australian disaster costs to degenerate into a purely American partisan rant. My guess is that Reuters is simply a mouthpiece for the Inilluminati – “the unenlightened ones.”

  24. Dr. Killpatient

    I suspect she is among those who wish daily for a pathogen to wipe out 99.9% of all human beings…leaving just a few liberal elites (herself included, of course) to enjoy Gaia’s wonders in peace.

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