Today a good news story.
Readers may recall The Australian published a misleading story on sea level rise (see WtD here) earlier this week. Many people in the science community expressed their frustration: not only with The Australian’s blatant misrepresentation of the paper referenced in the story, but with their continuing “war on science”.
I’m pleased to say there has been an encouraging development – The Australian has been forced to print a correction in page 2 of today’s printed edition (hat tip JonDee):
Perhaps it was the general outcry from scientists or the widespread and rapid response from the blogging and science community (see Graham Readfearn’s superb article) – whatever prompted this correction it is encouraging news.
It also offers a salient lesson: it is possible to stare down the denial machine.
Crikey reports: “Crikey understands the scientist relied on in Lloyd’s story to back up the claim of sea level rise not being linked to warming, the CSIRO’s Dr John Church, has expressed disappointment with that story. At least one environment group has complained to The Oz about the story. The Australian has been criticised in the past for running stories which some perceive as misrepresenting the science on anthropogenic climate change, but it has rarely issued corrections on its climate change stories.”
Graham Readfern writes: “Lloyd’s story ran on January 15, the day after he had decided to criticise the national broadcaster for the way it was covering climate change in a week-long series of stories from the ABC’s environment correspondent Sarah Clarke. Essentially, Lloyd’s rather churlish argument seemed to be that Clarke hadn’t interviewed the people he would have interviewed and cited facts in the way that he would have cited them. Discussing an ABC report on sea level rise, Lloyd wrote: “But the ABC did not mention recent scientific findings that there was no firm link to sea-level rises and climate change in the 20th century.” Oh the irony, it burns. To me, it seems a little rich for a journalist who is able to invert the findings of a science paper to feel confident enough to publicly lecture other journalists…”