NYT Lets Stern Skate on Climate Claims
Andrew Revkin and Tom Zeller filed a story for the December 9th New York Times on the Copenhagen Climate Conference reporting:
Asked about arguments by diplomats and some protesters that the United States should provide hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to developing nations as reparations, Mr. [Todd] Stern, the special envoy for climate change, bluntly fired back at a news conference. ‘I actually completely reject the notion of a debt or reparations or anything of the like,’ he said. ‘For most of the 200 years since the Industrial Revolution, people were blissfully ignorant of the fact that emissions caused a greenhouse effect. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon.’
In truth, Svante Arrhenius famously posited the greenhouse effect in 1896. The Industrial Revolution is generally accepted as having begun in or about 1850. The greenhouse effect is not the same as the claim that economic activity must be held in check because Man’s contribution is creating dangerous climate change, but regardless the reporter did not correct the administration’s expression of misunderstanding of the science, though the paper has not always been so forgiving of misunderstandings of the matter by political officials.