Truthiness to truth … a matter of a few words?

Truthiness too often reigns in reporting and editorializing re energy issues. Sometimes it is simply energy illiteracy, a lack of knowledge. Sometimes it is failing to understand some complexity or fundamental factors at play. Sometimes, clearly, and likely often, it is malicious and malelovent, seeking to mislead, confuse, and sway with false information.  And, well, sometimes it could simply be from sloppiness.

ClimateSpin is a space which often takes a look at the truthiness related to energy and global warming issues.

A climate scientist looks at the traditional media’s coverage of global warming and what should be done about it.

With that charter, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that ClimateSpin took a look at the recent Washington Post Truthiness in Framing Global Warming Politics.  In False Choices: Economy or Environment, ClimateSpin echoed Energy Smart’s concerns with that Post reporting.

Lets just pick apart the opening paragraph:

All of the leading Democratic contenders for the presidency are committed to a set of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that would change the way Americans light their homes, fuel their automobiles and do their jobs, costing billions of dollars in the short term but potentially, the candidates say, saving even more in the decades to follow.

“would change” is followed with “costly” implying its not a change for the better. Also its stated as fact that it will definitely cost billions while it only “potentially” will save more. And the savings is “candidates say” implying its one of those lies they like to tell while the cost is just a God-given fact.

Yes, presented as a political argument as “G-d-given fact”. I am not sure that there is a better way to describe truthiness, the speaking with certainty information that just, well, feels so right in the gut even if it may not (or does not) comport with facts and better analysis.

Another excellent point from that post:

Quotes from Clinton’s energy speech are for some reason countered with an MIT study about how much energy will cost in 2050 under an 80% reduction plan. Where’s the quote about how unreliable economic forecast models are? Oh wait, they only do that for climate models.

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