Saturday, October 22, 2011

Journalism sampler; from NCFocus, Warming101 blog, and SourceWatch

Some of the journalism I've done -

* Reanalyzed obscurely-presented data in a George Mason University report to reveal that less than a quarter of TV weathercasters with even the highest certification grasped the state of the science on climate change (link)

* Wrote about Greg Craven's excellent book What’s the Worst That Could Happen? A Rational Response to the Climate Change Debate”, for the NYTimes blog Dot Earth. (Craven's perspective that sticks with me - "Picture each small [climate outreach] action you take as a lottery ticket. Like a lottery ticket, your action has only a very small chance of paying off. But the prize is the world.")

* Revealed that just one donor was responsible for over a third of the funding for the anti-regulation Heartland Institute in 2007 (link)
(and for more than half its funding in 2008 (*), though the proportion has dropped since then.)

* Gathered content and/or did original reporting for profiles of organizations, individuals and documents, for the online resource SourceWatch (link) - e.g. profiles of climate confuser Judith Curry, the [effectively one-or-two-person] National Association of Scholars and the shoddy Wegman Report.

* Discovered that a press release, which had been publicized by the NYTimes's John Tierney the week before a Heartland Institute conference came to town, and which described research purporting to show that more knowledge of climate change actually made people less concerned, was written by the same fellow who'd written an infamous 1998 American Petroleum Institute memo proposing a multimillion dollar climate disinformation effort (link).
("Purporting", since the researchers had asked respondents to self-assess their climate knowledge, rather than measuring it objectively.)

* Revealed the uncanny coincidence that a "global warming inaction" 501(c)(4)'s expenses for its first year, $752k, matched the amount of an EOG (Enron Oil & Gas) Resources stock purchase made by the nonprofit's spokesman/director at the time its sister 501(c)(3)'s domain name was registered (link); yet the purchase was termed "unrelated" by the spokesman, who's also on the board of EOG Resources. More importantly, both nonprofits turned out to have a silent board member, unmentioned on their websites and other communications, who is "said to own more coal through his various ventures than anyone outside of the U.S. government." (link)

* Documented some surprisingly non-science-aligned climate statements in an interview with a George Mason University professor known for his "science literacy" outreach (link)

* Reported on a secretive 15+ year old local group that claimed to be a nonprofit but appears to have filed no Form 990s and reported no funding streams, & whose executive director never returned phone calls (posts); also, reported apparent plagiarism (or at least a willingness to assert authorship of "maverick" content) on the group's blog, and encountered one author's surprising unwillingness to revisit apparent errors.(*)

* Reported a staffer's initial denial that Congressman Tom McClintock had been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council, then pursued the matter until the denial was retracted (link)

* Asked & reported Congressman McClintock's contrarian views on climate change (link)

* Did some (pedal-assist) electric bicycle reports (e.g. on an NC-to-GV round trip) when I first got mine;

* Reported the high overhead charged by the local United Way organization, compared to neighboring United Ways with larger scope; and reported the local UW CEO's arguments in favor of continuing to maintain a local group; also reported how the "ballpark estimates" of local recipients' staff, as to how much overhead was being taken out, compared to the actual percentage. (link)

* Reported on meetings of & dialogue with local Tea Party Patriots group & leader (link, link, link, link, link)

* Reported what's being taught about climate change in our county schools (link)

* See also the "local journalism" section of my "community service resume" post, which includes some older work. (added 2011-11-05)

Last edited 2011-11-07 (added link to Curry page)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Slacker! Just kidding, get down with your bad self, Anna.
Your friends and neighbors,
the Kerns fambly