May 31, 2007

NPR Continues Kyoto Dishonesty

Two days ago, I pointed out that the layers of editors and fact-checkers at the AP managed to miss the fact that the Kyoto treaty got rejected almost four years before Bush took office. Apparently, the fact-checkers and editors at NPR are no better than those at the AP. In a report on developments on the climate-change issue today, NPR again falsely accuses the Bush administration of killing Kyoto (h/t: CQ reader Jeff K):

The issue will get plenty of attention in another meeting this year: The signatories of the Kyoto Protocol are due to meet in Bali to discuss a follow-up agreement. But critics say the protocol is meaningless without the cooperation of the U.S., the world's largest contributor of greenhouse emissions.

The protocol, which expires in 2012, was never submitted to Congress for ratification. President Bush objected to it because it exempts China and India, two of the world's fastest-growing economies, from the tough standards. In his speech Thursday, Bush included China and India in his list of countries he hopes will engage in goal-setting.

The two sentences that begin the last paragraph, while technically accurate, leave out so much information that it clearly intends to communicate the false notion that George Bush killed Kyoto.

Once again, the Clinton administration signed Kyoto in 1997. Before Bill Clinton ever submitted it to the Senate for ratification, they voted 95-0 on a resolution informing Clinton that they would not ratify any treaty that didn't include limits for China and India. That included members of both parties, quite obviously, and such Democrats as Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Barbara Boxer. The resolution (which I included at the link above) specifically includes the language objecting to the exclusion of developing nations:

Whereas the Department of State has declared that it is critical for the Parties to the Convention to include Developing Country Parties in the next steps for global action and, therefore, has proposed that consideration of additional steps to include limitations on Developing Country Parties' greenhouse gas emissions would not begin until after a protocol or other legal instrument is adopted in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997;

Whereas the exemption for Developing Country Parties is inconsistent with the need for global action on climate change and is environmentally flawed; ...

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--

(1) the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would--

(A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period ...

Bush obviously agrees with this position. While Clinton never formally withdrew from Kyoto, he never attempted to get it ratified, either. Bush formally withdrew from Kyoto so that he could pursue the direction the Senate unanimously demanded. He wants to make sure that the US does not impose limitations on our ability to produce in a manner that gives unfair advantage to China, which already represents an economic threat to American business, especially manufacturing, which would be hardest hit by Kyoto.

That's the true history of Kyoto. That's the story that the AP and NPR keep obfuscating. Both parties made a clear -- and correct -- decision to tube Kyoto four years before Bush took office. Bush, in fact, took more initiative than the Clinton administration did in pursuing greenhouse-gas emissions reductions than the Clinton administration ever did after the Senate rejection, and is still trying to reach a truly global agreement.

The media must think that if they keep repeating the same misinformation long enough, it becomes accepted truth. That says volumes about the competence and the bias at these media operations, and it goes to the heart of their credibility.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference NPR Continues Kyoto Dishonesty:

» Kyoto MSM’s proving their Hatred of Bush outweighs facts. from Marginalized Action Dinosaur
NPR Continues Kyoto Dishonesty Two days ago, I pointed out that the layers of editors and fact-checkers at the AP managed to miss the fact that the Kyoto treaty got rejected almost four years before Bush took office. Apparently, the fact-checkers and ... [Read More]

» Outsourcing The Truth--About The 1990s from Ed
Here's Al Gore yesterday on PBS's NewsHour, being interviewed by Gwen Ifil:Ifill: You write of a "determined disinterest" in learning the truth, on the part of the Bush administration on pre-war intelligence. You accuse the White House of an... [Read More]

Comments (22)

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | May 31, 2007 9:58 PM

The Administration would do best to abjure any Kyoto-style negotiations at all, whether they included China and India or not. What we're dealing with is a 1500 year cycle that's driven by changes in the sun. And even the liberal Left's need to regulate everything won't enable them to control the sun's influence.

Most of the force for man-made global warming comes from science organizations backed and funded by the UN. After Oil-for-Food, the Human Rights Commission, the peacekeeper scandals, and what Claudia Rosset revealed about the corrupt dealings with North Korea, do we really want to trust the UN when it says we have harm our economies to save the Earth (under UN guidance, of course).

Posted by Mike Sigman | May 31, 2007 10:00 PM

In re Bush, Clinton, and Kyoto Treaty.

The US may be the number 1 producer of greenhouse gases (we're also the single largest manufacturer.... funny how that works), but as was recently reported, China is expected to pass the US in emissions this year:


Mike Sigman
Durango, CO

Posted by Karen [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 31, 2007 10:29 PM

Probably that 95 to zip vote was the last time both parties put politics aside and did something right for our country.

Posted by MikeD | May 31, 2007 10:55 PM

Some people still believe what AP and NPR say but the number decreases with each passing day and both organizations do seem intent on destroying what credibility they still possess. Of greater interest regarding the issue of AGW in the coming years (since it is becoming increasingly apparent that there is no concensus for belief in the concept and no clear factual basis for the hysteria) is how effective will any action/law/proposal/treaty be if large numbers of people (and probably a majority worldwide I would guess) simply choose to ignore the actions of politicians or simply decide to resist institutional efforts through either passive or active opposition. I would suggest that any effort to control world behavior, actions, economies, etc. will clearly just fail. Since even the simplest concepts and ideas almost invariably evade human effort to control them, the chances of modifying or even impacting a complexity like global climate through some "legality" is laughable. The global warming scaremongers look more and more to be in the same boat as Rosie O'Donell and the truthers. Idiots, buffoons, clowns, and charlatins all.

Posted by Rovin | May 31, 2007 11:06 PM

Probably that 95 to zip vote was the last time both parties put politics aside and did something right for our country.

Actually, the 98-zip decision to send Gen. Petraeus into battle rated up there too Karen. Ironic that neither had a backbone to stand on principal.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | May 31, 2007 11:43 PM

Mike Sigman wrote: China is expected to pass the US in [greenhouse gas] emissions this year.

The US is no longer the Great Satan of the world's environment! That ought to cause a metaphysical lurch among the MSM and the ecochondriacs.

Captain Ed wrote: The media must think that if they keep repeating the same misinformation long enough, it becomes accepted truth.

It's called the Big Lie technique, and the MSM seems to have borrowed it from a certain Austrian corporal whose name escapes me for the moment.

Given the MSM's world-upside-down view on the Iraq war, terrorism, Islamofascism, Democrat corruption, and a host of other issues, one would think that the GOP would have an excellent shot of at least holding its own. But that would involve making a stand, fighting back, and taking its case directly to the public - and Republican politicians (99% of them, anyway) are lazy cowards.

Until the GOP actually stands up for itself, Democrats will continue to clean Republican clocks with impunity.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | May 31, 2007 11:46 PM

The Captain says:

"The media must think that if they keep repeating the same misinformation long enough, it becomes accepted truth."

Look up "Goebbels" some time. He said the same thing.

And the leftists call Bush "Hitler"? Bwahahaha

Posted by PJ/Maryland | June 1, 2007 12:12 AM

It's not just AP and NPR that are confused by Kyoto history. An article in Thursday's NY Times (link) managed to skip over the entire Clinton administration:

"Environmental advocates have been pressing for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for well over a decade. In 1992, when Mr. Bush’s father was president, the United States signed the first climate change treaty, the Framework Convention on Climate Change, which committed the world to avoiding dangerous human interference with the climate system but did not mandate any specific steps. The Kyoto Protocol was drafted five years later."

Note the helpful use of the passive voice in the last sentence; avoiding active voice means we can also avoid the actors, and we don't have to think about who did the drafting at Kyoto.

This is the only paragraph (out of 24) in the article that gives any background on the global warming issue. The names Clinton and Gore do not appear in the article at all.

Posted by bayam | June 1, 2007 1:14 AM

Bush, in fact, took more initiative than the Clinton administration did in pursuing greenhouse-gas emissions reductions than the Clinton administration ever did after the Senate rejection

Are you referring to the "clear skies" initiative? Actually, this is a largely partisan issue. Democrats generally support efforts to curb C02 emissions, while Republicans are opposed to legislation that might cost big business. The White House has tried to rewrite scientific reports and subvert the EPA. It has submitted environmental legislation to Congress with articles found to come directly from special interest reports. The record is clear and it's not about common ground shared by both political parties.

There are certainly cases of the media being biased, but this more like splitting hairs. Let's be honest- Bush has shown no real interest in doing anything other than stonewalling efforts to curb global warming. In fact, one of his first acts after the 2000 election was to backout of his campaign promise to categorize carbon dioxide as a pollutant. Al Gore and Democrats, on the other hand, were obviously intent on changing the way CO2 emissions are measured and regulated.

So to present Bush as an impediment to global warming iniatives is completelly accurate. Most Democrats, on the other hand, support initiatives to deal with global warming.

Gov. Schwarzenegger is one of the few Republicans who's a leader on this issue. If you read his position, you might see the light. As for China and India, if the US aggressively lobbied either country, you'd see movement. China is already leading the way in some new clean technologies and will probably have the most advanced nuclear tech in the world by 2015. But Bush simply isn't interested in pursuing serious environmental policy. Based on the record, this recent announcement by Bush seems like a poltical gambit from the White House to try and do something that might help its approval ratings.

Posted by mb | June 1, 2007 4:43 AM

The Economist wrote an interesting report on climate change today. Apparently only business can halt climate change, there is nothing the consumer can do!

Posted by B. English | June 1, 2007 4:54 AM

Kyoto: junk science, a fraud, a socialist's dream of control over private enterprise, a monumental money transfer (tax) managed by the "trusting" UN. Kyoto is all about politics, not science.

BTW, water vapor makes up 95% of green house gases. Let's ban water!

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 1, 2007 5:40 AM

B. English,

You'll get more traction with that if you call it "dihydrogen monoxide"...

Posted by Clyde | June 1, 2007 6:36 AM

An MSM operation like NPR making dishonestly misleading statements? I'm shocked, shocked!

"The media must think that if they keep repeating the same misinformation long enough, it becomes accepted truth." Yup. As noted above, it's the Goebbels "Big Lie" theory.

Posted by rbj | June 1, 2007 7:50 AM

It is lies* like this that got me to stop giving to NPR.

*there are too many of them for me to ascribe it to mere "error" or "bad fact checking." It is an intentional misrepresentation of the facts.

Posted by David Cohen | June 1, 2007 8:05 AM

Actually, even Captain Ed has been fooled by the media on Kyoto. The Captain writes: Bush formally withdrew from Kyoto so that he could pursue the direction the Senate unanimously demanded. Actually, we've never withdrawn from Kyoto. We're still a signatory, which means we still get to attend all the meetings and try to keep the process just this side of rational.

Since 2000, US greenhouse gas emissions have risen by less than the average for G8 economies.

Posted by Immolate | June 1, 2007 8:08 AM

Kyoto is a global wealth redistribution system. Its environmental components are strictly incidental.

The US should not engage in any compulsory program that requires us to give anything to anyone, regardless of who does or does not participate.

Is there a problem? No, really, is there a problem? Is there a potential problem? If there is a problem, i.e. credible negative ramifications that are not acceptable, is there anything that we can do about it that will prevent those negative ramifications?

It doesn't really matter if climate change is occuring because of human influence or not. What matters is if human influence can significantly influence the process, and if the process actually needs to be influenced.

Every time we get involved in one of these international conferences, I feel like we're the only honest man at a poker table. That would mean that the only reason we were there was to get fleeced.

Posted by negentropy | June 1, 2007 8:26 AM

The only thing that NPR's good at is begging for money, and recently they haven't been up to snuff in that department.

I have to wake up every morning listening to their drivel (girlfriend uses it as an alarm). It has the side effect of being an excellent motivator for getting out of bed, however. This morning they were droning on about how it seemed every scientist in the world was shocked, SHOCKED! that the NASA director pooh-poohed their beloved global warming.

I hear they make some really snappy tote bags though.

Posted by runawayyyy | June 1, 2007 9:06 AM

So NASA has determined that, since 1999, there has been absolutely no global warming. This determination was made with satellites, which is the only truly global way to measure the temperature of the atmosphere. And we are, after all, talking about the atmospheric warming, not surface temperatures. So why are we STILL gabbing about a phantom menace (that was for you, bayam....obviously science fiction references are the only kind you like) that doesn't exist? The science is in, the globe is not warming.

Oh, and bayam, just so you know, carbon dioxide isn't a pollutant. If you truly believe this, perhaps you can explain to us all how you manage to breathe so much oxygen, a corrosive poison. Is oxygen a pollutant in your tiny little mind as well? Just because you don't like carbon dioxide doesn't make it a pollutant. Get your head out of politics and back into science (not science fiction) before you start mouthing off about science.

As always, you completely missed the point of the captain's post. He was referring to the blatantly dishonest reporting done by major media organizations. NPR didn't try to indicate that Bush liked carbon dioxide, they tried to indicate (dishonestly) that Bush had anything to do with kyoto never being ratified in the United States. You can defend such lies all you want, but that only serves to make you look even dumber than you do already.

Posted by David M | June 1, 2007 10:13 AM

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 06/01/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.

Posted by LarryD | June 1, 2007 10:35 AM

The official level of CO2 in the atmosphere is 380 parts per million, that's 0.038% That's a trace gas, which by the way, is emitted in your breath, every other animals breath, and even plants at times. Imagine the possibilities, the enviro-police could arrest everybody for just breathing.

And the EU is discovering that CO2 reduction is a lot more expensive than they were willing to admit. (hat tip to M. Simon)

Posted by swabjockey05 | June 1, 2007 2:54 PM

Cybr and English,

I vote for "Hydrogen Hydroxide” ... that term could scare idiots like bayam even more than "Carbon Dioxide" does.

Posted by Stephen D Oliver | June 4, 2007 11:33 PM


How is it conceivable that no matter HOW CUT AND DRIED the facts are, no matter how beyond dispute, you can ALWAYS FIND SOMEONE on the Left to spout the "It's still Bush' fault" spin?
So here comes Bayam, on cue with the "Bush really isn't interested" talk and does EXACTLY what Capt Ed complains of: ignores Clinton.
The Captain's complaint is the attempt by NPR to affix some kind of stigma on Bush for adopting the (substantively) same position on Kyoto that a BIPARTISAN MAJORITY did during the Clinton Administration. Clinton did NOTHING to advance his agenda and, as the Capt as pointed out, actually did even less than Bush has done.
But sure as the sun rises, those for whom honesty is a foreign word, the apologists for whom their party being right trumps all other considerations, have to come out of the woodwork to defend the indefensible.
Even Hillary found the cajones to give SOME credit to Bush in the recent debate by acknowledging that we ARE SAFER today than we were on 9/11.
The overblown position that Bush has done absolutely NOTHING right is just that--overblown and is ridiculously over the top. Even those of us who agonized during the Clinton administration years gave him SOME credit for some things; Bush Derangement Syndrome seems to make people bereft of any semblance of objectivity at all when it comes to GW.