national post

Lawrence Solomon

Lawrence Solomon

 Credentials

[Pending further Investigation]

 Background

Lawrence Solomon is a columnist with The Financial Post, the National Post (Toronto) and has been a columnist for the Globe and Mail (Toronto) a contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the editor and publisher of The Next City magazine.

Read more: Lawrence Solomon
Mon, 2010-07-19 11:00Richard Littlemore
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Canadian journalism: sublime; ridiculous

The Post gets one right;

the Globe chooses cowardice over context

Two recent newspaper pieces throw a peculiarly Canadian slant on the scandalously unprofessional job that many in mainstream media have been doing in covering climate change.

The most shocking - and wonderful - contribution came last week from the National Post, the home of some of Canada’s silliest and most beligerent climate change deniers, including Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster, Lawrence Solomon and Rex Murphy. In an excellent critique of blindly ideological climate change denial, Post Comment Pages Editor Jonathan Kay says flatly that, Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause. Kay then dismantles several laughable positions championed by journalists he does not name - but whom he will now have to avoid in the Post lunchroom.

The second article appeared last Saturday in the Globe, under the heading: The Endless Summer. Noting that it’s “the hottest year in recorded history, the Globe offers 659 mostly well-researched words on the details of our planetary fever without once mentioning the phrases “climate change” or “global warming.” At one point, the writers, Anna Mehler Paperny and Patrick White, say, “International climate experts are at a loss to explain why these local phenomena are happening all at once.”

Really?

Wed, 2010-04-21 15:26Richard Littlemore
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Climate Scientist Sues National Post

Suit Could Hold Paper Responsible for Comments and Internet Repetitions

Dr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected climate scientists in Canada and one of the best climate modellers in the world, has launched a libel suit against the National Post newspaper and its publisher, editors and three writer: Terence Corcoran, Peter Foster and Kevin Libin.

In the words of a news release broadcast today, the suit is for “a series of unjustified libels based on grossly irresponsible falsehoods that have gone viral on the Internet.”

The 48-page Statement of Claim (download the PDF version here) sets out a National Post  pattern of reporting critical and erroneous material about Weaver and, in recent times, refusing to retract or correct when inaccuracies are brought to the paper’s attention. An obvious example was an allegation that Weaver had (or was about to) quit his Nobel-winning role in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - an allegation Weaver dismissed out of hand.

Tue, 2010-03-09 14:49Richard Littlemore
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Lorne Gunther: Denial (and dumb analogies) are us

In a wonderfully silly update of the (Canadian newspaper the) National Post’s campaign of climate change denial, columnist Lorne Gunther (picked up here in the Edmonton Journal) argues that global warming has ended - and to prove it, he imagines the earth as an out-of-control Toyota which he decides has run out of gas.

What good fortune that might be (running out of gas in time to stop before you hit the cliff). But how can we think that our careering planetary heating system - which appears to have it its top speed and has been holding steady for more than a decade - is “out of gas” when we’re pumping the stuff into the atmosphere at an unprecedented rate?

Sun, 2009-11-22 11:49Richard Littlemore
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Lawrence Solomon: No, you don't have it right at all

In her on-air dismemberment of the disingenuous National Post columnist Lawrence Solomon last week, Anna Maria Tremonti, host of the CBC radio show, The Current, asked Solomon this:

“In your book (The Deniers), you write that the scientist you talk about are not actually deniers, that most of them quibble with some of the details but not with the fundamental question of whether climate change is happening or whether it is caused by human activity. Do I have that right?”

Solomon responded: “No, you don’t have that right at all.”

Yet, on Page 45 of his book, Solomon says: “”As these dramatic reversals for the doomsday view mounted, I noticed something striking about my growing cast of deniers.

“None of them were deniers.”

Solomon then spends a page going over quibbles and concludes that the people in his book are “Affirmers in general. Deniers in particular.”

Which is to say that Tremonti had it absolutely right, regardless of Solomon’s willingness - against evidence committed by his own hand - to try to say otherwise.

Tue, 2009-10-06 14:13Richard Littlemore
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Great News! Polls Show Climate Change Scare is Over!

Climate Change itself, however, is as bad as ever

The National Post’s Denier-in-Chief Lawrence Solomon has weighed in again with an irrelevant and inaccurate celebration that, in the U.S. at least, people are becoming LESS concerned about climate change.

Of course, Solomon didn’t offer any actual evidence for this contention, other than vague references to unspecified public opinion polls. His strongest source was this: “Andrew Revkin, The New York Times reporter entrusted with the global warming scare beat, has for months lamented “the public’s waning interest in global warming.”

As for actual climate change science - apparently of little interest to Solomon or his readers - he offered no sources whatever. Instead, he repeated the denier talking points (“Not only has the globe not warmed over the last decade but the Arctic ice is returning, the Antarctic isn’t shrinking, polar bear populations aren’t diminishing, hurricanes aren’t becoming more extreme.”), ignoring such actual evidence as the new Nature article warning that Antarctic ice is, in fact, declining at historic rates, or the latest warning from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Sun, 2009-10-04 12:42Richard Littlemore
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Pompous Prat Alert! Viscount Monckton on Tour

Dangerously Dishonest Climate “Expert” at Large in Canada

Christopher Walter, the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is gamboling his way across Canada, acting like a character recently escaped from a Monty Python skit and inflaming the passions of climate change deniers and their favourite newspaper editors (at the National Post and the Calgary Herald). 

Monckton is being urged on and abetted by the Friends of Science, an oily front group, long derided for  trying to conceal its connections to the Calgary oil and gas community. Right wing think tanks the Fraser Institute and the Frontier Centre for Public Policy are also sponsoring the tour. (Although the Fraser Institute has been a recipient of Exxon Mobil funding in the past, neither organization is acknowledging who is paying Monckton to suggest that we all have “the courage to do nothing” about climate change.)

Sun, 2009-09-13 14:41Richard Littlemore
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Lorne Gunter: Enlisting "science" to help me believe what I want

The denier web has been alive with excitement over the past week about a presentation by the German meteorologist Dr. Mojib Latif, who told a recent scientific meeting in Geneva that he expects a temporary lull in global warming.

One of the National Post’s most vigorous climate change deniers, Lorne Gunter, grabbed onto this story in a celebratory column titled: Global Warming Takes a Break. But Gunter has not suddenly decided to take science seriously. He dismissed as somehow unknowable Latif’s ultimate conclusion: that climate change is a real and pressing problem and that even if global temperature increases stall, they will inevitably resume.

Nope. Gunter doesn’t want to listen to a whole scientific sentence: but he’s willing to bet our lives on a  fragment that bolsters his own agenda.

Thu, 2009-03-26 09:58Mitchell Anderson
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Death to the CBC!

Lorne Gunter recently vented his spleen about the CBC, and the National Post blowhard is clearly feeling a little threatened by the beleaguered national broadcaster.

“The CBC will never be able to exorcize its left-wing missionary zeal – for global warming, for Islam, for big government, Barack Obama, multiculturalism, public health care, human rights commissions and so on. And it could never survive on private donations or ad revenues. So the only thing to do with Mother Corp is to pull down its office buildings and stations and pour salt in their foundations.”

Besides the other perceived sins of zeal for Islam, Obama and public health care, Gunter has the gall to call for the abolition of our seventy-three year old national network due to their comparatively impeccable coverage of climate science.

I am flummoxed by my inability to describe just how dishonest and absurd Gunter’s argument is. Bear with me as I struggle to scale this seemingly insurmountable peak.

Desmog Blog readers know well how we feel about the monotonously inaccurate coverage by the National Post about our scientific understanding of climate change. I struggled to itemize all the factual errors in one single article by Gunter and could not do the subject justice in under 800 words.

On the suggestion of a Desmog Blog reader, I happily nominateChristopher Booker Prize d Mr. Gunter for the Christopher Booker Prize for Bullshit Reportage of Climate Science, sponsored by George Monbiot and the Guardian. Godspeed Mr. Gunter – I am rooting for you.

His employer, the National Post felt it important to send reporters to the climate deniers conference in New York, sponsored by the hilariously unethical Heartland Institute. In contrast, they neglected to send correspondents to either the UN Climate conference in Poznan Poland, or the recent gathering of 2.500 of world’s leading climate scientists in Denmark.

I could go on but you get the point. I make no claim of being a brilliant researcher, but I must say unearthing the abundant errors in the work of Mr. Gunter and other staffers at the Post has been like shooting fish in a barrel with a RPG.

Now why would that be? Professional journalists are typically superb at research, fact checking and correctly citing sources – assuming they want to. In deference to their obvious skills as media veterans, one can only ask the pregnant question: are they instead willfully misleading their readers?

Wed, 2009-03-11 19:29Mitchell Anderson
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More Blather From the National Post

The National Post is on a roll. After three stunningly stupid articles on climate change by Lorne Gunter and Peter Foster, they have published a fourth.

This latest dispatch by Foster “reporting” from the climate deniers gathering in New York further undermines the Post as a legitimate media outlet. So one-sided and erroneous is their editorial position on climate science that it is best described as journalistic malpractice.

While the Post felt it important to send Foster to cover the Heartland denier’s conference, they of course neglected to send any reporters to cover the UN climate conference last year in Poland, or the current gathering of 2,000 leading climate scientists in Denmark.

I suppose it is simpler to avoid mixing ideology with any actual information.

Speaking of which, there is plenty of newsworthy material being revealed at the real climate conference in Copenhagen – all of it very topical (and terrifying).

The projected rise in sea level by 2100 has doubled since the latest IPCC assessment only two years ago to one meter “or more”. That would put at risk more than 600 million people currently living in low lying areas around the globe.

“The seas are undergoing much greater changes than those described in the IPCC report…Two or three years ago, those making this type of statement were seen as extremists,” said Eric Rignot of the University of California.

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