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Lutz, Minus Media Minders, Blasts Global Warming Reporting


Lutz, Minus Media Minders, Blasts Global Warming Reporting

Before Bob Lutz retired from GM last year this controversial and voluble executive was always accompanied by a media minder ready to intervene if the great man wandered into politically sensitive areas. So when Lutz’s new book – “Car Guys versus Bean Counters” (Portfolio Penguin $26.95) dropped through my mail box, I went straight to the index to see if he had shaken free of his shackles and unburdened himself on the touchy subject of human induced climate change. Result!

Lutz scores a few direct hits on what he considers endemic, liberal media bias. Media reporting of the global warming controversy especially annoys Lutz.

“Nowhere has my faith in media integrity been destroyed more thoroughly than in the so-called “global warming” discussion. Resolutely parroting the now discredited prophecies of Al Gore and his absurd movie, An Inconvenient Truth, hardly any of the so-called mainstream media ever gave fair coverage to the large and growing army of CO2-caused AGW (anthropogenic, or human-caused global warming) skeptics,” Lutz says, exonerating Fox News.

Lutz refers to what he considers to be a long-time canard in the media which claims that 20 per cent of damaging CO2 is caused by cars and trucks, a piece of data used to demonize automobiles, and justify swingeing regulation to force Americans into small cars they don’t really want.

“The math works like this: according to accepted computer simulations, the Earth’s natural “carbon sinks” can absorb only 98 per cent of the CO2 created in a given period. Two percent is “excess” CO2 and allegedly the cause of global warming. Cars and trucks emit 0.4 per cent of total global CO2 and this is the source of the infamous “20 per cent” lie. Mathematically, 0.4 per cent is, of course, 20 per cent of two per cent, so if the reporting had been about 20 per cent of excess global CO2 I would not have objected,” Lutz said.

Lutz said that when challenged about this, reporters would shrug their shoulders and say “editorial policy” was that AGW was real, cars and trucks were the major cause, and it was useless to fight it.

I have sympathy for Lutz because as Reuters’ Science and Technology Correspondent in the 1990s, I often came up against the same problem. The mainstream media would report that AGW was a fact, and ignore many impressive climate scientists with serious objections. In Britain, the state-funded BBC, despite evidence that AGW- supporting scientists had falsified data to back up their theories, routinely fails to balance its reporting on climate change. A recent report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation in London said the assumption that CO2 levels and global temperature are linked are not borne out by the fact that between 1940 and 1970, CO2 production rose remorselessly, but temperatures dipped. Over the last 12 years, temperatures have leveled out as CO2 levels accelerated.

Lutz says he “naively” believed the media existed to provide new facts and information, and, in the case of controversial subjects, to confine the publication’s own opinions and bias to the editorial page.

“Not so with AGW, where 90 per cent of the nation’s media remain hell-bent on driving the societal change to “save our planet” from CO2,” Lutz said.

How long would Lutz have remained GM vice-chairman if he had blurted that out?

Neil Winton – June 15, 2011

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