Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Inhofe 700 erratum on Belgian climatologist Luc Debontridder

In the end of 2008 i wrote a blog post to show that a misrepresentation of a Belgian climatologist in a Belgian newspaper somehow ended up in the Inhofe 650 report.

It’s been out a while already but i only discovered now that the March 16, 2009 update (aka Inhofe 700) of the Inhofe report acknowledges that Debontridder’s views and his report at the Belgian Royal Weather Institute were incorrectly represented.

These extra lines were added to the original text (my emphasis):

[Note: Though Debontridder dampened climate fears with such quotes as “There's no need either to needlessly frighten the public. Bruges will not be on the coastline by 2050,” he reportedly claims he and his report were not translated correctly in media reports from 2007. (LINK) ]

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Marc Morano, author of the Inhofe minority report, took my blog as a source for his erratum :

  1. Morano ends with a link to a Babelfish translation just like the one that appears in the second comment below my original post
  2. The part between parentheses is a word-by-word copy of a sentence i wrote. (while the exact Babelfish translation is : “we must people also do not boom on the corsage to hunt. It is not this way that Brugge is due within fifty years to the range”)

Should I be happy now that Morano at least used a reliable source (hear hear) to write his erratum ?

Well, i am not.

Unlike what the placing of Morano’s parentheses suggest the quote he gives actually is the second part of a sentence. Which normally requires you to quote it in this format : “(…) xxx yyy zzzz”

The reason why Morano didn’t insert the first part of the sentence is pretty clear if you look again at the full translation which i already gave in my previous post of December 2008 :

"we cannot go on, following a business as usual policy like this, but there's no need either to needlessly frighten the public. Bruges will not be on the coastline by 2050."

While Morano want to suggest between the lines that Debontridder minimalises the consequences of global warming, truth is that in the VERY SAME SENTENCE Morano quoted Luc Debontridder warns it’s necessary to take actions !

I’m not entirely sure the Debontridder-erratum in the Inhofe 700-list is such an improvement.

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