Wednesday, 21 April 2010

IPCC-hearings in Dutch Parliament, part 2

There's not too much audio/video-fragments online so unfortunately I've only seen a few snippets of Monday's hearings in the Dutch Parliament on the IPCC-gates and the role of the IPCC itself, but from what i've seen and heared from others the day passed by just the way one would expect : the skeptics were repeating the same memes again without being able to provide much constructive criticism.

Some examples :
-Hajo Smit : "Galilei ..."
-Meanwhile Labohm was yelling something about "a pain in the ass"

And of course there was the insinuating AGW is some sort of worldwide complot.

That aside, the most important conclusion of the day probably is that politicians should not ask a level of knowledge science cannot provide. With a close second conclusion politicians should learn a bit more about how science works, MP Helma Neppérus p.ex. (the MP who asked for the hearing) clearly doesn't understand how peer review works...

In the line of the subject "politics vs science" an interesting new report was published (unfortunately in Dutch only) by the Rathenau Institute which takes a closer look at the interaction between science, media and politics : Ruimte voor klimaatdebat

A remarkable find is that while in most important Dutch newspapers & magazines the percentage of skeptic articles is below 20%, there's one clear outlier with a magazine in which the skeptic view is (over)presented in 54% of the articles (while the other 46% do present both the neutral as the warming view...). Of course this magazine is Elsevier with its science-editor Simon Rozendaal.


  1. There's another newspaper outlier: The Telegraph. They have featured articles that come straight from WUWT or other contrarian blogs.

    (see eg

  2. Actually the Rathenau report (p75) doesn't show The Telegraph as an outlier. Of course this simple graph can be a bit misleading as it doesn't say anything about the size of the article, the tone in which it is written, the location in the newspaper (front page <=> somewhere hidden between commercials), etc

  3. Every time I'm amazed to see the level of denying that people can achieve for inconvenient truth.
    And for Netherlands it is little irritating truth.

  4. Jules,

    Very strange numbers. I've followed the newspaper coverage about climate and energy issues over the past year or two quite closely, and the Telegraaf has a clear tendency to have a 'skeptical' slant, at least since the 'climategate' faux controversy and according to my anecdotal evidence.

    Not to suddenly present Labohm as a trustworthy source of information, but he seems to agree, judged from his blog posts. If Labohm thinks a newspaper has 'balanced coverage', then you know time it is. But it may indeed be most prominent since late 2009.

  5. Rathenau's graph surprised me too, it would be nice if they give a bit more background on their methodology