Strike three for TVNZ

Sorry, I’ve been trying to post this for a week. – Richard Treadgold

Wrong, but no apology

TVNZ now admits to me that its press release was wrong in claiming that Dr Renwick blamed the recent drought on global warming.

But TVNZ don’t apologise to us or the New Zealand public — or even to Dr Renwick. The Corporate Affairs Department is entirely absorbed in explaining their mistake, rather than caring that they made it.

That’s the third strike against these public relations masters.

Un – be – lievable.

Professor Renwick exonerated

Two weeks ago I announced TVNZ’s obvious error in their press release about a March interview between Corin Dann and James Renwick. At first I believed the press release (as you would) but after questioning Dr Renwick myself I issued a public apology to him.

Then I wrote to TVNZ complaining that they were wrong, but someone didn’t read my letter properly, thought I was complaining too late about a broadcast and rejected the complaint.

After a second letter from us, they finally understood that we made “a genuine point” and responded a few days ago.

TVNZ now agrees it got the March press release wrong. Hurrah! But it quickly adds: “to the extent” that Prof Renwick — and note the wording here that tries to be oh so clever — “didn’t use the word ‘drought’ in connection with his remark “…there’s no other explanation that’s remotely plausible.”

To recap

Their press release stated incorrectly:

“Dr Renwick told the programme that global warming was the only explanation for the drought.”

I knew this because I asked Dr Renwick and he said in his email to me:

I note a number of people … have made the leap to thinking that I said “the drought is caused by climate change”. This is just not so.

My letter to TVNZ concluded:

We are interested to know why you reported that Dr Renwick made that statement and whether you will apologise.

Now we have a reply from TVNZ Corporate Affairs spokeswoman Megan Richards that says:

we accept the assurance [Dr Renwick] has apparently given you that he did not blame the drought on global warming. We assure you and your readers that in any future coverage of climate issues by Q+A we will be on the alert for such distinctions.

The distinction she refers to is

an important distinction between claiming global warming is responsible for an average increase in temperatures over time and claiming global warming is directly responsible for a single, specific weather event such as a drought.

A good result in the end, but it’s disappointing not to hear them apologise for quoting a scientist incorrectly in a press release. Not merely incorrectly, but presenting a diametrically opposite viewpoint.

Ah well, now we know. Here’s her letter:

TVNZ letter

18 Thoughts on “Strike three for TVNZ

  1. Bob D on June 7, 2013 at 11:52 pm said:

    I love the “global warming is responsible for an average increase in temperatures over time”. Uhh, global warming is the same as “an average increase in temperatures over time”.

    Except to Thomas of course.

  2. Yeah, aren’t they clever? Except for Thomas.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 12:02 am said:

    Aren’t they guilty of, as Gareth Renowden puts it, “conflating warming with temperature”?

  4. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 12:03 am said:

    “red acting” – Ha!

  5. David on June 8, 2013 at 9:16 am said:

    They are losing the war. As usual Pointman succinctly explains why.
    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/how-to-run-a-really-bad-infowar-campaign/

  6. Andy on June 8, 2013 at 11:27 am said:

    That is a very good essay by Pointman, thanks for sharing

  7. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm said:

    Getting sad for the Warmies when their infowar campaign failures get dissected like that.

  8. David on June 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm said:

    Its people like you guys here who have helped make it happen. You deserve recognition.
    Thanks also to Richard T for setting this up and providing the forum for the fight. I would add that Anthony Watts is a hero. He is a beacon of light and truth for millions.I hope eventually he is recognised and rewarded for his efforts also.

  9. Thanks for the kind words, David. I’m enjoying the Pointman essay, too, thanks for that.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 3:48 pm said:
  11. So it seems. Though I’m uncomfortable with the allegations swirling around the PSI, they could have the science correct. So who’s right about the light bulbs, would you say? Come to that, what are they arguing about over the light bulbs?

  12. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 5:56 pm said:

    >”PSI, they could have the science correct”

    I don’t think it will be until PSI’s work gets wider (un-biased, non-PSI) scrutiny from physicists, academia etc other than Spencer/Watts (it’s an open review system they call PROM – peer review in open media) that we will be able to tell for sure with anything conclusive RT. Meantime we get to watch the to-and-fro with Spencer/Watts/Monckton, that’s enough to cope with at the pace it’s going on. However, at this stage the likes of Spencer and Watts have not got a valid rebuttal of the PSI earth model. It remains to be seen if anyone else has one.

    >”So who’s right about the light bulbs, would you say?

    I haven’t had time to look thoroughly so I don’t know yet but it doesn’t look good for Watts. I’m more interested in the earth model argument, the light-bulbs are a distraction.

    >”Come to that, what are they arguing about over the light bulbs?”

    Yes. Seems to have been a diversionary tactic (“changing reference frames” – PSI) by Anthony Watts to avoid tackling PSI’s response to Spencer’s “put up or shut up” challenge which was available on-line all the time anyway. PSI have just incorporated the light-bulb sidetrack in their ongoing “valid scientific model of the Earth and climate” argument to keep things going.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on June 8, 2013 at 6:44 pm said:

    Ironic that luke-warm sceptics, Spencer and Watts, are holding the fort for AGW but in an embattled state with no sign of reinforcements arriving.

  14. David on June 9, 2013 at 1:16 am said:

    At the risk of sending you into a frenzy of cut and pasting, aren’t you being churlish and picky?
    His wider contributions are worthy of merit. I don’t know about light bulbs but mankind changing the environment certainly creates UHI which contributes warming.
    Whether it matters much or is significant is moot but it still creates warming and therefore is AGW.

  15. Richard C (NZ) on June 9, 2013 at 4:36 pm said:

    David, I was putting the state-of-play of a much larger contest into context. If you read those two articles you will find that the confrontation has nothing to do with UHI in respect to AGW.

    The issues are:

    A) The AGW pre-Galileo flat-earth model sans day and night that Watts/Spencer are defending (or at least have yet to make a definitive statement on) versus the PSI post-Galileo round-earth model with day and night.

    And having established a “valid scientific model of the Earth and climate” and in view of the idiotic notion of backradiation heating (that Watts subscribes with lightbulbs posts and other positioning),

    B) The Greenhouse Effect (GHE).

  16. Richard C (NZ) on June 9, 2013 at 5:02 pm said:

    Should be – “that Watts and Spencer subscribe to…”

  17. Richard C (NZ) on June 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm said:

    Also should be – “pre/post Yajnavalkya”, not Galileo.

    As I understand, Yajnavalkya (c. 9th–8th century BCE ) recognized that the Earth is spherical in his astronomical text Shatapatha Brahmana and Pythagoras reached the same conclusion in 540BC.

    Way too fuzzy just waking up after 10 hr nightshift for this stuff.

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