By Denise Tessier
It seems almost too easy to criticize the Albuquerque Journal for running yet another Marita K. Noon column, because we’ve pointed out her errors, simplistic assertions and lack of expert credentials in the past.
But the Journal’s Op-Ed (opposite editorial) page carries her again today, this time with a convoluted essay headlined “Carbon Tax Honest; Cap and Trade Isn’t” (subscription required), which leads with an unsubstantiated anecdote about health care.
I won’t even attempt to sort out her stream of attempted logic, other than to point out some of the column’s myriad unsubstantiated claims. It’s another example of a column thrown at the public without any kind of vetting, fact-checking or even editing.
Some of the assertions from her column:
Those responsible for getting the hospitals paid for the services acknowledge that getting money from the private insurance companies is much easier than from the companies getting funded through government.
Never mind the mangled English, who is saying this? Noon doesn’t say.
How does this connect to cap and trade?
She answers with:
First, understand that cap and trade is a government plan to deal with so-called man-made global warming.
Love that use of “so-called,” and then she asserts:
While the entire climate change issue is challenged due to the acknowledged data forgeries and plummeting public concern over climate, governments are still moving forward with cap and trade plans.
With this sentence, she asserts that the entire issue is challenged, and offers as evidence unsubstantiated “acknowledged” information, this time in the form of “data forgeries”. And then she declares public concern over climate is “plummeting.” If that’s true, why do climate stories run on the news and Op Ed pages nearly every day?
In fact, just the day before, The Sunday Journal ran a column by a Santa Fe writer whose credentials include a post-graduate degree in climate change and carbon management. In it, Mark Giorgetti asserts that a disinformation campaign is being put out by “promoters of the fossil fuel industries and unregulated corporate expansion.” He doesn’t name them, but this is an apt description of CARE, the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Energy of which Noon is executive director, which claims to support citizens’ rights but is an unabashed supporter of extractive industries like oil and gas.
Unfortunately, the way the Journal packaged Giorgetti’s column can leave the erroneous impression its content comes from yet another climate change naysayer.
The headline, “Climate Controversy a Hoax,” technically is an accurate reflection of Giorgetti’s position (it’s the controversy that’s a hoax, not the science). But those who scan headlines could interpret it to mean climate change is a hoax. And to further cement that impression, the column ran with a cartoon showing a dinosaur holding up a sign that says “Climate Change is a Hoax.” Again, the cartoon actually supports what the column says – the dinosaur who holds up the “hoax” sign is calmly standing while his frightened fellow dinosaurs run to escape the obvious change in their midst: an erupting volcano.
Considering Girogetti’s credentials, his take on global warming deserves to be read, but likely will be dismissed as yet another of the unsubstantiated, agenda-driven opinions the Journal runs with annoying frequency, such as those written by Noon.
Giorgetti makes the case that yes, it does snow even in times of global warming, and says those denying climate change have an agenda – to block movement toward a clean energy economy in order to preserve that of fossil fuels.
Meanwhile, Noon, a so-called expert on climate change, helpfully offers that if there is climate change, “there is nothing humans can do to change what has been going on for millions of years,” so why inconvenience the oil and gas industry with cap and trade and other regulations?
In conclusion, she says cap and trade is nothing more than a tax, so:
. . . support the idea of a carbon tax. It is more honest. And no one wants more taxes.
Honest? Not even the Journal seems to know what that means anymore.