Energy

ThinkProgress Blasts WaPo For Embracing ‘Fake News’ About Trump’s Climate Policies

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ThinkProgress believes editorials giving President-elect Donald Trump the benefit of the doubt on energy policies should be considered “fake news.”

Joe Romm, the directing editor of ClimateProgress, called The Washington Post a hypocrite for talking big on fighting the proliferation of “fake news” while publishing an editorial he believes is “misinformation aimed at confusing the public.”

Romm directed his ire at the Post’s decision to publish a piece by environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg suggesting, “Trump’s climate plan might not be so bad after all.” The op-ed is beyond the pale, according to Romm, because Lomborg’s history of criticizing the Paris climate agreement makes him insufficiently hawkish on fighting global warming.

“The goal of much, if not most, fake news is simply to spread a false headline far and wide,” Romm wrote Wednesday at ThinkProgress. ” Newspaper editors have known for decades that most people don’t read most stories much beyond the headline.”

Lomborg, the former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute, projected that the cost of the Paris agreement, “would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030” and that the U.S.’s vow to reduce greenhouse gasses “by 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — would  GDP by more than $150 billion annually.”

Trump’s desire to scrap the Paris agreement, he wrote, would give the U.S. the ability to find different, more innovative ways of tackling so-called man-made global warming. It would also help environmentalists fight climate change without destroying the economy.

Romm, for his part, rattled off a laundry list of academic groups suggesting Lomborg’s arguments against the agreement amounted to “fake news.”

He then went on to scorn the Post for publishing another piece titled, “Fake news is just the beginning,” which lambastes Facebook for not doing enough to weed out websites publishing false information. The Post’s Facebook piece was written on the same day it posted Lomborg’s commentary.

ThinkProgress has a history of targeting climate scientists for not toeing the line on global warming.

The group’s editor-and-chief, Judd Legum, once bragged about targeting a climate researcher who challenged a major Democratic talking point on global warming, according to leaked emails.

ClimateProgress took issue with pollster Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website hiring Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. to write about global warming issues. Pielke, like Lomborg, is not considered a global warming skeptic, but he did devote at least one article to criticizing a Democratic talking point that global warming was making extreme weather more severe.

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