Mar 18 2011

Arjun Makhijani on Japan’s nuclear crisis, Cindy Folkers on radiation & health

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Ever notice how corporate media coverage of nuclear accidents largely avoids industry critics, in favor of industry defenders generally low-balling the health and safety dangers of the technology? That’s never been truer than in coverage of the Japanese nuclear disaster, which, as with earlier accidents, the initial, rosy predictions by media-favored experts have clearly been overtaken by dire facts. We’ll talk to Dr. Arjun Makhijani, an industry critic, nuclear engineer, and the president of Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Also on CounterSpin today, the disaster in Japan is generating substantial coverage of the […]

Feb 01 2011

Scientific American Waffles on the Science of Global Warming

Is climate ‘THE issue of our time’ or a ‘doomsday obsession’?

“Climate is the issue of our time,” says Scientific American editor-in-chief Mariette DiChristina (Observations, 10/28/10). So why does her magazine keep treating human-caused global warming as an open question? DiChristina was responding to criticism her magazine had received (Climate Progress, 10/26/10; FAIR Blog, 10/27/10) over a November 2010 article by Michael Lemonick about Judith Curry, a climate scientist whose critiques of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are often cited by climate denialists. The article—subheaded “Why Can’t We Have a Civil Conversation About Climate?”—left the impression that the truth on climate change is somewhere in the middle: Climate scientists […]

Feb 01 2011

It’s the Politics, Stupid

Ask not what elections will do for climate change

Of all the issues at stake in the midterm congressional elections of 2010, the one that hung most in the balance may have been the fate of the world’s climate. It was clear from early in the election cycle that incoming Republicans were uniformly in agreement that no government action to control carbon emissions was desirable, or indeed necessary: Of Republican Senate candidates, “19 of the 20 who have taken a position say that global climate change is unproven or actually a hoax,” the National Journal’s Ron Brownstein said on ABC’s This Week (9/26/10). Several prominent GOP leaders had gone […]

Feb 01 2011

The Planet Keeps Warming, But U.S. Media Interest Cools

Climate summit(s) in Cancún

After the anticlimax of the COP-15 climate-policy negotiations in Copenhagen last year (Extra!, 2/10)—in which the more than 190 UN-member nations walked away with a non-binding statement of intent cobbled together in secret by the U.S. and a few other wealthy nations—public and press expectations for this year’s COP-16 meeting (11/29-12/10/10) in Cancún, Mexico, were low. At least in part reflecting this pessimism, there has been a “steep slide” in climate reporting this year, Columbia Journalism Review’s science blog (Observatory, 11/24/10) noted. Few major corporate news media outlets even planned to send reporters to Cancún; as Washington Post lead environmental […]

Dec 17 2010

Michael Dorsey on Cancun climate talks, Bob McIntyre on tax plan

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: On the Fox News the story of the recently concluded UN climate summit was that it was really cold in Cancun, where the summit was held, so what was the point? Even actual journalists didn’t seem to find much to say though; one account said the results didn’t look like helping much with global warming, but they were a vote of confidence in ‘the process’ of addressing global warming. We’ll get another take on things from Michael Dorsey, professor of global environmental policy at Dartmouth College. Also on the show: the White House cut […]

Nov 19 2010

Wenonah Hauter on GE salmon, Rose Aguilar on Native Americans

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The FDA is on the verge of approving genetically engineered salmon in spite of opposition by the public, scientists and consumer groups. On November 15 the group Food & Water Watch released internal documents from Fish & Wildlife Service scientists expressing misgivings about the safety of the altered salmon and the legality of the FDA’s procedures. We’ll talk to Wenonah Hauter, the executive director of Food & Water Watch. Also on the show: A one-minute commentary by a cable TV host brought a swell of public awareness, political attention and money to a snowstorm-devastated […]

Oct 01 2010

Rick Ayers on Waiting for Superman, Vivian Stockman on Appalachia Rising

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: The media accolades heaped on the new documentary Waiting for Superman would be the envy of any filmmaker. The movie’s stirring endorsement of corporate-backed education reform makes it an easy sell in the corporate media. But education professor and author Rick Ayers calls Waiting for Superman a “slick marketing piece full of half-truths and distortions.” He’ll join us to explain. Also on the show today: You wouldn’t know it from the corporate press, but thousands of people were in Washington, D.C., September 25-27 to call for an end to mountaintop removal mining. The series […]

Aug 13 2010

Rick Steiner on oil spill, Stephan Salisbury on ‘Ground Zero Mosque’

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Download MP3 This week on CounterSpin: Sighs of relief as BP’s Macondo well appears to be sealed, and some stories are already headlined “After the Spill.” Our guest says it’s no time to celebrate, and “after” isn’t the right word. We’ll hear from marine conservationist Rick Steiner. Also on the show: The right-wing storyline about a radical al Qaeda-supporting imam’s proposal to build a mosque on the 9/11 ruins in Manhattan is false in virtually every aspect. The media haven’t been totally remiss in fact-checking some of the falsehoods, but how does this story fit in with the larger context […]