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CRU, “Climategate” and reporting in the Japanese media December 3, 2009

Posted by fukumimi in Communications, Economy & Business, Energy, Environment, Japan, Media.
16 comments

Or the absence thereof.

It’s come to a point where the situation is beyond absurd. The story has been reported in all the respectable (and not so respectable) English media outlets I keep up with (NYT, WSJ, Washington Post, Times (UK), Guardian, Telegraph, the Indy, special mention of that esteemed outlet the Washington Times whose reporting hardly contained its glee), to a point where it is silly to accuse “the media” of greenwashing.

On the other hand, there seems to be a coordinated effort to keep this out of the Japanese mainstream press. Do a Google News search for say, “climate change” + “data” (気候変動 データ)  or “(global) warming” + “data” (温暖化 データ) or “CRU” (University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, for those of you who have been living under a rock (or in Japan) for the last week or so), and you get (if you are lucky) a grand total of three relevant Japanese language hits. A Bloomberg article, a Slashdot.jp piece and a Wired Vision piece buried in Nikkei’s PC Online publication’s security section. The Bloomberg and Slashdot pieces are dated Dec 2nd. The Wired Vision/PC Online piece is dated Nov 30 (but I suspect the editors thought it was a piece on hacking and it slipped through the net).

None of the major papers, Nikkei, Yomiuri, Asahi, Sankei, Mainichi… None appear to have a related story on this piece of pretty important news in any form searchable on the internet. NONE. Same goes for the TV media. Nothing on NHK, or any of the commercial terrestrial channels.

If I were a betting man, I would have money on this being a Ministry of the Environment Press Club managed greenwash of the most outrageous proportions.

So much for the new administration being a change from the old regime. Either the Minister and Vice-Minister (hello Minister Sakihito Ozawa, Vice-Minister Issei Tajima) are totally clueless, or are, like so many of their predecessors from the now exiled LDP, in cahoots with the bureaucrats in keeping a lid on important news (until at least  Copenhagen COP15, or maybe even longer).

So yet again, we have the media and other forces (the govt and/or bureaucracy and most likely business interests – who seem to have developed a taste for various green subsidies which are quickly turning into the new pork barrel money drip) seemingly taking a united stance against informing the general public about an actual topic worthy of discussion. Not like some actress caught doing drugs. Or the world’s best golf player’s dubious tastes in women.

It is highly unlikely that this story will be kept under wraps for too long. The story is too big for someone not to break rank and do a “scoop”, a week or two (or more?) after the rest of the world. And then the floodgates will open.

But it has to be asked, what are the media getting in return? So much talk of how commercial media (and their ecosystem partners) are in so much financial pain. Maybe something to ease that pain is in the works? I have a strong suspicion that might just be what the doctor ordered.

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The GM crops issue April 21, 2008

Posted by fukumimi in Economy & Business, Environment, Food and Drink.
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Reading the IHT today, couldn’t help but notice that the headline replaces what I thought was the usual GM tag for the more high tech, less sinister sounding?, “biotech” “In lean times, biotech crops are less taboo, IHT

Anyway….

What if the surge in prices isn’t just about hedge funds pumping up the commodity markets and the criminal non-cellulosic bioethanol drive, but also partly due to the fact that GM crops are directly contributing to this trend due to lower yields, as a University of Kansas study has found (Independent).

If any academic institutions were able to be bought out by the agribusiness lobby, surely this one would be an easy target being situated right in the middle of the US grain belt…..

Global Warming Summit December 6, 2007

Posted by fukumimi in Energy, Environment, Travel.
4 comments

No, I’m not in Bali.

Unlike approximately 10,000 participants (from 190 countires) of said UN summit on global warming.

Anyone see the irony of transporting all those people by plane to a resort island to discuss global warming? I won’t deny that there are cases where face-to-face meetings are invaluable if not absolutely necessary, but 10,000 people???