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CBC OMBUDSMAN DID NOT DO HER JOB CONCERNING BIASED CLIMATE CHANGE POLL REPORTING

THE FOLLOWING IS IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER (FROM NEWEST TO OLDEST) SO PLEASE START AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE TO READ IN SEQUENCE (Note: "Jody" is the producer of CBC Vancouver Radio's On the Coast. The interview in question may be heard starting at the 48:35 mark here):

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Subject: RE: complaint to CBC Ombudsman
Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 19:43:09 +0000

Dear Ms. Eskin,

I have already explained how the interview did not take into account the information I provided (because it was not shared with the BC Vancouver interviewer by CBC Toronto) and a sample of which of CBC's journalism policy issues were thereby violated. 

If you want to just focus on one of these policy violations, I suggest you take the following:

Science and Health

Implications and validity of results of scientific research

We take care to understand properly and reflect the true implications of medical or scientific study results that we obtain, especially those involving statistical data.

The CBC Vancouver interview obviously did not "reflect the true implications" of the research and did not raise any of the problems with the work that I sent to CBC Toronto (since CBC Toronto did not share the information with CBC Vancouver even though they had many hours to do so).

I plan to explain this situation accurately to the public in my upcoming interviews and articles and express my opinion that, since you refuse to investigate the matter (for example, by determining if the interview did indeed "reflect the true implications of" the subject survey), then you are indeed not doing your job as you defined it. 

If you find my tone insulting, then please recognize that I consider your answers insulting since you are merely repeating yourself by saying that I have not described what I consider the violations to be, when I clearly have.

Sincerely,

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Date: Thu, 3 Mar 2016 10:41:34 -0500
Subject: Re: complaint to CBC Ombudsman
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Dear Mr. Harris:

 

The offer remains to take action on a complaint based on the content of the interview. If you believe it violated CBC journalistic policy in any way, please specify, and I will be glad to take action on your complaint.  Your insulting tone is uncalled for.

 

Sincerely,


Esther Enkin

CBC Ombudsman

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www.cbc.ca/ombudsman

 

RE: complaint to CBC Ombudsman

Date: Wed, 2 Mar

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Dear Ms. Enkin,

 

You write, "please let me know what your concerns are." I already did exactly that in my e-mail below, but you either did not read them or are assuming I will waste my time repeating myself, or simply give up. When I worked in the House of Commons, I found that the latter was often the standard approach to the first letter to MPs from constituents and this greatly reduced the work load for MP staff.

 

If you will not look into the matter as I laid it out, I will conclude you are not fulfilling your responsibility as Ombudsman and so plan to publicize this e-mail thread for public comment.

 

Sincerely,

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

 


Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2016 10:39:14 -0500
Subject: Re: complaint to CBC Ombudsman
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Dear Mr. Harris:

 

As I understand it, you are concerned because the producer did not pass on your research notes.  If you are concerned or believe the interview broadcast violated CBC policy, please let me know what your concerns are.  Editorial judgement about what research is done or who is approached is generally beyond the mandate of this office.  I take action when there is concern about news and current affairs content published on any of CBC's platforms.

 

Sincerely,

Esther Enkin

CBC Ombudsman

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www.cbc.ca/ombudsman

 


 

On Tue, Mar 1, 2016 at 5:57 PM, Tom Harris < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote:

 

Dear Ms. Enkin,

 

You say "The CBC Ombudsman has a mandate to determine whether information content the CBC has produced fully respects CBC's journalism policy." Are you saying then that, in your opinion, the situation I described below adequately fulfills the standards laid out in CBC's journalism policy?

 

A quick glace at CBC's journalism policy shows many places, a small sampling of which I list below, where the situation described in the e-mails below clearly violates CBC's journalism policy. Are you saying that, in your professional judgement as CBC Ombudsman, these standards were indeed followed in the circumstances I describe?

 

Our Values

Accuracy

We seek out the truth in all matters of public interest. We invest our time and our skills to learn, understand and clearly explain the facts to our audience. 

 

That was obviously not done in the case I described.

 

Balance

On issues of controversy, we ensure that divergent views are reflected respectfully, taking into account their relevance to the debate and how widely held these views are.

 

That was obviously not done in the case I described.

 

Impartiality

We provide professional judgment based on facts and expertise. We do not promote any particular point of view on matters of public debate.

 

That was obviously not done in the case I described.

 

Science and Health

  • Implications and validity of results of scientific research

We take care to understand properly and reflect the true implications of medical or scientific study results that we obtain, especially those involving statistical data.

That was obviously not done in the case I described.

 

And so on. You know the CBC's journalism policy far better than I do and so I am sure you can quickly determine many examples of direct violations of the policy in the situation I have brought to your attention.

 

Please open a file on this complaint and investigate the issue properly. I plan to share this dialog with the public in my articles and interviews over the coming weeks.

 

Sincerely,

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

 


Date: Tue, 1 Mar 2016 13:12:44 -0500
Subject: Re: complaint to CBC Ombudsman
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Dear Mr. Harris:

 

CBC's Office of the Ombudsman is independent of CBC News management and thus has no say in day-to-day decision-making.  The CBC Ombudsman has a mandate to determine whether information content the CBC has produced fully respects CBC's journalism policy.  However, I have shared your email with Jennifer McGuire, General Manager and Editor in Chief of CBC News, so that she will be aware of your concerns.

 

Sincerely,

Esther Enkin

CBC Ombudsman

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www.cbc.ca/ombudsman

 


 

On Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 4:41 PM, Tom Harris < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote:

 

Dear Ombudsman,

 

I would like to register a complaint that, as a result of CBC Syndicated Audio Associate Producer Adam Stroud not transferring the problems I outlined below in the subject poll to the CBC Vancouver radio producer of the program in question, CBC Vancouver radio interviewer Chris Brown did not have the background material required to do a proper interview with one of the survey's authors. As a consequence, Mr. Brown's interview was merely a cheer leading discussion with the author, devoid of any sensible inquiry about the meaning of the poll in question.

 

No one at CBC has answered my e-mails to Jody at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  below.

 

Sincerely,

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario

K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

______________________________________________

 

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Subject: RE: information that I sent to CBC Toronto about the problems with the climate poll
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:17:06 +0000

 

Here is the second e-mail I sent Adam about the problems with the poll. He did not reply:

 

Tom

 


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Subject: the real question pollsters should have asked, but did not
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 21:06:35 +0000

Hi Adam,

 

They did not ask the most important question for the policy debate:

 

“Do you believe that emissions of carbon dioxide from human activities are causing dangerous global warming and other problematic climate change?”

 

The fact that a respondent believes the Earth is getting warmer or not is irrelevant to the climate policy debate. It is only if that warming (or cooling) is considered in any way dangerous that it would be worth carbon dioxide taxes or other means to lower carbon dioxide emissions.

 

It is also important to call it what it really is, namely carbon dioxide. The primary greenhouse gas is actually water vapour and no one is speaking about reducing our emissions of water vapour. If we were, then we should be draining our reservoirs as far more water evaporates when it is held high above sea level in large surface area lakes than if it were allowed to drain naturally to the ocean.

 

The above points, in addition to their uneducated reference to warming temperatures, makes me think the researchers really do not know the basics of the topic they are polling. I find this often with pollsters on the climate issue.

 

I am free to speak about this on air if you like.

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

 


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Subject: information that I sent to CBC Toronto about the problems with the climate poll
Date: Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:15:24 +0000

 

Hi Jody,

 

Here is the first set of e-mails I exchanged with Adam. It was many hours before the interview on On the Coast so it is very poor that Adam did not share this with you. Adam, why did you not do this? It could have given Mr. Brown the information he needed to conduct a proper, inquiring interview instead of simply a cheer leading session with the highly activist professor from CA.

 

I will now send you the second e-mail in which I show what question the poll did not ask, which they should have.

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

 

 


Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 15:09:09 -0500
Subject: Re: problems in the poll
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Hi Tom

 

Thanks for that. We'll look into this further.

 

Cheers

 

-- 

Adam Stroud

Associate Producer 

CBC Syndicated Audio

(416) 205-6204

 

________

 

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Subject: problems in the poll
Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 20:07:03 +0000

 

Hi Adam,

 

The first question in the poll is a trick that should be exposed by CBC interviewers, I suggest. It was:

 

“From what you’ve read and heard, is there solid evidence that the average temperature on earth has been getting warmer over the past four decades?”

Besides the fact that temperatures do not quote get warmer unquote; they increase (or decrease); picking the last four decades is deceptive. All scientists on both sides of the debate agree it has generally warmed in the past 40 years. However, in the last 19 years, temperatures have generally stayed stable, with the variation generally staying within the uncertainty (see attached). The answer to the question, is it getting warmer entirely depends on the time interval chosen:

 

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpfMM3bVbhQ;t=159

 

Professor Carter shows that it has warmed since 16,000 years ago

He shows it has cooled since 10,000 years ago

He shows it has cooled in the last 2,000 years

He shows it has neither warmed nor cooled since 700 years ago

He shows it has warmed in the past 40 years

But not in the last 8 years (now 19 actually)

 

But, Prof Carter also shows, the last two temperature intervals are not statistically significant and absolutely not unusual.

 

So Carter concludes, “Is it warming or not - it depends on the time interval chosen.“

 

I suggest the CBC point this out to the researchers. Alternatively, I would be happy to discuss this on air.

 

-- 

Tom Harris, B. Eng., M. Eng. (Mech.)

Executive Director,

International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC)

P.O. Box 23013

Ottawa, Ontario K2A 4E2

Canada

 

www.climatescienceinternational.org

613-728-9200

 

Note: The ICSC relies on donations from the public across the world to

cover its operating expenses. To contribute, please go here:

http://tinyurl.com/3ttkw82.

 


Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:40:58 -0500
Subject: Re: MEDIA REQUEST: cbc syndicated audio
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Hi Tom

 

Thanks for the response. Fortunately two of the co-authors of the research came through for us. But I appreciate you getting back to me. Perhaps another time.


Cheers

-- 

Adam Stroud

Associate Producer 

CBC Syndicated Audio

(416) 205-6204

 


 

On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:38 PM, Tom Harris < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it > wrote:

Hi Adam,

 

As I work nights, I just got your e-mail and voice mail and am studying the study right now. 

 

Am I too late? I would be happy to comment starting in about 30 minutes.

 

Tom


Date: Mon, 22 Feb 2016 11:24:48 -0500
Subject: MEDIA REQUEST: cbc syndicated audio
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Hello there Tom

 

My name is Adam and I'm with CBC's syndicated audio unit in Toronto. We produce interview segments for our local afternoon radio shows across the country.

 

I'm wondering if you might be able to help me find somebody who can do a series of interviews this afternoon. Each interview would be about five minutes long, over the telephone, with a different local show somewhere in Canada.

 

We are looking to talk about THIS study, partially co-authored by the Universite de Montreal. HERE is an online article on it. As you will see, there seems to be a stark divide among Canadians on how they view climate change. So we're looking to talk about what is behind these differing attitudes...especially the urban-rural divide? And where might scientists and educators be falling short and how can they improve in informing the public on climate change?

 

The window for the interviews would be 2:30-6:30 pm ET today.

Please let me know if you or somebody within the ICSC might be available.

 

Cheers

 

-- 

Adam Stroud

Associate Producer 

CBC Syndicated Audio

(416) 205-6204