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Dean Baker Is Shrill!

Dean Baker asks a question:

Beat the Press: Global Warming is Serious: Why Can't the Post Treat It Seriously?

In a front page article on President Bush's changing statements on climate change, the Post tells readers that he will spend $29 billion on "climate science, aid, and incentives." Is there even a single reader of this sentence, apart from those actually working on climate policy, who has any idea what this commitment means?

For beginners, how about telling readers the time frame for this spending? My understanding is that the $29 billion will be spent over ten years (approximately 0.1 percent of projected spending), but I don't have any clear idea of what this money refers to, so I can't say that for certain. It would also be helpful to know to what extent this money involves an additional commitment of resources -- the government has spent money for decades on climate science and various programs that encourage conservation.

In short, reporting this $29 billion in projected spending provides no information whatsover. Couldn't the two experienced reporters who wrote this piece recognize that they were not providing any information to readers? Couldn't their editors?

--Dean Baker

The Washington Post isn't in the business of providing information, Dean. That would be "unbalanced."