Staniford on the NYT on CERA on Plentiful Oil

Stuart Staniford (*swoon*) is disappointed in the journalistic standards at the New York Times: New York Times still Parotting CERA.

I guess the thing that bothers me is this: the piece reads to me as deeply and intentionally deceptive, while being skillfully crafted to avoid saying anything verifiably untrue.  The constant mixing of oil and gas as though the two situations are the same.  The cherry picked and misleading comparisons.  For example, “oil sands projects expanded so fast, they now provide North America with more oil than Saudi Arabia.” – Saudia Arabia has never been a large direct supplier of oil to North America – and so this is an irrelevant example intended to mislead someone who isn’t intimately familiar with the stats.  Clifford Krauss knows perfectly well that CERA has always said that oil will be plentiful and moderately priced in the near future.  There is nothing new about this in the last three years.  He knows that their track record of prediction in the 2005-2008 oil shock was dreadful.  But he says nothing to clue his readers into any of this context.

And whatever happened to at least nominal adherence to the rule of journalistic balance?  There isn’t even one quote from anyone who would dissent from the cornucopian point of view peddled in the article.

I have no idea what motivates the New York Times to publish this kind of dishonest propaganda masquerading as journalism, but it is extremely unhelpful.

If you prefer your propaganda masquerading as journalism straight, with no filter, you can read the original article here: There Will Be Fuel. The CERA Staniford refers to is Cambridge Energy Research Associates, an energy consulting firm with close ties to the oil industry and a history of making rosy predictions about our plentiful-fuel future that then fail to come true.

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