The Professor emails* a comparison between Ross Gittins’ latest op-ed and the OECD report he is reporting on. It is not pretty. First Bunyip draws our attention to some direct quotes that fail to include quotation marks. I have tabulated some of the more obvious and longer examples.
Then Bunyip points to a number of close paraphrases (shown in italics, the bits underscored are direct quotes).
Without policy action, the world economy in 2050 is projected to be four times bigger than it is today, using about 80 per cent more energy. At the global level the energy mix would be little different from what it is today, with fossil fuels accounting for about 85 per cent, renewables 10 per cent and nuclear 5 per cent.
More than 40 per cent of the world’s population would be living in water-stressed areas. Environmental flows would be contested, putting ecosystems at risk, and groundwater depletion may become the greatest threat to agriculture and urban water supplies. About 1.4 billion people are projected to still be without basic sanitation.
Urban air pollution would become the top environmental cause of premature death. With growing transport and industrial air emissions, the number of premature deaths linked to airborne particulate matter would more than double to 3.6 million a year, mainly in China and India.
With no policy change, continued degradation and erosion of natural environmental capital could be expected, ”with the risk of irreversible changes that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards”. For openers, the cost of inaction on climate change could lead to a permanent loss of more than 14 per cent in average world consumption per person.
As the Professor says,
What you will notice, as did I, is that most of his learned analysis is barely re-written from the original, much of it reproduced without the benefit of quotation marks. Where he has written something original, he has introduced an error that, just coincidentally, boosts his alarmist case. … The first three paragraphs of his column, along with the final two … appear to be original. Count in the attributed quotes and virtually nothing of the column’s meat is his own work.
While I am sympathetic to the fact that the media operate under intense pressures to fill space and time, and start each day from scratch, this is not a good effort.
* He is on the road and unable to blog.