Crawl Across the Ocean

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Well, At Least She Recycles

Let's play a game of quote comparison.

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A: "The polar bear has become this year's most popular symbol of climate change. Like the panda, it's what's known as a charismatic megafauna -- a large, photogenic animal that people can relate to."

B: "The polar bear has become the new poster animal for environmentalists, and I can understand why. When it comes to "charismatic megafauna" - the term used by marketing experts at conservation groups - the bear is a giant improvement over the giant panda."

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A: "The polar bear population has rebounded since the early 1990s, when -- thanks to the environmental movement -- tight new restrictions were imposed on hunting."

B: "In Canada, home to most of the world's polar bears, the population has risen by more than 20 percent in the past decade.

The chief reason for the rise is probably restrictions on hunting (for which conservationists deserve credit)."

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A: "In Hudson Bay, for example, the polar ice pack failed to consolidate for the second year in a row. The bear population in western Hudson Bay has been declining."

B: "Although the bears seem to be hurting in some places, like the Hudson Bay region south of here..."

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A: "Since then, they've survived both warmer times and colder times than these. As Dr. Taylor says, "They've been through this before." It's even possible that Arctic warming might benefit some bears by increasing their food supply."


B: "But the increase [in population] might also be related to the recent warming, which could be helping bears in some places. After all, the bears have thrived in warmer climates than today's. In the 1930's, the Arctic was as warm as it is now, and in the distant past it was even warmer."

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The 'A' quotes are from Margaret Wente's May 4, 2006 column in the Globe and Mail. The 'B' quotes are from John Tierney's August 6, 2005 op-ed in the NY Times.

The nice thing about Canadian columnists recycling American columns is that Canadian bloggers can simply recycle American debunking of said columns. So reading this Media Matters critique of Tierney's column ('Tierney wrong on Arctic climate change and polar bears') should cover off Wente's column as well.

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While I'm writing, Malcolm Gladwell had an interesting post on his blog the other day about the fine line between plagiarism and the common practice of re-using other people's ideas (with a followup a couple of days later).

4 Comments:

  • Good catch!

    If you haven't already, someone should alert the Globe and Mail...

    By Blogger Idealistic Pragmatist, at 3:33 PM  

  • I think it's all part of the Globe's strategy for journalistic balance in their columns. They need ignorant plagiarists to balance those with creativity and insight, like Jeffery Simpson, Ken Wiwa and Doug Saunders.

    Without the dull, recycled ideas of Wente, Blatchford and Murphy, the paper just wouldn't be balanced.

    By Anonymous famousringo, at 8:20 PM  

  • Did the Globe respond to the plagiarism?

    By Blogger Saskboy, at 12:49 PM  

  • No, they never said a word or made any response about it.

    By Blogger Declan, at 6:30 PM  

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