The New York Times issued a correction Tuesday for publishing a climate report it claimed a scientist “leaked” to the paper so the Trump Administration couldn’t bury it. The report was actually available for about eight months the addendum stated.
“An article on Tuesday about a sweeping federal climate change report referred incorrectly to the availability of the report,” reads the correction at the bottom of the article, originally published Monday. “While it was not widely publicized, the report was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January; it was not first made public by The New York Times.”
The front page story, titled “Scientists Fear Trump Will Dismiss Blunt Climate Report,” is about scientists purposely leaking a climate change report because they fear the Trump administration would quash the information. Lisa Friedman’s story explained that a “draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now,” which “directly contradicts claims by President Trump and members of his cabinet.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed the Times for not reaching out to the White House press office for comment before publishing the Tuesday report.
“It’s very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy,” Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
New York Times Washington bureau chief Elisabeth Bumiller addressed the screw-up to the Washington Post on Tuesday: “We were just not aware that somebody involved in the report had put a draft on this nonprofit Internet site … it was not a well-known site to us and the point is that the people who shared the draft with us were not aware of it either. That doesn’t change the larger point that scientists were worried that the government wouldn’t approve the report or release it through normal channels.”
Friedman’s now notes that the report “received little attention until it was published by The New York Times.”
“The report concludes that even if humans immediately stopped emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the world would still feel at least an additional 0.50 degrees Fahrenheit (0.30 degrees Celsius) of warming over this century compared with today. The projected actual rise, scientists say, will be as much as 2 degrees Celsius,” it reads. “A small difference in global temperatures can make a big difference in the climate: The difference between a rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius and one of 2 degrees Celsius, for example, could mean longer heat waves, more intense rainstorms and the faster disintegration of coral reefs.”
The Times story ends with the following note: “Mr. Trump announced this year that the United States would withdraw from the Paris agreement, saying the deal was bad for America.”
Trump has yet to directly comment on the error.