I'm livid, beyond livid.
The Daily Telegraph being one of the serious UK newspapers, and one of the only two remaining true broadsheet format newspapers (the FT being the other) is one of the great newspapers of the world. Yes, it tends to side with the Conservative Party, but this political slant is well known and understood. In the UK you know the politics of your papers, but they write for a broader church than that. The Daily Telegraph exposed the ridiculous expenses claims of MPs from all parties before the last election, and did not hesitate to expose Conservative MPs as well.
One of its writers is Geoffrey Lean. He is considered an "environmental correspondent" having previously been environmental editor for the more left leaning Independent. His Telegraph blog is here, but his insult is not located here.
It is this headline:
"New Zealand earthquake : the vengeance of Mother Nature".
Yes, the implication being that some anthropomorphised entity has inflicted vengeance on New Zealand. For what? Why?
He goes on:
"as the people of Australia and New Zealand have been the latest to find out, she also has a nasty and highly destructive temper."
The female is "mother nature", so again he implies this is a cognitive being who is angry. I am sure he doesn't really believe this but he goes on...
"And she's getting more irritable as the years go by. The devastating earthquake in Christchurch, and Queensland's cyclone and floods, which have so tumultuously ushered in 2011, follow the second worst year for disasters on record."
The end is nigh. So what? What have people done to reap this?
"Munich Re says that 90 per cent of last year's disasters were due to the weather, providing "further indications of advancing climate change". Sceptics disagree, and certainly no particular disaster can be attributed to global warming. But the increase is what most scientists have long predicted would happen as the world warms up."
So a reinsurance firm is making a link, but he naturally say no disaster can be attributed to global warming, but the increase is what would happen as the world warms up.
Sound like he is blaming the earthquake on global warming. He goes on talking about droughts, floods, storms and hurricanes and then says:
"And, of course, earthquakes, like the disaster that has hit Christchurch, have nothing to do with it."
Whew, thank goodness for that, except hold on. What the hell is that headline about? Why write about it now? Why the fuck say "New Zealand earthquake: The Vengeance of Mother Nature" unless you are making some link?
"But whatever the cause of the increase in disasters, humanity has made their impact far worse."
He then says buildings make things worse, which of course implies we should live in caves or tents, a rather inane comment really.
He backs out of linking the earthquake to anything:
"Christchurch aside, maybe Mother Nature sometimes has reason to be annoyed."
Who? Aren't you the annoyed one?
Not as annoyed as me. You see he didn't mean anything, but he did try to get attention because of the earthquake. He had a headline that is vile, as if Christchurch was the result of nature's "anger" at humanity, he did it while corpses are still being pulled out of the rubble. Even ignoring his hatred of humanity in treating nature as if it is a living being that emotes, it was in appalling bad taste.
Even worse bad taste was that this article was one of the "Editor's choice" on the website.
For shame Daily Telegraph. For shame!