, 11 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
If journalists want to understand what frustrates environmental scientists nothing better demonstrates what is troubling than the news story I have seen re-tweeted numerous times today. It typifies what is wrong with environmental journalism. #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpol @sjmuir
Here is the story it addresses a complaint about river crossing work conducted on the #transmountain pipeline. It starts with an overwrought headline: "Trans Mountain pipeline work destroyed salmon habitat, scientist says" theprovince.com/news/local-new… #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpol 2/
Pardon me @theprovince the same story appeared in the @globeandmail and other media outlets.

Now let's see what the story entails: approximately 17 m of river affected in an aquifer system that includes literally thousands of kilometers of river area. #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpol 3/
This habitat was not destroyed, it was degraded, slightly. Looking at the photos it is clear that the habitat still exists but the work needs to be redone to fully restore it to pristine conditions. Not good but not a disaster #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpol 4/
Quantitatively the effect could not be calculated because it is so small as to be indistinguishable from zero. But did anyone ask the biologist in the story about that fact? Nope not a chance #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 5/
Instead the article suggests the degradation of this 17 m of stream will:

"reduce food sources for coho and chum salmon and limit their ability to hide from predators. The fish are part of the diet of endangered southern resident killer whales." #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 6/
So this gentleman manages to get reporters to imply that the reduction of habitat in 17m of a small tributary will endanger killer whales. This is simply a joke and if anyone had asked a single investigative question this farce would have been revealed #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 7/
Instead, this quote, or one like it, is appearing in all sorts of media outlets and being re-tweeted around the globe. Seriously folks do you want to look this foolish? Journalists you are being played #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 8/
Try this really simple trick. Ask a follow-up question. Ask them to explain HOW the degradation of 17m of a small tributary will result in the extinction of the southern resident killer whales. Ask what the real difference will be? #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 9/
Call them on a statement like: "There was no consideration given whatsoever to the habitat". Because this is untrue. The project was designed to protect habitat, it failed, but not due to disregard (which he implies) but due to other issues. #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 10/
Basically you repeat a libel that the company (and NEB) don't care and that is simply bad journalism because repeating something that is demonstrably untrue is not how journalism is supposed to be done....or at least it didn't used to be #bcpoli #abpoli #cdnpoli 11/
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