The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hannam Grossly Deceives His Readers Using Massively Doctored Photo

What follows is photo-shopping taken to an extreme.

It’s little wonder few people believe anything the mainstream dailies write when it comes to climate change. Time and again they’ve been exposed to be unloading barges of BS onto their readers.

Reader Jim sent an e-mail bringing attention to probably the most amateur photo-shopping work on behalf of global warming propaganda I’ve seen in a long time, all used by eco-journalist Peter Hannam of the Sydney Morning Herald in a piece about the coal-fired Liddel Power Station in Hunter Valley, NSW.

Not only is the photo totally manipulated with the aim of deceiving readers, but Hannam’s facts are just as misleading as the photo-shopped power plant image itself:

SMH propaganda2

Glaring photo-shopped image by Jonathan Carroll gets used by the SMH to produce impression that the Liddel coal power plant is causing disease at an epidemic proportion. Original photo: Jonathan Carroll.

Note how the steam emitted by the power plant’s cooling towers is a sinister black. Since when is water vapor black? Hannam obviously is unable to distinguish between the smoke stack and the cooling towers. The scant emissions from the single smokestack in the center of the image shows just how clean coal power plants have become.

The photo also tells the many readers residing in the northern hemisphere that skies down under have very weird colors.

Hannam reports on an activist group of doctors who using a dubious formula claim they have succeeded in putting a figure on the health damage the power plant causes: $600 million annually.

Hannam writes:

The Coal and Health in the Hunter report by the Climate and Health Alliance estimates that burning coal for electricity in the valley alone produces health damage in the order of $600 million annually from the resulting air pollution, including the release of small particles.”

However, as reader Jim points out, a quick search of health statistics from Hunter New England Health (which covers the Hunter Valley) shows that Hannam’s claims are dubious at best. What follows is a chart showing the causes of death for all respiratory ailments:

NSW Health chart

Source: Health Statistics New South Wales

The above chart shows that deaths due to respiratory ailments are primarily caused by lung cancer (smoking) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) which is in part related to pollution. Deaths from COPD, which to some extent are linked to the emissions from coal power plants, have been declining over the last 15 years.

Deaths due to asthma, a disease that could certainly be exacerbated by pollution, shows no trend.

Why would any reader believe anything Hannam writes? Using doctored images and dubious statistical methods, he is obviously attempting to fabricate a health crisis that does not exist.

 

42 responses to “The Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hannam Grossly Deceives His Readers Using Massively Doctored Photo”

  1. Ed Caryl

    Photoshop is not needed. Just shoot the picture towards the sun so that the near side of the steam column is shaded, then increase the contrast.

    1. AndyG55

      And choose a day when there’s been some bushfires, (nearly any day in summer) and you get the brown haze, take photo in early evening, easy peasy.

      Someone needs to educate these fools that cooling towers put out steam.
      Even after 30 odd years of these propaganda photos, they still don’t seem to know the difference.

      The ignorance of the below average warmista, on display for all to see. !!

    2. Sheri

      Ed Caryl: Thank you for pointing this out. As a photographer, I often point out to people that photoshopping is not at all necessary. You may not even need to increase the contrast. I have pictures taken on film that look exactly like what one sees here, based on the light, the exposure time and the f-stop used. Photoshop may be quick and easy for those who do not do a lot of photography, but it is not necessary.

    3. Gordon

      The image also shows that a polarising filter was used, hence the unrealistically dark sky and clouds.

  2. AndyG55

    The far left greenies will gobble this piece of farce up.

    GetUp, Lee Rihanna etc are already on task whipping up the twits on twitter.

  3. John F. Hultquist

    The photo looks odd if one checks other images found – this one does appear also. However, the others have 2 stacks (alignment could hide one) and the 4 cooling towers are flared – wide at the bottom, narrower at the top.
    Only this one photo fails to show the true shape of the cooling towers. The very dark bottom maybe doing this. But why? Nearly all posted images show the lower curves of the towers – it takes a special (selected) location to not show it.

    1. Anonymous

      The picture is taken FROM the Liddell power station side, I think. It is actually Bayswater power station(The SMH can’t even get the location correct!). I remember working near the power station years ago and thinking how lovely and clear the air was while looking down the Hunter Valley… Even with all the smoke* from the power stations.

      *My definition of smoke may include up to 100% water vapour.

  4. DirkH

    “Why would any reader believe anything Hannam writes? Using doctored images and dubious statistical methods, he is obviously attempting to fabricate a health crisis that does not exist.”

    That’s like early Christian church re.portraying Pan as Satan; so the renewables section must paint the old infrastructure as hellish. Should deliver a contrasting paradisic vision of beautiful animals surrounded by solar panels and wind turbines as well, symbolizing the perfect harmony humans and nature are about to achieve.

  5. pat

    Hannam isn’t alone. there is NO DEBATE in the following, despite the benign headline. it’s an all-out attack on coal & the govt. Massie was said to be in Coffs Harbour ready to take a plane somewhere or other:

    23 Feb: AUDIO: ABC Life Matters: Natasha Mitchell:
    Bob Massie: ***is a coal free future really feasible?
    (Bob Massie: Expert on climate and finance…advisor to a US investment fund – Boston common asset management and a US business school. Also the outgoing President of the New Economy Coalition and one of the leading thinkers in sustainable development.)
    He is conducting a series of talks around the country, focussing on “Just Transitions”: what is required to shift our economy from fossil fuels to renewable and still maintain jobs and prosperity. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/bob-massie-just-transition/6163508

    had to go to the cached version of:

    Hunter Upcoming Events – Lock the Gate Alliance
    http://www.lockthegate.org.au/hunter_events

    to get this text:

    Life after the boom: a new economic vision for Newcastle and the Hunter
    Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 01:00 PM
    Hunter Wetland Centre, 412 Sandgate Rd, Shortland
    350.org and Hunter Community Environment Centre will host a roundtable forum to bring together local leaders from industry, government, finance, the community sector, the union movement and the public in a meaningful discussion about what a low carbon economy would look like in the Newcastle and the Hunter, and the practical steps required to achieve it. Join us to hear from local experts in conversation with leading US economist ***Bob Massie, who will explore the regional opportunities to create a strong and stable economic future with a just transition that supports jobs, communities and our environment.

    ABC/Natasha didn’t bother mentioning any of these lockthegate/350.org links.

  6. 4TimesAYear

    COPD is mainly caused by smoking: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000091.htm
    Other causes:
    Exposure to certain gases or fumes in the workplace
    Exposure to heavy amounts of secondhand smoke and pollution
    Frequent use of cooking fire without proper ventilation
    Certainly would be difficult to get from pollution here in the U.S.

  7. Slywolfe

    Longer lifespans INCREASE health care costs. Die young – save money!

  8. Ulrich Elkmann

    OT – or maybe On Topic:
    Pachauri steps down as head of the IPCC:
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/climatechange-pachauri-idINKBN0LS0Z420150224

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    I live in the Hunter Region not too far away from Liddell power station and so far I haven’t died in CO2 caused agony.

    I passed within a kilometre of Munmorah power station in the train about an hour ago. It was dark, so the diabolic CO2 it was pumping into Gaia’s virgin unsullied atmosphere was not visible to my eyes.

  10. Sean

    I would regard the picture above as a massive own goal by Mr Hannam. People are smart enough that when you point out the cooling towers vs. smoke stack it makes a good case for how clean fossil fuels can be and how mindlessly shrill Mr. Hannam is.

  11. JB

    Bruce, Munmorah power station closed down a few years ago. It was unviable and now due for demolition. Due to many industries closing down power requirements are also falling. Nothing to do with green pixie power.

    1. Bruce of Newcastle

      Oops, sorry my mistake: the power station near the rail line is actually Eraring not Munmorah.

      The reason Munmorah closed is that the Kurri aluminium smelter was closed when the carbon tax was brought in. I think the Tomago aluminium smelter also cut back in capacity too, but I’d have to check. So not stupid green pixie energy but stupid green carbon tax. The carbon tax has been repealed now, but too late for Kurri.

      1. JB

        An interesting aside Bruce is that the West Lake Macquarie region which has Australias largest power station, Eraring at its heart, also has the highest percentage of over 85 year olds in the region. 2.5% compared with the national average of 1.9%. The air can’t be that bad eh?

        1. sod

          hey and in my familily, the oldest uncle was a heavy smoker.

          So smoking can not be bad?

          1. Pethefin

            Looking from the quality of your trolling, having been forced to suffer of the smoking by your uncle has definitely been bad for you.

  12. oeman50

    Not that it takes anything away from the main point, my vantage from Google Earth shows Liddell Power station with no cooling towers and the nearby Bayswater station having 4 cooling towers and 2 stacks.

  13. sod

    are you folks denying, that coal has a negative effect on health?

    that is utterly absurd!

    and health care is constantly improving. Thaqt statistic is utterly worthless!

    1. DirkH

      “are you folks denying, that coal has a negative effect on health?”

      Are you denying that rare Earth mining in China ,for wind turbine generators, has? Surely not. So the question is then: How much. How much damage, for how many produced TWh. That simple. Now of course you will need a LOAAAAD of wind turbines to ever achieve a TWh…

      1. sod

        “Are you denying that rare Earth mining in China ,for wind turbine generators, has? Surely not. ”

        Of course not. But you are not seriously suggesting a life time analysis (per TWH…) will show wind power to have a worse health effect than coal?

        There is also an attempt to avoid the use of rare earth in wind turbines:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_wind_power#Rare-earth_use

        1. AndyG55

          Please don’t use Wiki links. They are unreliable.

          Take this comment

          “The levels of infrasound at customary distances to homes are typically well below audibility thresholds”

          DOH !! Whoever wrote that, displays their ignorance.

        2. AndyG55

          “But you are not seriously suggesting a life time analysis (per TWH…) will show wind power to have a worse health effect than coal?

          Almost certainly !

        3. DirkH

          sod 24. February 2015 at 20:48 | Permalink | Reply
          “Of course not. But you are not seriously suggesting a life time analysis (per TWH…) will show wind power to have a worse health effect than coal?”

          Have you any idea how MANY wind turbine hours you will need to compete with a power plant?

      2. sod

        I just took a look at the numbers. A TWh is produced by GHerman wind power basically every week.

        https://www.energy-charts.de/energy.htm

    2. DirkH

      But I forget. You give a rats ass for a dead Chinese because you want your wind turbines, to kill the bats in your neighbourhood. Why do you hate bats so much, sod?

    3. AndyG55

      The positive benefits of modern coal based power massively out-weigh the slight, well-controlled issues with mining and transporting coal. The developed world is developed, because of coal. LIVE WITH IT !!

      The burning of coal itself in modern power stations has very few negative side effect. The only outputs are H2O and CO2. That extra CO2 is TOTALLY BENEFICIAL to all life on earth , because its the major building block of all life on Earth, yes, even you, soddy !!

      The world cannot exist without CO2, and it has been perilously low for a long, long time, and still is.
      Atmospheric CO2 levels of 700+ppm would be far preferable for all life on Earth.

      Wind turbines on the other hand are massively destructive to the environment and especially to avian once-was-life, and massively polluting in their manufacturing.

    4. JB

      and health care is constantly improving. Thaqt statistic is utterly worthless!

      Those health statistics are reality. They are based on real health issues in real people. Are you saying reality is utterly worthless?

  14. sod

    “The burning of coal itself in modern power stations has very few negative side effect. The only outputs are H2O and CO2. ”

    sorry, but thgis is simply not true.

    there are health impacts:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-coal-kills/

    And duke energy just got fined for the coal ash disaster:

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/20/us/duke-energy-charges/

    1. AndyG55

      Nothing in the first link except from PSR, a far-left advocacy group. Ignore, as they obviously haven’t heard of scrubbers. And wood burning is far, far more polluting energy source!

      How about you actually get some data instead of clipping from far-left advocacy MSM?

      Ash spill, very careless and an isolated incidence. Far better to use it for roads and cement manufacture. Find another cherry.

      Now why don’t they fine wind turbine scammers for all the rare birds killed? Cart blanche for massacre !!

      Now .. look around you and think would wouldn’t exist in your life without coal and coal fired electricity.

      Can you do that, and wake up??

      1. sod

        “How about you actually get some data instead of clipping from far-left advocacy MSM?”

        I was countering the claim, that coal output is only CO2 and H2O.

        How about you get some data to support this absurd position?

        The coal ash spills are only a minor part of it. Wet storage is constantly seeping heavy metal into ground water.

        again: the claim that coal is not posing a health hazard is totally absurd and not supported by any reasonable source on earth!

        1. AndyG55

          And please, to ease your anxiety, don’t go near any concrete or paint. Don’t drive on any roads, or go near any of the many other products that use fly-ash.

          Too dangerous…

          ….just go and chop up or cook some rare raptors or other avian life instead. !

        2. AndyG55

          No coal, no concrete, no way of ruining the landscape with bird-munchers.

          Question, how do you built a wind turbine without using any coal?

        3. DirkH

          Hmm, a wind turbine as a protein source. More gatherer than hunter, and a neo-paleo diet. Nice idea.

          1. JB

            And cutting edge technology to boot!!

  15. AndyG55

    Just remember this.

    Without coal, NO modern infrastructure would exist.

    No modern transport would exist.

    Even your house was built using large amounts of coal or coal power.

    We would be back to living in caves or a third world nomadic existance.

    Go for it, sod-off, dump all your modern trappings, and we will never hear from you again. 🙂

  16. AndyG55
  17. Pethefin

    Similar images of cooling towers are being used as illustration in the sickening political witch hunt in U.S: https://www.barackobama.com/climate-change-deniers/

  18. Lawrie Ayres

    As a very long term resident of the Hunter Valley I have travelled past that power station hundreds of times. I used the amount of visible water vapour to determine the level of humidity; little water vapour=low humidity. There were big signs either side of the power station (by the way that is Bayswater not Liddell) that had a photo of a cooling tower with the cloud clearly identified as “Water Vapour” so our man at the Herald cannot read either.

    Liddell power station is nearby, built earlier and is water cooled from a lake.