Friday, November 25, 2011

Who's got time to investigate BlackSmokeGate?

Update 2: Anthony Watts shows that this propaganda picture is Photoshopped.

In the comment section below, Harry Dale Huffman says:
The "dark cloud" version is obviously, and fraudulently (for propaganda purposes) enhanced, as you can tell by the simple fact that the smokestack itself is pitch black, all around (even on what should be the sunlit side) in that version. In the photo showing white smoke, the smokestack is normally lighted. Fakery, fraud, propaganda, artistic license to evoke an emotional reaction -- it is all of those, and obviously so in my opinion.
---
Ok, so has anyone else noticed just how many times various versions of the same propaganda photo (below) have been used with global warming stories? I feel like I've seen it a hundred times.


The intent is clearly to mislead us into thinking that CO2 looks like dirty black smoke, when in reality, it is completely invisible, like perfectly clean air.

If you have time to compile a list of the mainstream media uses of this photo, please let me know. If you've taken some action to protest this propaganda (maybe a letter to an editor?) please also let me know.

By the way, has this photo been altered in any way?


Update 1: A TinEye search for the top image yields 92 results.

A TinEye search for the bottom image yields 94 results.

This station has been identified in the comment section as Eggborough power station.
Check out the white cloud coming from the power station in this Wikipedia photo.


Howlers and omissions exposed in world of corporate social responsibility | Environment | The Guardian


Here the filename is UK-must-triple-efforts-to-007.jpg

Avoiding dangerous climate change – it can be done - Telegraph


Here the filename is Carbon-dioxide_1395149c.jpg.

18 comments:

SOYLENT GREEN said...

Saw it yesterday in either the Reuters piece about the NZ and EUrotard Carbon Come markets hitting record lows,or the Financial Times piece on the US bailing on the "Global Green Fund."
I linked both...

http://cbullitt.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/so-julia-hows-the-carbon-trade-show-going-for-you/

As you say, it's a popular bit of propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Here's a wider angle of the same shot used in some BBC propaganda:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/6265485.stm

Filename is 42456197_pachimney203cred.jpg

Comes from the Press Association archive.

Chuckles said...

Tom,

Tin Eye, at

www.tineye.com

is a reverse image search. Both those images, when searched as online images return over 90 hits.

Anonymous said...

Found it:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/10/carbonemissions.activists

In this guardian article the picture is credited as "Eggborough power station, near Selby. Photograph: John Giles/PA"

Anonymous said...

Tom,

Using TinEye, I find 94 versions of this photo used by other media. Telegraph, Guardian, Mail, BBC etc

Anonymous said...

I think it's fair for eco-whackjobs to use to illustrate CO2 -it is indeed the chimney from a coal-fired furnace - so there will be some invisble CO2 along with the visible smoke. According to wiki "Units 3 and 4 have been installed with Flue Gas Desulphurisation equipment, which reduces the units' emissions of Sulphur Dioxide by around 90%." That explains why only 2 of the 4 chimney's are running in the photo.

Anonymous said...

If you go there on streetview the puff of smoke is clearly white - so yes I do think the photo has been processed to darken the shadows

Ron Albertson said...

Hi Tom, I am a press photographer in Canada and saw this post. All the info you seek is here, except for any enhancement questions. Bear in mind that this stack effluent is backlit by the sun, the edges appear clearer than the center, which will be denser and therefore more impenetrable by the sun. You would have to email the photographer, John Giles, and ask him if he did further enhancement, as in upping the contrast etc. Note the 'tags' that editors will associate with the photo.

http://www.apimages.com/OneUp.aspx?st=k&kw=john%20giles&showact=results&sort=date&intv=None&sh=10&kwstyle=or&adte=1322228333&pagez=60&cfasstyle=AND&rids=09ad42b86591474fbba46e862649ab6f&dbm=PThirtyDay&page=1&xslt=1&mediatype=Photo#SPECIALINSTRUCTIONS

Ron Albertson said...

Again, the photo in question is backlit, so it must be viewed as if it is a cloud in the sky (suspended water particles thin in one area, thick in another, thus producing dark/light areas, just like cloud cover). Is it misleading? Yes, I think so, simply because most people viewing it do not know of what I speak here. It will look like filth to most, when in fact it may be mostly water vapour. Photos like that are done for greatest visual impact, but it is not incorrect as such. The second photo you've posted is not backlit, and is likely a fairer representation of what the stack emits.

Harry Dale Huffman said...

The "dark cloud" version is obviously, and fraudulently (for propaganda purposes) enhanced, as you can tell by the simple fact that the smokestack itself is pitch black, all around (even on what should be the sunlit side) in that version. In the photo showing white smoke, the smokestack is normally lighted. Fakery, fraud, propaganda, artistic license to evoke an emotional reaction -- it is all of those, and obviously so in my opinion.

Brian G Valentine said...

The visible clouds themselves are, of course, water vapor condensed on dust. If the stacks emitted the dust alone, the clouds themselves would be hardly visible (perhaps made more visible with a polarized filter to enhance the light scattered in one direction)

Scattering of white light by back lighted clouds makes the surface toward the viewer appear dark

John Trigge said...

I have complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission regarding the dark and gloomy backgrounds used when 'discussing' climate issues.

Their response:

As you are aware, the ACCC is charged with the responsibility of ensuring compliance with the fair trading and competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974. Generally speaking, the fair trading provisions of the Act only apply to entities when engaged in trade or commerce. The actions of a department in carrying out the functions of government such as communication of government policy are unlikely to be considered in trade or commerce and are therefore unlikely to be exposed to the fair trading provisions of the Act.

Anonymous said...

Auntie is still using the image

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19867371#

Anonymous said...

I asked Auntie to remove the image and pointed them towards WUWT to show the image had been photoshopped.

Auntie replied "Dear Mr ......,

We have now heard back from the Press Association. They have assured us that the image is a faithful reproduction of the scene as witnessed at the time and that their photographers work to strict rules over picture handling.

If you wish to pursue this further, we think you would have to do so through the Press Association.

Thank you again for your email.

Yours,

BBC News website"

Anybody have the PA image tags to take it up with the PA?

Anonymous said...

I've tracked down one source of the offending image:

http://www.apimages.com/OneUp.aspx?st=k&kw=john%20giles&showact=results&sort=relevance&page=1&intv=None&sh=100025&kwstyle=or&adte=1356077073&pagez=60&cfasstyle=AND&rids=3881d88362c4415e93d74801a62bc59b&dbm=PThirtyDay&xslt=1&mediatype=Photo#

Seems likely the BBC etc are using the image in good faith and the photography is the source of the darkened water vapour

Anonymous said...

One source of original image

http://t.co/Re3a7If3

Anonymous said...

Just received this message from the Press Association:

"Further to your inquiry. I can confirm that the image in question is genuine.
Almost all pictures are routinely passed through Photoshop or other image processing software for them to be cropped and/or the density and contrast adjusted to enable the image to match the scene that the photographer saw when the picture was taken. Our photographers work to strict rules over picture handling which permits overall changes to exposure and contrast as well as local dodging or burning, consistent with that which could have been achieved in a traditional ‘wet’ darkroom.
This picture was taken in winter and shows the clouds of condensed water vapour coming primarily from the cooling towers strongly backlit by the sun. Clouds can appear both white and fluffy or dark and menacing - as in a thunderstorm - depending upon the direction of the light.

Kind regards

Milica Lamb

Picture Editor
PRESS
ASSOCIATION
www.pressassociation.com
milica.lamb@pressassociation.com
T: 020 7963 7156
M: 07977 252271
292 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1AE"

Either the photographer is being economical with the truth or it's genuine

Anonymous said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29623648

Still in circulation at the Beeb!