WaPo Photo Fraud: This is NOT carbon dioxide

The caption on this photo from the WaPo’s ironically titled WonkBlog is entirely misleading…

… and the WaPo has been told this before!

WaPo Coal Plant 060713 rot

Click for the WaPo article.

About similar 2008 WaPo photo fraud, the WaPo ombudsman stated on May 11, 2008 in “A Shaky Performance on Corrections“:

In another case, Steven Milloy, publisher of junkscience.com, said a caption was misleading on a March 10 Associated Press photo from Bejing that accompanied a story by Juliet Eilperin about new studies on carbon dioxide emissions. The caption said, “A heavy haze could be seen in Beijing in August 2007. Two recent reports call for a heightened global effort to reduce carbon emissions.”

Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas, Milloy said, so “carbon dioxide cannot possibly cause smog.” Eilperin, Bruzelius and Michel duCille, assistant managing editor for photos, all agreed on the correction; duCille wrote it.

[h/t @namfos]

5 thoughts on “WaPo Photo Fraud: This is NOT carbon dioxide”

  1. I agree that the visible plume in the photo is water condensing out of the exhaust of the scrubber… It may not be visible but I’ll wager there is quite a bit of CARBON DIOXIDE coming out of that scrubber also. Yeah verily, CO2 doth billow out of coal fired plants, even though gaseous CO2 is not photogenic. The caption is poor but the basic concept is correct. Coal plants produce CO2. BTW: I do NOT endorse the whole AlGorian global warming narrative. I’m just saying that, in this case, Steve’s FUD is no better than the Washington Post’s FUD.

  2. The carbon dioxide absorbs heat when it sublimes, just as water does when it evaporates. The white stuff you see caused by carbon dioxide is also water droplets.

  3. Are you sure, it’s water? Dry ice is white and if you let it sit in the air you see white vapors coming from it. 🙂
    It’s the standard propaganda picture. When they want to show pollution, they show a stack billowing what stuff. That way, everytime you see a stack billowing white stuff, you will think pollution.

  4. It is not even water vapor. It is water droplets and it is surely an annular ring of droplet-containing clear gas. The plume, which contains water vapor at a dew point of about 160 degrees F mixes with the surrounding, cooler air from the outside in. Water condenses as the plume gas temperature falls below the dew point of the mixture.

    In this case the WaPo and other news outlets with a point of view to sell are using misleading photography to make a case in the readers mind without having the information they need to make the point in words. It is a willful lie.

  5. Of course that’s water vapor, neither smoke nor CO2 (which is invisible as a gas anyway). Smoke and water vapor are kind-of proxies for energy use, so they are kind-of proxies for CO2.
    But the picture is meant to convey the idea of a choking cloud of CO2, something that simply doesn’t happen in ordinary life. It’s being used as a propaganda bit and that makes it quite false.

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