Saturday, 1 December 2007


A con... what else would you expect when you paste a Richard Nixon quote on top of your editorial slot.
Gomantak Times is the latest Goan media outfit to plagiarise editorials. The scanned editorial which we have uploaded out here was published on November 10. It deals with global warming and has been plagiarised from an article written by Sergei Gulobchikov for RIA Novosti, a Russian news agency. We have reproduced the piece for you below so that you can figure it out yourself.
You see guys, Herald had been plagiarising with remarkable precision until we persistently called its bluff. But Herald still is an amateurish outfit run by a ham-headed editor in Robin Abreu and a hare-brained owner in Raul Fernandes. But now this seeming endemic has mutated and has found home in not only a larger newspaper, but also one that claims to have proper work-systems in place.
We need to take into account here that Gomantak Times is not a tin-shed outfit. It's a part of the strong Sakal network and is a trans-state media group (post publishing correction, we had earlier used the phrase 'trans-state newspaper) with editions in Maharasthra too. Its scale of operations is vast and not limited to one state alone like the Herald.
We wonder who finally wrote the editorial. If it was an editorial on local issues, we could have pinned down the resident editor Derek Almeida. But there is also a possibility that this particular editorial has been dispatched from the headquarters for all the other editions to pick up. But all in all, some chick has laid a bad egg. And we've caught it in the act. Now its up to Derek (who's also the publisher). He can either cull the chicken or have the egg, funny side up.

* Footloose is the title of a weekly column run by the GT editor

Global warming: horror fiction or real challenge?
MOSCOW. (Sergei Golubchikov for RIA Novosti) - Natural calamities are getting ever more frequent. Many scientists and political activists blame them on industry. The World Bank calls every nation to donate 1% of its gross domestic product to fight global warming.
Green activism brought Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize. But are the environmental alarmists right?
Environmental phobias go hand in hand with technological civilization. Anxiety over climate change is carried too far, to my mind. Anxiety easily turns to panic, forcing the world into hasty, and possibly wrong, steps. The Kyoto Protocol, for instance, was ratified even before the link between global warming and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been proved. Signatories to Kyoto pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emission by a collective average of 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.
But is the gas so bad? It is no poison, and plants need it as much as we humans need our daily bread. At present it makes up a mere 0.037% of the atmosphere. Greater concentrations cause plant life to flourish-especially forests, the greatest absorbers of greenhouse gases.
If the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere were suddenly stopped, the earth's plant life would consume that remaining in a matter of 8-11 years. After that they would curl up and die. Every living thing on earth would be doomed with them. As it is, volcanic eruptions and other calamities emit enough of the gas to stimulate plant growth and so increase the amount of air oxygen. Marine life is the richest of all, and as such the sea is on a par with the great continental forests as an absorber of greenhouse gases. As 95% of the world's carbon dioxide is dissolved in saline water, global warming makes the sea the principal source of emissions, leaving industry far behind.
To my mind, international agreements should instead seek to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide, carbonic and nitric oxides, benzpyrene, soot, heavy metals and other toxic substances responsible for causing cancer and mutations. These are, in fact, the greatest environmental challenge to governments and the public. It is also easy to monitor the concentration of such substances in the atmosphere.
Oil slicks cover 13% of the world's sea surface. This and other maritime pollution, plus the melting of permafrost and the polar ice caps have far worse implications for the global climate than industry. The Arctic is known as the "Weather Kitchen." Its cyclones make the cold season in the northern hemisphere. I think northern Europe owes its warming of the last 20 years to a weakening of these arctic cyclones, which is the result of a permanent thaw in the Arctic Ocean.
According to experts at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute, the arctic ice is shrinking by 5% every ten years. At this rate the North Pole will be completely ice-free by the middle of the century.
The melting of the ice cap is not only a result of fluctuations in temperature. The flow of the Gulf Stream, the ocean current that warms the coasts of western Europe, is shifting due to a preponderance of warm sewage and waste. The levels of pollution are disastrous. I saw with my own eyes garbage from the entire North Atlantic floating along the west coast of Novaya Zemlya, an Arctic archipelago washed by the Stream.
Nothing deserves closer attention from scientists and political leaders than the ocean, the Arctic and Siberia. Yet they are largely ignored. Politicians and experts win Nobel prizes with impassioned calls to fight global warming and shift national economies to sustainable development. To be honest, promises of a radiant noospheric future sound baffling to me, for there are no objective criteria to the noosphere [the third stage of environmental development after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (organic life)]. It cannot be measured, weighed or otherwise evaluated, and there is no way to establish its borders in time and space. But please don't think I shrug off the doctrine of the noosphere. On the contrary, I have the utmost respect for it, just as for those who stood at its cradle-brilliant Russian scientists Vladimir Vernadsky and Nikita Moiseyev.
There is a serious flaw in the Kyoto Protocol. Economic progress or none, Russia will become a huge carbon dioxide producer if climate change continues, mainly due to its position in the Eurasian heartland, which will see the most severe warming on the planet-far greater than in coastal areas. Siberia, the world's largest area of permafrost, will thaw, and with it vast deposits of peat and other carbonized vegetable tissues. Siberian peat bogs will emit tremendous amounts of previously trapped carbon dioxide.
The permafrost will thaw not only on the surface, but deep down, where huge amounts of carbon-rich gas hydrates lie hidden as ice crystals. These will pass straight from solid to gas, surging to the surface to saturate the air with methane and carbon dioxide. As the earth warms up, Siberian forest fires will also be much more frequent, releasing yet more carbon dioxide. In such a vast, unpopulated area, with no roads to speak of, effective fire fighting is impossible.
Western Europe has no such natural emitters of carbon dioxide, so the Kyoto Protocol will bring it tremendous gains even if the entirety of Russian industry comes to a standstill.
Professor Nikolai Tkachenko estimates that over the past 100 years man has been responsible for the loss of at least 1013 tons of atmospheric oxygen-mainly through heating and corrosion. In that time the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere has fallen by 1%, to around 20% - worryingly close to the healthy minimum of 18%. Stifling air exacerbates disease and damages general health.
But here the geography that could be Russia's curse is also its blessing. Russia possesses precious oxygen-producing environmental systems-forests and permafrost marshland, where decay is extremely slow. They are the world's principal sources of oxygen; so Russian air is the richest in oxygen.
Humanity is focusing environmental efforts on the bogeyman of global warming. Why not shift the emphasis to protecting the oxygen-producing environment? My country, with its unique conditions, can make an honorable contribution.
Sergei Golubchikov, an environmental expert, is vice president of Russia's National Geocryological Foundation.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Or possibly the Russian guy plagiarist the article from GT.
Well done guys, shame on GT, can we expect clarification from GT??? shame ehh

1 December 2007 at 03:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oi pen pricks.....first of all i read ur article on herald... i m from goa.... i found ur article very faulty...adn how come ur article did not manage to create a stir in goa ... it was like ... u had unearthed the biggest scam in goa print history...and no one bothered....

i m not even bothein readin ur gomantak article.... but here

u want to talk of some research dude....recently../...

a story.. put on gomantak front page...was copied...twisted as indian express's own article... by the goan correspondent....this issue was taken up in parliamenr...some stir was created.. ..find out scams ..tat really affect us...

1 December 2007 at 13:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At last you have hit at the Gomantak Times. But in earlier exposes you have crucified and nailed and held the editor of Herald and NT guilty sometimes even without giving them the benefit of doubt. Same goes with the staffers of both the newspapers. they have been tarnished without actually being involved.
but in the case of Gomantak times editor, Derrick, you have taken pains to find out if Derrick is really involved in writing the edit so that his name is not tarnished and in some way you have given him the benefit of the doubt, by implying that he might have not written the edit.
A case in point is that you have called the editor of NT a child molester, but have you actually seen him do it.
My contention is that Penpricks is, and was biased. there are many things that meet the eye.

1 December 2007 at 18:14  
Blogger Pen Pricks said...

Anon 3: --- My contention is that Penpricks is, and was biased. there are many things that meet the eye. ---
PP: Sure man, that would depend on how many eyes you got...

1 December 2007 at 18:24  
Anonymous Penpricks_gets_boring said...

yawn!!!! Where's the turkey man? looks like you left it in the oven too long and it erm..... the maggots got it? waaaaaaaaaaake up!!!!

1 December 2007 at 18:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penpricks should stop pretending to be the conscience keeper of journalists, as it is biased and selective in its choice of attack. If
journalists have to be blamed for taking sides, then Penpricks also have to be blamed for taking the side of their chums and buddies in Goan newspapers, who spend most of their time collecting unconfirmed gossips for penpricks rather than work on a good story. Pls stop preaching because u are no saint to call others devil...............

2 December 2007 at 17:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why doesn't penpricks give a straight reply to annon 3 instead of a vague in-the-air reply.
Annon 3/5 have a good point.

2 December 2007 at 20:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our know-it-all M.L.A. has been crying foul about the so called Russian Mafia.

If we take the above analogy and adapt it a little to suit the media, then Derek is the new Godfather General!

3 December 2007 at 01:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surprising that most comments here are negative, given that PP has exposed something quite useful. One would have expected more praise. Ok, here it is, well done, PP.

But now that Derek has said something will be done about it, it appears as if he did not write it. That does not absolve him of blame, but it does make it lighter.

Also, this 'bias' stuff is weird. The bias is justified. GT is the only decent paper left in the English media now, and despite this serious error, Derek is miles ahead of the rest.

3 December 2007 at 15:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Derrick sent to Dir Editorial in Pune, this means editorials written in Pune used in GT? Somebody check if Maharashtra Herald in Pune used same editorial. Then it becomes a story abou whole Sakal group.

3 December 2007 at 15:53  
Anonymous raju said...

shame shame...

3 December 2007 at 16:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is something very strange with this pic.

(I use IE6 as my browser; Win XP, limited user)

This is the only pic on this blog, that when clicked , a dialogue box asks me to 'open' or 'save' or 'cancel'. I clicked cancel.

Now here is the absurd part... when I select 'Internet options' from the 'tools' menu, I am restricted from doing so, asking me to contact the administrator!

I either have discovered a bug or there is something very fishy about the pic. Could it be a virus?

Has anyone been facing a similar problem?

9 December 2007 at 00:00  

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