The SMH has run two carbon related stories in the last week:
NSW drops carbon challenge, and
Mac Gen takes $700m carbon tax writeoff
Both stories were accompanied by photos showing big black clouds emitting from chimneys.
I took one look at these photos and figured that they're too good to be true.
Here's the screenshots for each story:
There's an online tool called FotoForensics that you can use to examine photos to see if they've been altered. The tutorial (link above) is worth reading to see how photos can be interrogated.
Here are the error level analysis results of these two photos:
If I've read the tutorial properly, and understand how error level analysis works, it would appear that the bottom photo has been sexed up a bit - all that white in the bottom right hand corner (which appears as billowing clouds) has high error levels, which means it's been altered. You can look at the analysis here and decide for yourself. I suggest you plug in a few of your own photos and see how they turn out for the sake of a comparison. You could even try doctoring one yourself and then analysing it.
Question - if one of these photos has been altered, and that hasn't been disclosed, then is that a breach of ethics? What will the Press Council have to say about that? Why is it that Fairfax have to illustrate every story relating to CO2, a colourless gas, with big clouds?
I realise that is more than one question. But that's too bad.