Month 7, Day 27: Can I Get In Three Times This Year?

I’m about due for another round at the New York Times. They had a trifecta of editorials this weekend; I chose to respond to Lee Wasserman’s, but the other two are worth reading — Ross Douthat’s because it’s always good to know what people who aren’t thinking are thinking (the comments on his piece are excellent and a real relief to read), and Paul Krugman’s because he’s right, as he usually is.

As Lee Wasserman points out, the “loudest voices” in the climate debate won this round, to our collective detriment. But it is essential to note that our national news media helped make the collapse of a climate bill inevitable, by upholding a reportorial policy of false equivalence in which every climatologist’s scary prediction was “balanced” by a denialist’s dismissal. Unfortunately, the laws of physics don’t listen to TV news or op-ed pages. Anthropogenic global warming is recognized as a major threat to the human species by an overwhelming majority of climate scientists. To properly represent the “debate” over climate change, our media should show ninety-seven scientific authorities for every three industry-funded “skeptics.” A well-informed citizenry would have been better able to assess the true risks and rewards of meaningful action on climate. In this respect, the Fourth Estate has abdicated its responsibilities; we are all the losers for it.

Warren Senders

Done. I am occasionally in California to visit relatives. That’s your turf, right?

28 Jul 2010, 12:50pm
by LaughingPlanet


it will have to be a virgin, as I’m like sotally tober, man.

Hope to be out your way someday. I’ve never seen that part of the country. Along with Alaska, it’s the ONLY part I’ve missed.

LaughingPlanet, one of these days I hope to buy you a drink. Nice job!

sent to the SF Chron today:

The Senate’s recent failure to enact a carbon cap is yet another in a long string of eco tragedies. But the ridiculous abuse of the filibuster by the GOP (and a handful of ConservaDems) is not entirely to blame.

Our national news media helped make the collapse of a climate bill inevitable, by upholding a reportorial policy of false equivalence in which proper climate science is “balanced” by a denialist’s dismissal. The laws of physics don’t listen to TV news or op-ed pages. A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that over 97% of all climate scientists agreed about anthropogenic global warming. To properly represent the “debate” over climate change, for every single corporate-sponsored climate “skeptic”, the media should present 49 genuine scientific authorities. This ratio reflects the scientific data.

A well-informed citizenry would have been better able to assess the true risks and rewards of meaningful action on climate. In this respect, the Fourth Estate has abdicated its responsibilities; we are all the losers for it.

Signed
{LaughingPlanet}

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