environment Politics: denialists idiots media irresponsibility scientific consensus
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The San Francisco Chronicle covers the “More Idiots Are Finally Changing Their Minds” story:
A growing majority of Americans think that global warming is occurring, that it will become a serious problem and that the U.S. government should do something about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds.
Even most people who say they don’t trust scientists on the environment say temperatures are rising.
The poll found 4 out of every 5 Americans said climate change will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it. That’s up from 73 percent when the same question was asked in 2009.
Wakey wakey! Probably too latey latey, but better late than never. Idiots. Sent December 16:
It’s good news that more people are finally accepting the truth of planetary climate change, now that the consequences of the rapidly metastasizing greenhouse effect are threatening to overwhelm Earth’s ecological defense mechanisms. That the newly converted find actual physical events more persuasive than scientific analyses is also unsurprising. But science offers ways to extend our senses into areas normally beyond human perception; the idea that scientists have become somehow untrustworthy should give prompt us pause to reconsider our media’s handling of science news. Ask any scientist whose work has been covered by broadcast media and you’ll hear story after story of sensationalism, misrepresentation, and exaggeration.
That complex scientific questions are ill-suited to the spectacle-driven news machine should be a motivation to those television and radio outlets to change their approach. When it comes to the looming climate emergency, we need accurate reporting, and we needed it thirty years ago.