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Climate Change: How the media has fallen down

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Robert S. Eshelman, Columbia Journalism Review, May 1, 2014: The Danger of Fair and Balanced

    The topic of this article by Eshelman is on how the science of Climate Change has evolved from a high certainty amongst scientists to a political debate where the media must be "fair and balanced " in always presenting both sides of the story. It's an interesting article on how big money interests from the fossil fuel industry (e.g. Koch Industries, coal companies, Exxon) have been able to sow doubt amongt ordinary people and politicians who otherwise don't know diddly about the science of Climate Change. It's simple...just get the media to create that doubt by giving prominence to the "other side", never mind that the other side presents a false picture and is funded by the fossil fuel industry.

    I read the book, Merchants of Doubt, when it came out in 2011. Eshelman referenced the book in his article. And it's not just about the science of Climate Change. Before that it was about the harmful effects of smoking...another "fair and balanced" topic in the media until the evidence just overwhelmed.

    This is what big money interests do. Fund so called think tanks like the Heartland Institute and a few rogue scientists to present a well scripted authoritarian opposing view using emotional words that resonate...and keeping it simple. Facts don't really matter when you're playing on emotions. The media like the simplicity of the opposing view...reading technical papers by scientists is hard work.

    I recommend reading Eshelman's article at the above link.

    And yes for the doubters and deniers...97 percent of climate scientists still believe that humans are causing climate change. The earth is not cooling...we are not headed to another ice age. Sarah Palin, Senator James Inhofe and the various pundits at Fox and Friends who make fun of Al Gore, are not experts on Climate Change.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote: Robert S. Eshelman, Columbia Journalism Review, May 1, 2014: The Danger of Fair and Balanced

    The topic of this article by Eshelman is on how the science of Climate Change has evolved from a high certainty amongst scientists to a political debate where the media must be "fair and balanced " in always presenting both sides of the story. It's an interesting article on how big money interests from the fossil fuel industry (e.g. Koch Industries, coal companies, Exxon) have been able to sow doubt amongt ordinary people and politicians who otherwise don't know diddly about the science of Climate Change. It's simple...just get the media to create that doubt by giving prominence to the "other side", never mind that the other side presents a false picture and is funded by the fossil fuel industry.

    I read the book, Merchants of Doubt, when it came out in 2011. Eshelman referenced the book in his article. And it's not just about the science of Climate Change. Before that it was about the harmful effects of smoking...another "fair and balanced" topic in the media until the evidence just overwhelmed.

    This is what big money interests do. Fund so called think tanks like the Heartland Institute and a few rogue scientists to present a well scripted authoritarian opposing view using emotional words that resonate...and keeping it simple. Facts don't really matter when you're playing on emotions. The media like the simplicity of the opposing view...reading technical papers by scientists is hard work.

    I recommend reading Eshelman's article at the above link.

    And yes for the doubters and deniers...97 percent of climate scientists still believe that humans are causing climate change. The earth is not cooling...we are not headed to another ice age. Sarah Palin, Senator James Inhofe and the various pundits at Fox and Friends who make fun of Al Gore, are not experts on Climate Change.
    I guess certain people are very naive or just shut their eyes; it is an very easy calculation; every person on this globe produces garbage,the majority uses fossil fuels. every year more planes, cars, factories, ships and plastic waste; the sea is poluted the air is poluted; so something has to give. Nature wants a balance people disrupt that; the result in the end is that the species causing this will be penalised and may become extinct due to their own actions.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    We've often debated the science of Climate Change in this website, many of the arguments just talking points borrowed from the polluters and deniers to create doubt. I don't want to revisit all the arguments about the science...it is settled in my mind. The purpose of my post was not to do that, but rather highlight how the media has been a contributing factor in allowing that doubt to proceed unchallenged.

    The media's idea of applying "fair and balanced" to alternative arguments that have no scientific merit is just like the Fox News idea of fair and balanced...a joke really.

    What I would like to debate, and where there are some legitimate arguments to be made, is how in this global environment of politics, we can save our planet with real initiatives to curb the rise of green house gases. It's one thing to accept that the science is settled (as I have done) but the various solutions for worldwide initiatives have a hard time getting past first base.

    The United States needs to lead...and that includes not approving the Keystone Pipeline as well as other initiatives that champion non-fossil fuel energies and discourage the mining and burning of coal or one of the Keystone pipeline refinery products...petcoke.
  • Independent
    rio vista, CA
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    Wouldn't you agree that climate change is being manufactured by those scientists who receive grants from government to perpetuate this myth?

    If the earth is not cooling, why have last year's temperatures recorded lower than previous reports from these scientists? Or how can a global warming believer explain the interesting winter of 2014 across the globe?

    Al Gore should be made fun of......hasn't he made money from this source of global warming as he travels in his personal jet to give speeches about the subject he helped to create?

    Am I a doubter, yes, until actual proof can be found.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    safecracker Wrote:

    Wouldn't you agree that climate change is being manufactured by those scientists who receive grants from government to perpetuate this myth?

    If the earth is not cooling, why have last year's temperatures recorded lower than previous reports from these scientists? Or how can a global warming believer explain the interesting winter of 2014 across the globe?

    Al Gore should be made fun of......hasn't he made money from this source of global warming as he travels in his personal jet to give speeches about the subject he helped to create?

    Am I a doubter, yes, until actual proof can be found.

    It is impossible to have a debate with someone who doesn't believe in science. The problem with debating individuals who think it's all a massive conspiracy is that you will never be convinced otherwise, no matter the evidence.

    For starters--the term Global Warming means exactly that. The fact that the Eastern part of the United States had a cold winter doesn't disprove that global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate. The United States is a fraction of the sample size of the entire world, specifically 1.9 percent.

    Once you accept that the United States is less than two percent of the earth's surface, we can then move on to the scientific fact that carbon dioxide is trapping heat at the Earth's surface, causing global temperatures to rise rapidly. Carbon dioxide is not the only factor, but it is a major one.

    The other problem with your argument is that the earth doesn't care what you, Joe Schmo, thinks. There have been multiple mass extension's throughout Earth's history and there will undoubtedly be more. The sad thing is that humans might be responsible for the next one because of people who think that everything is just peaches and cream because they convince themselves that it's all just one big conspiracy by scientists.
  • Libertarian
    Darien, CT
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    Denial cuts both ways. As a species we are only able to sustain our numbers with the help of fossil fuel energy. Deny the world this energy and 6 billion would die off to the sustainable population level of 1 billion of a pre-industrialized world economy. That would be a much more horrific outcome then humanity and the ecosystem learning to cope with rising seas and carbon dioxide.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    vincentlibertarian Wrote:Deny the world this energy and 6 billion would die off to the sustainable population level of 1 billion of a pre-industrialized world economy.
    Do you have any peer reviewed articles regarding this theory?

    No one is saying that we should just completely shut off all non renewable energy sources and start over. Hell, we are still having the debate about whether global climate change is even real, so I seriously doubt your nightmare scenario is on the horizon. What most rational people are calling for is the gradual change from fossil to renewable energy sources. This will have to take place over a matter of years and decades, not over night.
  • Libertarian
    Darien, CT
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    No peer review but an understanding that the gradual shift to less fossil burn you describe is the exactly what I said regarding learning to live in a world with higher sea level and carbon dioxide in the air. Currently those two indices are on a upward tract with a momentum that will not slow for the next generation even with a complete shut down fossil energy use.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Hold on a second. You claimed that 6 billion people will die if we switch off fossil fuels and you are basing this off an 'understanding' and nothing else?
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Jared, you can 'explain your whole life to these folks but people with closed minds will never open them or grow as they are incapable of thinking for themselves.
  • Libertarian
    Darien, CT
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    Closed mind response is the Bill Oreilly debate style. There is no debate that sea level and CO2 is rising with momentum that an absolute cut off of all fossil fuel burning will not turn around for a generation. Such a cut off is impossible so my speculation of a die off is irrelevant. On the other hand coastal cities, NY for example, should prudently invest in keeping rising sea levels from destroying it's infrastructure because the gradual transition away from fossil fuel means continual increases in CO2 and more polar melting because their is no stopping it cold in its tracks.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    vincentlibertarian Wrote: Closed mind response is the Bill Oreilly debate style. There is no debate that sea level and CO2 is rising with momentum that an absolute cut off of all fossil fuel burning will not turn around for a generation. Such a cut off is impossible so my speculation of a die off is irrelevant. On the other hand coastal cities, NY for example, should prudently invest in keeping rising sea levels from destroying it's infrastructure because the gradual transition away from fossil fuel means continual increases in CO2 and more polar melting because their is no stopping it cold in its tracks.
    Just a simple question; are humans not producing carbage and ruining their own environment; why do people in Hong Kong have to go to work with a "mask" on their face to filter the air? Why do people get cancer? Sorry; all to our environmental polution.
    Regardless of global warming, aren't we destroying the human race piece by piece.
  • Libertarian
    Darien, CT
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    We have been modifying our environment for centuries. Its uniquely human. Curiously the richer a country gets, the cleaner it becomes. Northern Europe is very clean for example. As China gets more prosperous it will clean up as well. Never the less CO2 and sea levels will keep rising. People can put their head in the sand and deny it will happen. Better yet, lecture the world to use less fossil fuel energy and buy ocean front property.
  • Democrat
    Athens, GA
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    Climate Change is the most important is issue today and will be until the earth has ended.

    I'm a widow with no children. So, when I die, I don't need to worry about my children or grandchildren or great grandchildren.

    But, most of you need to worry.

    And, you need to worry about how the rising seas will wipe you out.

    And, you need to worry about how the violent changes in weather will hurt you.

  • Democrat
    Athens, GA
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    I agree. Climate Change is the most important issue of all times.

    Earth will be gone when the sun burns out.

    I so wish the people on earth today would care more about our environment and less about Koch Brothers --- the billionaire oil polluters.