From: Martin Striz (email@example.com)
Date: Sun Nov 27 2005 - 17:02:23 MST
On 11/25/05, Richard Loosemore <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> When the previous poster said "The ENTIRE scientific community" agrees
> that global warming is real, he was exaggerating for effect, but the
> magnitude of his statement was accurate: the vast majority of the
> scientific community who understand the issues well enough DO agree.
> The greatest threat to science today comes from ideological groups who
> say the kind of thing that you just did: "Maybe there is a problem;
> maybe there isn't." as if one or two contrarians (who have received
> enormous amounts of money from industry groups) are equal in weight to
> several hundred experts (who just draw a scientist's paltry salary) who
> say the opposite.
Thank you Richard for the clarification and the defense (I was the
previous poster who made those comments). The problem is one that PZ
Myers (of pharyngula.org fame) discussed with Chris Mooney (of
Republican War on Science fame), in this exchange:
"Myers's question for Mooney was simple: Why is so much science
journalism so bad? The journalistic imperative of "balance," Mooney
replied, has no parallel in the world of science. Consequently, the
media's formulaic use of "he said/she said" reporting often generates
a false sense of controversy about matters that scientists
overwhelmingly count as settled."
Journalists are taught about fairness and balance, but in the real
world, there aren't always two (equal) sides to every debate. The
stork is not an equal alternative explanation to our modern medical
understanding of reproduction. The flat earth is not an equal
alternative explanation to modern cosmology. No matter how many
nay-sayers, special creation is not an equal alternative explanation
to naturalistic evolution. No matter how many detractors, the view
that humans are having an insignificant impact on earth's climate,
according to the evidence at hand and the vast majority of the experts
who actually know something about it, is not equal to the view that
anthropogenic climate change is real.
There's a fairly vociferous noise brigade capable of making an issue
out of a non-issue when it comes to Intelligent Design/creationism vs.
evolution, which exists in the USA because it's a particularly
religious country. And there's a fairly vociferous noise brigade
capable of making anthropogenic climate change an issue where it's
otherwise a settled issue in most of the world. They are particularly
noisy in places with wealthy people who have much to lose from
regulatory bodies and from being forced to clean up the pollution they
cause. Much of the cost of that pollution isn't factored into the
cost of the energy we use or goods we make.
Every ordinary citizen has to pay to get their trash picked up
(through taxes or direct user fees), yet somehow the corporations
expect to get their trash cleaned up for free. So the noise brigade
wails in order to sow just enough doubt in the public's mind.
Scientists get paid off by corporations to publish just enough
contradictory information. And we are still debating what should be a
P.S. The Skeptical Environmentalist cherry-picked his data. Read the
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