Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, July 11, 2011

What's wrong with this story?

CNN reports on record breaking heat across much of the U.S.. We're talking record high temperatures in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas -- Wichita hit 111 degrees. Heat warnings in 15 states. This isn't just uncomfortable, it kills people. And it's happening more and more often.

The funny thing, though, if you read the CNN report, is that there isn't any particular reason why we keep setting these high temperature records. Yes, there's a high pressure system over the plains, but that happens quite commonly. In the past, when it's gotten hot, it hasn't gotten this hot. So why is it hotter now than in the past? Any guesses?

Here's a little something from a publication called Midwest Energy News (found by YT on Climate Progress):

For Peter Vandermeersch, editor-in chief at the traditionally conservative daily NRC Handelsblad in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, there is no debate about climate change. “Absolutely, that’s a given”, he said. “The conviction has grown that climate change does exist, and that humans play a major role in how it evolves.”

“There’s almost no discussion about it”, agreed Wouter Verschelden, editor-in-chief at the progressive daily De Morgen in Brussels, Belgium. “The nonbelievers have been marginalized, and they aren’t taken seriously anymore. We don’t have to convince our readers anymore of the fact that there is climate change, and that it’s caused by humans.”

According to Vandermeersch and Verschelden, who are both alumni of Columbia University’s vaunted Journalism School in New York, American news media still make the mistake of giving climate skeptics a disproportionate voice, and perpetuating a debate that has long been settled among scientists.

“In a sense, you’re lying to your readers,” says Verschelden. “You’re creating a ‘he said, she said’ story, and looking for an argument that just doesn’t always exist.”

Go ahead and read the whole thing. Keep in mind it's not just climate change -- every outlandish claim some extremist politician makes, from death panels to federal spending as the cause of unemployment -- gets transcribed with total credulity. The story is that the person said it. It would be unethical for a journalist to point out that it isn't true.


davidknz said...

Surpise, surpise... Maybe the 'Free ' Press is not free.. Rupert Murdoch and his hidden agendas are now starting to emerge as we speak...

Try John Pilgers "War on Democracy" at

or if you have time to spare, Noam Chomsky on "Manufacturing Consent" at

Cervantes said...

Well there's never been any doubt about where the Murdoch evil empire stands on this -- they are straight ahead global warming deniers. But people need their consciousness raised about the New York Times and CBS News, etc., which do this "shape of the earth, views differ" style of reporting. As you say, Noam has always been on top of that.

But yes, if Murdoch suffers we all win.

davidknz said...

There's ample evidence that the 'Free Press' obeys the golden rule: "He who's got the gold makes the rules."

For instance, Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch is married to Matthew Freud. MF's great-grandfather is Sigmund Freud and he is doubly related to the 'father' of public relations, Edward Bernays. MF is described as leading the "new culture of public relations and marketing in politics, business and journalism" (Wikipedia)

What puzzles me considerably is that ordinary folks buy this stuff - ie without a demand, the supply would disappear. Maybe us ordinary folks are assessed as closely related to lemmings. Easily lead and headed for the cliffs of extinction. ;-)

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