Thursday, December 07, 2006

Global Warming Debate and the MSM

Every time I read something in this realm I get the image of two idiots shouting in each others face. They don't convince each other of anything and they don't solve anything. Hell, they don't even bring anything to the table.
Now the discussion on the MSM isn't completely without merit.
Sen. James M. Inhofe, in one of his final actions as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, yesterday held a hearing to investigate whether press accounts have "over-hyped" predictions of global warming.

"The media often fails to distinguish between predictions and what is actually being observed on the Earth today," the Oklahoma Republican said. "Rather than focus on the hard science of global warming, the media has instead become advocates for hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism."

Mr. Inhofe will lose control of the environmental panel next month when Democrats assume the Senate majority, and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California will assume the gavel. She promises extensive hearings on global warming, and yesterday chastised Mr. Inhofe for scrutinizing global-warming coverage.

"In a free society, in what is the greatest democracy in the world, I do not believe it is proper to put pressure on the media to please a particular Senate committee view, one way or the other," she said.
Boxer is completely missing the point. No surprise there. You can pretty much discount any reasonable debate on this topic. With her taking the chairmanship, it will probably just get worse. The MSM, in its shrillest parties, has been hyping global warming as only a man made event and also has been making it out as having dire consequences in the very near term. I doubt that reasonable scientists support that.

The primary problem with the two sides in the debate is that neither will take a reasonable stand. Al Gore and his panic stricken party are screaming doom is nye and completely ignore any evidence of contributing factors to the climatic changes that are being seen. The solar science explanations are quite good and have substantial empirical data to support them. But they are called crack-pots by Gore's ilk, because they won't jump on the evil-man-cause bandwagon.

The CO2 contributor deniers miss the point as well. There probably is some effect being seen due to CO2 emissions and there is little harm in agreeing that something should be done on that part. Yes, it can have effects on the economy, but it also could be a new scientific field for CO2 remediation.

There is little doubt that getting of the oil-junkie energy system would have multiple benefits. The issue is that it will take time. And without incentive to do so, the major energy companies won't even start. There is also the leveling of the playing field that would force the major energy conglomerates to pay for eco-friendly sources at the same level as regular oil based systems. Most states allow the major controllers to set a slightly lower cost for small providers. Unfortunately, this keeps them out of the market, when they in fact are the ones that provide a distributed infrastructure model that is better than the grid that is presently in use along with the more environmentally friendly power.
Mr. Inhofe, vilified by environmental groups for his position, said yesterday he fears "poorly conceived policy decisions may result from the media's over-hyped reporting."

The hearing was an opportunity for Mr. Inhofe to strike back at his critics, citing "overwhelmingly one-sided" reports on CBS, ABC and CNN and by Time, the Associated Press and Reuters.

He accused reporters, including former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, of failing to interview climate-change skeptics, and of omitting scientific data that contradicts global-warming theories. He also said reporters are motivated by money, quoting a French geophysicist who says alarmism "has become a very lucrative business."
Inhofe has a point here. By reporting only on one side of the issue you force a conclusion. That isn't responsible reporting. The viewer should be given some ability to make decisions on the topic. They wouldn't do that with political campaigns, well, they would if they could. The thing Inhofe misses is that hype sells, and having to think is hard for most of the public.
"In more than 100 years, the major media have warned us of at least four separate climate cataclysms," he said, adding there is a "media obsession" with former Vice President Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."

Australian climate-change researcher Robert M. Carter said the press employs "Frisbee science" that is "invariably alarmist in nature."

Naomi Oreskes, a professor of science studies at the University of California at San Diego, told the panel yesterday that while scientists still argue over the details, "there is a consensus" the climate is changing.

The consensus is that the environment is changing and there is a lesser consensus as to the full details of the cause. From my viewpoint, I don't see the lethargic and complacent public, and therefore their representatives, doing anything to address the issue unless the media hypes the issue. Pathetic isn't it?

Wouldn't be nice if people could at least get all the facts and then get off their dead asses and do something?

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