Sunday, April 23, 2006

Global Warming and Journalism

One of the things that annoys TC from time to time is the journalistic convention of "on the one hand, on the other hand" being applied to global warming where it is clearly inappropriate.

One sees it repeated in the April 23 New York Times where yet another article is headlined "Yelling Fire on a Hot Planet". However, after quoting one climatologist who doubts there is global warming comes the following telling passage:

In 2001, a large team of scientists issued the latest assessment of climate change and concluded that more than half of the recent warming was likely to have been caused by people, primarily because we're adding tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning coal and oil.

There is no serious debate any more about one thing: more of these gases will cause more warming. Dr. Lindzen - the doubter I note above, bolding is also mine - who contends any human climate influence is negligible and has long criticized those calling global warming a catastrophe, agreed on this basic fact in his article.

In other words even the doubter thinks that although greenhouses have not warmed the planet yet, they will in the future. This fact alone ought to blow away the journalistic paradigm for how this issue is treated. And everyone should go to see the new film about Al Gore called "An Inconvenient Truth".

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