politics

Yes, climate-change scientists have an agenda …

It’s called “saving the planet,” you self-made ignoramus.

You don’t believe me? OK, name another agenda they could possibly have. Money? Nope — they could go make more money selling out their credentials and working for corporations. Power? Ha.

Read more about the climate here.

politics

Old-guard GOP offers to fix problem GOP thinks doesn’t exist: climate change

Ted Halstead of the Climate Leadership Council says the political left and right have stalled on climate action in part because they disagreed about the means to fixing the problem.

I’d argue it’s because the right has convinced its followers that climate change doesn’t exist. Nice of ExxonMobil to sign on to this and to do all those ads touting their search for climate change solutions, but how can you offer to fix the sky if you don’t first admit it’s broken?

And the logic is puzzling. If you think there’s a 1 percent chance that someone will break into your house, you buy a deadbolt or maybe even a security system. If there was a 5 percent chance of a giant meteor hurtling toward Earth, we’d demand that the government do everything it possibly could to research it and then either stop it or mitigate the damage.

Well, the odds that we’re going to suffer the impact of our neglect of the climate is a hell of a lot greater than 5 percent. And we have people in government — at several levels — who want to silence scientists from even talking about it.

So Godspeed, old-guard GOP. Maybe they’ll listen to you, because they sure as hell aren’t listening to anyone else.

journalism

The media’s role in climate-change denialism

False objectivity, postmodernism, getting “both sides” — by any name, it’s a problem:

As Kenner sees it, on any issue, there are typically three groups: true believers; nonbelievers; and the vast, confused middle. It’s not the middle’s fault it’s confused: Kenner blames the Marc Moranos of the world, who are paid to sow not just doubt but fear. (“Fear is a big part of it,” he says.) The media share much of the blame. Kenner singles out newspapers — this one in particular — for his harshest criticism of what he calls their tradition of “false balance”: the insistence on always presenting two sides of an issue, even when there aren’t two.

via ‘Food, Inc.’ director’s new project shines light on climate-change deniers – The Washington Post.

An honest debate on climate change would include several qualified people discussing how bad it’s going to be and how we should fight it and/or adapt. Not outright denialists. You wouldn’t include a Flat Earther for “balance” in a discussion on air travel, would you?

journalism

The lines of legitimate debate: Climate change edition

Not quite as clever as John Oliver doing the “representative” climate change debate with 97 people vs. 3. But still an interesting pushback against the idea that “both sides” need to be represented when the two “sides” are clearly not equal.

News shows don’t put on a flat-earther whenever they show a map. They don’t get an opposing opinion from a young-Earth creationist when a new dinosaur fossil is found. They don’t interview an astrologer when a new exoplanet is discovered. So why put on a climate change denier when we’re talking about our planet heating up?

via Crackpottery: BBC journalists told to stop interviewing science deniers..

The funny thing is that you could certainly have a good debate about climate change without the denialists. How serious is the problem? How do we combat it? These are not easy questions, and there are more than “two sides” even without the crackpots and politicians.