Monday, January 04, 2010

Media Malpractice Award for 2009

The votes are in, and "Climategate" had the strongest showing for "Worst Media Malpractice of 2009" with 33% of the vote. Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog agrees, it's the number one most under-reported story of 2009.

As Lisa pointed out in the Watercooler comment section, "[T]he MSM is still full speed ahead with their green agenda as if the email leak never happened at all. For my money, the under or non-factual reporting of Climategate has the most far-reaching consequences for the world."

Indeed, some seem more interested in finding out who the hacker/leaker/whistleblower was than in what was revealed. Perhaps the media folks bought the whole "science is settled" thing, or just lacked the technical skills to understand the manipulation problem. Also under-appreciated is the damage done to "peer review". Manipulations of the peer review process undermine the credibility that the process is supposed to bestow. "Peer reviewed" is no longer a magic bludgeon in the politics of climatology.

The climate issue, even apart from the email leak, is a chronically mis/under-reported issue. The green agenda has several potential points of failure...

  • Is the earth really warming? [-- Probably.]
  • Is the warming historically unprecedented? [-- Not really.]
  • Is the warming caused primarily or substantially by human carbon dioxide emissions? [-- Good question.]
  • Would the projected warming cause catastrophic damage to humanity? [-- For some locales, certainly yes. Others could benefit. It may be a net plus to humanity. More people die from cold than from heat each year.]
  • Would any of the proposed treaties or legislative fixes meaningfully mitigate the anticipated effects of climate change? [-- Not on your life, not by a mile.]

Of course, answering any of the above questions in a politically incorrect manner makes one a "denier" because doubt about any of those points seriously undermines the green agenda. I answer that the real deniers are those who overlook the "watermelon" (i.e. Red-green) nature of the global warming alarmists, whose "tax the West" solution is remarkably similar to recommendations socialists have been making for decades before climate change was an issue, back when folks were more concerned about the "legacy of colonialism" or some such thing. Hammer..., nails...,[some assembly required].

And what are the potential consequences for failing to report this story? Something between a massive economy-neutering tax on the United States and transferring of wealth to two-bit third world dictatorships (on the modest end), to a virtual repeal of the Industrial Age civilization (on the extreme, AlGore-ish end). -- No biggie... oh look, something shiny!


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