Sunday, March 15, 2009

British press RIP

Another flat-earth piece in a major British newspaper:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/4990704/Nobody-listens-to-the-real-climate-change-experts.html

This "real" climate change conference he attended was organized by the Heartland Institute, yet another one of the odious think tanks funded in part by - you guessed it - the Olin Foundation and the always unbiased Exxon-Mobil.

For a take from someone who can actually read, check out this piece by Google research director (and AI pioneer) Peter Norvig. An excerpt:
...an amazing amount of research went in to building up this consensus on global warming, but I hadn't heard much about the specifics. Reporters think (with some good reason) that the public is not interested in hearing about Analysis of some direct and indirect methods for estimating root biomass and production of forests at an ecosystem level and so they never cover such things. But by failing to talk about the years of research and the building on the works of others that go into producing a paper like that, reporters give all ideas equal footing: a half-baked whim with no evidence gets equal footing with a proven theory with hundreds of confirming studies, because it is too complicated to talk about the confirming studies.

Just to be clear: I'm not saying it's not ok to question the climate change consensus, of course it is (although I would argue that the media makes it sound as though there is much more disagreement between experts than is the case). What's not ok is to misrepresent what is in every sense a fringe view as the voice of the "real experts".

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