Wednesday, May 04, 2005


A blogger called Pejmanesque has an excellent post about some science magazines refusing to publish studies that are skeptical about man causing global warming (tip o' the hat to Amy Ridenour). The subject has been a favorite debate topic of mine over the years, and I'm glad to see a crack in the wall of media silence imposed on my side in the debate. I call it a crack because it is only one report in one British media outlet. The magazines deny any censorship, of course.

Being that it's the "fashionable wisdom," perhaps the major benefactors of these publications subscribe to this theory, and the magazines don't want to piss off their patrons. Just a thought. It's important to remember that these magazines have a small actual readership. Their publicity and influence on society is maximized only when larger media outlets report on something they've published. To put a finer point on it: The NY Times isn't going to report about anything skeptical regarding man causing global warming, but will constantly cite any reports in these magazines that confirm man's culpability. If you want to be mentioned in the Times frequently, what do you do?

The "crack in the wall" is important for many reasons. It is the first media report I've seen about this, but it may light a fire under these magazines' asses. Also, the "new media" can start to be a "republisher" of the contrary, or "out of fashion" view, relying on smaller, more independent publications as sources. Further, there is only so long one side in a debate can be silenced. That is why it's good to see these scientists standing up to the scientific journalism community, and "dropping a dime" on them to an "outside" media outlet. Open that crack, and let the sun shine in. Watch the propagandists run like roaches from the light.

PS: For some "contrary" data, here are some excerpts from the Pacific Research Institute's 2005 Index of Leading Environmental Indicators (easy version here).

July 2004 was the coolest July in the last four years. Perhaps that’s partly because the annual rate of increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is only about half of what is expected based on man-made emissions. Scientists believe the oceans are absorbing the missing half.

The arctic today, though warmer than it was in 1970, is colder than it was in 1930. In fact, temperatures in Greenland have fallen over the last 15 years. That is leading some scientists to believe that shifts in the wind, rather than temperature change, are responsible for any retreating of the arctic ice. (Tip o' the hat again to Ms. Ridenour, and the "Everything I Know Is Wrong" blog)

No comments: