Sunday, March 26, 2006

Wolf Blitzer, Climate Scientist

"Be worried, be very worried" screams the CNN headline. "The climate is crashing and global warming is to blame." That is what greeted visitors to CNN's main page this morning.

Buried in the story is this other piece: "The science debate behind climate change." This piece mentions 3 of the concerns raised by scientists who question global warming alarmists:

*Natural climate variability is not well understood and may be greater than once thought.

*Computer models are oversimplifications that cannot simulate the complexities of the real climate.

*Temperature extrapolations of the past are not precise enough to make dire conclusions about "normal" warming.

Richard Lindzen, a respected meteorologist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says in light of these uncertainties, pronouncements about climate change are both self-serving and unscientific. Scientists make meaningless or ambiguous statements. Advocates and media translate statements into alarmist declarations. Politicians respond to alarm by feeding scientists more money," said Lindzen at a scientific conference this January. He added that the accepted evidence is "entirely consistent with there being virtually no problem at all.

The question the lonely libertarian has is, what expertise does CNN, or any other news organization have to weigh the scientific arguments about global warming. There is something inherently wrong with the media reporting such editorialized science. When one side of a controversial scientific question presented as fact, the other side of the issue is given the short end of the stick, and the general public sense of the issue is drastically effected. This is never more true then when talking about something as complex as climate change that as Dr. Lindzen said above, isn't even fully understood by scientists, let alone the lay public.

My repeated hammering of this issue isn't to demand that people take a certain position, only that the media report the news in a somewhat balanced matter. It's not about science, it's about the media.


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