There’s been a spate of general ignorance in parts of the Press of late – people pleading the Fifth Amendment – claiming they don’t know enough about Global Warming, so they can’t possibly be expected to utter expertise or erudite commentary (which could get them into deep water). And yet they end up making a judgment anyway, or quoting Climate Change deniers without checking their facts. Here’s a few snippets :-
“…My own response is to assume both sides are capable of twisting the facts. This is not based on scientific knowledge of climate change, since like almost everyone else I don’t have any…”
“…In fact the number of scientists who voice scepticism has lately been increasing. But there were always some, and that’s the only thing I know about the subject. I know next to nothing about climate science. All I know is that many of the commentators in newspapers who are busy predicting catastrophe don’t know much about it either, because they keep saying that the science is settled and it isn’t…”
“…A contretemps with a Climate Bully who wonders whether I have a science degree. (No I don’t. I just happen to be a believer in empiricism and not spending taxpayers’ money on a problem that may well not exist)…”
“…I have no expertise whatsoever in meteorology, but I do have a bit of knowledge about stats, and randomness and chance – and it is this that leads me to a broadly sceptical point of view regarding AGW…”
“…But what do I know? So let’s give the final word to Professor Richard Lindzen, a leading atmospheric scientist, who writes…”
And yet they are being published on mainstream Media channels, and the Internet, so they have more of a public voice than the Average Joe. So why are they writing about Climate Change if they don’t know anything about it ? And who is it that seeks out these people with no knowledge but strong opinion to write articles for them ?
Why are journalists claiming they know little about the Science of Climate Change but are still offering opinions about it ? And who is paying them to do so for large publishing outfits ? It’s all a mystery to me. They have the chance to influence thousands of people with their writing, and all they can do is say they don’t know much about the subject they are covering.
Well, I say that if a journalist doesn’t understand Climate Change Science, he or she shouldn’t be writing opinions about it, especially if those opinions are sceptical of the conclusions drawn from the Science.
It doesn’t help that the average journalist doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate between charlatans and genuines when it comes to interviewing real, proper scientists.
“…The most vociferous critics of climate change on the conservative side of Australian politics are blokes whose past careers include working as policy wonks, party directors, graziers, lawyers, and one of them was a publican. These are all noble professions – particularly the last one – but I am not sure what kind of standing they give them to posture as such confident experts on the most perplexing scientific question of the age. Being a lowly hack, I have no scientific background either, obviously. Which is why I will listen to what most scientists say…”
Here’s a bit of advice for you, Ms or Mr Journalist : read up about the people you are quoting or interviewing and make sure they are on the level before giving them a free platform for their agenda.
Why not start here to know more about some famous and infamous people ? :-