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With Climate Journalism Like This, Who Needs Fiction?
September 10, 2013 5:06 PM   Subscribe

Tom Yulsman on the ignorant, misrepresentative and fictitious claims promulgated by some conservative journalists.
posted by whyareyouatriangle (37 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
That’s not journalism. It’s activism.

I am so stealing this phrase.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:37 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks for posting this detailed explanation. I saw the original article that is criticized here and did not know what to make of it; apparently, the answer is "not much." But, not being an expert, I was concerned that this might actually be evidence of "global cooling." Unlike the journalist who wrote the original Telegraph/Mail article, I am always happy to be set straight by the facts and would prefer it in the first instance.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 5:38 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Phil Plait picked the same cherry.
posted by jfuller at 5:39 PM on September 10, 2013


This is not the first time (2010, 2012, 2012 again, earlier in 2013) David Rose has misreported climate news.
posted by plastic_animals at 5:56 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love when there's like three cold days in a row the hack cartoonists all run the same old tired cartoon with some guy and a shovel saying, "Where's the global warming?" Yuk yuk! There used to be a tumblr of these, but I can't find it. Man, those cartoons piss me off. They promulgate ignorance and are effective propaganda for the climate change deniers.

I've stopped calling it "global warming," since you can't use this term without someone trying to tell you it doesn't exist. I call it "climate change," which for some reason, many of these people have an easier time with. Personally, I find the term climate change to be more accurate as well. More storms, more fires, less water in some areas (more in others).

We're doomed!

I saw an article the other day that was talking about how many years it would take for the planet to revert to normal if we stopped producing any green house gasses and it was an amazingly long time. Unless we come up with solutions that actively reverse what we're doing we're screwed.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:59 PM on September 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


cjorgensen, as you may be aware there was a stupid meme going around that we all called it global warming until scientist realised that the globe wasn’t warming and so it had to be sneakily called climate change. On the obverse, Karl Rove or someone sneakily changed the name about 2002 because it wasn’t as confronting or something. Both horseshit of course, the UNFCCC, of which the last two letters refer to climate change, has been around since 1991. Anthropogenic climate change or ACC is a preferred term for those that want to be precise. I use the term science denialism, or climate science denialism, to make it clear what denialists are rejecting.
posted by wilful at 6:09 PM on September 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Instead of "climate change", I suggest "weather weirding" and an offhand comment about the potential for massive crop failure.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:15 PM on September 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Although come to think of it, I'm not sure most people understand that we rely on crops for our food...
posted by five fresh fish at 6:16 PM on September 10, 2013 [22 favorites]


You'd think we'd have learned at least that much from the Dust Bowl fiasco, but learning from history (even if it's recent history, evidently) isn't something we do very well.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:30 PM on September 10, 2013


cjorgensen, here's your tumblr.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:35 PM on September 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Navelgazer: wow, there's a wall of shame and ignorance. The only problem is, in 20 years I'll have bigger problems on my hands than pointing and laughing.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:42 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here's Matt Bors' rather trenchant cartoon about lazy global warming editorial cartoons.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:43 PM on September 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


Well, I guess that explains why I get less resistance to "climate change."

The problem I have with "global warming" is this isn't always a bad thing. I lived in Minneapolis for 3 years and there were weeks where I would have welcomed warming. Less harsh winters, longer growing seasons, etc. Some people/places actually do benefit.

One of the weird things to me is gardening. I forget how the zoning works, but in Iowa we can now grow plants that we couldn't when I was a kid. Of course we're also getting insects/spiders that I didn't have to worry about as a kid too.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:44 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is not the first time

I wonder if the Met Office will have to do another blog post, like in 2012. Or maybe we'll just get another video like this: "Hate to break it to you David, but the reason no one else reported on this is because even other tabloid newspapers didn't have the balls to pluck all this out of thin air..."
posted by Panjandrum at 6:55 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I live in Florida and "Global Warming" is not as palatable or optimistic sounding as "Climate Change". "Climate Change" means maybe it won't be intolerably hot maybe during the summer. "Global Warming" means we get that upswing in insects and spiders too. Oh, also hurricanes.
posted by Cookiebastard at 7:04 PM on September 10, 2013


Re: stupid global warming cartoons: There used to be a tumblr of these, but I can't find it

In case you missed it, Grimgrin's link had a link to If Global Warming is Real Then Why is it Cold?
posted by sparklemotion at 7:26 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Climate change is a generic term that encompasses any change in the climate for any reason, natural or otherwise, at any time in the history of earth. Global warming specially refers to the climate change that has been ongoing since the 19th century that is attributed to humans. So global warming is a type of climate change. There are other types of climate change. Typically when people use the term climate change we know what they really mean (global warming).
posted by stbalbach at 7:32 PM on September 10, 2013


I just wanna say that I am very thankful The Guardian has an Australian version now.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:06 PM on September 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


...as you may be aware there was a stupid meme going around that ... Karl Rove or someone sneakily changed the name about 2002 because it wasn’t as confronting or something ... horseshit of course ...
It was Frank Luntz. He's glad to take credit.

It's true enough that the term "climate change" was around long before 2002, but it's also perfectly well documented that the Bush administration very deliberately swapped "global warming" for "climate change" -- for political reasons rather than for reasons of technical accuracy -- and effectively spearheaded the same change in the popular media.
posted by Western Infidels at 8:15 PM on September 10, 2013


cjorgensen: "The problem I have with "global warming" is this isn't always a bad thing. I lived in Minneapolis for 3 years and there were weeks where I would have welcomed warming. Less harsh winters, longer growing seasons, etc. Some people/places actually do benefit."

Well, that ain't global warming. That's local warming. However, last summer (2012) also had local warming as a result of global warming, and let's just say it's a miracle I didn't kill someone.

If you hear hoofbeats, think horses. If you live in Minneapolis in the dead of winter, think cold.
posted by notsnot at 8:16 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh and

sparklemotion referenced "If Global Warming is Real Then Why is it Cold?"

If my friend Tony is an alcoholic, why isn't he drunk *right* *now*?
posted by notsnot at 8:17 PM on September 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


The animated gif is great. Change the labels and you could use it for our boom/bust economy as well, with the best-fit curve representing the bottom 80%.

...Recovery!

...Recovery!

...Recovery!
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:40 PM on September 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Today I clicked on a Facebook link and found myself reading a NaturalNews article crossposted to Infowars - you can imagine - and then the comments section, oh jesus the comments. I wanted to cry. So many completely broken people with the critical thinking skills of a turnip. None of these "rebuttal" articles will make a dent in someone who writes things like
Over the past 12 months there have been something Extremely Large that appear to be cloaked and/or invisible and Unknown detected very close to Our Sun. It is thought and said to appear to be pulling energy from the sun. Theorists think it maybe stealing our sun energy to destroy it. But it is That Much Greater Loving Spirit at work, who created absolutely everything and is working on our behalf to save us from ourselves. The observed and/or detected Massive Invisible Unknown talked about is solely responsible for the earths Arctic temperature stabilization and the accelerated expansion of the Arctic Ice Sheet! Simply Put, it is Our God at work for us!
posted by fleetmouse at 8:41 PM on September 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


"The animated gif is great. Change the labels and you could use it for our boom/bust economy as well, with the best-fit curve representing the bottom 80%."

That's a really good insight. This is the sort of change that humans have a hard time perceiving, because of all the short term variations, so it makes sense that it would show up in other negative trends.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:24 PM on September 10, 2013 [2 favorites]



Although come to think of it, I'm not sure most people understand that we rely on crops for our food...


Also, bees.

"But, pshhhhh who needs bees anyways? They just sting you and buzz around your head all threatening-like and they are generally just, like, annoying and, like, pointless. I mean, they sting you AND THEIR GUTS COME OUT AND THEN THEY DIE. They aren't even aerodynamically possible! I mean someone messed up in a commie lab somewhere and the bees shouldn't of been able to fly because of aerodynamics and shit but they escaped from their lab but now their creator has finally tracked down all the bees and working to killing all of them to cover up their horrible mistake.

We need to start pollinating those crops like they did before the great bee infestation: by hand using an eyedropper, your mouth, or special pollen-collecting and distributing pants, and then eventually export that work to overseas for maximum profit. "

-quote probably said by a fox correspondent at one point or another
posted by littlesq at 10:10 PM on September 10, 2013


There is no need to fisk a Daily Mail article. If you begin with the belief that everything in the Daily Mail is a lie, made up, or horribly misrepresented, you will be on a sure path. Dealing with those who approach the Daily Mail believingly the best rebut is simply to say, "Did you read that in the Daily Mail?"
posted by Thing at 10:48 PM on September 10, 2013


That "If Global Warming is Real..." cartoon selection isn't always what's expected. I've found two that are actually making fun of deniers. Rather well, apparently.
posted by Goofyy at 3:17 AM on September 11, 2013


I feel I must express how deeply sad I am that the most popular British news site internationally is the Daily Mail. It is a hate ridden divisive pile of shite. My feelings are beautifully illustrated by Dan & Dan's Daily Mail Song. I still do not understand why an organisation exists solely to spread misinformation and hate. That the organisation focuses on this aspect of bad science is disheartening but hardly surprising.

My advice to anyone presented with any information from the Mail is to rack cynicism up to high and assume that at the very best the article will be misinformed.
posted by BenPens at 4:27 AM on September 11, 2013


We need to start pollinating those crops like they did before the great bee infestation: by hand using an eyedropper, your mouth, or special pollen-collecting and distributing pants, and then eventually export that work to overseas for maximum profit.

Farmers in China are already hand-pollinating crops due to pesticides that have killed off bees.
posted by odinsdream at 5:33 AM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love when there's like three cold days in a row the hack cartoonists all run the same old tired cartoon with some guy and a shovel saying, "Where's the global warming?"

My thoughts on the subject (and possibly still my one of my favorite comments I've ever made.)
posted by quin at 6:49 AM on September 11, 2013


If global warming is real, how come ice cream still causes brain freeze?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:48 AM on September 11, 2013


This morning, I was checking my Facebook feed and I saw that a guy who I was drinking buddies with in college had posted this article with the caption, "How's that global warming working out for you? LOL" I started to reply to him. He's got a computer science degree, and he makes a whole lot more money than I do. Surely that means he understands statistics, signal-to-noise ratios, etc. But then I was like, I never liked this guy very much in the first place. So I just unfriended him. I felt kind of bad about it, because that's obviously how news bubbles form, with people just tuning out opinions that they don't agree with. But on the other hand, you can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into. And he'll find out the truth for himself in time. Or not. Frankly, I don't give a fuck any more.
posted by vibrotronica at 8:18 AM on September 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


> If global warming is real, how come ice cream still causes brain freeze?

If global warming denialism is real, how come we have to trawl the Daily Mail for smoking guns? That's like having to look for denialism in Girls Gone Wild vids. Hey, maybe there's some on the Sun page 3, better check.

As I post this, the headline on the Mail site is "British-born Massachusetts resident planned to rape, murder and EAT children under suburban home." Oh, now it's changed to "Pictured: Inside the stomach-turning torture dungeon where man planned to rape, murder and EAT children under suburban home." 'Cuz now they have pix.
posted by jfuller at 9:11 AM on September 11, 2013


BenPens: "I still do not understand why an organisation exists solely to spread misinformation and hate."

$

notsnot: "If my friend Tony is an alcoholic, why isn't he drunk *right* *now*?"

This is the best thing I have ever read here. Thank you.
posted by Big_B at 1:06 PM on September 11, 2013


But again, global warming deniers aren't interested in data or science. They are interested in making sure that wealthy people stay wealthy. Period.
posted by Legomancer at 1:26 PM on September 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have several friends who all their lives have been as conformist as you could imagine. Like stultifyingly so. They love these kind of articles though, it's their chance to be contrarian and "independant."

The right wing noise machine, has been pushing this "get the real news from us" meme for years, and once intelligent people are falling for it. This is bleeding down into younger and younger people. It's gonna be a wild ride.
posted by Max Power at 5:06 PM on September 11, 2013


Another Climate-Change Retraction
posted by jeffburdges at 6:35 PM on September 16, 2013


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