"Bias in favour of the truth"

Sat, 2007-05-05 10:02Kevin Grandia
Kevin Grandia's picture

"Bias in favour of the truth"

This columnist today takes the “Global Warming Swindle” film to task.

Choice quotes:

Certainly, there is considerable pressure to offer a balanced presentation of controversial issues. This is nowhere more apparent than in the case of global warming. Witness Mike Chernoff's recent attempt to get copies of The Great Global Warming Swindle into high school classrooms to “balance” Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, and his statement that “without balanced information on a subject, an unbiased decision is difficult.”

And,

Many reasons for this have been identified: In our increasingly partisan era, journalists are ultra-sensitive to accusations of bias, so they ensure balance to ward off such allegations; some journalists don't have the time – and some are too lazy – to conduct a thorough investigation of an issue, so it's easier to just present competing opinions; and some journalists don't have the expertise to filter through various opinions and determine which ones are based on solid evidence.”

Previous Comments

I especially liked the historical context.
“By incorporating the methods – and values – of science in their work, journalists could be equipped with powerful tools for gathering and analyzing data, and that analysis could lead to reporters favouring one particular viewpoint because it appears closer to the truth.”
“The truth” is not a concept that is operational in politics.
entirely unbiased and objective, right?

Johan, why are you so worried about Kevin’s bias? We all have some bias; maybe the world would be a better place if we all concentrated on our own. Or do you think that by declaring yourself a “skeptic”, you rid yourself of bias?

Where have I ever stated I am not bias. Of course I am. But I do ensure that what I say on this blog is backed up with substantial evidence. And if I do make a mistake I am the first to admit it.

For example, if I said: “Environment Canada can't even predict the weather next week, how can they predict 50 years from now,” I would be the first to post a correction that predicting climate trends over time are very different than predicting the weather next week.

We ensure that our biases are kept in check, by ensuring that what we say is grounded with substantial evidence.  



“journalists are ultra-sensitive to accusations of bias, so they ensure balance to ward off such allegations”

And in other news:

“used car salesmen are ultra-sensitive to accusations of dishonesty, so they ensure the most above-board transactions to ward off such allegations”

“Papa Doc Duvalier was ultra-sensitive to accusations of corruption and violence, so he ensured justice and fair elections to ward off such allegations”

Here is an excellent review of an book that sounds fascinating and relevant for DeSmogBlog; by The Vanity Press blog:

“I’m reading this new book called Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, by Christine Garwood. It’s a really fascinating discussion of how and why crackpot science takes hold…”

“…Parallax plays the anti-elitist, inviting his audience to use their common sense and focus on the “facts” they all know, while leaving the speculative “theories” of establishment science in the dust. The round Earth, he declares, is merely a “theory” for which no actual proof has ever been found, and is a central part of a sinister conspiracy to undermine piety and true faith by a troop of atheistic scientists and their liberal, pseudo-Christian allies in the established mainline churches. And he’s getting famous and making quite a lot of money with this stunt.

Is this all sounding familiar?…”

“…the growth of pseudoscience is not the survival of older superstitions from previous eras; it is a distinctly modern phenomenon, and is a direct reaction to the rise and growth of real science…”

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Solar farm

Pressure continues to grow for European politicians to agree to further reductions of greenhouse gas emissions between now and 2030.

The European Union’s 2020 climate and energy package, which is binding legislation, calls for emissions to be cut by 20 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020. In addition, the plan calls for energy efficiency savings of 20 per cent and a 20 per cent increase in renewable energy technologies.

While the European Union seems largely on track to meet those targets, later this month...

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