On One Hand, Al Gore and the IPCC, on the Other ....?

We've said it, Boykoff and Boykoff have said it, and now the Nobel Prize winning Al Gore has stated the obvious: that North American media members have been played for fools, reporting climate change as an “on the one hand, on the other hand” issue.

It's hard to track whether this faulty substitute for real impartiality is a reflection of mass media stupidity or if it's a tribute to the cleverness of the people for whom it is economically advantageous to deny climate change. Personally, I think there is something deeply flawed in the media psyche - this addiction to balance that is at once insistent and careless.

On an increasing number of issues, reporters and editors don't want to be accused of silencing any voice. And, perversely, they think it would be an affront to exercise judgment, even when one side is so clearly in the scientific ditch.

To all those reporters who have got the point (and you are now in a reassuring majority), my apologies for anything in the foregoing is offensive. But look, say, at the Editorial Page of The Vancouver Sun today, or at the National Post's Denier series - or at anything on Fox - and ask yourself whether you're truly in good company on this issue. I have to say no.


Now listen up, you journalists who still feel some obligaton to fairness and balance. You have fallen out of favour with Richard Littlemore and the Goracle. Hang your heads in shame.

“Personally, I think there is something deeply flawed in the media psyche - this addiction to balance that is at once insistent and careless.”

Isn’t it astounding that modern day, self-styled Torquemadas like Little-More can write these statements with straight face?

It is an indication of how far gone they have become in their dogmatic Inquisition against crypto-denieralists that they don’t even see anything wrong with that.

There are still holdouts in the medical community who don’t believe that the HIV leads to AIDS. Would you include their point of view in every story about the development of treatments? Fern

Femack, there is considerable difference between contrariness that flies in the face of incontrovertible evidence and scepticism of an unproven scientific hypothesis that has become politicized to an extraordinary degree.

AGW is in the latter category. Scientists whose research calls the AGW hypothesis into question are just doing what scientists should do. They are challenging the hypothesis in order to show it is flawed. And they are succeeding.

AGW may be gospel to the politically-driven and woefully flawed IPCC but it is not accepted as a given in the scientific community where peer-reviewed papers that challenge its basic assumptions abound with more emerging every month.

So, yes, journalists who want to be fair and balanaced need to show that this story has two sides. Otherwise they are just paid propagandists like Littlemore. Littlemore works for Suzuki’s PR shop. He is paid to promote Suzuki’s goal which is to silence everyone of note who is sceptical of his AGW bullshit. Suzuki wants them to just “shut the f**k-up” – his words. Littlemore’s efforts in Desmog, in the service of his paymaster, are devoted to marginalizing and eventually silencing these sceptics.

John, climate scientists are testing their hypotheses. Good point. Which scientists have done work that genuinely challenges the consensus that AGW is real? Not Christy (he tried to use satellite measurements to do that but made a sign error in his calculations). Not Tim Ball or Tom Harris (one of whom misrepresents himself, the other of whom misrepresents his motives, both of whom misrepresent the facts) – neither of which is a practicing researcher. Research that succeeds in challenging the hypothesis does not show up in the media, because there isn’t any. The media instead grabs people like Tim Ball (not a researcher, remember) for a quotation like this: “it’s a lot of hooey - it was colder in my backyard in the 70’s when I was becoming Canada’s first climatology PhD”. That is not a challenge to the hypothesis. It’s garbage.

on how you define “incontrovertible”. The science has not been politicized – it is what it is. And I would still like to see that “growing list of legitimate climate scientists” who are divorcing themselves from the IPCC … Fern

All of John’s post is a bad case of verbal diarrhea but I will respond to this one in particular.

John said: “AGW is in the latter category. Scientists whose research calls the AGW hypothesis into question are just doing what scientists should do. They are challenging the hypothesis in order to show it is flawed. And they are succeeding”.

John is just showing is complete ignorance of science and climatology by making this completely false statement.

The “scientists” who are challenging AGW are not using the scientific method they are resorting to lies, distortions and cherry picking of data. In other words they are complete frauds. I will not bother to list those “scientists” but most readers will be familiar with the small band of deniers I am referring to. Of course, the many members of the Putty Brain Club who inhabit this site are stupid enough to believe what these fraudsters are saying and then go to great lengths to show that these deniers are being discriminated against.

The AGW “story” (as JD likes to call it) does have two sides. One side, the scientific explanation, which has not been disproved using the scientific method and the fraudulent side which is being promoted by people with ulterior motives. Unfortunately, the deniers have convinced the media that the two sides should have equal time. This is utter nonsense since lies and fraud do not deserve any time at all.

John Dowell, Rob, ZOG, Paul S/G et al., you should be ashamed for resorting to this dishonesty. I just hope that none of you are in a position to influence the minds of young children since the younger generation seems to be more aware of the effects of AGW (and environmental deterioration in general) than some adults.

Ian Forrester

Good points, Ian, regarding “the scientists”. This is the heart of the problem, the pretense at authority and experience. Check out the comments at the end of the Gauntlet article:


“What a scurrilous attack on a group of genuine scientists [F.O.S.!] trying to challenge the global warming mantra.”

Good grief.

After turning off our cable TV five years ago, I have learned far more about society and current events from the internet than I thought possible. DeSmogBlog is a website I check every day (next to Tyee, rabble.ca, Gush Shalom, Aljazeera and Council of Canadians). This site is a well designed source of critical information that is consistently being ignored by Canada’s media monopoly (as well as the US media monopoly/oligarchy). Mr. Littlemore’s concerns about media bias have been very well documented of ate. The US media is dominated by four owner groups (don’t forget General Electric owns the NBC news), and in Canada by a handful of families. Of course they’re biased! Look at their clients and their business model: selling ads to multinationals corporations all of whom have no interest in social change. For more reading, I would recommend the incomparable New Media Monopoly by Ben Bagdikian, as well as Marc Edge’s lively history of the Sun/Province empire (Pacific Press History 2001). Keep up the good work.

Of course everything on the Internet is the gospel truth – there are no liars in that domain.

If you had not closed your eyes and ears to the main stream mass media, Jeff, you would notice that the journalists they employ by and large accept without question the AGW belief. They constantly repeat its refrain like it, and pseudo-science of fudged climate models that props it up, was a proven fact instead of an unproven hypothesis. So much for the cigar-chomping capitalists whipping their journalistic lackeys into line.

But even a little bit of dissent is too much for Littlemore, who wants everyone singing from the AGW song sheet (lyrics and music by Hoggan PR). You would think that if the science is as sound as Desmoggers pretend it is, they would welcome opportunities to steamroll the opposition. Yet they react to dissenters like they are afraid of them. Hmmm.

Lots on the internet isn’t true. That’s why credibility becomes an issue. You have no more than your sources. Rob hasn’t any.

“DeSmogBlog is a website I check every day (next to Tyee, rabble.ca, Gush Shalom, Aljazeera and Council of Canadians).”

A nice collection of the most strident left-wing/ant-zionist websites, there. And a nice snapshot of what I find to be the typical Global Warming fanatic’s media diet.

No wonder they’re outraged that such a thing as a free press is still allowed to exist.

Since you seem to like the DeSmogBlog website so much…you always seem to be here…and you definitely are strident; it follows that you are a left-wing/anti-zionist.
For shame!

I agree with the criticisms, but let me observe that the press have deadlines, cannot be experts on everything, have abilities following the normal distribution. Some of course, do hatchet jobs, but many just get confused by the blizzard of information and disinformation.

Recall also: Fairness Doctrine, use by tobacco companies and later by AGW-denialists. It wouldn’t surprise me if there have been threatened lawsuits to get “equal time” … so, it’s less surprising to see that than one might expect.

More positively, Deltoid has my discussion of pro-active efforts with the press, so I won’t repeat it here: http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/10/john_mashey_what_to_do_about_p.php#more