Human Exceptionalism

Climategate: The Ice Begins to Melt on MSM’s Refusal to Practice Journalism

Sigh. Here we go again–maybe. When certain facts or developments in a story don’t support the line of reportage the MSM wants to pursue, too often, they simply resort to non journalism by omission, perhaps in the hope that their non coverage will make it go away.

It appears that Climategate may be the next big story receive the old MSM general cold shoulder.  From a story in today’s AP, byline Arthur Max:

The U.S. and China have yet to address the critical issue of how to raise the hundreds of billions of dollars needed annually to rescue poor countries from storms, floods and drought that are expected to become more severe as greenhouse gases worsenScientists say the industrial countries must slash carbon emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020 below 1990 to prevent the Earth from adding two degrees Centigrade (3.6F), the maximum considered safe. In addition, developing countries need to lower their emissions growth by 15 to 30 percent from business as usual, according to the authoritative U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

None of this is settled science, as one would think reading the story in a vacuum. Indeed, all knowledgeable climate scientists do not say that we must “slash carbon [dioxide] emissions by that amount, as the term “scientists say,” implies.  Accuracy requires the story to say, “some scientists,” or perhaps even, “many scientists,say…”  And thanks to Climategate, the IPPC is not so authoritative anymore (if it ever really was). Indeed, Climategate has called the entire field into significant question generally, and the IPCC opinion specifically. Until the matter is fully investigated–not a quick hearing and a shove under the proverbial rug–climate change hysteria will remain under a cloud that all the media wishful thinking and malpractice will not disperse.

There was a time when the media prided itself on being a skeptical counter weight to the Establishment. Now, they consider themselves part of the Establishment.  The entire field would be better off if reporters started practicing real journalism again.

And maybe,  just maybe, they are starting to do just that.  Today’s New York Times has a real story about the controversy that actually reports on the importance and meaning of Climategate.  From the story, byline Andrew C. Revkin,:

Some prominent climate scientists are calling for changes in the way research on global warming is conducted after a British university said thousands of private e-mail messages and documents had been stolen from its climate center. The scientists say that the e-mail messages, which have circulated on the Internet and which disclose the inner workings of a small network of climatologists who chart the planet’s temperature, have damaged the public’s trust in the evidence that humans are dangerously warming the planet, just as many countries are poised to start reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

“This whole concept of, ‘We’re the experts, trust us,’ has clearly gone by the wayside with these e-mails,” said Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology. She and other scientists are seeking more transparency in the way climate data is handled and in the methods used to analyze it. And they argue that scientists should re-evaluate the selection procedures used by some scientific journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the panel that in 2007 concluded that humans were the dominant force driving warming and whose findings underpin international discussions over a new climate treaty.

But for alternative media’s pressure, I doubt this story would be in the paper.  Still, the ice may, at last, be melting.  Real journalism sells papers. Where the NYT goes, the rest of the MSM tend to follow.

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