Sunday, April 6, 2008

CNN's Glenn Beck: Fighting for Climate Change Confusion

I came across this Glenn Beck (CNN) article last week hoping for a refreshing counterpoint to the usual portrayal of "sinister Big Oil," but what I really discovered was some of the most misleading journalism I've ever seen. After using decent logic in countering the typical media depiction of oil companies as "villains," Mr. Beck launches into a tirade about the media's equivalent criticism of the "climate change denier," of which Mr. Beck prides himself on being.

One statement: " Despite the media's one-sided view ... ,only 21 percent of Americans say "the release of greenhouse gasses is the most important factor causing global warming" according to a 2007 New York Times/CBS News poll."

I hope that I do not offend anyone here, but I honestly think that the statements of experienced climate change scientists far outweigh opinions gleaned from a public poll. A public opinion poll has no relevance in the debate over climate change science! The vast majority of scientists believe global climate change is caused by human action - I'm going to go with them on this one.

Within this article is a link to the web page for Mr. Beck's book "An Inconvenient Book," which boasts one of the more ridiculous pieces of prose I've seen in a while.
Global warming is another issue that’s ripe with lies, distortion and hidden agendas. For example, how many times have you heard that carbon dioxide is responsible for huge natural disasters that have killed millions of people? The truth is, it’s actually the other way around: as CO2 has increased, deaths from extreme weather have decreased. Bet you’ll never see that in Al Gore’s slideshow.
I won't work too hard to mention the obvious flaws in the arguments above, but I will indulge a bit. I actually haven't heard that CO2 is causing natural disasters and effectively killing missions of people. I have learned that rising temperatures caused by more atmospheric CO2 could increase the frequency of extreme and potentially disastrous weather events, but I fail to see the relationship with disaster related deaths! And the revelation that increasing CO2 has been met with less deaths from natural disasters? Could that have to do with better health care or improved emergency response systems?

This post singles out flaws in one skeptic's arguments, but it concerns me greatly that these types of arguments get published at all. This is criticism! Not evidence! Yet these articles do have an affect on public perception. Just ask Frank Luntz.

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