Archive for the ‘Media bias’ Category

Al Gore made another public appearance yesterday. His timing is always impeccable. While the country was in the midst of a late  fall deep freeze that covered everything north of Florida in a blanket of snow, there he was assuring us that global warming was right on track. He had been warning us for 30 years.  The bad news for Gore is that the weather doesn’t cooperate with his predictions. The good news for Gore is that the sycophants in the press don’t seem to care. Global warming alarmism continues apace, even in the face of the recently revealed emails that demonstrate the bogus nature of the science from the “scientists” themselves. The emails, of course, originate from the University of East Anglia in Great Britain. They were published on another wordpress blog: http://noconsensus.wordpress.com. Note that this group is not some minor player in the “sky-is-falling” school. It is the school. The correspondence passed between many of the biggest proponents of the anthropogenic climate fear-mongers, including Phil Jones and Michael Mann, the developer of the “hockey stick.”

I am not a scientist. Heck, I don’t even own a microscope. But I do have some common sense, a handle on logic and a grip on reality.  While that doesn’t qualify me to write in peer-reviewed science journals, it does compel me to ask some basic questions about the environmental crisis du jour. With that caveat, let me step into the global warming debate, or as the proponents have taken to calling it since the weather has not cooperated, Global Climate Change.

We are asked to swallow certain propositions so that we may cede our nation’s sovereignty to an international group of environmental bureaucrats with the power to tax and regulate the United State back to the 19th century. There is much at stake. Here are the propositions we are asked to believe: 1) the planet is getting warmer; 2) this warming is not cyclical, but inexorably one-directional; 3) this warming is global; 4) this warming is man-made (anthropogenic); 5) it is harmful to life on the planet; and 6) we can change it by changing our life styles. We must accept all six before it would make any sense to spend trillions of dollars on a “solution” and forgo much of the modern conveniences we enjoy, afforded us by the technical revolution of the last century. If we accept them all but the last, i.e. that our efforts will indeed effect a positive change in the direction of the climate, it is pointless to spend the time and fortune to quixotically tilt toward windmills (literally). Let’s examine them one at a time, applying common sense and a sense of history.

1. The planet is getting warmer. The very first proposition is itself much in doubt. The base-line you use will determine your answer. If we use the decade of the seventies as our base-line, we could say things are heating up. If we use the decade of the 1930’s or the 1990’s as our standard, the planet is cooling. Here is where a good memory, or a simple Google search, can do wonders to bring some historical perspective to the discussion. Back in the 1970’s the environmental crisis du jour was global cooling. Typically the same culprit was to blame: Man. The headlines from that epoch have aptly been dropped into a media memory hole. Let us remind ourselves of some of the headlines to articles that were as certain then that we were heading to a new ice age as they are now that we are headed toward global combustion.

Time magazine carried an article titled “Science: Another Ice Age?” in its June 24, 1974 issue. The story relates how the previous three decades saw temperatures decline and ice caps grow. Though you never hear anyone in the mainstream press refer to such pieces, they were not uncommon. This story may still be found on Time’s web site. It is worth checking out: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html

 
Time  magazine was not alone in beating the drum for a cooling catastrophe. Newsweek had global cooling headlines as late as 1978.  And George Will reminds us, “In the 1970s, ‘a major cooling of the planet’ was ‘widely considered inevitable’ because it was ‘well-established’ that the Northern Hemisphere’s climate ‘has been getting cooler since about 1950’ (New York Times, May 21, 1975).”
We don’t have to go all the way back to the 70’s to read the screed that we were headed toward another ice age. “The advent of the new ice age, scientists say, appears to be guaranteed.  The devastation will be astonishing.”  Gregg Easterbrook  in “Return of the Glaciers,” Newsweek, November 23, 1992. Easterbrook has recently(June 2006) gone on record as accepting that global warming is the unchallenged view of climate scientists (see http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/easterbrook/20060517.pdf).
It seems that the Earth is about 1 degree warmer on average than a century ago. But we were just emerging from what climatalogists called a Little Ice Age that began after the Medieval Climate Optimum and lasted until the end of the 19th century (from around 1400-1900). That the planet would regulate itelf is unremarkable. A 1-degree increase in temperature over a century hardly constitutes a permanent direction in global terms.
 
2. The trend is one-directional, not cyclical. We were in a cooling trend in the 70’s. Alarmists then told us we were headed for catastrophic cooling, projecting a one-directional temperature trend. Since the 90’s the alarmists are just as certain that catastrophic warming is going to be the death of us all.  Is it not more likely that climate is cyclical, not one-directional?
 
If we want to project the trends since 1998 we would have to say we are more likely headed for another Ice Age than a seared earth. But, of course, neither seems to be the case. One of the biggest hoaxes in the whole global warming debate is the “hockey stick.” The “hockey stick” graph was developed by Mann and used by the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to demonstrate that the planet has never been as warm as it is today. The hockey stick graph shows that temperatures were pretty much stable for the last couple millennia until the end of the twentieth century. Then it shot up. The graph looks lik a hockey stick laid on its side. Scary stuff. Gore used it as part of his horror movie on the coming climate disaster and still sites it as fact. Only problem is, it was totally made up. This was understood by many people prior to the recently unveiled email messages that make that fact clear.  (See Christopher Horner’s, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming.) The data that the alarmists have used to insist that the planet is warmer than ever, have been manipulated to effect the desired result: the hockey stick graph.
 
The hockey stick ignores the widely known period of Medieval warming as well as the mini-ice age from which we just emerged a century ago. That period is also known as the Climate Optimum, because it had a beneficial effect on life on the globe. I will discuss that further under point five.
 
I still have four points to cover. I will deal with them in my next installment.

       Dan Brown made a fortune devising a very elaborate tale of intrigue and conspiracy that dated all the way back to the early church. The DaVinci Code was a fun read and a blockbuster film. The tale goes that the Knights Templar held a secret that would be devastating to the church. Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children whose descendents still live today. Leonardo DaVinci was an insider who knew this but could not just come right out and tell people. Being the genius he was, he hid the secret in codes sprinkled throughout his paintings.

Dan Brown unmasked that old myth about Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the dead. He actually married, settled down in a quiet village, raised a family and opened his carpenter shop. Okay, I made that last part up, but the story is something like that. It was a very ingenious and elaborate tale. Many people came to believe it, to lesser and greater degrees. My own son almost bought some of it because the story was told so well.

We have a new group of Dan Brown’s who have cracked a different code: the Race Code. One of the more recent code-breakers is the inimitable Maureen Dowd of the New York Times. She was able to see the code clearly when Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled, “You lie,” when President Barak Obama lied about the health care plan not covering illegal aliens. What Dowd heard that others missed was the implied racist word “Boy.” What Wilson actually was saying is, “You lie, Boy.” I know nobody else heard it. It was not really verbalized, but a good code-breaker understands the latent racism behind such seemingly racially benign comments. And when Dowd speaks she is cloaked with the imprimatur of the Gray Lady herself. It is very close to speaking ex cathedra, or as close to it as secularists come. (See http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/13/opinion/13dowd.html.)

That opened the door for more code-breakers to speak up about what they have detected in the protests from the Right. Ignore what they are saying. It is all a racist enterprize aimed at the first black president. (Okay, he is really only half black, but all the same…)

Tens of thousands of people gather on Capitol Hill in Washington to protest US President Barack Obama's health care plan.

Protesters marched on Washington last weekend–“tens of thousands” became the number to the mainstream press, others estimated it to be over a million–to protest a whole dog’s breakfast of budget-busting, extra-constitutional policies being pushed through Congress, from Health Care Reform, to cap and trade, to government takeover of industry. But all the left heard was: these people are racists who hate the president because he is black (or half-black, but we already mentioned that).

The always provocative ex-president, Jimmy Carter (who created an economy as anemic as this one) is the latest racial code-breaker to offer his incredible insight. He determined that Wilson’s comment was based on the racism that, in Carter’s view, still dominates the Southern white mentality. So, when a southern white man calls a half-black president a liar, it is a racist statement. When congressmen like Pete Stark called Bush a liar, it was just an example of robust debate and speaking truth to power.

Carter further stated that he believed “an overwhelming portion” of the protests at the tea parties and last weekend’s 9/12 Protest in Washington D.C., was tinged with racist overtones. White people just can’t accept that a black man is president.

Of course you never hear any overt racial comments coming from the president’s critics. You see, they are much smarter than to speak plainly about their true concerns. Instead they use code. Nobody is sure where and when this racist cabal got together and created the code that is universally understood by its adherents, but Dowd and Carter are now totally onto it. The jig is up! (To be clear there are no racial overtones intended in that last sentence.)

I am listening  on the radio right now to Leo Terrel intone that using the term “radical” is another racist code word. He agrees with Carter “one trillion per cent.” Asked to name these racists, he says simply that they are everywhere. Asked for specifics, he finds none. It doesn’t matter. Facts are irrelevant in the face of such rampant racism. It is all in the code.

Or just perhaps the truth is to be found in one wag’s sign from the Washington event: It doesn’t matter what the sign says, you will still call it racist.

When a Republican president nominates a conservative candidate to the Supreme Court you can expect that the long knives will soon flash to slash.  The knives will be wielded by the Liberal opponents in Congress, for sure, who believe it is their God-given right to pack the courts with other Liberals who beleive the Constitution is so much putty in their creative hands.  Without such creative types on the court we would never have gotten such clear constitutional precepts enacted like abortion on demand and bussing kids to schools in the next county.  Both wonderful ideas that have made all our lives so much richer.  They could never happen if you only had people on the Supreme Court who actually believed it was their job to read the Constitution and judge accordingly.

So when a conservative president nominates his candidate ,Liberals are rightly offended.  How dare he!  But it is not just the opponents in Congress who go on the righteous crusade against this potential interloper on their judicial property.  More significantly, it is the media who draw out, not just long knives, but swords against the would-be usurper.  The pen (as well as the video editing machine) is mightier than the sword.

This is not the case when a liberal nominates a fellow liberal to the High Court.  Then we get treated with the sweet human interest stories about the compelling life story of the candidate who came from nowhere and with nothing to a federal judgeship on the sheer force of his or her intellect and soundness of judgement.

Enter Barak Obama and Sonia Sotomayor.  Enter Good Morning America (whose personalities I like, despite myself).  Were  Clarence Thomas the nominee (and who has a more compelling personal life history than he?) the stories coming from the mainstream are about how he really isn’t black at all.  Well he is genetically, they concede, but not intellectually.  He thinks like a White man!  The background stories find people whom he beat up in the 5th grade and leaders of the Civil Rights organizations he has victimized with his rulings.  The general tenor the viewer or reader is to deduce is that Thomas is a bad man.  He is not worthy to sit in the seat of such giants as Thurgood Marshall.

But the nominee in question is not conservative.  She is liberal.  So the story we are treated with on GMA is the touching human interest story featuring a person totally unbiased: Juan Sotomayor.  He happens to be the brother of said candidate.  It turns out that Sonia is just the most wonderful big sister ever.  Juan gets very touchy if someone accuses her of racism.  He can’t even find a word low enough to describe a person who would characterize his sister such.  He wishes he could write a new dictionary to create a word that could capture the inhumanity of such a comment.  Not kidding.

Asked about the “wise Latina” comment, Juan says it was just taken out of context.  “What did she mean by that?”  He doesn’t have any idea.  He just knows it was taken out of context.  And though nobody is accusing Sonia of being a racist, the comment certainly is, at least to those who read words for what they mean, using standard dictionaries, not ones created by Harry Blackmun or Juan Sotomayor.

So we have nothing to fear from this wise Latina woman.  She will certainly judge more wisely and correctly than some shriveled up White dude. 

Thanks Good Morning America, for always getting to the nub of the story and bringing to the public, hard-hitting truths others won’t touch.

You can view the journalistic gem for yourself at: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=7796835&page=1