Wednesday, 16 December 2009

BBC News in a nutshell

In an article on the BBC News website yesterday, Richard Black asked "Why are virtually all climate 'sceptics' men?"

Here's a taste:

There are two distinct views of why climate scepticism exists in the way it does today.

One - promulgated by many sceptics themselves - speaks to a rigorous, analytical deconstruction of a deeply-flawed scientific edifice that is maintained by a self-interested cabal of tax-hungry politicians and careerist scientists.

The other is that climate scepticism has psychological roots; that it stems from a deep-seated inability or unwillingness to accept the overwhelming evidence that humanity has built with coal and lubricated with oil its own handcart whose destination board reads "climate hell".

As one ex-scientist and now climate action advocate put it to me rather caustically a while back: "I've been debating the science with them for years, but recently I realised we shouldn't be talking about the science but about something unpleasant that happened in their childhood".

The rest of the article is made up of similar indignant, condescending, alarmist drivel. Instead of providing proper coverage of the Climategate scandal, and investigating the shocking lack of transparency in climate change research, Black prefers to speculate about the psychological problems of "high income, well-educated, white men" who dare to question the official line.

Yet there is cause for hope: almost all of the comments on the article note Black's bias. You see the same pattern on most BBC articles: hysterical journalism, followed by a reminder from the British public that their common sense and capacity for critical thought have not yet been completely extinguished.

Perhaps a demographic study is indeed warranted, not just of "climate sceptics", but of "BBC sceptics" and "Government sceptics" more generally. Personally, I'm less interested in any male-female split that may exist, and more concerned about a generation gap. I suspect that common sense is not so much diminishing, as dying out.

No comments:

Post a Comment