Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Subtle Editing on Global Warming

We've lived in places - Topeka and Mobile - with strongly right-wing newspapers (supposed "left wing liberal bias in the media" not withstanding). The Wichita Eagle seems generally more balanced to me, but I notice that they do have a way of subtly influencing the news that I don't agree with.

Today's paper is a case in point. On the front page we have 4 local stories and 1 state story. Except for the story on the ice storm (which deserves front page coverage), all of the other stories are about on-going issues, any of which would have been sufficiently covered on page 4 or 5, and all of which will be forgotten in a year or two or three.

Buried on page 6A is a story about an issue that is probably signalling a major change in our world, about a warning bell of global significance. "Scientists Shocked by Arctic Ice Melt" is about the newly released report on the massive melting of the Arctic ice mass seen this summer. This melting is occurring much faster than even the most pessimistic computer model climate prediction. At the current rate, the Arctic may be ice-free at the end of summer by 2012. That's less than 5 years away.

This is a massive change.

Another fact from this article that startled me was that, according to NASA satellite data, the volume of Arctic sea ice at the end of this last summer was just half of what it was 4 years ago. Fifty percent (50%) of the Arctic ice volume gone in just 4 years.

So why doesn't this news deserve front page coverage? These are huge changes that signal a need to act decisively and rapidly before the process of global warming becomes irreversible. I think I found a piece of the answer in a couple articles I read recently. These articles talked about how the Coast Guard was going to start patrolling the Arctic as it was opened up for new shipping channels. The new shipping channels would shorten transport distances between certain cities - the Northwest Passage coming true at last.

Why worry about global warming if it's offering a profit opportunity?

"The love of money is the root of all evil." It's long past time for all the world's citizens, and for the American electorate in particular, to look at the proponents of each side in the global warming "debate" and determine who has the most personal profit to make from their stance. I can pretty well guarantee it isn't the scientific community.

Then it's time for those same citizens to take action to change our current course. The people making obscene profits from the status quo CANNOT be trusted to see the changes that need to be made and lead the rest of us to make them. Only the average informed citizen can remove these profit-mongers from leadership and chose leaders more qualified to lead us intelligently and carefully into the future. Let's do it.

1 comment:

Paul Decelles said...

We see the same subtle editing in Lawrence but I don't think it is politically biased, but that most reporters don't know how to cover science and editors don't know science. Plus in a town such as Lawrence sports gets top billing. A Jayhawk player sneezes-that makes top news. Global warming nah-though the denial of the coal fired plant in Western Kansas got lots of play most of it negative.