My Clean Break column today takes a look at the media’s role in spreading confusion regarding the science of climate change. I decided to write this column after reading Climate Cover-Up by James Hoggan of DesSmogBlog.com, but also after getting a chance to talk to some front-line U.S. government scientists during my recent retreat to New Mexico. I got a good sense of how climate change is playing havoc with water resources, forests, and municipal planning, as well as the complexity of determing how much of it is caused by natural cycles and how much is caused by greenhouse-gas emissions. It was also driven home how climate change is affecting different regions of the planet in different ways, and that just because there’s unusual cooling on one side of the planet doesn’t mean there’s not record heating happening on the other. What matters is that global seas are rising, global mean temperature is rising despite observations of slight intra-decade decline, and polar icecaps are retreating. Here’s an excellent piece just written by Seth Borenstein of AP that nicely summarizes what has happened over the past decade.
My own column is an apology of sorts on behalf of a profession that, in an attempt to be balanced, often inadvertently tilts the scale too far to accommodate those looking to spread misinformation and confusion.