One of my fares was a professor of journalism at Penn State, so I asked him as we arrived at his destination, why is it that global warming is always reported using two sides, even if the discussion is unrealistically forced into a balance? When it is discussed, there are only a handful of nay-sayers who seem to get a majority of the face time, while the real debate in the science community has moved on to questions of best fit in models and why are we seeing a greater melting of the Arctic than predicted. The professors answer was "fear." Writers and Editors fear the loss of income, fear taking on this issue and reporting the reality because Shell has a full page ad, or that they will loose readership....
Here is a good discussion of a recent Lou Dobbs piece on global cooling/warming
done by the writers over at RealClimate.org.
Part of the reason that I am a "radical atheist" is that many people use faith to rationalize their way out of facing reality. Whether it is global warming or evolution, our national discussion, carried out on a day to day basis through the media is warped by "balance". Science is under attack. Not just by corporations, but by preachers and lay people. Feeding this is a pervasive anti-intellectualism in the USA, "it's not cool to do well in school" attitude that fuels individuals rationalizations to not face reality. I was actually told during a discussion about the environmental destruction of clear cutting "God's going to destroy the earth, we're just helping him." Ugh!
Really, in this day and age you are going to use that in a discussion?
At the beginning of the article I linked to above is a short statement "With the axing of the CNN Science News team, most science stories at CNN are now being given to general assignment reporters who don't necessarily have the background to know when they are being taken for a ride."
This is the problem, what is the solution?