Tag Archives: newsmedia

Yes, The News Media Can Only See Alarmism

Andy @Revkin and others (here and here) note with John Fleck of inkstain that

Fleckstain: Media skip Science paper on energy solutions while hyping 1 on Arctic CH4. Problems hotter than solutions?

I do not think so. Simply, it’s all been Allcott’s and Mullainathan’s (the original authors’) fault. In fact, this is what they wrote:

Just as we use R&D to develop “hard science” into useful technological solutions, a similar process can be used to develop basic behavioral science into large-scale business and policy innovations. Cost-effectiveness can be rigorously measured using scientific field-testing. Recent examples of scaling behaviorally informed R&D into large energy conservation programs suggest that this could have very high returns.

And this is what they should have written instead:

It might be one of the most ominous bits of evidence yet that global warming could run out of control. Unless we use R&D to develop basic behavioral science into large-scale business and policy innovations, the most-feared potential self-reinforcing effects of climate change may be starting to get under way. Recent examples of scaling behaviorally informed R&D into large energy conservation programs suggest that this could have very high returns. Otherwise, the effects of climate change will persist becoming evident faster than anyone predicted.

(click here for the original alarmism)

Obviously, Climategate notwithstanding, an enormous percentage of newsmedia people still firmly believe only titillating stories about upcoming disasters will ever attract the interest of their readers. I have a feeling that’s the kind of newsmedia most likely to go the way of the dodo, at least regarding scientific journalism.

Bloggers Of The World Rejoice

A big thank you to Tory MP Matthew Parris, as he has just provided the best argument against putting any trust in old-fashioned newsmedia whenever there is any hint of a potential future catastrophe…

Sadistic Voyeurism As The Root Of Contemporary Media Business

Or…why have the world media embraced catastrophic AGW so enthusiastically…

Just try to listen to commentator/columnist/political journalist Tory MP Matthew Parris in a short interview on BBC’s Sunday radio programme “Broadcasting House” (3 May: it should still be available as a podcast)

I feel pulled in two directions“, Parris declares . “Bad news, sensational events, apocalypses are good for [media] business“.

Of course he acknowledges that “it can’t in any long term way be in my interest that these things go on“, yet he experiences “little thrills when things go catastrophically wrong” because “there is a column in it“.

Little thrills? Little thrills???

Isn’t that a bit sick? No, apparently, because “every age enjoying some kind of prosperity, as until recently we did, has the feeling that it cannot last, and looks for the vengeance, the retribution, the nemesis after the hubris. They are half wanting to happen” because “they cannot believe their own luck“.

Parris concludes that he never believes he is going to be among the victims.

What can one reply to the above with? Perhaps with a big thank you to Parris, as he has just provided the best argument against putting any trust in old-fashioned newsmedia whenever there is any hint of a potential future catastrophe.

Independent bloggers of the world rejoice!