Summary: At some point during the 1970’s a large part of the mainstream media decided to abandon journalism to become the Ministry of Truth. Advocacy journalism, instructing the peons and elevating their consciousness. The slo-mo but accelerating business disaster that resulted followed — loss of audience, fading profits, layoffs — should not detract from their considerable success at mastering the techniques of propaganda. This post does a post-mortum on one example. For more information see the links to related articles at the end.
The original FM articles about climate change discussed the selling of global warming. These were greeted with cries of the “science is settled.” After 44 points describing the debate among scientists (see my posts here, literature citations here) we return to the original theme — with an example of skilled agitprop. Professionals at work, keeping America misinformed.
This post discusses three articles:
- “Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979“, Michael Asher, Daily Tech, 1 January 2009
- “Statement related to Daily Tech article of January 1, 2009“, published at The Cryosphere Today
- “Is the Cryosphere Crying Wolf?“, Nina Shen Rastogi, Slate, 10 February 2009 — Disinformation about the 1st two.
Also note the follow-up to this post: George Will: climate criminal or brave but sloppy iconoclast? 23 February).
As usual, we will examine each in sequence.
(1) The Daily Tech article: polar sea ice unchanged since 1979
“Sea Ice Ends Year at Same Level as 1979“, Michael Asher, Daily Tech, 9 January 2009 — “Rapid growth spurt leaves amount of ice at levels seen 29 years ago.” Excerpt:
Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.
Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards. The data is being reported by the University of Illinois’s Arctic Climate Research Center, and is derived from satellite observations of the Northern and Southern hemisphere polar regions.