It is encouraging to see the media starting to mention, meekly, climate change in the context of some of the weather/climate related events going on. I would like to think this is due to the preponderance of evidence—scientific data that has been painstakingly assembled and interpreted over many decades now. Since I am a skeptic, I tend to attribute it to the weather. That is to say, it’s hot in the U.S., there is a drought going on, and a lot of wildfires. I suspect that when it gets cold, as it generally does in winter, the mentions of global warming will drop off again.
So, why have the media been so reticent to discuss an issue that could generate a great deal of “buzz”? When they do broach the subject, why do they present it as if it were a political issue, giving “both sides” of the controversy, as if there were two equal opposing viewpoints?
Here’s the deal: when 95% of researchers in a field agree on a major theory, it’s not just the majority opinion, it’s established consensus. That is the percentage of climatologists who agree that:
- Climate change is happening, to a degree unprecedented in human history,
- It will have serious consequences for humans and the environment in general,
- Human activity is the primary cause, and
- We can take steps to reduce the severity of the problem.
Why, then, do the media treat the issue of global warming so gingerly? I do see quite a few ads for BP, Shell, Exxon-Mobil… if I were a skeptic, I would think they are bowing to the wishes of some of their sponsors. If I were a skeptic.