“But the Press”

Scientists are only responsible for what they say.

Connected to #ButMyGuru when a contrarian darling is invoked to counterbalance.


If you don’t trust the media’s coverage of the election, walk me through why you believe them on Covid and climate change. They push an agenda, not news.


Here we go again! Media hypes alleged ‘Hottest year’ declarations as 2018 cools, slips to 4th ‘warmest.’


Objections and Replies

An Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore’s documentary was wrong and alarmi—
☞ John Nielson-Gammon looked at the scientific argument and found it reasonably sound. Many of his illustrations go too far, but his main point remains valid. The IPCC remains the best summary of the scientific evidence.

Back in my days. Journalists used to be respected—
☞ May I remind you that The Lost Honour of Katharina Bloom has been written in 1974? News Corp has only rediscovered what Springer built.

Credibility. Reversals of credibility that have arose from polemic abuse of
Not so fast: Trust in the news has grown, on average, by six percentage points in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic – with 44% of our total sample saying they trust most news most of the time. This reverses, to some extent, recent falls in average trust – bringing levels back to those of 2018. Finland remains the country with the highest levels of overall trust (65%), and the USA now has the lowest levels (29%) in our survey.

No news. What happened to climate change in the news
☞ No idea. Let’s have a look.

If you were raising concerns about the loss of trust in journalism in 2009, and still in 2019, chances are you were doing so in 1999 too and that you still will in 2029. Concerns. Billions upon billions of concerns {2}.

Unprecedented. I lost count of the ‘unprecedented’ comments in the news—
☞ MBH95 is more than 25 years old and contrarians still harp about it. Most of contrarian tropes have been known since Roman times. Non nove sed nove.

Wrong. The media gets lots of things wrong—
☞ Of course they do. They’re made by humans and humans err. Take your favorite contrarian outlet {3}


{1} Dutch Book. Either AGW gets too much coverage or it’s ignored because of a more pressing issue. Contrarians always win.

{2} Concerns. Raising concerns is an industry. Why would anyone buy a newspaper if there was not some concern about something somewhere in the universe? Raising concerns ought to be fair game. 

{3} Contrarian press. Contrarianism is the fastest track to the public spotlight. It’s easy to flip back the script toward Newscorp empire, Marc Morano, the Heartland Institute, the GWPF, and other megaphones. It’s not like they never got anything wrong!

Further Readings