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01:20 pm: No Point Reading the News

I notice that when things change, you see a news article about it, and then a bunch more that don't seem to know that it has happened.

Like Global Cooling. A few articles came out showing that it was cooling...even Old Farmer's Almanac...but this doesn't stop the EU from passing grueling laws to stop Global Warming.

Or Polar Bears. Everywhere I read about how the lack of ice flows is going to harm the Polar Bears (though I also read that after shrinking for over 100 years, the glaciers in Alaska actually grew this year.) But the one article I read discussing someone who actually went and checked on the Polar Bears...turned out they were thriving! (Who would think slightly warmer weather might be good for a mammal?) Perhaps, Polar Bears only live on ice flows because they gotta.

This on top of the fact that John learned yesterday that Nuclear Winter -- the great scare of the 80s -- was invented by a Russian Spy in order to keep the West from building more missile. Apparently, he fed the idea (possibly indirectly) to Carl Sagan, who fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. That's...creepy.

Any other subjects you guys see being bandied about, despite possible evidence to the contrary?



[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
I thought I'd check out ABC news' site (where I never go) just to catch the headlines. Couldn't see many of the headlines because of a flash ad that had our favorite Friend mostly in the altogether, with a few carefully placed men's ties.
Headline: "Is it just us or is Jennifer Aniston getting hotter?"
maybe it's global warming.

[User Picture]
Date:December 12th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
The acorn shortage. I keep seeing stories about an unusually low acorn output from the trees this year, leaving scientists baffled. Yet right behind that, I see other stories saying this is merely a natural cycle. Which makes me wonder if the baffled scientists in the first story are baffled because they're not biologists or botanists. I imagine the question of an acorn shortage might be baffling to an aerospace engineer.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 12:16 am (UTC)
I saw a chart of the temperatures for the past 100 years or so... There were two humps facing downwards, cold years, prior to 1980 or so. And now we're on the downward slope of a shape that looks remarkably like the humps for cooling, but turned upside down.

Looks like cycles to me.

Course, nope. No cycles. All man-made chaos!
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 05:34 am (UTC)
My husband could go on at length about what you see (and don't see) viz the financial information.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 10:10 pm (UTC)
My girlfriend the economist goes on about this, too. She keeps talking about a book called Fooled By Randomness, which discusses how people draw trends out of nearly no info.
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)

Polar bears

Polar bear numbers are higher than they have been since before the 1970's. My thoughts: when the ice recedes, it's easier to catch the seals swimming in the arctic waters. By the by, the feds recently put the polar bears under protection because the receding ice flows were not likely to sustain the increased numbers well...
[User Picture]
Date:December 13th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)

Re: Polar bears

Here's what puzzles me...

It used to be warm. Then, came the Little Ice Age in the 1500s. Then it's warmed up again..

..do they think that Polar Bears didn't exist before the Little Ice Age? That they haven't had warmer periods before? Or things they do when ice is scarce?

I'm not saying that it might not be hard for them...only that we should see that they are actually suffering before we think they are endangered. (Being prepared to try to help somehow if they do suffer is a different issue!)
[User Picture]
Date:December 14th, 2008 05:02 am (UTC)
In his recent book Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg talks about how many causes are used as a "moral equivalent of war," i.e., something that causes us to set aside normal societal rules and do what we deem must be done for life to continue.

Though you'll notice, they're moving away from calling it "Global Warming" to "climate change". As if the climate was a static thing!!

My office mate is stunned that big news networks weren't covering the deep snowfall in the south, because "isn't this more proof that we're destroying our planet?" Um...snow there is rare, but certainly not unheard of.

Sheesh. It's enough to make you think that no-one thinks anymore...at any rate, most people certainly have no idea that maybe they should ask some questions before blindly reacting.
[User Picture]
Date:December 14th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's funny!

A friend of mine sometimes watches Spanish news. She once saw, in the backgroud of the Spanish report, CNN reporters throwing money to crowds to get them to react joyfully. (I think this was some years ago in Iraq.) She says she's heard from South Africans other reports of CNN behaving similarlly.
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