Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Talk Radio Dumbs Down Climate Change Discussion

Our local AM Radio Rangers, taking their cues from lead scientist Rush Limbaugh, have been sticking their noses outside during our chilly April and declaring global warming a fraud.

That's a little like seeing Nicole Ritchie on television and announcing that obesity is a myth.

Climate change is a far more extensive phenomenon that what's happening with today's weather; experts are already pointing out that real impacts are occuring, including insect and disease proliferation in suddenly-warming zones.

You don't hear much about that on squawk radio.

You could: One of the world's leading authorities on the relationship of global warning, disease and human health is Jonathan Patz, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The big picture about a warming planet includes understanding the risks posed by rising ocean levels that could appear after fast-paced polar ice melting - - events that would present a clear-and-present danger worldwide, and on US coastlines, with their large populations and billions, trillions, perhaps in development.

And the big picture encompasses the problems inherent in rapid glacial and snowpack melt that will starve downstream communities of their drinking and irrigation water - - not only in faraway places already suffering, but in Europe and the US West, too.

Talk radio could provide a real service to their Wisconsin audiences by interviewing experts like Prof. Patz, but our Radio Rangers prefer aping Rush, their Lead Climate Change Denier and Windbag Idol.

And spending their time repeating the phrases "Democrat Party," "media template" and "Bill Clinton" at least 100 times a day.


xoff said...

As a recent article on Nina Leopold Bradley pointed out, there is solid evidence in Wisconsin of global warming, too. But the talkers read the news very selectively.

James Rowen said...

Good point.

There is an unintentional but hilarious self-parody inherent in the Radio Rangers' yammering about the mainstream media's purported "template" reporting.

It's our little local Rush wannabees who operate with robotic slavery to their rightist templates and talking points.

Anonymous said...

Climate change could diminish North American water supplies and trigger disputes between the United States and Canada over water reserves already stressed by industry and agriculture.

Tight underground water supplies could kick off a scramble for large above-ground supplies in the Great Lakes. Spats have already occurred over diversion of the lakes' water for distant cities and farms, while calls have increased for channeling water to the Mississippi River to supply US cities during hot summers.

Unknown said...

To Anon; This blog has a lengthy archive about the risks to Great Lakes waters, not the least of which are a) possibe losses through evaporation in a warmer era, and b)competition for these waters from greater distances than the Waukesha County suburbs, whose push for diversions could set bad precedents for the entire Great Lakes watershed.

James Rowen said...

Last thought for Anon and other readers:
If you live in Wisconsin, urge your legislators in Madison to press for adoption of the pending amendments to the US-Canada Great Lakes Compact. They will minimize arbitrary and unreasonable diversions of these waters, among other useful things.

Anonymous said...

Mr Rowen, I incorrectly thought you to be a more reasonable person than this opinion piece indicate.

First, attacking those on the other side of the socio-political continuum serves no real purpose. If leftist broadcasters had an audience, you would not have to complain about Rush Limbaugh and Mark Belling.

Second, I assert that the “mainstream” media is “template reporting.” Why does the left despise Fox News so much? The lightweight leftist news orgs are only following the Liberal/Democrats.

Third, time after time there have been false predictions that we are going into an ice age. A decade later, we are going into global warming. Prof Patz may be an expert in global warming. However, I can name distinguished scientists who say we are not going into it.

Even the info on your webpage indicates what the problem is: Rowen is… a “political” environmentalist. Yes, politics is all this is about. When the boy cries wolf too many times, no one listens.

President Eisenhower, upon leaving office in 1960, said beware of the military-industrial complex. Mark from Germantown in 2007 says beware of the media-academia-government complex.

Finally, you should hear all the lefties complain about Bush! They are obsessed. I must hear/see 1000 tirades per day.

Mark from Germantown

Silent E said...

I find it quite ironic that you say the locals take their cues from lead scientist Rush when you take your cues from Al Gore who, by the way, is not a scientist. I also find it amusing that when the alarmist talk about the hurricanes of 05 they refer to the cause as being a result of climate change but when people speak of it being abnormally cold for long periods of time when it's normally 20 degrees warmer, It's only a weather pattern. Try looking at all of the facts not just the bits and pieces that Al wants you to hear. The earth is warming. I'ts called a warmimg cycle. History shows that this happens every once in a while just like cooling cycles. Try to take yourself back to your grade school days in science class and review "Scientific Method". It says nothing of concensus.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with science, if it did, all voices would be heard. I do not have a problem with having a discussion with global warming, and maybe some action might need to be taken. I thought that scientists were supposed to be skeptics, and try to prove each other wrong, so we can all get to the truth. It is evident that the people who are alarmist about global warming, say the debate is over and that it is time to act now. Well the debate is not over. There are scientists who are now speaking out against global warming, some from MIT, etc. But, I guess if you do not believe in global warming, then you deny the halocaust, or believe that the earth is flat. This is typical of liberals, they always want to shut-up the opposing view. I would love to see an open debate about global warming. I think the American people deserve this, instead of being told to feel guily if they drive an SUV or do not have CF lightbulbs.

I also hear all kinds of analysis that we need to cut emissions to 90% of 1990 levels by 2050. But what does this mean, in terms of lifestyle changes? I think these extremists should really say what changes will have to be made, I do not think the American public will go along with these changes. Even, if you believe that global warming is man made, their is no telling that these changes would even work, especially if China does not go along with it, which they said they will not. I have heard projections that if Al Gore and the extremists get their way electricity costs would increase approximately 50%, this would kill the economy. Also, it would severly hurt people on fixed incomes. It would also limit people's ability to buy the type of car they want. Forget about towing anything, about hauling a heavy payload.

Why isnt the movie, the "Great Global Warming Swindle" (can be found on google video) being shown to school kids? Why arent people being told the other side of the issue. I thought liberalism was about openess.

I guess global warming only started during the Bush years, because I do not recall hearing much about it during Clinton.

I am all for protecting the evnironment, and for finding alternative sources of fuel. But I do not think the technology is here yet to make it condusive to our lifestyle here in the U.S.

But this is not about the enviroment, it is about socialism and politics.

James Rowen said...

Anon - - What you are missing is that scientists, for years, have been studying the relationship between human activity and warming that affects changes in climate, and related phenomena, like ocean levsls, snow melt, disease patterns, and so forth.

And after decades, thousands of scientists have reached a level of consensus that is unprecedented on these relationshipw.

This isn't about socialism or some of the other stuff you are talking about.

It's about interpreting the best science we have and making the best use of it, mainly for generations on the way.

As the stories about the development of these international reports have pointed out, there is give and take on the documents right up to the moment of their release.

But the consensus/bottom line is opposite to where you are, and as I wrote, far deeper and worth considering that the snide superficiality of talk radio.

James Rowen said...

To Silent e:

In past warming cycles, people now numbering in the billions weren't buring coal by the millions of tons for generations, and releasing more gases from more millions of tailpipes.

The scientific method is taking that into account - - but some people have removed that from their equations, aina?

Anonymous said...

I have a 5,500lbs boat/trailer and a SUV to tow it. There are no Hybirds out that can tow this much. What should I do, just sell my boat and SUV? There are many people in my situation. Al Gore would say that I am contributing to global warming and I should get rid of them. But doesnt Al Gore live in a multi-million dollar mansion with a heated-pool?

James Rowen said...

To Anon - - I don't go around telling people to do things like sell your boat, etc. We all do what we can do, we make adjustments, if we want to.

I'm amazed at how fixated some people are on Al Gore. As I understand it, he pays extra for electricity generated through renewable sources and buys what are called carbon offsets.

Anonymous said...

No, you might not go around and tell people that they should do this or that, you want the Government to do this for you. Which is basically what will happen if increased regulations are passed. People will be forced to sell their boats, RV's and horse trailers, because either they will not be able to find a vehicle to tow them, or the taxes will be so high they will not be able to afford it.

The reason why people focus on Al Gore, is because, he is telling people how they should live their lives, but he does not practice what he preaches. He purchases carbon offsets, from a company that he is an investor in. I would think that if he were a true believer in his cause, he would live a totally carbon free life, without purchasing carbon offsets. But I guess he would have to sell his mansions, and not fly private jets.

I have more respect for Ed Beagly Jr., who seems to practice what hs preaches,then I do for Al Gore.

Silent E said...

The global warming alarmist are relying on concesus. If the hypotheses that are formed about global warming are not supported by the test results, the hypothesis is disproven. By omitting portions of the data collected to come up with a desired result you have skewed the interpretation of your result, rendering the scientific method null and void. If you get enough scientist involved to accomplish the goal of a desired result, you will have a concensus of scientist who agree upon a flawed method. Shutting out scientist who disagree just proves that the method is flawed and somebody is trying to cover something up to advance an agenda. This is wrong. You can't arbitrarilly decide when scientific method is applied. I do recall reading about a concensus of scientist who, like the warming alarmist, were quite positive the world was flat. The last time I checked, that too had been disproven. I, again, am not saying warming isn't happening. I'm saying that it's a natural part of the earth's life cycle and there's nothing we can do to stop it. One last question. What is the optimum temperature of the earth?

Anonymous said...

This "is" about socialism. If the US completely stopped burning fossil fuels, the atmosphere will continue to rise for 50-100 years according to Al Gore et al. However, political hay can be harvested, now, this very minute.

Global warming is nothing more than another plank in the Liberal/Democrat platform as a "new" issue to capitalize on.

Al Gore's phony carbon credits amount to tranferring a dollar bill from one's left pocket to the right pocket. Why does he not try turning off the light switch and lowering the thermostat to 68`F? Or taking a commercial flight?

Talk radio is not the only superficiality going on here. People like Gore will show up for a media event in a rented hybrid while he still owns an SUV and a personal jet. In contrast, there's a Camry hybrid in my driveway. I put my money where my mouth is.

True conservatives "conserve" natural resources, liberals tend to exploit them for political purposes. The environment and Lake Michigan are every bit as precious to me as they are to you. The Radio Ranger's yammering is more interesting than Rowen's.

Mark from Germantown