Friday, July 21, 2006

Peggy Noonan: mistress of projection

because this op-ed is frickin' delusional. Either Peggy thinks all the hipsters are anti-science conservatives or she hasn't spent enough time contemplating the term "scientific consensus." Gag me with a spoon:
During the past week's heat wave--it hit 100 degrees in New York City Monday--I got thinking, again, of how sad and frustrating it is that the world's greatest scientists cannot gather, discuss the question of global warming, pore over all the data from every angle, study meteorological patterns and temperature histories, and come to a believable conclusion on these questions: Is global warming real or not? If it is real, is it necessarily dangerous? What exactly are the dangers? Is global warming as dangerous as, say, global cooling would be? Are we better off with an Earth that is getting hotter or, what with the modern realities of heating homes and offices, and the world energy crisis, and the need to conserve, does global heating have, in fact, some potential side benefits, and can those benefits be broadened and deepened? Also, if global warning is real, what must--must--the inhabitants of the Earth do to meet its challenges? And then what should they do to meet them?

Hey Peggy, ya know what the earth's inhabitants must--must-- do to meet the challenges of global warming? Listen to the f&%king scientists, that's what!
You would think the world's greatest scientists could do this, in good faith and with complete honesty and a rigorous desire to discover the truth. And yet they can't. Because science too, like other great institutions, is poisoned by politics. Scientists have ideologies. They are politicized.

Editorialists like P. Noon, however, have no ideologies and, thus, are not politicized. That's why they can take the complete and utter consensus of the scientific community and sweep it aside, having pierced through its facade and perceived it for what it is: a communist plot to undermine the automotive industry.
All too many of them could be expected to enter this work not as seekers for truth but agents for a point of view who are eager to use whatever data can be agreed upon to buttress their point of view.

Ah, yes, the great scientific liberal conspiracy, whereby the dastardly Ph.D's all get together and plan how best to insinuate liberal ideology into their findings, so that they might... uhh... err... *crickets chirping*... SCIENCE IS TAINTED!!!
And so, in the end, every report from every group of scientists is treated as a political document. And no one knows what to believe. So no consensus on what to do can emerge.

"Is treated." The passive voice is a great way to deflect blame by robbing verbs of their proper agents, in case "Peggy Noonan and other superbiased shills."

If global warming is real, and if it is new, and if it is caused not by nature and her cycles but man and his rapacity, and if it in fact endangers mankind, scientists will probably one day blame The People for doing nothing.

But I think The People will have a greater claim to blame the scientists, for refusing to be honest, for operating in cliques and holding to ideologies. For failing to be trustworthy. [emphasis added, to show the real choice picks of dumbassitude]

No Peggy, they're all going to have greater claim to blame you, for refusing to be honest and for holding to ideologies and failing to be trustworthy. You and hacks like you turn journalism on its head, spreading confusion instead of insight, lies instead of truth. You question the motives of disinterested experts and take the monied interests on their word. You shove the discourse as far to the right as you can, and then you call it "balance." Someday we may all pay dearly for your bias and incompetence, if you foil the best intentions of the scientific community by confusing the people into doing nothing.

1 comment:

matt crosier said...

cnn was running a story yesterday about congress calling for a group of scientists before them to discuss global warming. CNN ended the short piece by stating that scientists disagreed as to whether or not humans were causing the climate change. I sent them a nasty email. I do understand that scientists disagree. There is probably 1 for every 100,000 that think we aren't a cause, if that many. It would be nice if CNN would stop reporting it in a way that makes it sound like scientists are split. This is one time I would rather them treat an issue like a poll: an overwhelming majority of scientists name human activity as the primary cause of global warming. Write to CNN and let them know you aren't pleased. Maybe they will start reporting the situation accurately and, maybe, without a flood of disinformation, something can be done about this...