Now and then I must admit that the career politicians don’t produce bad laws based on bad thinking and venal motives all by themselves. They have help. Some of their enablers are in the media. If all you knew about global warming was what you read in Time magazine, you might think the earth was about to turn into a burning crisp.
A recent cover even featured our globe as the yolk of an egg sizzling in a frying pan. I find this kind of apocalyptic reporting to be egg-scrutiating. For example, the article says glaciers are retreating around the world, and blames our bad habit of carbon-dioxide-emitting industrialization, which in turn supposedly increases average global temperature. But as Paul Georgia with the Competitive Enterprise Institute observes, “the glaciers on Kilimanjaro mentioned in the Time story aren’t retreating due to higher temperatures, since local temperatures haven’t changed in that area.”
Georgia argues that temperature is only one of the factors that affect glacier movements. He points out other bloopers in the article too, which could easily have been avoided by an outfit with the resources of Time magazine. Despite the impression the media sometimes convey, there is no scientific consensus about the causes of global warming, the extent of it, or what the effects must be. But nuance and complexity can be a burden for those who have an agenda to promote, legislation to push, or grants to apply for. And that kind of non-objective rush to judgment can lead to a different kind of crisis.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.