Here's a perversely satisfying episode in the climate wars that makes one a bit ashamed to find it satisfying at all. It appears that in Australia, which one likes to think is among the more progressive, enlightened, and tolerant nations, there exists an office known as the media regulator. Australia also has on its air waves a talk radio man named Alan Jones who has often declared, colorfully, that global warming is a hoax. So the regulator has ordered Mr. Jones, with his decidedly loose way of making lists of truths, to undergo factual accuracy training.
Factual accuracy training for climate change deniers! Woo-hoo, yay, yippeee..hmmmm. Wait a minute, I am so ashamed. One of the prices of a free press is, how could I forget, the persistent encounter with idiots speaking out loud in public including in media. If it's really a mandatory requirement to keeping one's job in media, this codified factual accuracy requirement is sure to backfire on any free society's deeper purposes.
All this and more is recounted in an analysis and commentary at The Guardian by its columnist Leo Hickman.
No way is such a thing, toothless as it may be, going to be tried in the US any time soon. The Guardian provides the evidence that this really happened: Here is the ruling. Hickman uses it as a vehicle to discuss a few examples of similar, recent nonsense within the Fourth Estate - such as the recent story in the Daily Mail by provacateur David Rose declaring the global warming stopped 16 years ago, and that the evidence is right there in statistics that the UK's Met Office a while back released, quietly. Roses's interpretation of the Met's numbers was roundly debunked in UK as well as US press. The photo with this post is lifted from a site called climatecrock.com that runs it with the understated hed Another Daily Mail Fail: Met Office Politely says, Bugger Off you bloody, blithering Barmpot!
NIcely put as that may be, Hickman explains that such debunkery seldom completely undoes the harm done by original error (or deliberate mischief).
- Charlie Petit