Sunday, April 19, 2009

More gives us less


I used to believe that increased coverage of global warming in the main stream media would help turn the tide of public opinion. I smiled when I heard Brian Williams introduce a segment of the Nightly News with the phrase "Clean coal is an oxymoron."

I am no longer so optimistic. While the local Fox affiliate, KTVU (Oakland, CA) runs intelligent stories on global warming, they are not making an impression on the public. In fact, the number of people who think that global warming is linked to the actions of man is dropping, day by day with most believing that the warming we see is just part of the natural cycle of climate. These non-professional deniers seem to look at every down turn in the weather, every day that is not a record high temperature, as being further proof of their position.

When the scientific consensus about global warming is almost unanimous, when the major debates are about who to do to mitigate the problem, the only explanation for many is that the scientists are only saying what they say because that is the way to get grant money. In other words, that science has become so politicized that facts have become a matter for political rather than scientific discussion.

I am not sure how we turn this around because climate activism is itself a sort of proof of the notion that it is a political discussion rather than a scientific one. The Green Party should be foremost in offering solutions to the most serious problem we face as society, but we too, have not found the right way to do it. I hope some of you have a good suggestion.



3 comments:

Dave said...

Sorry for an off-topic comment, but have you seen Glenn Greenwald's coverage of the scandal involving Rep. Jane Harman, D-CA?

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/04/20/harman/

Apparently Harman is a major pusher of police-state policies. The CA Greens should run someone against her in 2010.

Wes said...

Well, Harmon won this race in 2008 as follows:
Jane Harman DEM 171,948 Percent 68.7%
Brian Gibson REP 78,543 Percent 31.3%

While the need is obvious, Greens have been singularly unsuccessful running Congressional races, especially in LA County where the Democratic Machine is very much in control. GP attention there, and the most attractive candidates, are all aiming at the State Assembly.

Dave said...

It's good to have your most attractive candidates running for state-level positions. If a decent Green standard-bearer could be found to run in the congressional race, it would be a good way to ensure that voters have a progressive option in the general election.

Perhaps Harman won't run, or will lose the primary in 2010. I wouldn't bet on it, though; corrupt politicians have a way of coming back again and again.