I’m not an expert by any means, mainly because I am somewhat jaded when it comes to politics, but I try to be an educated, critical, and deliberate consumer of information, and don’t want to accept things as fact merely because “experts say” or “studies show” or “recent polling says” (read almost any Neil Postman book for a great explanation). As such, I have always been wary of global warming revolutionaries/alarmists/propagandists who say we need to revolutionize the entire world so that we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions – people who give no discussion of what devastating effects their ideals would have on the world’s economies.
I am all about environmental stewardship, don’t get me wrong. As a strong Christian, I take seriously the call to have dominion over the earth and subdue it, which includes being good stewards of the earth God has created. But where it gets touchy for me is when the media portrayal of global warming and Al Gore’s zeal for being in the spotlight get out of hand. They only gloss over proving that global warming is fact, while moving directly to how to revolutionize our cultures and societies (textbook example of propaganda). While the news media are not objective (especially American news media), they should at least have the intestinal fortitude to present both sides of an argument. Setting up straw-man arguments is not a valid point of persuasion.
What of the hundreds of studies showing that global warming is barely, or not at all, caused by humans? What of the studies showing that the earth goes through ecological and climate cycles of warmth and cooling? What of the studies that show the earth hasn’t warmed since 1998? How I wish both sides of the argument have accurately and objectively been shown in the media, but I know that is just a pipe dream.
Al Gore is now a front runner for the Nobel Peace Prize, to be awarded next week. He has done much for environmental awareness, which is a positive thing. But his award-winning documentary has been shown to have numerous factual and scientific errors, including exaggerating the estimations of rising sea levels (see below). He also takes a gas-guzzling, not-greenhouse-friendly jet to speaking engagements, and his mansion further shows that he isn’t about to give up his cushy lifestyle for the cause of being “green.”
Now I’m not saying that I have all the answers – I don’t. The liberal left wants to shove global warming down our throats in order to salvage their control on the American society, and the media is totally on the band wagon. Americans in general are lazy. Many people just accept issues without examining them, merely on the basis of “experts say” or “I saw it on the news.” Without being properly educated on both sides of the issues, and without objective, helpful information, Americans will latch on to whatever the latest intellectual or social fad is. John Dewey wanted to educate society to be better consumers of information, and wrote that the public needed to be properly educated in order to resist propaganda. His views have been criticized as too idealistic, and that might be so, but society would be better if people were better educated to be more careful consumers of media and information.
The Chicago Sun-Times ran an article today about Al Gore’s lack of response to critics of global warming. You can read the article here. In it, the article questions the “crisis” of global warming, and questions Gore’s zeal for alarmism – moving from defining the crisis to solving it so rapidly. The article closes by asking a rhetorical question – “If [Gore]’s wrong about rising sea levels, what else is he wrong about?”
Oh, to have this critical, cautious attitude in all our media. Oh, for the day when we are not in a fallen world where an alarmist exaggerator is the front runner for the Nobel Peace Prize. What would Neil Postman say? Ron Paul for president?