Do Your Research!

I just ran across this headline:  “Did Global Warming Really Stop in 1997?

The answer, as anyone who reads widely knows, is NO.  At least that’s what NASA, NOAA, the US military, and any number of climate scientists say.  But does that stop the Daily Mail from running such a story?

The answer, as anyone who reads widely knows, is NO.

Why?  Because they don’t care?  Because they don’t do their research–to use the great line from the BBC’s Sherlock?  Because they just want to stir up a few more temperatures–among their readers?

The Internet’s a great resource for information.  I googled these words:  British newspapers political orientation and found a website called Paperboy.  Here’s what this site says about The Daily Mail:

The Daily Mail is a British, daily middle market tabloid newspaper. First published in 1896 by Lord Northcliffe, it is the United Kingdom’s second biggest-selling daily newspaper after The Sun. It is currently owned by the Dail Mail and General Trust plc. The Daily Mail was Britain’s first daily newspaper aimed at the newly-literate “lower-middle class market resulting from mass education, combining a low retail price with plenty of competitions, prizes and promotional gimmicks”. It was the first British paper to sell a million copies a day. It was, from the outset, a newspaper pitched at women and is still the only British newspaper whose readership is more than 50% female. Politically the Daily Mail has a conservative slant. Its frequently sensationalist, conservatively biased headlines often provoke a strong reaction amongst the liberal leaning blogosphere who sarcastically label it the “Daily Fail”. As of May 2011 its online version is the most popular newspaper web site in the UK with around 64 million unique visitors for the month.

So, does The Daily Mail sound like a first rate source for information on climate change?  If you read widely–and critically, you know the answer.

Why do I suspect that in a world with greater knowledge, nearly instant communication, and myriad easily cross-referenced facts widely available, the percentage of magical thinkers is rising instead of falling?



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