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04 May 2007

Love to Lead Question 17 (Just for fun)

Ok so no prises for this question it's just for the fun of it, but why not?

Question - Is Global Warming a Media Myth?

My answer - Prophecy or Scare Mongering?

It’s always difficult these days trying to pick the fact from the fiction from the news. Sad to say even the BBC news waters down it’s facts so much it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. I’m sure if you asked them or any of the news papers they would tell you it is what their customers (we) want; that facts alone are boring. That may be true, certainly a hyped up story sells better than a cold report of facts alone but when it comes to really important stuff how do we actually know what to believe?

I get really annoyed when the press take it upon themselves to make up facts. A example of this was reported on the BBC1 lunchtime news only a couple of weeks ago. They showed us images of Hawthorn in flower. It was the middle of April and they were claiming this was a sign of global warming because the ‘nick name’ for this plant is the May Tree. This plant would probably been given this nick name over a thousand years ago when the temperatures in this country were certainly cooler than today. As kids my sister and I used to comment on what a silly name this plant had seeing as it nearly always seemed to flower in April! I’m sorry to say this was so long ago that no one had heard of global warming. OK so we do live in the South East where the climate is warmer but this was a really poor example and one that made me wonder how many other examples put up by the media were also rubbish.

The facts that I think we can take for granted are that our annual temperatures do appear to be getting warmer. Winter snow when I was a kid was something we could look forward to, now it is just a brief possibility. The south East of England has always been the driest part of the UK and yes we do seem to be having more ‘droughts’ but I think this is more due to the increase in demand for water here than the lack of rainfall.

One a global count I cannot say so I have to rely on what ‘experts’ tell me. It has been shown that as the Earth wobbles on its axis changes in global temperatures do occur causing ice ages and droughts every few thousand years and may be that is all this is. I think there might be something in that but I don’t think that is the entire story. As a species we do cause an increasingly large amount of pollution and I can’t see how we could expect to get away with that and think the world will just cope.

Unfortunately global warming is such an important subject we can’t afford to take chances. Get it wrong and ignore the warning signs and the damage we create for the future could be catastrophic with no way of putting it right. Act now to combat it and we could help prevent that. If it turns out later that the climate changed for natural reasons well, hey, nothing lost but in the mean time we learned to be less polluting.

Media hype in my opinion is undermining the campaign for us to clean up our act. There is a good work of fiction on this subject by Michael Crichton called ‘State of Fear’. Even though it is in itself total fiction it successfully highlights the need for us to separate fact from fiction in the media.

1 comment:

A Margarita said...

I agree with you 100%. The media certainly hypes things up; I certainly don’t consider them an unbiased news source. I LOVE Michael Crichton. I haven’t read that particular novella; I must pick it up. I never considered that possibility- the earth wobbling on its axis. In fact, I haven’t really read up on it at all to speak with any sort of authority. We’re probably going through some “wobbly” phrase that makes the global warming even worse than it is with our horrible overuse of natural resources