the finest minds of our time at work educating the public

As I've said earlier, I've been reading George Monbiot's book Heat. It's a wonderful, informative, no-nonsense book, telling us in no uncertain terms that we have to change the way we live, and that many of the changes are going to be unpleasant and uncomfortable. On the plus side, less people will die from starvation and we might actually still have a functional ecosystem in 100 years. It's not a feel-good message, but it is what we need to hear and what we need to act on.

But even so, it's no wonder the climate-change message isn't getting through when you see the unbearable daftness with which it is handled in the mass media. Look at this YouTube clip of him debating the Heathrow camp with Labour MP Khalid Mahmood. At the end the interviewer says - I swear, this is a direct transcription:
Q: The government's chief scientific officer said that there is no bigger problem than climate change. Presumably you would think the terror threat is as big?

Mahmood: The terror threat is as big, but it's more immediate.
At which point the IPCC all showed up and the following scene took place:
IPCC: Are you crazy? As big? As big my ass.

(they thrash Mahmood and the interviewer with the IPCC report and the Nobel Medal for not knowing what they are talking about. Cries of "less people die of terrorism than all this other stuff, already to start with!", "we're talking global starvation, to begin with!", "and what's all this about a 'discussion' on climate change, there is no discussion on climate change!" and other expletives and insults.)
One wonders first how they sleep at night, second, exactly how ravaged the world would have to be in order for the press to start taking their moral responsibility to inform the public seriously. I'm starting to think more and more of the terrorism threat as a media phenomenon than actual violence. This isn't to say that terrorism isn't dangerous or real. Just that the figure terrorism has come to represent in public discourse as an absolute opposition to our civilisation is wildly disproportionate to its threat. The amount of resources and manpower being spent talking about and thinking about terrorism obscures the real problems killing people around the globe.

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Blogger mrtn said...

I'm dangling a lot of modifiers these days. By "they" in the last paragraph, I mean the clueless idiots in the studio, not the IPCC.

October 26, 2007 3:10 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

I blame the amerikanosh.

October 26, 2007 11:19 pm  
Blogger Mikkel said...

BTW: "A man who urinated on a woman as she lay dying and shouted "this is YouTube material" has been sentenced to three years in prison."

October 26, 2007 11:27 pm  
Blogger mrtn said...

I knew I shouldn't have clicked that link. Hang on, let me just blog this.

October 27, 2007 12:13 pm  

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