Monday, July 29, 2013

The climate "debate" again

I don't need to waste space here on the absurdly thin gruel that passes for content of the Courier's weekend "point-counterpoint" on climate change. What I will focus on is the editorial choices that created it.
     Whether humans are causing catastrophically rapid change in our climate is a question that can only be answered by good science. Assuming the editors are not complete idiots, they know this. Yet to present the data on this question, which is vital to every human and every living thing on the planet, the editors choose Dennis Duvall and Glenn Helm.
     Neither of these worthy men claims any qualification to opine on climate science. I don't know more about Mr Helm, but Mr Duvall is locally famous as a peace activist who takes it to the limit, and for that he has a reputation among the local non-hippies as a nut. Neither argument includes any new idea, or new angle, or even readable prose. Neither addresses the argument of the other, as usual. Both are bumpy rides on personal hobbyhorses.
     The resulting pair of rants amount to a discussion of the issue based on a little media coverage, personal issues, and, from the uncommitted reader's standpoint, a lot of dubious faith. From your imagined seat behind the editor's desk, why in the world would you waste most of your Sunday op-ed page on nonsense no more informative than a Three Stooges short?
     I'm not one to easily ascribe malice where incompetence will do, but the level of incompetence required to achieve this level of quackery strains imagination. It has to be intentional, I'm afraid, and the intent is ugly.
     To get to this I can only infer that the editors mean to undercut the credibility of the question itself, saying in essence that the people talking about climate change are idiots and thinking about the issue is a waste of time. This goes far beyond editorial bias to something far darker and more subversive.
      Don't fall for it.