Posted On: Monday - December 26th 2016 8:09PM MST
In Topics:   TV, aka Gov't Media  Global Climate Stupidity
Here's what it comes down to, people: Although your writer has met a few very bright guys that were majoring in journalism back in the day, in general JOURNALISTS, aka NEWS REPORTERS, ARE NOT VERY BRIGHT PEOPLE!.
Now, back in the mid-90's, I still used to watch the over-the-air network news. NBC had 2 science reporters, and the younger guy actually was pretty knowledgeable. The other guy was worthless. Try to remember the last time you saw a story on Gov't media or local TV news that was on a field/area that you know much about - something that is YOUR THING. Didn't you feel like the story was so screwed up that you really needed to call the station or write a letter to keep people from getting misinformed by these knuckleheads?
Imagine, if you will, a "journalist" who is on the Global Climate DisruptionTM beat. This guy gets on-line to read a Climatology research paper from a journal. The only thing he will, or can, for that matter, read is the summary. This is usually 1-2 paragraphs that are perhaps 2-5% of the paper. The summary could be quite useful for another scientist who may want to find out if this is a paper worth reading to get information that would be useful to him. However, it's reading by this newsman will be less-than-useless. What he will not get any understanding of will be the assumptions made in the science, the parts about "... this will require more study to improve our data ...", "... more experimentation is needed here ...", "... our accuracy here has been improved only by use of some [fudge] factors, the origin of which must be determined by further observation", etc.
As pointed out facetiously in "What is Peek Stoopiditee?", mathematical results nowadays can be presented with beautiful (or scary, whatever you want) multi-colored, pseudo-3D curves that are very easy to make. However, Garbage in = Garbage out, nonetheless. In order to not put the blame on all of the scientists however, it is to be noted that the tolerance ranges of a mathematical model, and again, any caveats may be clearly stated, but, not in the SUMMARY!, because the summary cannot be a repeat of the entire paper. Therefore, our idiot journalist will not catch all of the information that would make him cautious to see these results as true predictions of the doomsday to come.
I truly believe that most of the scientists in even this highly-politicized field still try to be honest with the data. However, if Dr. So-and-So's paper gets mentioned on CNN and he gets calls from reporters and muckety-mucks from around the world, he's just not going to be too eager to tell them "hey, wait, not so fast - there's a whole lot of stuff that you didn't explain. This work isn't complete, you've blown it way out of proportion!" Well, to his credit, these people don't want to hear it anyway.
That's where the political agenda comes in to the picture. I'm done with this for the evening
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