I’ve just returned from a pleasant five day vacation in Florida where the news coverage is wall to wall arm waving about the upcoming Hurricane Season (at least when they weren’t celebrating the Gators victory over UCLA).
News anchors were wringing their hands that about an “expert” that predicted only thirteen named storms last year (which ended with a total of 27 names storms) is now calling for nearly thirty this season. Now I don’t know about you, but if I had asked an “expert” his opinion on something and they were off by 50% I wouldn’t be knocking down his door for the latest analysis. Or maybe he didn’t see the same reports that I had been hearing about since 2004 – that 2005 was going to be the start of a 20 year cycle of increased hurricane activity.
Obviously, each of these reports had to be followed up with stories about global warming so that viewers had no choice be to connect the two stories (i.e. global warming causes hurricanes) despite wide consensus that there are no links between the two. I guess the five minute story didn’t have time to include an analytical point of view.
Similar chicken little reporting was recently published in Time magazine where they tell you that over 50% of people believe that global warming is caused by human activity. Oddly enough there is no survey on what most scientists believe – I imagine it’s because they are too busy building emergency shelters to answer reporters’ calls.
When this is the quality of scientific study that the general populous is exposed to it is no wonder that everyone believes that Americans are falling behind the rest of the word.