Dec. 18, 2004
by David KopelThe Good News is the Bad News is Wrongwas the title of a 1984 book by Ben Wattenberg, arguing that - contrary to the incessant pessimism of the media - social science data showed that life was getting better in America. Twenty years later, the media persist in telling their audience that the glass is half-empty.
Consider, for example, global warming. Scarcely a week goes by without the Rocky Mountain Newsor The Denver Postrunning a story announcing that human activity is the prime cause of global warming, and unless drastic environmental restrictions are promptly imposed (a favorite media solution for almost everything), disaster is nearly certain.But the story told in sources such as CO2 Science Magazine(www.co2science.org) is more complex. For example, did you know that global warming is also occurring on Mars, where the polar ice caps have been melting? The Martian trend is obviously not the fault of Americans driving SUVs, and implies planetary warming trends may have much more to do with fluctuations in solar rays than with human activity.
On planet Earth, according to CO2,from about A.D. 800 to 1250, there was a warming trend, and temperatures were approximately as high as they are today. A cooling trend followed, known today as The Little Ice Age. Around 1700, a new warming trend began, and that trend continues today. Obviously the existence of these trends contradicts the theory that contemporary warming must be mainly caused by man-made emissions of carbon dioxide.
ThePosthas repeatedly touted (most recently on Dec. 15, in a New York Timesarticle) a new climate report which claims that humans are the major cause of warming trends in the Arctic. What the newspaper accounts omit is that the report's own charts show overall Arctic temperatures are now at about the same level as in 1940, since temperatures fell in the Arctic subsequently.
Among scientists who are making careers with warnings about global warming (such as the U.N.-approved scientists who were invited to last week's global warming conference in Buenos Aires, covered in the Newson Dec. 15 and in thePostthe next day), there is a consensus in favor of the media's dire position. But it's important to recognize that the scientific consensus has often been wrong, especially when it involves issues with implications for human behavior.
Although the solar-caused warming trend is unstoppable, it will likely make life on Earth even better than it is now, says CO2.
Human longevity will improve, because there will be fewer deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, which tend to occur when the temperature is cold.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide not only helps food grow, it makes food better, by stimulating plants to produce substances which protect humans against cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
If you don't think that the Iraq war has been an unmitigated disaster, then you're irrational, claims Newscolumnist Paul Campos ("At the breaking point," Dec. 7, and "Who killed Cody Wentz?" Dec. 14). As a columnist, Campos was merely articulating, in an especially blunt way, the general view of the mainstream media. And if all you knew about the Iraq war came from the international news sections of the Newsand Post,you might agree.
But left out of the news articles is most of the good news. For example, the papers did report that Mahmoud Abbas, the leading Palestinian presidential candidate, called for an end to the Palestinian war against Israel. Omitted from the articles was the fact that one of their prime sources of financial support for the terrorist war, the regime of Saddam Hussein, is gone.
Thanks to weblogs, you can read the actual views of real Iraqis, rather than relying only on Western reporters who don't speak Arabic or Kurdish. The Iraq Blog Count ( www.iraqblogcount.blogspot.com ) provides a consolidated list. While Iraqi bloggers have never been shy about criticizing what they see to be errors of the American occupation or about arguing Iraqi politics, the vast majority of them are delighted that the Saddam regime is gone, and that free elections are near.
The most influential of these weblogs is Iraq the Model ( iraqthemodel.blogspot.com ). Australian blogger Arthur Chrenkoff ( www.chrenkoff.blogspot.com ) specializes in reporting the good news from Iraq and Afghanistan that the traditional media ignore.
A new Spanish-language television station going on the air in Colorado next month - Azteca Colorado/TV Azteca - is named after the mass murderers who ran the largest human sacrifice and cannibalism cult in history. Spanish-speaking societies have so many good things worth honoring, it is disgraceful that McGraw-Hill chose to name the station after an evil empire which did not speak Spanish, but which did rip the hearts out of living children, based on the monstrous belief that nothing more pleased the gods than the tears of children being tortured to death.