Climate Models Ignored by Media

Ars Technica is reporting an interesting article for science, I think. Researchers at George Mason University have looked at climate reporting in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today between 1998 and 2010 to see how often climate change models are referenced. The answer? A depressingly few number of times – 100 out of 4,000. Why does it matter? Well, how can anyone really understand the conclusions without at least understanding some of the methodology that went into the conclusion? Without understanding the utility of models in general and climate change models in particular, it is all too easy to cast aside climate change as junky science.

If you ask me, irrespective of the climate change debate, I fear we don’t do enough to explain the science behind the conclusions, particularly with highly politically charged issues like climate change. It seems a bit disingenuous to me that we would present one argument without explaining the logic behind it. It is then up to the reader to decide which argument makes more sense to them. At the very least, we potentially raise scientific knowledge among the general population, and that can’t be a bad thing.

One Comment to Climate Models Ignored by Media

  1. The failure to connect-the-dots in newspaper articles is a sad testimony to the power of ‘don’t rock the boat’ with regard to the political sensitivities of advertisers and the corporations who now own most large newpsaper chains. Even in San Francisco, local press and TV have dedicated significant recent coverage to the coming crisis of the City’s combined storm and sewer system (sea level rise, combined with settling and vibration from vehicular traffic, have made the [originally] 19th Century system now open to flooding from high tides several times a year) without stating the obvious connection to climate change…..

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