Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Media and the Immorality Play

Our civilization is conducting an extremely risky science experiment with the chemical composition of the very air we breathe. The results are predicted to be overwhelmingly disasterous but we, as a society, have yet to accept the need for action.

The Knoxville News Sentinel's recent Citizen's voice feature was the source of much ridicule in my circle of friends, as we dismembered Pete Stevens irrational piece on climate change being a "Liberal" hoax. His lack of factual argument was obvious but there was a greater question that must be asked. Why do media outlets, such as KNS, give letters with glaring factual errors the same space as you do those that have been carefully checked and which provide references for verification? I'm referring to peer reviewed journals as opposed to the circular firing squads of conservative blatherers, whose quotations of each other go round and round and end up with a nonexistant basis in reality.

I think we can make fun of the outrageous claims all we want and nothing changes, unless we speak out. Those who understand truthful analysis must act to counter the hyperbole, wishful thinking, and fantasies of people like Mr.Stevens, whose main arguments consist of demonstrably false statements, which ultimately degenerate into the only real argument against climate change:

"Doing something will cost us money."

Was there ever a more immoral argument?...It's not even true!

But then there is the part that the Knoxville News Sentinel plays in this immorality play. Is there a greater immorality than giving voice to the irrational discourse of those who apparently do not care about our children's future, except to hope that their own die rich?

A news outlet that allows its pages to provide intentionally misleading information is shirking its Constitutional duty to inform the electorate. They would never allow someone to make the case that small pox was caused by demons, for instance. And yet they allow discredited information on something that will more than likely change life as we know it on this planet.

News outlets have allowed themselves to be pawns in the mass marketing of destructive ideas for long enough. I wonder how your editors can look themselves in the mirror. In more superstitious times, we might wonder if there was a reflection there.

After all, even If essentially all the scientists in the whole world could possibly make exactly the same errors in analysis, and we follow their advice and do something before it is too late to reverse its effects, it won't cost us much on average.

If we don't act now...It could cost us everything.

AS a subscriber to the Knoxville News Sentinel, I only ask that KNS be a vehicle for factual information. I would like to trust my newspaper's information. At present, I cannot. Our future is at stake here. It is important.

I use the analogy of the disasterously ill informed man who stood in the stairwell shouting through his bullhorn as the World Trade Towers burned,

"Go back to your offices, it's under control."

Those who believed him are dead, and now, The Knoxville News Sentinel is the bullhorn. Our world is on fire but it hasn't collapsed...




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