Saturday, February 03, 2007

It's not news because it didn't fit

In a post below I show a link to a useful analysis of the IPCC report. It shows lower rates of sea level rise, and lower temperature predictions. Significantly, the discredited hockey stick curve has been quietly withdrawn, although not apologized for.

You'd think that if predictions of a long-feared catastrophe were scaled back, that would be a major part of the story, maybe the biggest part. But (and correct me if I'm wrong) every major news story was "the science is settled" + "we're doomed" = "politicians reluctantly agree to act to save the planet".

I would have hoped for "Sea level reprieve" and "Latest study shows we have more time", the kind of good news that people with a serious problem crave. In my world, hope sells better than doom and gloom.

But in Canadian journalistic circles, the inconvenient truth is that the conclusions of the latest IPCC study could no longer be supported by the very models and measurements that they were relying on for the previous one. The conclusions that we were told we should take very very seriously, the precious results that drew catcalls of "denier" when questioned five years ago, didn't hold up to the real world or even the oversimplified Lego-world of general circulation models that have become the main focus of the IPCC.

What's worse, because the news got better even though no one changed his CO2 emitting ways, there might be a shred of hope amongst the lumpenproletariat that perhaps there was something at work beyond CO2 emissions, and my goodness, one certainly can't have that kind of thinking getting loose out there.

So, a curious phenomenon. The best news we've had in five years. And you can't find it in the broadsheets or on TV. Why IS that?

No comments: