Today I am in New York on my publicity tour for Watermelons and as I sat at breakfast this morning, chomping on an Ess-a-bagel and reading Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics I found myself wondering – not for the first time – why it is that liberal-lefties manage to be so utterly wrong about everything.
“Because they’re stupid,” said a libertarian friend of mine.
“Oh come on, not all of them surely? A bit misguided, maybe but…” I protested.
“No really they’re stupid because they’re not interested in facts. They just want to construct their pretty little narrative about the world, regardless of whether or not it has any bearing on reality. And then they want to dump it on us. And ruin our lives. So not just stupid but evil too.”
Well, you know me: what a big-hearted, sensitive, caring, emollient kind of guy I am. I thought these words were harsh, really harsh. But that was before I saw this video.
It features Chris Matthews, one of America’s most popular liberal talk show hosts, talking to a liberal journalist from liberal blogsite Salon called Joan Walsh and another liberal journalist from liberal Rolling Stone magazine on the liberal politics programme Hardball. And guess what these liberals believe the problem with Climate Change is? Go on: think of the most stupid, reality-denying, fact-ignoring, evidence-torturing tosh anyone involved in the media could possibly have to say on the subject. (H/T Climate Depot)
Yes, that’s right.
They think that the naughty yellow pixies who pull the special, magic Climat-O-Levers which control the weather have been paid by evil capitalists with fat cigars in their mouth and $ signs on their pinstripe suits to make the world’s climate all horrid so that poor, underprivileged and disabled people and endangered creatures suffer – and that the reason we don’t know about it is because the media is run by evil Conservatives who want to keep this truth a secret.
Well, almost. What these liberal opinion-formers actually think – and you’ve really got to hand it to them: not even a lobotomised amoeba could beat them in a competition for dumbest creature on the planet, these three are absolute champs, Matthews especially, make no mistake – is as follows.
They think the main reasons for the public’s growing scepticism on Climate Change are 1. The media has been far too balanced on the subject and is not pushing the eco-message hard enough. 2. Big business is funding Climate Denialism. 3. Evil Conservatives – led by Evil Talk Show Hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck – are deliberately telling lies about Climate Change. 4. The Republican party is “anti-science”.
My favourite bit is the one where Chris Matthews, who I believe takes himself seriously as a journalist, declares: “I hate that even-handed, so-called objective journalism. You know, you can’t say something isn’t true if it’s true….”
Do you know, on that last point at least I totally agree with Chris Matthews. So let’s examine a few of the claims which he and his two guest liberal echo chambers made on Hardball.
1. The media under-reports climate change. Oh yes. That will explain, for example, the recent widely reported story Decline Of Oceans Worse Than Previously Thought – given unquestioning coverage everywhere from the Sydney Morning Herald, the New York Times and Time magazine to the BBC. Yet as research from Ben Pile at Climate Resistance shows, most of these experts offering their supposed expert views on the imminence of pelagic climate doom were in fact just an ad hoc group of activists from heavily politicised organisations like Greenpeace and Pew Environment Group. Such is the state of Environmental reporting around the world these days: it consists of little more than lovingly transcribed press releases from hardcore ecoloon pressure groups.
2 Jo Nova has estimated that the amount spent by government agencies, left-leaning charitable foundations and big business promoting “global warming” is approximately 3,500 times more than the amount spent funding climate change scepticism.
3. With notable exceptions such as Fox news, US conservative talk radio, the generally right-leaning blogosphere and one or two papers such as Canada’s National Post, the Wall Street Journal and the Daily Express (and increasingly, the Mail) there are few media outlets in the world which broadcast anything other than green propaganda. Far from being evil, the likes of Beck and Limbaugh are islands of truth in a (presumably doomed, increasingly acidified) ocean of lies. (I’d be interested if Matthews could produce some concrete examples of these “lies” that Limbaugh and Beck have told on climate change).
4. Would that be “science” in the sense used by Al Gore, as in the received wisdom of a self-selecting cabal of post-normal activist scientists who dominate organisations like the IPCC, the National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society. If so, then the Republican party is indeed “anti-science” because – with notable exceptions such as Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, of whom more in a subsequent post, very likely to be entitled “Mitt Romney prefers dog poop yogurt” – bases its scientific views on old fashioned virtues like rationalism, empiricism and open-minded, honest research rather than junk science dogma.
If we’re talking about science in the more old fashioned sense of the word as it might have been understood by, say Newton or Popper, rather than James Hansen or Al Gore, then no, the Republicans are not “anti-science.”