HANSEN, James. Top US climate scientist: "Today most media, even publicly-supported media, are pressured to balance every climate story with opinions of contrarians, climate change deniers, as if they had equal scientific credibility"

Dr James Hansen (born March 29, 1941) has been  the head of  the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center based in Greenbelt, Maryland and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is an eminent climate scientist and recently published “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity” ,a cogent plea to save the Planet from man-made climate change (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Hansen ).

 

Leading US climate scientist Dr James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, adjunct professor at 96-Nonel Laureate Columbia University and member of the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences, recently made the following pertinent comments about media bias in climate change reportage (2012): "Public doubt about the science is no an accident. People profiting from business-as-usual fossil fuel use are waging a campaign to discredit the science. Their campaign is effective because the profiteers have learned how to manipulate democracies for their advantage. The scientific method requires objective analysis of all data, stating evidence pro and con, before reaching conclusions. This works well, and indeed is necessary, for achieving success in science. But science is now pitted in public debate against the talk-show method, which consists of selective citation of anecdotal bits that support a predetermined position. Why is the public presented results of the scientific method and the talk-show method as if they deserved equal respect? A few decades ago that did not happen… Today most media, even publicly-supported media, are pressured to balance every climate story with opinions of contrarians, climate change deniers, as if they had equal scientific credibility. Media are dependent on advertising revenue of the fossil fuel industry, and in some cases are owned by people with an interest in continuing business as usual. Fossil fuel profiteers can readily find a few percent of the scientific community to serve as mouthpieces - - all scientists practice skepticism, and it is not hard to find some who are out of their area of expertise, who may enjoy being in the public eye, and who are limited in scientific insight and analytic ability.” [1].

 

[1]. James Hansen,  “Cowards in our democracies”, Part1, Columbia University, 27 January 2012: http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2012/20120127_CowardsPart1.pdf .  

Comments