A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Thank you Lord Hutton.....

I am deeply in Lord Hutton's debt. He has achieved the impossible. He has managed to disinfect the British Sunday press and the media of the persistent virus of environmentalist hype. No more 'W32/Ourdoom@mm' with my cornflakes!

This morning, breakfast was a peaceful affair, untroubled by the ending of the world, by asteroids, by 'global warming', by GM monsters, or by anything else from the modern panoply of angst and affectation. Sheer bliss! I could get on with my life, without the worryworts curdling the milk or sending me into to groans of incredulity. "I don't believe it!"

Instead, of course, we could tramp through more hectares than subsidised by the EU on journalists written by (yes, you've got it!) journalists. Indeed, there appears to be no topic more sacred to a journalist than that of 'journalists', especially, of course, 'wronged journalists'. The luvvies can't get enough of themselves. And what sensitive little bunnies they are proving to be. Luckily, however, I don't have to read this stuff, not living in Islington or East Anglia (Islington-on-Sea).

Of course, if Hutton had written what the journalists all 'knew' he would/should write, the man would have been canonised in the largest and most florid of fonts. Instead, with fastidious, be-gloved hands, he has upturned a dark stone under which the reptiles have been living, untouched by sunlight, for far too long. Now, shedding their tails in urgent defence, they are running around the newsprint compost heap, tongues dripping venom. It is not an edifying sight.

We were told, over and over again, to wait for Hutton. What a fine and impartial man he was! Now that he as shown himself to be precisly this, he has been instantly transmuted into an establishment patsy or a fool. It won't do! The image of so many journalists writhing in agony like the most operatic of Italian footballers ("Youa can'ta meana mea, Ref!") is pathetic (especially when they have just scored a spectacular own goal). The referee has blown his whistle and has shown the yellow card. Take it like men, and get up and play the game. After all, you expect so many of your own 'victims' to do precisely that. It is time to learn the adult game of being able to take criticism, not just to dole it out from beneath the stone.

Still, I don't mind the writhing for a little longer. No doubt, we shall all too soon be trundling off, yet again, to hell in the 'global warming' or GM handcarts. But thanks, Lord Hutton, for daring to call the reptiles' bluff. You are indeed a just and saintly man. A hype-free Sunday - I must make the most of it.

Philip, having a happy Sunday. "A day without ecohype/Is a day without tripe!"

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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