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.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Now for some Vidal facts.....

The rather Eeyore-like 'Environment' page in the 'Society Section' of the Wednesday Groaniad is very much an in-house church magazine for a tiny group of self-reverential Environmentalist Evangelicals. With somewhat heavy-handed humour, Pastors Paul Brown and John Vidal, the editors, like to parody there any poor soul or organisation that hasn't yet signed up to the 39 articles of the environmentalist faith.

Today, however, Barry Hearn over at Junkscience parodies them back with a vengeance. Here then are, first, the smirky 'Eco sounding', followed by Barry's neat riposte:

Eco sounding: 'Hot air' ((John Vidal, The Guardian, August 11) - "Two misleading statements, but where do they come from? First: "95.5% of carbon dioxide emissions come from nature ... only 3.5% come from man ... and of that only 13% of that from cars." And: "German and Swiss scientists reckon that ... global warming might have something to do with the fact that the sun is burning more brightly than it has for the last 1,000 years." The answer? The BBC's Top Gear motoring show."

Barry: "Well, we believe the figure is actually about 4% for anthropogenic CO2 emission John but, apart from such a minor figure discrepancy, what's your point? There have certainly been several announcements in recent months concerning solar irradiance, some stating explicitly that it's currently at its brightest for 1,000 years. That the source of the planet's warmth might have something to do with the sun is hardly misleading. How sad that the Beeb's motoring scribes seem so much better informed about the planet than The Guardian's environment editor."

Boom! Boom! And remember, John, it is a philosophical error to assume that the truth-value of any statement depends on where it is published - even on 'Top Gear'! Or, of course, in The Gloomiad, for that matter!

Philip, in top gear himself (new T-shirt actually). Tea?

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

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