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.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Oh dear! Our bien-pensant 'journo bods' feel their concerns are being ignored..... Weep! Weep!

As somebody who normally admires the critical writings of David Aaronovitch (one of the few luminaries in the dark recesses of The Gloomiad), I was a tad disappointed by his piece today: 'We seem to be forgetting the big issue' (The Guardian, May 3):
"Missing altogether were the topics that we seem to have spent the most time arguing about: Iraq, and what most of us serious journo bods privately agree we should spend most of our time arguing about - the environment."

First, that risible, self-indulgent phrase: "serious journo bods". Yep, David, you precious few who know the truth about everything from Iraq to climate! By contrast, of course, the benighted electorate, the bedint, poor souls, wouldn't recognise a proper concern if it hit them. Unlike our self-regarding metro-elite, they are clearly suffering from false consciousness. Arrogant balderdash! I'm delighted that the public has shown the sound sense to ignore much of the middle-class media hype over environmental issues. Indeed, it has been one of the few blessings of this election campaign that the words, 'global warming', have hardly been uttered. That truly makes me warm to Tony and Gordon (who both surely noted that their ice creams didn't melt yesterday in Gillingham).

I was also sad to see David's piece falling into that classic Gloomiad trap - a touch of ageism:
"So nothing on climate change. And though it was true that most of those in the room will be dead long before their low-lying town is finally inundated, it was still rather shocking, given recent reports from the Arctic and the evidence that stuff is happening right now."

Look, David, we older bunnies have children and grandchildren, and we are most certainly concerned about the future. It's just that we've heard media scare-mongering throughout our lives and we have wisely learned to take it calmly and with an un-PC pinch of snuff. After all, during the last forty years, I have been threatend with an Ice Age, a nuclear winter, the collapse of world population, then a swarm of people, the collapse of world agriculture, etc., etc., ad nauseam. None of it, of course, has happened. This is why the down-to-earth British electorate has developed the innate good sense to ignore fashionably-journalistic ecohype.

Indeed, what is currently fascinating about the election is the fact that the Labour vote appears to be holding at around 40% despite the many pompous, and often much-touted, defections from Labour by our chatterati (just look at the bunch spouting off in the latest New Statesman for a stomach-churning sample). And the reason (well-argued by Peter Riddell in The Times today) - the solid Labour base knows a good thing when it sees it and ignores the media crap over Iraq and the environment.

So, no self-indulgent vote for the wet Lib-Dems, or the even-wetter Greens, from me: I'll stick with the less puffed-up, but far more reliable, Labour core (the Conservatives are just lamentable and not worth mentioning).

And David: you are normally a fine critical commentator. Please don't go soft and swallow the Gloomiad's daily dish of tripe and onions.

Philip, getting the beer in for a long Thursday night. Here's a summary of how the polls are going: Electoral Calculus.

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

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