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.

Friday, October 21, 2005

South Park beavers away at 'global warming'.....

Oh me! Oh my! Where would we be without South Park, without Stan and Cartman? On October 19, the latest release took on 'global warming'. Here is the Press Note from Comedy Central:
South Park Episode 908: South Park X image"Global Warming is determined [great way of putting it!] to be the cause of the massive flood that destroys a neighboring town. It's a brand new episode of 'South Park' entitled 'Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow', premiering Wednesday, October 19 at 10:00 p.m. on Comedy Central.

The world's largest beaver dam breaks and the waters overtake the adjacent town of Beaverton. As the victims wait for help to arrive, everyone in South Park tackles priority number one: who is to blame? The President, the mayor, scientists, the press and even the flood victims themselves are all busy pointing fingers. Only Stan and Cartman know who's really at fault." [Illustration from South Park X: reproduced with permission. No copying or downloading please.]

Just wonderful.

At NewsBusters (October 20), we get the full low down, and, of course, it is Stan Marsh and Eric Cartman themselves who are the real culprits, accidentally crashing a boat into the beaver dam, flooding the entire town. In the aftermath, however, local and national media blame it on 'global warming', ridiculously overhyping the extent of the damage, making up stories of rape, murder, and 'cannibalism', and telling tall tales about 'hundreds of millions' of deaths... in a town of 8,000 people.

Sound all too familiar? Then here, from the script, is a tiny piece of dialogue which takes an excoriating side-swipe at the dreadful reporting of Hurricane Katrina:

"Tom the anchorman (South Park Evening News): 'Peril, crisis and fear tonight as what appears to be a massive flood has overtaken the town of Beaverton, Colorado, home of the world's largest beaver dam. Earlier today, a break in the beaver dam which protected the town broke open, trapping people in their houses and destroying their lives.'

Mitch, the reporter: 'Tom, I'm currently ten miles outside of Beaverton, unable to get inside the town proper. We do not have any reports of fatalities yet, but we believe that the death toll may be in the hundreds of millions. Beaverton has only a population of about 8,000, Tom, so this would be quite devastating.'

Tom: 'Any word on how the survivors in the town are doing, Mitch?'

Mitch: 'We're not sure what's exactly going on inside the town of Beaverton, Tom, but we're reporting that there's looting, raping and, yes, even acts of cannibalism.'

Tom: 'My God, you've actually seen people looting, raping and eating each other?!'

Mitch: 'No, no we've haven't actually seen it, Tom. We're just reporting it.'"

Oh me! Oh my! Again! I think some British television reporters reading this should be very, very ashamed.

You know, I am increasingly of the view that the best way to kill off 'global warming' hysteria is not science, not politics, not economics, but good old fashioned ridicule and satire. Time for an anti-environmentalist Gillray, Cruikshank, or Rowlandson, I deem - but, of course, we already have the gloriously-funny South Park, now in its 9th Series. Enjoy.

Philip, "I'm going down to South Park, gonna have myself a time/Friendly faces everywhere, humble folks without temptation/Going down to South Park, gonna leave my woes behind/Ample parking day or night, people spouting,'Howdy neighbor!'/Heading on up to South Park, gonna see if I can't unwind..." Coffee first, of course.

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

WWW EnviroSpin Watch

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?