Friday, December 14, 2007

May, perhaps, might, could.

(This is the last time I'm going to beat this horse. I promise...)

Yet another cover story in USAToday concerning global warming.

"Scientists: Global warming could kill off reefs by 2050."

A dire warning by "an international coalition of scientists" in an obscure journal says coral reefs, and by extention, the rest of the world, are doomed in 42 years.

The USAToday article, and undoubtedly the report itself is full of language that screams "Doomsday!" in one breath and couches the entire report in suppositive language and a host of "possible scenarios" ranging from complete-extinction-of-life-as-we-know-it to negligible-impact-life-is-good forecasts.

The News Media today loves this kind of stuff... It lets them do a little hand wringing and it sells newspapers or gives the talking heads something to wail about...

The scientific community loves this atmosphere of fear, because in the environment of "publish or perish" that is Academia today, you can write a report filled with twisted and massaged data, get published and because it is couched in the "may, might, perhaps, possible" language, they have no accountability.

Kind of like how the hurricane forecasters give dire warnings like: "we have the potential to see the worst season for devastating hurricanes in the last five decades!" - then they shrug their shoulders and say "we said 'potential' in our forecast. Sorry!" when there are a minimum of storms that year.

The final word from Uncle Jay:

Scientists don't "know" shit.

TBG, out-

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