What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 9, 2009

Time For School

Go check out this piece by Matt Osborne at the Huffingtonpost. From his opening:
Nontroversy feeds on empty, twisted brains. In this case, a general unfamiliarity with the language of scientific banter allows the "climategate" nontroversy to overwhelm the consensus on global warming. That consensus is built on literally hundreds of thousands of studies at this point; and indeed, the stolen emails contain a wealth of proof that temperatures are rising. Yet the media stovepipe magnifies, even invents, discrepancies and minimizes evidence, even as the ice melts.
He describes 5 stages (here are the first three):
Viral Stage: The emails were posted on climate denial sites first. Note that nontroversy never begins in a neutral forum; the wingnutosphere is always the platform for launch. It is the vector of viral memes. This achieves two objectives: (1) it produces the maximum spread of this "news" before anyone can rebut or debunk it, and (2) reinforces Teh Librul Media™ meme with every passing hour that CNN, ABC, CBS, the NYT, et al fail to screech in chorus.
Then there's:
Larval Stage: Faux Noise -- the right-wing media world that includes both the Daily Mail and Fox News Channel -- runs the story. Scientific literacy is eschewed in favor of banner headlines, forming a feedback loop with the wingnutosphere.... Note that (1) right-wing media is still responsible for spreading the nontroversy, and (2) Teh Librul Media™ meme is ever-present. Indeed, the wingnutosphere demands it.

There is still no actual science in the discussion. Nontroversy always focuses on the human factor and implies the worst.
We can include Richard Mellon Scaife's circle-jerking Op-Ed page in this stage, of course. Next:
Pandemic Stage: "Liberal" mainstream media organizations now run the "facts" and narrative pre-established by the right wing noise machine as one side of a controversy.

In its effort to show "both sides" and report that controversy, the one thing CNN does not report is the actual science of climate change. The public is left with the impression, however unjustified, that scientists have probably done something wrong, and denialists are given exactly the "fair hearing" they don't get from scientific journals.
This part should be familiar to anyone who followed the "controversy" regarding the conflict between Evolution (ie science) and Creationism/Intelligent Design (ie not-science).

It's a good read.


albamaria30 said...

Love Teh Librul Media™ and the wingnutosphere.

And the science! That's what I keep waiting to hear from conservatives. All I keep hearing is the word 'hoax' and I'm like, okay, sell it to me. Educate me.

And they can't do it. I am amazed that people just lap this stuff up instead of doing research on their own.


Matt Osborne said...

albamaria30, that is quite the point of nontroversy. It is a rejection of science for a political narrative. It is the politicization of science, and it is a strategy.

Yes, I'm the guy who wrote the article linked here, and it's incredible how the same trolls insist again and again that climate is cooling but offer no evidence. Which is just as well, because they were debunked a long time ago - they've got nothing.

Heir to the Throne said...

As opposed to the stages of defending a progressive narrative.
**--For purposes of this item, I'm assuming we're reaching the next-to-final stage of the natural progression in cases like this: 1) Too horrible and shocking; it can't possibly be true; 2) It's not true; 3) You can't prove it's true; 4) Why are you trying to prove it's true? 5) It's disgusting that you've proved it's true; 6) What's the big deal anyway? ...

EdHeath said...

HTTP, are you saying that anyone is saying that the Jonathan Edwards controversy was anywhere near as important as global warming? Are you offering some evidence about the state of research or consensus concerning global warming?

Granted the media, liberal blogs and I suppose liberals in general were slow to address the Edwards affair. The thing is, by the time it came out Democratic voters had already decided Edwards was not a good candidate for President. Now his political career is largely over.

Regardless of all that, I assume your off topic comment means you agree that the latest conservative accusations that global warming is a hoax are themselves baseless.

Heir to the Throne said...

David posted a list of stages of how the VRWC "swiftboats" a progressive narrative.

I posted a list of stages of how progressive talking points evolve to defend the narrative they are trying to established turn out to be false.
John Edwards is just one example.

I still look at global warming/climate change alarmists claims with a skeptical eye.

EdHeath said...

HTTP, I understand the connection you are making, although I think it is pretty tenuous. Isn't it interesting that the "VRWC" uses misinformation to attack progressives, while progressives try to defend their own views for themselves with questionable statements.

As for your skepticism, you might consider that the National Academy of Science, the National Research Council, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society as well as various other nations' academies of science all agree that that the evidence that there is global warming is strong, and that the evidence that it is caused (or at least augmented) by human activities is also strong. The idea that the notion of human affected (probably caused) global warming is a hoax seems increasingly remote. Now, we can certainly debate the best ways to address this situation. But suggesting there is any reason to be skeptical about global warming will cause people to question your intelligence, and marginalize you in the debate over solutions.