15 March 2009

Top _____________ (Fill in the blank)

One of my favorite pick-me ups over the years was to walk through the checkout stand and see what was on the cover of the Weekly World News. This was (is?) a tabloid that takes neither itself nor its readers seriously.It is a magazine preoccupied with a child it claims is a hybrid of man and bat. In a move that presaged tabloid TV, and the way that genre has affected/infected regular news programming, the victim of any terrible accident that occurred was always reported as being a "Mom."

It was also in the Weekly World News that I learned that Aliens are political pragmatists, without any particular party loyalty.

But one of my favorite cover stories was the one pictured below. A copy of the front page hung on my office wall in Washington state for several years.
The article inside quoted several (10 if I recall correctly) individuals that I had never heard of, and even included their pictures. They were described as "top Bible experts."

Now the theological community is a big one, and so it is not surprising that I had not heard of one or two of these people being quoted, but the fact that I had heard of none of them surprised me some. But then this was a fake news story, and one of the ways I have come to identify fake news stories is the use of unnamed or unknown individuals who are identified as "top experts."

So while this article would not have surprised in the least if I found it at The Onion, or Scrappleface, or even in the Weekly World News, I showed my naïveté in that I was a little surprised to discover that the AP would begin a story,

COPENHAGEN – Top climate scientists warned Tuesday that sea levels could rise twice as much as previously projected as they presented the latest research on global warming.
Is it any surprise the story goes on to quote three guys, two of whom I've never heard of (the other I have reason to distrust), and I consider myself reasonably well-informed on "climate change" claims.

I think I'll dump AP and go back to reading the Weekly World News!

UPDATE: CNN has jumped onto this hyperbole train:
The world is facing an increasing risk of "irreversible" climate shifts because worst-case scenarios warned of two years ago are being realized, an international panel of scientists has warned.
Scientists tell us that several billion years ago the earth was caught up in a spate of volcanism which caused the atmosphere to resemble that of Venus, dark, gritty and toxic. Sixty-five mission years ago, an asteroid obliterated the sun in the sky and killed off most living things, including the most successful animal family of all time. About 730,000 years ago, the Earth's magnetic field shifted, again. The environmental effects are believed to have been dramatic, and it could happen again. As little as 100,000 years ago, the lot upon which my home sits was covered by as much as several hundred feet of ice.

All of these effects were overcome by nature's own mechanisms. And yet CNN claims that we are now capable of creating "'irreversible' climate shifts"!

The word "irreversible" is in quotes in the article, so it is apparently someone else's word. That would make its use acceptable if the article went on to comment that this is all speculative, and that it is not a unanimous, and perhaps not even a majority, opinion among scientists. But it does not. It serves as a piece of cheerleading for global warmism.

So the earth can overcome all the disasters that have come about is making, but we humans are going to do something that is a reversible!

Can you say hubris? I knew you could.

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