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Global warming may be responsible for decreased readership of Newsweek 8/12/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Uncategorized.
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Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson chides his magazine for engaging in a questionable “moral crusade” against global warming. Personally, he believes the problem may not be solvable using available technology. But what particularly concerns him is Newsweek’s characterization of opponents as a “well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry [that] has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change.” And, he resents the way an individual like himself, who has doubts about manmade solutions, is “ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge” by his own magazine.

Samuelson is onto something, but he fails to recognize why Newsweek ridicules ideas like his. He is paying the price for deviating from the center-left tilt of a magazine whose current problems are less about global warming than its sunblindness to the harmful effects of its own worldview. The implicit view in Newsweek’s coverage of global warming – that man caused global warming and bad people are keeping us from fixing it – is a classic fit with Left thought. Left ideology includes the implicit belief that Man has unlimited potential to solve all problems (which is where Samuelson wandered off the plantation). And since Man can solve all problems, the Left also implicitly believes that Man is the cause of all problems. All of which leads to an impolite accusation: unless opponents are too ignorant or stupid to understand the problem, they must be benefiting from the problem, which means their opposition is at best selfish, and at worst mean or evil.

So, where does that leave the majority of Americans who, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center, do not believe that manmade global warming is a real problem? Will they continue to read a magazine that not-so-subtly insults them by suggesting they are ignorant, stupid, selfish, mean, or evil? If, like Samuelson says, Newsweek is indeed engaged in a moral crusade on global warming, at least they cannot be accused of acting in their own self-interests.

Comments»

1. Ed Driscoll.com - 8/12/07

Newsweek Editor: “Wonderful Read; Fundamentally Misleading”

Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters writes that “It appears hell hath frozen over”:It appears hell hath frozen over, for a Newsweek contributing editor published an article Saturday extraordinarily critical of his magazine’s cover story last week about “g…

2. Tarun K Juyal - 8/13/07

I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

3. bcjuyal - 8/13/07

I am a regular reader of your article. And I am very impress with your blog upon Global Warming. Now I am also write a blog upon effects and causes of Global Warming. This blog is collection of news & reviews like the study found that global warming since 1985 has been caused neither by an increase in solar radiation nor by a decrease in the flux of galactic cosmic rays. Some researchers had also suggested that the latter might influence global warming because the rays trigger cloud formation.

4. Top English WP Blogs « KHỦNG LONG IT - 8/13/07

[…] Global warming may be responsible for decreased readership of Newsweek Newsweek’s Robert Samuelson chides his magazine for engaging in a questionable “morale crusade” against global […] […]

5. nigel barlow - 8/14/07

Steve,

On a related subject don’t know whether you have seen GeGeorge Minbiot article in today’s Guardian where he looks at the ethical dilema fo newspapers in promoting anti climate change and relying on advertising from those doing the opposite

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2148074,00.html

It is an interesting question and a very dificult one I’m sure for the newspapers to answer.Without advertising revenue the newspapers will not exist,but where is the line drawn.After all nearly all advertising will in some way contribute to use of resources

6. Steve Boriss - 8/14/07

Nigel, I have 2 thoughts on this. First, I believe that as private entities newspapers have the right to ban whatever ads they like, and they do so at the risk of their own business and intellectual reputation. That said, the idea of banning certain ads and not others on the issue of carbon emissions seems pretty foolish to me, as every business activity emits carbon at difficult-to-measure levels. It is not clear to me on what basis it can be said that the airline industry, for instance, is a greater contributor then, let’s say, a soft drink manufacturer. To be a purist on this and not simply engaging in a symbolic act, newspapers would have to avoid all advertising and perhaps print their own energy-consuming papers on papyrus with natural ink, with their printers dressed in loin cloths.

Second, I believe that in general businesses should stick to their roles in a market economy — the things they understand and those for which they have responsibility to their shareholders. If societies believe that carbon emissions are a big problem, the proper forum for discussion and implementation is at the government level. I don’t have a problem with businesses engaging in voluntary compliance with their own standards or using it as a competitive selling point, but in general I do not think that newspaper shareholders are well-served by employees wasting time on something on which they have no expertise and which does not increase shareholder value.


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