Often they have to really stretch to create "news" that supports the narrative. Yesterday is a case in point.
The story was about a "panel discussion" that was part of "Public Health Week," a weeklong seminar/symposia put on by the Oregon Department of Human Services. The event itself is a perfect example of useless government activity. Governor Kulongoski issued a proclamation declaring April 7th to 13th to be Public Health Week, and the bureaucrats then get to have a conference so they can listen to each other pontificate about ways to empower themselves.
So of course, the government bureaucrats decided that the single most pressing "public health" issue of the day was ..... not sexually transmitted diseases, not Type II diabetes, not methamphetamine abuse, but (drumroll please) ..... global warming!
The theme for the week is: "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance".
The story reported in The Funny Paper was about the panel discussion by a gaggle of certified smart folks who claim that a warmer Earth will create a health crisis. Read the story - it zigs and zag from the absurd to the easily refuted, then back to the ridiculous.
Featured in the story is Dr. Mel Kohn who tells about the public health disaster that will surely happen if the Earth heats up. More deaths from heatstroke. More allergies, because ragweed and poison ivy thrive on CO2. (Guess what? ALL plants thrive on CO2!) He said diminished snowpack means more wildfires and less water for farmers. (Meanwhile, record snow levels in Oregon's mountains!)
But the best part was the scariest thing I have ever read about the danger of global warmng: specter of spoiled potato salad at our picnics! Oh. My. God. He actually said: "If there's more sun, we're probably gunna see more spoiled potato salad." Sacre Bleu!
The solution to this crisis? You would have never guessed it. Honestly, who would predict that the crisis can be averted by "getting people out of their cars?"
I mean, what are the odds? Here we have a brand new risk to our health, and the solution just happens to be precisely what all the certified smart people have been advocating for years and years! They really ARE smart!
The Funny Paper did its sworn duty reporting this non-news event, without, as usual, so much as asking a single skeptical question. Such as: "Are there any positive health benefits to a warmer climate?"
It would seem that this would be an obvious question to anyone who was making claims that global warming was a huge public health problem. The panel itself, stacked with folks like Rex Burkholder and other members of the choir could hardly be expected to actually discuss the issue honestly - they have an obvious agenda, and the entire even is centered around giving them a forum to advance it.
But if we had a real newspaper rather than a propaganda sheet, we would have a reporter writing the story to whom it might occur that there might be a skeptical question or two to ask.A reporter who might actually look into the issue that was being discussed, and who might find, if such a reporter was actually serious about being a journalist, the following:
- A study by Stanford researcher Thomas Gale Moore found that warmer temperatures were related to lower mortality rates, not higher. Lots of reasons for this, one being there are far more col-related deaths than heat-related deaths.
- A 1999 book called "The Impact of Climate Change on the U.S. Economy" found that warmer temperatures would increase GDP, due to more productive agriculture and recreation sectors.
- Many other positive benefits from warmer winters: fewer highway deaths, lower heating bills, reduced energy needs, more usable land, and a slew others.
But I had to search high and low to find this stuff. Couldn't really expect a journalist to do that kind of research on deadline. After all, it took hours and hours to type "benefits of global warming" into Google, and find all of these things on the very first page.
Is there any doubt whatever that The Funny Paper is simply a propaganda sheet?