Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Call this “balance”, Fairfax?

In its desperate search for “balance” on a climate change story, Fairfax has decided to give oxygen to the deluded world view that says that climate science is a conspiracy to rule the world by a cabal of banks.

Not only that, but this unbelievable assertion closes a story unchallenged. Here is the story: Climate change sceptics unwarmed by scientist’s reassessment of cold facts.

And here’s the relevant quote:

“Mr Roberts [of the Galileo Foundation] said climate change science had been captured by "some of the major banking families in the world" who form a "tight-knit cabal".

“Mr Roberts said he understood that the group's views might sound strange, but claimed they were increasingly popular. "It does sound outlandish," he said. "I, like you, was reluctant to believe it [but] there are significant things going on in Australia that people are waking up to".”

Ignoring the notion that the “popularity” of a view has anything whatever to do with reality, this kind of conspiracy theorizing simply isn’t news. Unlike a climate scientist who has the misfortune to have a journalist call, Mr Roberts is not challenged, asked to provide evidence, or answered by any reasonable voice.

The sole fact in the Galileo Foundation quote is the fact that Mr Roberts said something – and that is not sufficient foundation for the inclusion in the story.

I can’t blame the author, Ben Cubby, for this. There’s some policy set by some editor who has an eye to current and future employment … you know the story.

My only hope is that by quoting kooks, Cubby is trying to punk the system: to hold up the Galileo Foundation to the public ridicule it so richly deserves. That’s a pretty faint hope, but it’s the best I have.


Juha said...

I would imagine Ben Cubby is presenting Galileo's argument as-is, so as to show it (or them) up for what they are... patent nonsense.

Michael Marshall said...

I think Ben Cubby gave Malcolm Roberts just enough journalistic rope to hang himself and the entire denier movement - I am a Canadian and this story will make big waves here , particularly as some of the biggest names in North American in the denier business are themselves children of Jewish parents who FLED Hitler and all this talk of Zionist protocols.....