we are looking at a bunk tsunami, and the press seems absolutely obsessed with finding little bugs on the other side (a Grist article being a recent cause celebre, for God’s sake) and not pointing to the Mothra sized problems on the side of the so-called skeptics, whom most competent reporters on the beat know to be, for the most part, charlatans.
Yet, based both on the anecdotal evidence of my own ears and the polling evidence I have seen, most of the public doesn’t know this. And it’s not this or that article that is good or bad. It is the totality of the impression they have. Our complaint then is not with any individual reporter, but with the institution of the press in North America.
Never mind who’s being obsessed here. Let’s contrast this canard with an actual science-based perspective. It’s featured in today’s USA Today op-ed page. Here’s a nice sample:
Were hard data and cold logic all that mattered, any number of common personal behaviors would be long gone by now, from smoking to overeating. As any skilled public relations practitioner will attest, successful communication meets people on their own turf–by means that address emotions, fears, and values.
For those with open minds, read the entire column.
As Andy Revkin notes in his interview with the leader of the latter,
This group, while holding to traditional conservative values, has positions on energy and the environment that are substantially in sync with those of many Democrats and independents.
Now I would argue that the guys who have political juice within the Republican party are the traditional hook and bullet groups. They’re the ones that kept the Bush Administration from completely obliterating wildlife from the Western landscape in the 2000s. (Okay, some vigilant environmental groups played a role, too.)
These hunters and anglers are also worried about climate change. Of course, at the end of the day, they have as much sway over the GOP’s stance on global warming as the Republicans for Environmental Protection. But given the significant membership rolls of the Hook & Bullet groups, I’d say their collective voice is the one to pay attention to when it comes to conservatives and climate change.