The Daily Mail’s Funhouse Story on Climate Change

By Keith Kloor | January 10, 2013 10:47 am

As Slate noted last year, the UK’s Daily Mail is “the world’s most popular online newspaper.” It’s not exactly a news you can use publication. Imagine if you crossed the New York Post (and its worst tendencies) with the National Enquirer and maybe throw in a splash of Weekly World News. That’s the Daily Mail.

So the headlines on any given day highlight the most heinous, bizarre, and ass-clownish aspects of humanity. Imagine a newspaper that covered the world as if it was one big freak show. That’s the Daily Mail.

Then there is its pseudo-serious side, where typists write stories about serious subjects, like climate change. It so happens that one of Britain’s most famous tabloid typists, James Delingpole, has a byline in the Daily Mail today, in which he pronounces:

Without fanfare — apparently in the desperate hope no one would notice — it [the UK's Met Office] has finally conceded what other scientists have known for ages: there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening.

Whew. I’m so glad that’s finally resolved! I was really starting to think that scientists might actually be on to something. [For a reality-based version on what this is all about, see Andrew Revkin's post at Dot Earth.] I especially appreciated the independent, non-biased sources in Delingpole’s measured, non-hyperbolic article. And no cherry-picking of stats, either! Brilliantly done.

Oh wait a second. The Met Office has responded at its blog:

This article contains a series of factual inaccuracies about the Met Office and its science…

The post goes on to rebut all the unsubstantiated statements in Delingpole’s piece. I bet he and the Daily Mail editors who approved the story are snickering over their hijinks. They have to know that what they put out is horseshit wrapped in fishwrap. But hey, it’s lowbrow science entertainment for the masses!

Let’s hope the people are in on the joke.

[Photo/ Wikipedia]

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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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