P is for Propaganda
It's five miles of driving just to get to Tommy's school and its another three for Lisa. By the time I get to work I've driven 15 miles and its already 7:55. As usual, I have NPR on. I feel I can trust the news there.
I worry about climate change and how that will effect my life and my children's life. I think sometimes that we should do something now to change our petroleum dependent life and maybe downsize a little and sell our big suburban life to someone else.
But then, I hear a story about a cute 15 year girl who doubts the whole thing.
Teenage Skeptic Takes on Climate Scientists
by David Kestenbaum
April 15, 2008 ·
If you're a scientist trying to convince people they are making the world warmer, Kristen Byrnes is your worst nightmare. She's articulate, intelligent, she has a Web site, and one day her people will be running the world. Her people, meaning 16-year-olds.
Kristen's Web site, "Ponder the Maunder," has made her a celebrity among climate skeptics. After she posted a critique of Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth, her Web site got so many hits the family's internet service provider sent them a warning.
Her story may dismay mainstream scientists, but plenty of people are friendly to her ideas.
In one poll last year, only about 50 percent of people agreed humans were contributing to global warming. The other half either disagreed, weren't sure or didn't believe the Earth was warming in the first place. clip
Her Web site includes charts of temperature records, El Nino indexes, isotope measurements. Skeptics loved it: A 15-year-old attacking the mainstream scientific view.
"It took off like wildfire," Mike says, "But that was nothing compared to when her Al Gore critique went up."
Kristen had no fear. She took on Al Gore the Nobel laureate, Academy Award winner and former vice president. She went after Jim Hansen, one of NASA's top climate scientists. E-mail poured in, mostly from skeptics happy a young person had taken up the cause.
"I got a letter in the mail on my birthday from a senator," she says.
Someone runs off into another room to track it down and returns with an envelope from the office of Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican famous for calling global warming a hoax.
"Dear Kristen," the letter begins. "Thank you so much for your letter and e-mail and for your kind words. I appreciate your help in the fight against global warming alarmism. You are a common sense young lady and an inspiration to me. I want you to keep up the good work. We are winning." more
Now I know I can go about my life with no concern for the problem that every Academy of Science of every nation has warned about. Now I know I can keep my big house in the suburbs and get a new bigger SUV. Now I know that because a 15 year old with very helpful parents doesn't believe in the the most important issue of our time, neither do I.
Besides, doesn't every issue have two sides?
If your house is in flames
and your blind neighbor can't see it.
Perhaps the fire doesn't exist.
If you were in London during Hitler's bombing
and your deaf grandmother didn't hear the siren,
perhaps the bombs didn't exist.
And besides, a real US Senator agrees with Kristin,
He says it's all a hoax.
You've made my day.
But maybe the P in NPR should no longer be for "Public".
Sometimes these days, the P is for Propaganda.
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Labels: climate change