Tuesday, April 15, 2008

P is for Propaganda

I'm thinking about my day and how much crap I have to do. As I finish putting the dishes from the night before into the washer, I yell at the kids to get into the car. They come but we are already late. We all pile into the Suburban and zoom out the drive.

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
Morning Edition,
April 15, 2008 ยท

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

thanks NPR.

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.

thanks NPR.

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.


Earthfamily Principles
Earthfamilyalpha Content IV
Earthfamilyalpha Content III
Earthfamilyalpha Content II
Earthfamilyalpha Content



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard the same program today and thought about sending the kid the Earth Family Alpha blog. I doubt it would even register with her. She sounds very wrapped up in expressing how good she is at expressing herself..And what was it that NPR said? That this kid is one of those who would one day be running things? ARGH!

I have been hearing NPR for several years now, and sometimes I've had the same doubts about it that you suggested. Sounds sometimes like a lot of propaganda.


5:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it appears all mass media has been co-opted thanks to the efforts of true patriots like Newt Gingrich who removed public funding from public television thereby making our public TV stations dependent on corporations for advertising revenue. Now the same corporate fascists who have deliver successive terms of the Bush Administration, a trillion dollar war in Iraq, international war crimes, and numerous crimes against the STATE and the US Constitution ARE NOW self-appointed board members of public TV stations.

It's a beautiful thing when corporate elites can consolidate power, dumb down the public, hide behind religion, and have absolute control of mass media and mass media news networks.

Last month, I voiced my protest to Bill Stotesbery the Executive Director of our local KLRU station. My protest regarded a town hall type program segment delivered during the News Hour with Jim Lehrer. It was painful to watch the ignorance expressed by all but one of the panel members. The news segment did not further my understanding on the tragic issues related to the USA invasion and ongoing occupation of Iraq. It was just another piece of propaganda, a potemkin village, a mental construct like "the Paradise Ghetto", the news segment side stepped the reality of the horrific costs of the Iraq War.

The old PBS actually educated its viewers on the issues by providing facts and cogent discussion of the facts. The old PBS existed over a decade and a half ago.

What was Mr. Stotesbery's reply to my letter of protest?

"Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I certainly support your right to your opinion. I also could not disagree with you more." and on and on he went, sentence after sentence of justifications, rationalizations, and denial.

NR in Austin, Texas

5:45 PM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

I saw the show by accident. The way I see all shows. Some greater spirit makes me turn on the tube and see what the propaganda of the day is.

Young minds are corrupted by things they see. Society has fallen off the turnip truck. I can see both sides to the story but the truth to me is that the data points toward disaster. If the earth isn't warming then it is getting hotter and if you live in a desertifying area you know that the hand writing is on the wall. Out here in Western Texas water is the most important element of life. And as population grows the water is sucked up to water the yards of San Antonio and fill the water parks and wash the cars.

The girl in question isn't dumb just misguided by the facts.

6:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home