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[greenyes] Disparate Press Coverage of Climate Disruption


December 14, 2004

Fiction Gets More Ink in U.S. Than UN's Climate Meeting

American newspapers contain all the hokum that is fit to print on global

Michael Crichton, best-selling author of gigantic hits of fiction like "The
Andromeda Strain" and "Jurassic Park," got more attention in major
newspapers in the USA for his newest book that debunks global warming than
the meeting that the world's governments held in Buenos Aires to deal with
climate change. "State of Fear," his latest novel published by
HarperCollins, is based on the premise that global warming is a fraud
perpetrated by one of the most prominent environmental organizations in the
US, the Natural Resources Defense Council - oops, no. Crichton thinly
disguises the organization as the National Environmental Resource Fund.
Editorially, the right-wing Wall Street Journal loved the book. The paper
published a favorable review, not so much of the plot but of the beliefs it
espouses, by a science commentator from the ultra-conservative Reason
Foundation. The Los Angeles Times did the same. The editors of the left
coast paper printed a commentary that claims there are two sides to climate
change science, and both "have substantial data that support their points of
view." The LA Times piece even managed to throw mud at Rachael Carson,
blaming her for the death of millions from malaria since spraying DDT on
mosquitoes was banned. (The allegation is false.)

The Wall Street Journal's left of center competitor in Manhattan, the New
York Times, reported that Crichton suggested the US is a nation of
worrywarts. The Times quotes him as saying, "There are many groups in
contemporary society who find it in their interest to promote fears."

The papers' coverage of the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on
Climate Change in Buenos Aires, where the nations of the world wrestled with
ways to deal with global warming, was slim to negligible. For example, in
the week while the UN met every day on global warming, the NY Times
published three by-lined articles about Crichton's novel but just one from
the conference in Buenos Aires. The LA Times devoted 719 words to
Crichton's fantasy environmental conspiracy. The actual event taking place
on climate change got 233 more words - fewer than in this article.

Peter Anderson, President
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Ph: (608) 231-1100
Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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