Flat Earth News

Garbling science, the BBC way

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Tagged: / Posted: 17 February 2009

Those who've read the material about climate change and related stories in Flat Earth News will know the pattern in which science is doubly distorted as it is reported in the media: first by PR on the part of scientists and then by the 'rules of production' of the news factory. For another worrying example, try this link:

 

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/15/thermageddon_snake_bbc/

 

 

who's garbling who?

Added: 27 April 2009

I checked this out, and the Register is wrong, not the BBC and not the guy they quote. Its the Register that has distorted this - maybe that's what you meant?

The guy says "The Planet has heated and cooled repeatedly throughout its history. What we're doing is the rate at which we're heating the planet is many orders of magnitude faster than any natural process - and is moving too fast for natural systems to respond."

This is entirely true - there have been significant thermal variations over geological time. Over such periods, entire habitats can gradually migrate as weather patterns change and temperate zones move north and south. On these timescales, species even evolve to occupy new ecological niches. What's beginning to happen now is rapid change which the biosphere is unable to migrate with or adapt to quickly enough to survive, threatening mass extinctions.

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