The Locker Room

More use of theory as fact in the NY Times

Posted by Chad Adams at 07:50 AM

May 27th, 2006
Bear Hunting Caught in Global Warming Debate

Global warming and over-hunting could diminish the polar bear population by at least 30 percent in coming decades, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, a network of 10,000 scientists, predicted in May.

"Given what the climate models predict for continuing warming and melting of sea ice, the whole thing leads to an extinction curve," said Peter Ewins, director of the World Wildlife Fund Canada's Arctic Conservation Program. "And it's not a question of if, it's a clear question of when."

One of my favorite courses in college was Semantics and the specific word usage of advertising. We see these words often in cleaning or hair commercials, words like "virtually spot free" or "practically makes dirt disappear" aren't really claims, but sound like them. The environmental movement has adopted the same use of words. In the article above the journalist uses "global warming" as a fact (though still theory) then the words "could diminish" which means it might not. Then he says that "10,000 scientists predicted" which holds little truth as the predictions aren't based on data. In the next paragraph they use "climate models" not actual data and then a glowing poorly understood term "extinction curve". All in all the story says nothing about the facts around polar bears which have increasing or stable populations according to the facts.

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