The other day I noted a “facially stupid” headline, “CHINA: Nation drops energy use by 20 percent.” China is in truth spectacularly increasing its energy consumption but, if you’re not the U.S. you get the benefit of regularly twisted rhetoric to spin things like a reduction in energy intensity (energy used per unit of GDP), which every maturing economy experiences and at levels not unlike China’s.
Internally I wondered to colleagues, purely rhetorically of course, “why don’t we ever get headlines like this?” The obvious answer is that the aim of most journalists who write on the relevant topics is to paint the U.S. and/or politically disfavored industry as inferior, lagging, reckless, uniquely wasteful, and otherwise deserving of further interventions by those who know what’s best for us all.
And so today’s Washington Post adds to the pile of examples of headlines you don’t see in the global warming or energy context, disparately treating non-climate environmental issue rather than the U.S. The print edition’s headline for this story is, “Mass wildlife kills occur all the time, experts say.”
You mean, like climate change? Heat waves? Regional drought? Wet seasons? Storms? All of that which the evidence solidly establishes is not outside of natural, historic variability yet all of which gets hysterical treatment as evidence that the U.S. and/or politically disfavored industry is inferior, lagging, reckless, uniquely wasteful, and otherwise deserving of further interventions by those who know what’s best for us all?
Further evidencing the phenomenon and again thanks to the Washington Post, recall that this is a paper that uncritically included the following cheerleading quote of near-criminal idiocy, showing that geniuses of a certain feather do tend to flock together:
Ditlev Engel, president and chief executive of the Danish wind-energy company Vestas, said anecdotal evidence about birds being caught in turbine blades and other environmental horror stories do not usually hold up under scrutiny.
“Do people think it’s better all those birds are breathing CO2? I’m not a scientist, but I doubt it,” said Engel, whose company is expanding its U.S. manufacturing and distribution operations. “Let’s get the facts on the table and not the feelings. The fact is, these are not issues.”
Yeah. Birds routinely recorded on video being chopped up by these contraptions, that’s not an issue in avian mortality. Not like animals breathing CO2. Which, let’s face it, could lead to mass wildlife kills.
Hey, wait a minute… Gentlemen, stop the presses, recall the Sunday Post! I think we’ve got our hook!