the politics of climate change

Tea Party supporters are among the biggest skeptics of climate change, or global warming, in spite of the scientific consensus supporting it.  We’ll examine this issue in class Tuesday, but the case makes a good journalistic issue.  Where do these beliefs come from, and has science become unduly politicized by media pundits and political leaders?  As one Tea Party supporter in Indiana demonstrated, it’s a mix of echo-chamber media, coupled with a strong sense of paranoia, supporting beliefs that easily take on aspects of religious faith.

“It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”

If journalism is based, in theory, on the pursuit of truth, then how are these beliefs to be addressed in reaching political consensus, when they are so clearly outside the realm of rational argument?  This is also a case where a balanced presentation of the competing views doesn’t yield a truthful account.

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