Very Top Five… Newspaper Comments (Day 2 of 5): Daily Express

Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Global warming; it’s a hot topic. Scientists are trying to dredge the lake of impartiality to get to the sunken boat of truth, but the politicians are jumping all over the scientists’ ship and fiddling with the controls, trying to sink that as well.

Anyway, the Daily Express has published an article called “100 reasons why global warming is natural” and as you might expect some of their readers are getting hot under the collar. So hot, in fact, that they feel compelled to share it with the rest of us.

By the way, the paper struggled a bit to get to 100 reasons. These include 36. “There is no scientific or statistical evidence whatsoever that global warming will cause more storms and other weather extremes.”

Regardless of whether that’s true or not, it’s not a reason why global warming is natural.

And the brilliant non-point 34. “It is a myth that CO2 is the most common greenhouse gas because greenhouse gases form about 3% of the atmosphere by volume, and CO2 constitutes about 0.037% of the atmosphere.”

So? Why can’t it be the commonest greenhouse gas? Even by those statistics, CO2 makes up 10% of the greenhouse gases, which is a pretty big chunk considering all the other gases swirling around up there. And why does that mean global warming is natural, as they are attempting to prove? Just because the numbers look small?

But anyway, I’ve been sidetracked, and that’s not why we’re here: Here’s what the readers think:

15.12.09, 9:10am by OLCROM
"If the right wing try to pour scorn on anything like global warming then I know for sure that it is man made.Also it is in the interests of the press to stir it up and try and improve circulation,and some people are swallowing the bait."

Ah, the old “if THEY believe it then it must be untrue” rule, where THEY are the political party, religious faith or football team of choice.

Look, though, at the brilliance of OLCROM’s extended water and fishing metaphor. “Pour scorn,” “stir it up,” “circulation,” and “swallowing the bait.” That’s some nice use of metaphor.

15.12.09, 7:24am by BobBull
"I applaud the Daily Express for showing the other side of the argument. It is essential that a full debate takes place before we are taxed to oblivion for no good reason."

Well done indeed, for showing some esnse. I don’t know where we’d be without your common esnse. Sorry if you think me poking fun at someone for a simple spelling mistake is esnseless.

15.12.09, 9:58am by Deldongo
"We don't talk about acid rain anymore because the problem has partly been solved. Via drastic measures we have reduced the amount of sulfate aerosols going into the atmosphere reducing acid rains. Also with regards to this article, I don't have time yet to reat the 100 reasons, but I would like to understand how the CO2 emitted from my car, or from burning fossil fuel or from a plane's engines is natural... I must admit I am scratching my head at the moment. "

Fantastic! A climate change believer come to save the day. And in what manner does he logically demolish the Expresses opinions?

“I don't have time yet to reat the 100 reasons”

Oh… but then, surely your second-guessing of the content and subsequent dismissal of it looks rather as if you’ve already made your mind up. Why would any of the climate change sceptics that read the Express care what you think if you don’t care what they think?

“I must admit I am scratching my head at the moment.”

Right, because you are confused. Confusion is the best stance from which to offer opinions.

15.12.09, 8:57am by Jac16
"If TAX wasn't involved I might just believe some of it."

You’ve hit the nail on the head there, Jac16. Whenever tax is involved, the best thing to do is completely disbelieve every justification offered.

15.12.09, 10:01am by Mr Sitter
“ – “

I’m not going to print this massive comment, because it would take up too much space which could instead be taken up with me referring to it and having a jolly good sneer. I’ll talk you through it:

Initially Mr Sitter casually compares climate change to the Tiger Woods scandal, before settling into a series of rhetorical questions suggesting that journalists are making the story “juicier” and “scandalous” so they will get paid more.

Then the BBC “propaganda machine” is accused of “brainwashing” (It must be a washing machine) and then Al Gore’s film gets a kicking as well. Finally, after setting up all of these concerns he suspends a single “Why?” in lone supplication between two large paragraphs, and Mr Sitter shares his conclusions…

Which turns out to be that if the internet didn’t exist, we would not have heard of the leaked “climategate” emails. This has little to do with his developing thesis, but this doesn’t stop Mr Sitter from ending by offering his congratulations to the Express for the candour of their article.