Reporting The Climate

Matt Steinglass on global warming and the media:

The media like big numbers. Reporters will naturally take a 3,000-page report like that of the IPCC and skim through it, looking for affected populations over 1 billion, percentages over 50%, and catastrophes occurring within the next 30 years. The resulting picture in the media will exaggerate the results of the scientific research. In some cases, scientists who work on climate-change issues, and those who put together the IPCC report, must be truly exasperated to have watched the media first exaggerate aspects of their report, and then accuse the IPCC of responsibility for the media's exaggerations.