Nobody Believes in Anything. Problem?

 

I get a daily email newsletter from the New York Times, in which one of this week’s entries was a conversation with John Schwartz, a Times reporter who focuses on the climate. If Schwartz has any qualifications on the subject of climate science like, say, a relevant degree or something, he modestly omits it from his Times bio.

Much of the Pacific Northwest is blanketed in snow. Texas continues to endure frigid weather and electricity outages. Another winter storm is spreading across much of the country.

How is this consistent with global warming? Well, as Schwartz “explains” it, when temperatures go up, that’s a sign of global warming, and when temperatures go down, that’s also a sign of global warming.

He adds, “We’ve always had floods, fires and storms, but climate change adds oomph to many weather events.”

“Oomph”!? Follow the science!

 

Nobody believes anything from the media anymore, probably because almost everything we get from the media is either made-up fairy tale bullshit, or opinions on subjects for which the person giving the opinion has only a fraction of the knowledge they would need to offer a more informed opinion than any random drunk on a barstool.

A Cal Tech physicist, I forget which one — it might have been Murray Gell-Mann — once observed that whenever he heard or read something in the media regarding a topic he knew about, the information was almost always wrong. And he concluded from that, not unreasonably, that information from the media was almost always wrong on all other topics as well.

I’ve observed the same thing, that the media are almost always wrong on topics I know about. Is there any reason to think they’d be accurate on all other topics?

 

Turning now to COVID vaccines, I’ve seen numbers as high as 50 percent of people who, when asked if they would take a COVID vaccine if it were offered to them said no, they don’t believe it’s safe and/or effective.

Vaccines, forgetting about COVID for a minute, are good. We’ve eradicated a lot of diseases with vaccines: smallpox, polio, whooping cough, measles . . . it used to be that mumps, measles and chicken pox were lumped together under the heading of “childhood diseases” and it wasn’t unusual for kids to get them.

I don’t think that’s true anymore. My experience is not super-recent because my kid is now 27 but he didn’t get any of them. We vaccinate for them and no one gets them anymore.

If people don’t believe anything they hear in the media, and that includes information about being vaccinated against a pandemic, it’s not just a philosophical dilemma anymore, it’s life and death now, right?

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