Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A big one

With the issue of climate change I am quite used to something either false or misinterpreted being splashed onto the internet, spread through an echo chamber that accepts the incorrect information or incorrect interpretation of the information, and further distorted by the internet version of the telephone game. Today we saw the same sort of activity that lit up the web with, of all things, revived claims "Obama wants to ban sport fishing".

For a reality-based overview of this situation I recommend this article.

Basically a story on espn.com from Robert Montgomery took that the ending of the public input period for the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force marked a key step for "a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters." We end up with the non-story blowing up as 'Obama banning fishing' unsurprisingly in the very same sorts of places that also promote climate change denial, including nearby on dakotavoice and sayanythingblog.

Where this differs from a typical situation with an issue involving climate change is that this figures to resolve very quickly and clearly showing how wrong the absurd stories are. Of course some people will still howl no matter what, but what will the least delusional say when there is no such ban on sport fishing?

In this case, I am interested to see how ESPN responds after this hubbub - they are one group who may take seriously getting a story so wrong like this. I am sure most other places will just let it all slide away as if they had not said anything outrageous. That is how it is with the climate change rejectionists. There is nothing to which they are being held, so they say something ridiculous like that we are in a cooling period and never bother with answering to being wrong despite their howling about any perceived errors from scientists.

Part of my goal is fighting this single standard (it is not "double" until the denialists have a standard). That includes pointing it out, highlighting the absurd claims, and pushing back with accurate information.

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