The Media view of Peak Oil

I have noticed that there seem to be two types of reporting on scientific issues in the MSM. The first is where there is no disputing an event that has occurred. An example of this is the recent tsunami and earthquake, where reporters call on experts and discuss what happened and its impacts. There is little argument about what happened or why.

On the other hand there seem to be an increasing number of issues, usually that have more of a political impact, where, often despite significant evidence, the MSM is careful to include two sides of an issue, even where the second opinion might have little scientific credibility. In a number of these cases the scientific merit of the case can appear on one side or the other depending on the proclivities of the producer putting the story together. Unfortunately this sort of bi-partisanship on issues can obfusticate the growth of a crisis, since it gives the impression that the experts are evenly divided on the topic.

As the oil crisis begins to develop we are still in the latter of these two situations in regard to the longer term problem. The press is picking up the clear evidence that there is a problem but discussing only the shorter term supply issues. One wonders when the change-over to the "obvious crisis" reporting will occur.

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I've noticed this phenomenon with intelligent design and evolution too. They give the impression that scientists disagree about the basic fact of evolution and that the other side is equally valid. Of course, for us regular folk, sometimes it's hard to know who is really an expert and who is, say, a government shill. I think the MSM should point that out. "And now we'll hear from Bob, who is on Bush's energy policy board." vs. "And here's Sue, who has written 4 books and 20 journal articles about oil supply." They so often neglect to simply properly identify people.

Sadly right.