Chartreuse Journalism on Energy, Coal

By July 25, 2007Global Warming

The growing chorus of media hype about global warming reminds me of George Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth,” but to Jack Shafer, who writes the Press Box column for, it’s “green journalism” which is just the latest manifestation of “yellow journalism.” (link)

“Often as sensationalistic as its predecessor, green journalism tends to appeal to our emotions, exploit our fears, and pander to our vanity,” he wrote earlier this month. “It places a political agenda in front of the quest for journalistic truth and in its most demagogic forms tolerates no criticism, branding all who question it as enemies of the people.”

When public policy is driven by propaganda and emotion, the results can be catastrophic. Right now eager environmentalists in Congress are championing draconian Corporate Average Fuel Economic (CAFE) standards that are simply not feasible and would have a devastating impact on the U.S. auto industry – destroying thousands of jobs. And today’s Wall Street Journal (subscription link) offers a front page account of plans for new coal-fired electric power plants being abandoned wholesale for fear of environmental consequences. We need more electric power now, and windmills won’t cut it, but reason must yield to the “green journalism” propaganda machine.

While we sabotage our own economy, the Chinese continue to build thousands of coal-fired power plants that will more than offset whatever meager gains we achieve in reducing greenhouse gases. Does this really make sense to anyone?

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