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Environment

Jon Stewart: Climate Scientist

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Kudos to Simon Donner for picking up on one of the more interesting things that Jon Stewart said last week in his interview with Rachel Maddow:

This is--I'm not saying--look, I love the voices that I hear on MSNBC. And there's a difference between--here's what's unfair about what I do. This is really what's a great--here's a great thing that I think is unfair. You're one person with one great voice and sincere--but I'm a climate scientist. I study weather patterns and climate. You're talking about the weather. Maybe these networks are not meant to be viewed in aggregate, but there is an aggregate. There is an effect.

What Stewart is saying here (I listened to the interview) is that the partisan storylines and hyperbolic tone on Cable TV news shows is self-reinforcing and ends up forming the main lens through which policy and political issues are viewed by the public. Everything gets reduced to a battle between the extremes. Donner thinks that Stewart has made " a perfect analogy" for the climate blogosphere, and asks:

Are the climate blogs dealing with the "weather"? Or with the climate?

It's an excellent question. What do you think?

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