Why this blog?
Why this blog ?
Like many people I always liked to write. That’s one good reason. Thanks to internet the blogosphere now provides an easy and fast way to publish and interact. It is great fun, but there are many more reasons to blog. In my view the internet and blogosphere have become a widely used source of information, championed by Wikipedia.
Mainstream media poor credibility
Even more remarkable, certain blogs are gaining a reputation of credibility in providing information which is not published by mainstream media anymore. This is particularly true for topics related to ‘environment, climate change and energy (ECE)’. Mainstream media like NOS, Volkskrant, NRC, Standaard or De Morgen do not practice critical investigative journalism on these topics. For ECE topics certain blogs however, do practice high quality investigative journalism. The self-declared quality media simply repeat politically correct mainstream views. The result is that in the public domain these topics have become largely undebatable. Media are simply preaching a ‘green religion’ which is presented as the only correct moral attitude instead of critically analysing the facts behind these public views.
The poor credibility and sensationalism is clearly demonstrated by the alarmistic cover pages of Time Magazine of 1977 and 2006 which are completely contradictory.
My increasing mistrust in the regular media was initiated after reading Joris Luijendijk’s book ‘Het zijn net mensen’. This is an excellent eye opener on how media work. With the advantage of speaking Arabic, Luijendijk paints an illustrative and shocking picture of the enormous gap between the observed reality on site and what is reported in the media. Time-stressed and eager to score, journalists flying in to report an event, most likely receive press releases from the well-organised Israeli PR machine to compile their story. Back home the editorial staff screens the articles for consistency with the regular view which ensures acceptance by the key readers.
Blogs THE new sources of investigative journalism
Another important learning came from the site www.climategate.nl which paints a completely different picture on climate change (and other environmental topics) than regular media do. The site, initiated after the ‘climategate leaked emails’ from the UK Met Office in 2009 provides information and critical views of the ‘official views’ on these topics, i.e. those that are strongly pushed by regulators, the UN IPCC and others. The proper good quality investigative journalism on ECE topics is nowadays mainly found on blogs and much less in so-called ‘quality’ newspapers. For Dutch readers I can strongly recommend the book ‘De Staat van het Klimaat’ by Marcel Crok, one of the bloggers of the climategate site. Similar books in English language can easily be found through the many links on these sites, for example WUWT, which is also a very useful reference site to factual data, such as sea ice coverage, temperature measurements, etc.
This illustrates why blogging is not only fun, but nowadays also THE key source of information to learn about CEC topics and the facts behind them.