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Category: Stupidity

Climate communications: Time Magazine changes headline three times, uses false headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”

Climate communications: Time Magazine changes headline three times, uses false headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”

Time Magazine engaged in deliberate, and false, propaganda messaging to influence readers to take action. After contacting the magazine, they did, at least, revise the headline (for the 3rd time). They began with the accurate headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Contributing to Climate Change” but immediately changed it and promoted this rude and 100% false headline: “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”.

First, making crude humor of asthmatics “choking” is not funny and is rude and insensitive. Second, it is physically impossible for inhalers to be “choking the planet”. In homes where someone uses an inhaler, annual inhaler usage produces about 1% of the total CO2-equivalent gases emitted by the home and life activities during the course of a year. If all inhalers were eliminated tomorrow, there would be no measurable impact on weather or climate over the next 100 years. A worst case inhaler, using data cited by Time and BMJ, produces about half the CO2-equivalent GHC as does a person breathing and exhaling CO2. Seriously. Just breathing is a bigger threat than using inhalers.

Time eventually changed the headline to the better, but still misleading “How One Commonly Used Asthma Inhaler is Damaging the Planet”. Their fiction story also referenced the wrong gas used as a propellant, cited an exaggerated greenhouse gas effect multiplier from an environmental activist group rather than the more modest IPCC AR5 science-based estimate, and then omitted many article changes from their Corrections List. The text itself continues to climate shame asthmatics with the false “Choking the Planet” claim.

This is an example of garbage journalism and how not to do do climate communications.

Journalism: Negativity spin on retail sales

Journalism: Negativity spin on retail sales

“US retail sales fall in a sign that consumer economy could be cracking”, says the report about September retail sales being down 0.3%. Monthly fluctuations in retail sales are common. In fact, retails sales are up 4.1% year over year and monthly fluctuations have successfully predicted zero of the recessions during the last five years. Just look at the chart. What is being done here is journalism’s modus operandi of turning all reports into negative news stories.

Hold the presses! National news! "Starbucks barista in Philadelphia alledgedly mocked customer's stutter"

Hold the presses! National news! "Starbucks barista in Philadelphia alledgedly mocked customer's stutter"

This is a LOCAL story at best. The news media continues to damage itself into irrelevancy by promoting local click bait trivia stories into a national conversation: A barista at a Starbucks cafe in Philadelphia is accused of mocking a man with a stutter. Source: Starbucks barista in Philadelphia alledgedly mocked customer’s stutter This is not national news. This is creative writing by a trivia reporter designed to hook an emotional response. Emotional nonsense news is perfect for sharing on…

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The main purpose of social media is to spread disinformation?

The main purpose of social media is to spread disinformation?

Is the main purpose of social media to spread disinformation? Sure seems so, whether intentional or unintentional. Yesterday, our local Sheriff’s Office spread disinformation on Twitter with a goal of encouraging safe driving (definitely approve that!) But they did so by using a logical fallacy linking bike and pedestrian accidents to cellular phone usage, a conclusion that is false per the reference they cited in their tweet. Because viewers of the tweet learned something that was not true, viewers became…

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Riding a "bike generator" for 30 minutes will power a house for a day? No, not even close. #Facebook #Bicycling #nonsense

Riding a "bike generator" for 30 minutes will power a house for a day? No, not even close. #Facebook #Bicycling #nonsense

This made me laugh – can you see why? A typical bicyclist may generate 100 to 200 watts per hour on a bike. A very fit bicyclist might generate up to 300 watts per hour (and their peak output – like a sprint – can produce 500 or more watts briefly). (Good explanation here. Another way to look at this is that 1 horsepower is 746 watts. Are you as powerful as a horse?) Consequently, for most people, 30 minutes…

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Social media sites share everything, even your private health information #Facebook #DeleteFacebook

Social media sites share everything, even your private health information #Facebook #DeleteFacebook

Grindr, a gay dating app, will stop sharing users’ HIV statuses with third parties after a report disclosed that the company passed the information on to two vendors. Source: Grindr changes policy of sharing users’ HIV status with outside vendors – SFGate If we’ve got your personal data, we can share it with everyone because we are social media surveillance and we are the future!