This morning, a report on ABC’s AM program detailed the release of a new report by Melbourne University, demonstrating that the past 50 years have been the warmest Australia has experienced in the past millennium.
That’s 1,000 years.
I’m not going to waste too much time going over the nuts and bolts; there are those far better equipped to do that. And besides, the article in question does more than enough.
No, the pertinent thing to consider here is how little attention it received. In essence, beyond this lone ABC report, it seems to have vanished without trace.
For example, on The Age‘s website today, it was entirely absent, while in prominent position were stories on Kim Kardashian and some fool girl cruelling her future career prospects by suing her old school for not making her smarter.
Beyond these issues is the deeply distressing decline in standards on the websites of the Fairfax broadsheets, but that’s a different day’s post.
And of course, the pièce de résistance, this:
Could this be a sign of science fatigue in the Australian media? If so, this is a fairly terrible thing. It suggests that serious, sober research has become passe unless there is a vocal opponent ready to go toe-to-toe. It’s bad enough that we have a situation that allows for only conflict-based reporting on climate change, but when fairly disturbing news such as this disappears because the public’s over all such things, it’s a worry.
If consumers are sick of reading about climate science, and only are shown it when there is ‘conflict’, it shows a massive disconnect from reality. If reports demonstrating the prevalence and dangers of climate change are so common as to no longer be newsworthy, why, then, is the public so apparently unswayed by the ‘uncertain’ science?
Then again, perhaps its best that these kinds of stories simply vanish for a while. If science isn’t in the news, and the carbon price kicks in and nothing happens, perhaps the world will simply move on for a while, and the temperature around the climate debate can lower for a while (pun entirely intentional).
At least in the meantime we can all look at hideous photos from cricketers’ weddings.