On climate change, ‘Glenn Beck types’ (Sagarika Ghose) descend on Indian TV

Update: I am not the only complaining. See Shoddy journalism by Sagarika Ghose on Global Warming.

Sagarika Ghose is currently a senior editor on CNN-IBN. I am not particularly a fan of her. To be fair to her, I might be misrepresenting her by taking issue with a couple of occasions where she has been, let’s say, less than stellar. As with all of Indian news channels in English, she is an active champion of the shouting match culture. Don’t take my comments to be condemnation of her, but merely two incidents where I did not like what she did.

Climate change is in the news because India’s Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh recently suggested that India should look to curb its CO2 emissions. CNN-IBN had a shouting match to discuss “India selling out to the West on Climate Change?”. Sagarika Ghose then went on to tweet these enlightening words

  • 1. Interesting point raised last night: our problem is poverty, not climate. lets first get rich, then we can go green.
  • 2. The richest countries in the world are the greenest. the fact is we need hell-for-leather development, nothing will happen to our skies!
  • 3. Is even the science of climate change dodgy? is there any evidence that CO2 is bad for us? who says the climate’s changing for the worse?
  • 4. for those interested–read The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lamborg. huge amounts spent on “green” tech is a waste of money
  • 5. @scanman lamborg says drought deluges were regular 100 years ago when no greenhouse gases.Difference: today you see them on TV!!.

It is reasonable to say that India should ignore climate change since poverty is a larger issue (assuming that development conflicts with the climate), but to totally misrepresent facts and science is atrocious.

She mentioned Bjorn Lamborg. I recommend that you watch his awesome TED talk on what global priorities we should set. Among other things, this talk argues that we should not fight global warming now. Addressing the problem and accepting a scientific fact are two separate issues. I have not read his book, and do not know if he outright denies global warming. Even if he does, she should have put it in perspective in light of the overwhelming scientific consensus being in the other camp.

About the Indian media, I was happy that we did not have clowns like Glenn Beck who grossly misrepresented facts in topics they were not experts on. I have to to change that view now.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Manoj on October 22, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    I am often confused as to whether ‘Glenn Beck types’ seriously believe in their philosophies or are they simply catering to an organization or propaganda! And Ghose does it with their usual style, misrepresenting not only the consensus but also extrapolating Lamborg’s prioritization debate into global warming denial.

    The video indeed is pertinent. Probably the first step in our country should be educating the masses about the perils of climate change, so that they can make whatever difference an individual can make against the trend.

    Great post.


    • Thank you :)

      About Glenn Beck. I really think he believes what he says. Over the past few years his message has been consistent though crazy (a few inconsistencies are because he is not a serious thinker, he will just say what occurs to him). Like several others, he is willing to ignore facts when they conflict with his message.

      About Sagarika, I don’t know. Usually, I have seen her do whatever increases the volume level. But this incident is different. She seems to actually take a position (though I can’t tell).


  2. Thanks for the link.

    It is indeed sad how the Indian news media has forsaken thoughtful debate and analysis for competitive screeching for rating points.

    You let off Ghose much too easily :)


  3. Hi there
    Interested post. Keen to speak to you about your possible participation in our live climate change debate on BBC World TV. If you are interested in finding out more pop me an email with your number.
    All the best


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