Wednesday, July 11, 2007

CNN: reliably, stupidly, pro-oil

Today CNN published an interview it conducted with "gas price survey maven" Trilby Lundberg. How refreshing it would be to subject some of Ms. Lundberg's absurd statements to the same sort of treatment recently given to Michael Moore's documentary on the US health care industry. But, no, of course Ms. Lundberg is a big booster of the oil industry, so her statements are allowed to just sit there. Observe:

Q: Where will we be in five or 10 years in terms of gas prices?

A: I think the chief determinants will be these three things: whether or not there is a disruption in world oil supply, intransigence in petroleum politics among some of the producers, and U.S. interference with its free gasoline market. The various energy bill proposals that are on [the] table in Washington, D.C., can have a deleterious affect on price or on gasoline demand or both. Forcing subsidized non-petroleum fuels on consumers can greatly add to cost.
Got that? It's the energy bills that are raising your gasoline prices!
Q: As far as conservation, what are the trends you are seeing?

A: I'm hoping that consumers will see through the rhetoric about consuming less, demanding less, as faulty. It is not a given that consuming less will be good for our economy or for our personal freedom. It is not even established for our environment that we [should] deprive ourselves of gasoline for our personal mobility as well our commerce. And to suppose that it is good to do that, and pretend that we have consensus and put our heads together to deprive ourselves of this great product that makes the country go around, commercially and individually, I think is flawed. I'm hoping consumers and voters will see through that and be able to ignore some of the most extreme suggestions....And the No. 1 item among those affecting current oil politics in Washington is the boogeyman, also known as global warming.

I don't accept it as established fact, nor do I accept that it would be caused by petroleum consumption, nor do I accept that the human species should not affect its environment. So even if it were someday to be shown to have some small effect on the environment, I see no crime. In fact, taking into account the many, many millions of people around the world that envy our way of life, it would seem more humanitarian to wish them the kind of plentiful petroleum products and vehicles ... that we enjoy ... to lift themselves out of [a] backward, poor way of life.
Yay oil! Global warming is a big hoax! Environmentalists are bad and want you to live in a cave and use a freaking tin can to talk to your neighbors...who are probably dead anyway! Gah!

Sheesh, that they allow this to just sit there, unquestioned--not even so much as a "um, but don't virtually all scientific studies show that global warming is real and actually pretty bad?"--is the very height of journalistic irresponsibility. That they would do it so soon after subjecting Michael Moore to some pretty shoddy "fact checking" is simply absurdly hypocritical.