The Daily Prophet: Life Stranger than Fiction?

So is Global Warming the Environmental Apocalypse we were told and these nay sayers (in great numbers) the undead mob of Rita Skeeters? Or were the Gore-inspired crowd of Global Doomsayers a bunch of Latter Day Chicken Littles?

Either way, if you’re not skeptical about anything you read in the media these days (“Governor Palin strangles Turkeys in Post-Election Melt-down!”), you missed out on one of the sharper satirical thrusts of the Potter novels.

Please share below your favorite instance of popular acceptance of undeniable truth presented by reporters overdosing on SOMA, “truth” that turned out to be claptrap. (Please don’t bring up the most recent election. We have yet to see how that will play out.)


  1. Well, in the way of a Thanksgiving “best wishes” to all, I merely remind you that turkey is generally healthy food. However, to the properly bacon-ed mind, that is a bug and not a feature.

    So here is a Holiday recipe that just-because-we-can is not a good reason to do stuff…

    The follow-up comments are aimed at remedying what could be perceived as an inadequate fat content, so do check them out.

    John, with your literal and literary interest in food, I thought you’d get a kick out of this one!

  2. Arabella Figg says

    All the data is not in, to make a clear judgment on global warming (it also doesn’t mean the whole planet warming up). If concerns about it have caused us to examine how we live, and to live more responsibly, we’ll all be better off.

    That said, I think of the Great Millennial Apocalypse Scare. However, in my book, the worst Rita Skeeters have been Christian leaders over the last quarter century, with their doomsday and end-times prophecies. And were they ever busy at the Millennium. Some of them made a fast buck off it, too.

    Kitties don’t care about dates, every moment is now…

  3. Arabella Figg says

    Thanks, Inked. I was disappointed, though…no gravy? What were they thinking?

    What a crack-up!

    Pondering bacon-wrapped deep-fried Twinkies and holding away a sniffing cat…

  4. The cooler period we are entering is a well enough known phenomena.

    There is some concern that this cooling period may temporarily mask an underlying increase in temperature that will emerge later with a vengeance.

    Meanwhile of course everyone will become complacent and take their eye off the ball.

    The good news is that there is going to be a large increase in monitoring devices in the oceans and in space that will provide far more detailed data. Hopefully that will cut down on all the wild speculating.

    here is one of a number of articles that refer to the cooling effect:

  5. SeaJay, here is a report from the International Climate Science Coalition to back up the report you gave that we are heading onto a period of Global COOLING rather than warming. The report is in regard to the diminishing sun spot activity within the last year.

    The mainstream media has a way of ignoring or placing these scientific reports on the last page of their newspapers due to the fact that these reports do not fit their “political” bias.

    Here is the report from ICSC.

  6. Arabella wrote: “I think of the Great Millennial Apocalypse Scare.”

    Good one! I thought of that yesterday when a friend sent me this WSJ editorial about a terrorist plan that makes the Y2K scare seem like peanuts. Here’s a return to the early 19th century that comes on a calendar date!

  7. According to the press in the UK, the Hadron Collider was going to create a black hole and end the world just a few months ago.

  8. concerning Y2K: I worked in a software house during that period and there definitely was a problem that had to be addressed. A lot of ‘legacy’ hardware and software had to be replaced or upgraded.

    The Skeeter-ish hysterics in the press had the effect of creating great cynicism in the general populace when the world did not end on 1st January 2000.

    There was a problem, a lot of people worked long and hard to ensure a smooth transition and then were looked on by the general public as liars and scaremongers. You just cannot win!

  9. Arabella Figg says

    Exactly, SeaJay. The ignorance and scare-tactics drove my computer-specialist husband crazy. There *were* problems, ones that experienced, hardworking people fixed, well before Jan.1, 2000.

    Centennial and millennial dread is nothing new. It certainly was a perfect storm this time, because of computers and the press and public feeding into it and each other. I can tolerate this more than I can well-known Christian leaders and writers who not only perpetuated such fears, but added to them. And, disgustingly, made money off them. As far as I know, they brazenly continued on afterward; I don’t recall any apologies, do you?

    Fullatricks enjoys prowling around our survival bunker…. 😉

  10. I can’t let this discussion of *global-warming?-cooling?-whatever!* pass without comment.

    I may have mentioned in another post that while at university in the not so distant past (2002-2006), I had the good fortune to take Geography 103 with Professor Doc Horsley, then serve his students as a study group leader for 5 ensuing semesters. Primarily a professor of meteorology, Doc’s focus research was (if I remember correctly) in global warming and boy, did he preach NOT HAPPENING!! One-third of his syllabus addressed climate and environmental concerns, especially the issue of inadequate data-retrieval systems for oceans and clouds. Doc was not hesitant to let his students know HOW the global warming scare got started to perpetuate astronomically-high salaries and ensure job security, WHO was initially responsible for such Skeeteristic truth-mangling, and WHY they needed to know how to analyze the manic reports found in the DP-papers of the day.

    I could only sit back and grin on the outside…on the inside I was standing in my lecture-hall seat and cheering at the top of my lungs much like the night of the VP debates when Gov. Palin spoke GW truth (a combination of natural cyclical events and man-made contributions) and Sen. Biden blatantly recited the ever-present GW myth (mankind ONLY is to blame).

    I am reminded of an email I recently received. The final paragraph reads thus:
    “Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust, by his wife Discretion, his daughter Responsibility, and his son Reason. He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers: I Know My Rights; I Want It Now; Someone Else Is To Blame; and I’m A Victim.”

    pj, from the United States…wishing all HogPros everywhere a blessed season of common sense and The Peace that passes all understanding.

  11. Not sure that I would personally take as objective fact information posted by an agency (ICSC) whose Chairman (Tom Harris) was, until recently, a lobbyist for companies from the energy sector (oil and electricity):

    The part where he’s said to have been editing Wikipedia to conceal his affiliation with the High Park Group is particularly interesting, as it reveals a more sophisticated level of attempts to influence public information.

    Caveat Emptor in this, as in everything else.

  12. Red Rocker, you make a good and valid point in that there is a “profit” agenda applied to some scientists on the anti-GW issue, however this is just as true on the pro-GW side of the issue.

    The champion on this issue is none other than Al Gore himself! While he preaches that the world should purchase “carbon offsets” to pay for the reduction of CO2, the monies that are paid for these programs are funneled into firms that are owned by……….none other than……………Al Gore!

    Take a look at this from WorldNetDaily.

  13. It’s hard to “champion” a cause and be objective – not impossible, just hard. Also, Al Gore was a politician and ran for president. At the risk of sounding prejudiced, it would be hard to get over that in one lifetime.

    Tom Harris, on the other hand, purports to be a man of science. Someone whose job is not to sell the facts, but to discover them. I realize that someone has to foot the bill, and there are always vested interests, but universities are probably a bit less suspect than nameless private philantrophists, such as the one funding Harris’ research.

    But all this is preamble. At the end of the day, we each of us need to look at the facts, rather than someone else’s digested version of those facts. Putting aside Tom Harris and Al Gore, neither of whom compels my respect, this is what I know: solar activity is linked to earth temperatures; burning fossil fuels increases the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as does the methane gas emitted by cows and pigs and the destruction of the Amazon jungle; this may lead to the “green house” effect, leading to warming; or it may paradoxically lead to less solar radiation reaching the surface, leading to cooling; the average temperature of the oceans is rising; the Arctic ice cap is smaller than it has been since we started measuring it – but there was a time – before man – when it was nonexistent; there was actually a North West passage through the Arctic last year – a first within recorded history; the ice in the Antarctic is changing: it’s winter extent is broader, but it’s getting weaker: shelves (several kilometres across) are falling into the ocean, which may lead to a rise in ocean levels and the flooding of seaside cities (think New Orleans, San Francisco, and the like). The glaciers in the Alps are receding; Kilimanjaro is losing its famous snowy peak (take a look on satellite pictures). There have been more “extreme” weather events in the last few years than the decades before. As well, the incidence of asthma is rising, and may be linked to the increased presence of irritants in the atmosphere.

    Things are warming up. Are we doing it? Are we contributing? Have to start looking at the facts, put aside the “champions” and start thinking for ourselves.

  14. And on that injunction to think for ourselves, don’t trust the Daily Prophet (and self-proclaimed prophets), let’s close this discussion. I hoped for a list of other topics the media has famously reported or over-reported or just plain missed. I unintentionally started a debate that is belongs on a Global Warming discussion board.

    Forgive me that mistake — and thank you all for contributing to the discussion.

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