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Kate Sheppard, a reporter for Mother Jones magazine, flagged what is easily the most misleading headline of the day

Cancun climate summit: Glaciers increase despite climate change

Isn’t that counterintuitive and ironic? Except that’s not what the story is actually about.

Starting with the second sentence:

However, overall ice and snow on mountains has been retreating since the industrial age, according to scientists from around the world.

In some regions, it is very likely that glaciers will largely disappear by the end of this century, whereas in others ice cover will persist but in a reduced form for many centuries to come.

How we get from there to “glaciers increase” is beyond me.

Problem is — as anyone who’s used Twitter for any amount of time can attest — people even inquisitive people sometimes have a tendency to read only the headlines and not read the article (not that this is a new problem – newspaper readers are notorious headline scanners as well). Just watch the search term “glaciers” throughout the day on Twitter and see what happens – already most of the tweets of this story are accompanied with tags like “#ClimateGate” and “#GlacierGate.”

Inside the noise machine, the “reality” is that the glaciers are coming back despite what those lying climate scientists have been telling us. Actual reality doesn’t stand much of a chance.

Ken Paulman

Ken is the director of the Energy News Network at Fresh Energy and is a founding editor of both Midwest Energy News and Southeast Energy News. Prior to joining Fresh Energy, he was the managing editor for online news at Minnesota Public Radio. He started his journalism career in 2002 as a copy editor for the Duluth News Tribune before spending five years at the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, where he worked as a copy editor, online producer, features editor and night city editor. A Nebraska native, Ken has a bachelor's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a master's degree from the University of Oregon. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors.