‘Glaciergate’: Misleading headline of the day

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.

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