Thursday, April 07, 2016

Exemplary journalism …

… Exhibiting Bias | City Journal.

If you’re looking for biased environmental science at museums, you can find it, but the bias goes the other way, toward eco-alarmism and left-wing politics. Before any more scientists denounce David Koch’s influence at the American Museum of Natural History, they might try visiting the place first. A good place to start the tour, for historical perspective, is in one of the least popular parts of the museum: the Hall of New York State Environment. It’s a quaint nook with a musty collection of dioramas from the early 1950s, long before Koch was on the board. The human impact on the environment is depicted in a historical series of dioramas of Dutchess County in upstate New York.
First, there’s “The Forest Primeval,” some of which is cut down to make room for “The Settlement” in the 1790 diorama. Most of the forest has given way to farmland in the 1840 diorama, titled “High Tide.” But by 1870, some of the farmland is lying fallow, and by 1950, much of it has been covered again with forest. One cause of this trend is depicted in the tiny models of farming equipment, a progression from a simple ox-drawn plow to more elaborate machines drawn by horses and, ultimately, by a motorized tractor. By 1950, the diorama’s copywriter exults, “the invention of the gas engine” and “the remarkable development of specialized machines” enabled farmers to grow more food with less labor on less land, allowing farmland to revert to forest.

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