In the wacky world of AGW promotion we often come face to face with the template. The template is a preformatted piece of propaganda, you only need insert three or four words to complete the trick.
All the best MSM alarmists make frequent use of the same template but never acknowledge the originator, not a nod of gratitude, hat-tip or reference to the copyright holder.
This is the template
A new paper published in _____________ suggests that ______________ might/could _____________ and result in costly problem / Armageddon / apocalypse / certain death by 2015 / 2020 / 2030 / 2050
Scientists say ____________ the size of Manhattan / 4 Hiroshima bombs / time bomb
[insert image] e.g. iceberg / polar bear / dark steam / chimney / melting ice
The template makes sense, especially in businesses with branches far and wide, it gives an impression of unity and harmony to what would otherwise appear a disorganized collective – and at the same time gives a benign impression to all involved.
But there is a deeper and more sinister aspect to this.
The masters of the template obviously don’t trust their minions with ‘freestyle’ propaganda, which is a bit of an insult if you’re editor of the environment section of a major newsgroup. Because what the masters are saying to the journalist or editor is, ‘you are a useful idiot’ and I can’t imagine those journalists protesting that the word ‘useful’ is superfluous despite all the evidence indicating that ‘useful idiots’ have relatively short careers.
Evidently, the journalist is indeed a useful idiot for a cause he may or may not believe in, but while he or she can continue to overdose the storyline with if, might, may, could and likely, every second sentence, the pay cheque is in the post.