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> if I as lay person am going to be getting my information from sources like NYT and National Geographic

If you'd like to have better understanding of any topic you have to learn to improve your critical thinking capabilities. The media simply print different "opinions" and "statements" and even mark them as such. You have to learn that the media never reflect the truth, the way they are used to cover almost any topic. They are simply the reflections of the power of those who do the influence. Big corporations (or organizations having immense funding) have big influence even when it is not obvious to the "lay person".

From the media side, how it typically work is that the "debate" and the "controversy" sell (more ads, more readers, more viewers). So very often they would give as much attention to one person representing the conclusion 95% of all world scientist as to another person representing a set of fringe "contrarians" financed by some NGO's which are actually financed by some corporations whose interest is to promote that view:

https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Ob...




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