I came across this brilliant speech that Michael Crichton wrote (via Brad Feld) called Fear, Complexity, & Environmental Management in the 21st Century which is a really interesting look at how society gets afraid of the wrong things because of misinformation and then by acting on that lack of information and understanding makes things worse.
Crichton talks about Chernobyl and that there were only 50 deaths there instead of the 15,000 to 30,000 that the NY Times and the Washington Post reported. That's a MASSIVE discrepancy.
I think that the data and the case laid out in Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth was very compelling but Crichton's speech certainly makes me think twice about it.
If our news outlets can't provide us with good data then how can we make good decisions? How good is our data?