Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Climate change and the media

Extract from Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth, 2006:
"Isn't there disagreement among scientists about whether the global warming problem is real or not? Not really. There was a massive study of every scientific article in a peer reviewed journal written on global warming for the last 10 years and they took a 10% sample, 928 articles. The number of those disagreeing with the scientific concensus that we're causing global warming and that it is a serious problem was ZERO. The misconception that there is disagreement about the science has been deliberately created by a relatively small group of people. One of their internal memos leaked and here's what it said: our objective is to reposition global warming as theory rather than fact. Have they succeeded? There was another study of all the articles in the popular press over the last 14 years. They looked at a sample of 636 articles. 53% doubted that we were the cause."

The more I read about climate change the more I am astonished at the lack of discussion and lack of programs about it in the media. We are at a critical point: if we don't do more about it within the next 4 years, the damage will be irreversible. It may already be irreversible. 2009 may be the first summer with no arctic sea ice in Greenland. So what you say? No arctic sea ice in Greenland means the biosphere has lost part of its ability to sink carbon and that the golf stream current will stall. In other words, the disappearance of the arctic sea ice means the onset of our species becoming extinct. Why is there not more media coverage about that?

In my view it's down to the news culture. News is about what happens now, not what will happen and it is what we are being fed on TV every day. There's a complete lack of foresight in the British media that is both appalling and worrying. The media plays a key role in informing the population and if the population is not well informed enough then they can't be prepared for climate change or be motivated to do anything about it.

Take for example the recent articles in the Times and the Mail deploring the loss of incandescent light bulbs or questioning whether we should continue recycling paper considering the market for it has collapsed. This is outrageous! Have they not heard of deforestation contributing to 20% of the worldwide emissions of carbon or of the ever rising levels of carbon in our atmosphere threatening our species of extinction? There's so much wrong with our culture I can't even begin to express my disgust.

Here's some evidence of The Times's campaign to deny climate change and to encourage people to do nothing about it (an action which in our opinion is equivalent to denying the Holocaust or if we put ourselves back at the time of that event: encouraging it):

Read the published section of have your say on articles about the environment: The Times always advertises predominantly negative opinions on articles related to climate change.

18/3/09 Anger as Shell reduces renewables investment, 2/3 comments are negative.

Yes, Joe, edinburgh - Greens should put their money where their considerable mouths are. The trouble is - like all socialists - they only want to play games with OTHER people's money.

JohnW, Manchester, UK

The oil companies are making sound business decisions.

It's enviros who are the hypocrites - Wind projects have high initial CO2 usage and noise pollution; Hydro CO2 usage, flooding of production areas and water shortage downstream: Solar CO2 usage and equipment disposal problems. Main Scam is CO2

Jim Talbot, Auckland, New Zealand

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