COVID is revealing a different catastrophe

By Tom Beakbane – May 16th, 2020

The world is now engaged in battling the COVID epidemic. Forces are being marshalled at levels reminiscent of the two World Wars. 

Anyone engaged on social media will be familiar with the flood of contradictory advice about the epidemic and how it is being weaponized by politicians. The leaders of the United States, Canada, Germany and the U.K. are portrayed as cartoon characters, depending on the author’s political leanings, either as out-of-touch buffoons or beleaguered heroes.  

To be faced with divergent views about our political leaders is nothing new but the media coverage is revealing another worry.

The COVID epidemic is being presented as a dry run for the systemwide changes needed to address the climate emergency. Maclean’s magazine writes they are both a “planetary emergency” that pose “an existential threat to civilization,” concluding, “The coronavirus indicates that states can take the measures needed to respond to significant threats. A similar approach is needed for environmental threats, before it is too late.” 

Sarah McInerney in an article “Climate change will be deadlier than Covid-19” in The Sunday Times of London made the case that the epidemic is a higher priority than the economy as climate change should also be. “This dogged devotion to putting the economy first, even in the face of death, has also paralysed our action on climate change.” Her conclusion, “For now, Covid-19 can’t be stopped, only slowed. Climate change can be both stopped and slowed.” 

The Times of London published an article on March 5th, starting, “Don’t take this the wrong way but if you were a young, hardline environmentalist looking for the ultimate weapon against climate change, you could hardly design anything better than coronavirus. Unlike most other such diseases, it kills mostly the old who, let’s face it, are more likely to be climate sceptics. It spares the young.” This comment advocating natural genocide is in the same league as those advanced by the worst despots in history, and what is more printed in the pages of a newspaper, respected since 1788.

When describing the Times article Rex Murphy was incredulous. “Climate fanatics never miss an opportunity” he writes, to “gloat about the right people being killed.”

The mainstream news media is presenting the COVID epidemic as a dry run for the “systemic change” needed to tackle the climate emergency. A comment on natural genocide is apparently politically acceptable.

These articles along with a flood of others from respected media organizations show there is deep concern about environmental pressures and also that alarmism about climate change is mainstream.

Readers’ comments under the articles reveal something different. They show that there are a large number of people who are dismissive of climate alarmism. Those that are critical of policies calling for the shutdown of infrastructure projects, the shutdown of extractive industries, carbon taxes and aspirations of “net zero” to “stop the climate changing,” generally elicit many thumbs up. 

There is a gap between the narrative advanced by the media including leading news organizations and what many in the public believe to be true.

The way the gap is explained by these organizations is that climate “deniers” are ignorant about science. 

An example is Fast Company, in an article titled, Why people are so easily fooled by conspiracy theories they read online, characterizes the skeptics as having “holes in their understanding of basic science—making them particularly susceptible to misinformation.” They cite a study that shows that a third of “Americans—especially Republicans” disagree  with “anthropogenic climate change (ACC)” To back their position they link to a paper published in 2013 claiming that “Scientists are in almost complete agreement that people are the primary cause of global warming.” On the surface the paper looks “scientific” but it is sociology and with a methodology akin to a sorority popularity contest. They do not reference any science themselves. 

Fast Company, a generally respected publication, makes the point that Americans, particularly Republicans, are “particularly susceptible to misinformation.” They reference a 2013 sociology paper and avoid mentioning any current scientific papers.

The “climate catastrophe” that is emerging is not that the climate is changing because of carbon dioxide. It is the destruction of the credibility of the mainstream media and the censoring of debate. 

As outlined on the Climate Realism Canada website the notion that it is possible to have a “scientific consensus” about something as wonderfully complex as the Earth’s climate betrays a comprehension of science that is at a high school level and is itself fundamentally anti-science.

The climate skeptics are far from redneck conspiracy theorists. Many of them are engineers, geologists, and the mathematically literate, so they are able to look at climate data themselves. They are the ones who are curious about actual scientific evidence. What they see is that the climate has been changing unpredictably, forever, and it will continue to change. Climate models are proving to be not much better than educated guesses at predicting weather and climate, and they are not a solid foundation for radical policy change. 

But the clouds are turning dark. The forces in governments, the media and green interests are lining up to outlaw views that are dissenting from the climate alarmist orthodoxy

It will be easy to curtail free speech now, as so much power is held by those who control digital communications. The alarmist messages have been repeated so incessantly that a majority presume they are true. 

It is a short step from the controls employed to handle the COVID epidemic to shutting down those who are encouraging intelligent, fact based debate.

For many the epidemic is terrifying. If free speech is a casualty of the COVID epidemic it will be doubly terrifying.    

The voices of realism are being drowned out. If you support honest debate please speak up and join Climate Realism Canada.

If free speech is a casualty of the COVID epidemic it will be doubly terrifying.   

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Censoring climate realists is Stalinesque and has become routine. More...

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