Believe reality – not propaganda.
Almost no one has the time to read scientific papers of any sort, including ones about climate. We depend on science journalists and academics to do the reading for us and figure out what is likely true, interesting and important.
The IPCC, which is a political organization, has taken on the role of guiding climate research, sorting through the data, assessing “the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation,” (learn more about IPCC’s mandate here). Then at periodic conventions distilling their findings into uncomplicated stories with gripping headlines.
Over the last three decades the narrative has become progressively more Alarmist, preying on everyone’s natural anxieties. There is a generation who have been taught in school that the IPCC’s message, which is essentially the same as the one described in the movie An Inconvenient Truth, is correct and represents a “scientific consensus.”
It is inconceivable that there could be a consensus about something as complex as the Earth’s climate and there are hundreds of world-leading scientists who hold many different positions.
Now there is an army of people, mostly young, who are alarmed, angry and motivated to slap down anyone who is courageous enough to point out that the data does not support that storyline.
Anytime a journalist contemplates explaining the complexities of the science they will usually be overruled by their editors who fear a backlash from Alarmists. The science is not easy to explain and not as psychologically satisfying as delivering an easy story, along the lines of: a climate event with victims, a reason (carbon dioxide), and a villain (“the fossil fuel industry”); and an honourable purpose (to save the planet).
Why so one-sided?
The weather is important to everyone. Before we step outside every one of us wants to know if we need a coat. We would all like to be able to book our holidays to avoid bad weather and it would be useful for farmers to plant crops that know will do well.
But it is clear to everyone that no one has figured out how to make reliable forecasts from season to season.
Why then do we hear that climate science is settled? And why do educators teach children that global warming is caused by mankind as a simple fact and that climate change can be prevented by eliminating carbon dioxide?
Many news organizations, including the CBC and alarmist web sites avoid alluding to the complexities of weather and routinely delete comments that deviate from the climate change orthodoxy. Why?
The reason can be traced back to an ex-Boston Globe reporter named Ross Gelbspan who wrote the book, The Heat is On that accused the fossil fuel industry of “repositioning global warming as theory rather than fact.” He presented evidence of a disinformation campaign reminiscent of the way the tobacco industry employed “shill experts” to confuse the public about the hazards of cigarette smoking.
A Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego, Naomi Oreskes made a similar argument, that climate scientists were knowingly obscuring the truth, which she detailed in the 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.
The accusations, the evidence, and counter-evidence are spelled out in meticulous detail by Russell Cook on the website Gelbspan Files. He states that “nobody bothered to corroborate the accusations that Gelbspan made. Since 1995, hundreds and perhaps thousands of environmental activists, reporters, politicians, and even scientists, civic and business leaders have repeated it.”
Journalists have wished to avoid “false balance,” fearful of being the unwitting shills of the fossil fuel industry and right wing propagandists, where “balance is the enemy of the truth.”
These days the media business is under financial pressure and journalists don’t have the time to dig into the details of climate science, which is extraordinarily broad and complex and so the public never hears about its fascinating details. The truth has become politically incorrect. Instead the public is fed tropes that are indistinguishable from propaganda.
Journalists become propagandists
Large parts of the media have dropped any desire to be objective about the reporting of weather events and climate change. Instead they openly declare their role as propagandists for government agencies and green interests.
Twenty four media outlets in Canada have signed up to Covering Climate Now, who extol, “When hundreds of newsrooms focus their attention on the climate crisis, all at the same time, the public conversation about the problem gets better: more prominent, more informative, more urgent.”
We are now in a situation where mainstream journalism is losing credibility among Canadians who don’t buy the increasingly unhinged narrative.
And most significantly politicians and policymakers are unable to propose platforms that are beneficial for Canadians and optimal for the planet. Even the most courageous journalists fear deviating from the Alarmist narrative
How did the slide towards propaganda get started?
The matter of how the headlines came to diverge from the scientific facts is an important story in its own right. Click here to find out why so many people think there is a “scientific consensus” and believe they have a duty to prevent “climate change.”
Videos by Tony Heller debunk propaganda
Tony Heller, a retired semiconductor engineer, is mathematically adept and has made a second career of re-analyzing Alarmist pronouncements. He makes ample use of newspaper cuttings from years gone by to reveal exaggerations and he shows how data is used selectively. Tony Heller’s credentials are here.
The immediately high view count for each of these videos shows how many people are bypassing mainstream media and getting their news about climate directly from independent experts.