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Global warming a hoax, media know it

Journalists, Global Warming, and the Truth


By —— Bio and Archives--October 5, 2007

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Being skeptical used to be a badge of honor for journalists, but if one reads any newspaper these days, most reporters casually refer to “global warming” without any hint that it is anything other than a done deal. Too many reporters have completely bought into the notion that humans and their use of fossil fuels are destroying the atmosphere and “causing” global warming. Neither assumption is true.

Of course, what makes this easier is the constant stream of environmental propaganda that attributes everything to “global warming.” The list is vast and generally idiotic. Humans must now take responsibility for both droughts and severe storms. Winter blizzards are said to be the result of “global warming.” Hurricanes that have been around for eons before the “global warming” theory are now to be attributed to it.

Is the Earth warming? Yes, it has warmed naturally since the end of the last mini-Ice Age in the 1800s. There has been no dramatic rise in temperature. For millions of years the Earth has always gone through warming and cooling cycles.

One would expect reporters would make some effort to familiarize themselves with these simple concepts, but many of today’s reporters literally grew up hearing about “global warming” to such an extent they do not question it. It has been part of the curriculum in the nation’s schools since around the 1970s.

What I found troubling recently was an August 28 commentary in the primary trade magazine of the newspaper industry, Editor & Publisher. In a column titled “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers” by Steve Outing, I was appalled by its recommendations, but also aware that they are already at work in the newsrooms of America.

Outing Commentary:

“I’ve also been thinking about the newspaper industry and global warming,” wrote Outing. “And, frankly, I don’t think newspapers are doing enough. Indeed, newspapers’ fabled commitment to ‘objectivity’ has been a detriment to efforts to combat global warming.”

Outing assumes (1) that “global warming” as meaning a dramatic rise in Earth’s overall temperatures is actually occurring, (2) humans are to blame, and (3) journalists have an obligation to influence readers to do something about it.

Indeed, he says, “How about if newspapers abandon their old way of doing things when it comes to the issue of global warming, and turn their influence to good? Editors, he wrote, “are shirking their responsibility to improve our world, in my view, so let’s change that.” This is the first demand of all totalitarian governments.

I began my working life as a journalist on weeklies, on a daily newspaper, and then as a freelancer contributing to news syndicates, until I realized there was a lot more money to be made in public relations. People understand that the role of public relations is the intentional effort to influence opinion and policy. PR operates in the arena of ideas and facts. Propaganda is the deliberate distortion of the truth.

Journalists are expected to dispassionately report what is happening and to get out of the way so the reader can make up their mind based on the facts. Want opinion? Read the editorial page. Read the letters to the editor. Read specifically identified opinion commentaries by dueling experts.

There’s nothing wrong with a mix of news and opinion, but putting aside journalistic standards of accuracy and objectivity in order to “do good” in the rest of the newspaper is a very bad idea.

“There’s clearly scientific consensus that humans are altering the planet’s climate,” said Outing. There is no such consensus. He’s not only wrong, but to put forth this opinion as fact is inexcusable.

Even the reports issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, created by the United Nations to push the “global warming” theory, have been seriously challenged and disputed. When the IPCC recently released expert review comments and responses to its latest assessment of the science of climate change, literally thousands of comments criticized the report. Many of the IPCC lead authors rejected the assessment.

“The few critics of the consensus are a small and shrinking group, who to most observers seem irrelevant. To the mainstream, they may as well be flat-earthers,” said Outing. Wrong again. There is no consensus—science operates on the basis of reproducible fact, not general agreement—and the critics are, in fact, a growing number of scientists and others who have come to regard “global warming” as a hoax.

“As long as news organizations keep alive the idea that there’s still a ‘debate’ about whether human-induced climate change is real or not,” wrote Outing, “people have an excuse for not changing their behavior.”

And if that change involves a full-scale assault on a vast array of modern, life-enhancing technologies, Outing has no problem with that. His mind is made up and journalists should abandon presenting an opposing point of view.

That such a commentary should appear in a major journalism trade publication is an offense to the right of people to receive the best, fact-driven, accurate information about an alleged “global warming” as can be provided each and every day. And if it is a hoax, they have a right to know that too.



Alan Caruba -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Editor’s Note: Alan passed away on June 15, 2015.  He will be greatly missed

  Alan Caruba: A candle that goes on flickering in the dark.

 

Older articles by Alan Caruba

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