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Rodney Hide on media influence in climate change debate

Rodney Hide discusses the media influence in climate change debate at NBR:

Here’s the New Zealand Herald’s science reporter Jamie Morton describing climate change: “It’s the biggest threat and challenge facing the planet.”

Here’s Fairfax’s environment reporter Charlie Mitchell: “I think climate change is inherently apocalyptic.” Here is commenting on his reporting: “If it pressures authorities into being more proactive about the threat of climate change, that would be worthwhile.”

Anyone attempting to decide for themselves whether they should worry or not should not be relying on our daily newspapers. To do so would be to be seriously misled. Newspapers are not picking a middle path providing analysis and facts and opposing argument. They are instead shunting readers to their predetermined conclusion and are eager to provide copy that “pressures authorities into being more proactive.”

I don’t believe climate change is the only subject where news reports are on a bandwagon.

It just happens that climate change is the most dramatic. Indeed, climate change is the grandaddy cause of them all.

A massive cause of vested interests pimping datasets, projections, models and fake news as if it was real. Not a single prediction has ever come true. It is the biggest pile of bullshit and if it happened in the corporate world people would be in jail.

It’s a cause that demands the radical reshaping of society by the rapid curtailment of the use of fossil fuels upon which, in turn, modern life is built and, indeed, sustained. It is a fundamental attack on industrial life and our ability to feed the world’s population. Climate change advocacy is not a save-the-fluffy-animal-type cause of little moment.

The news reports we are being fed aren’t even from the likely or middle-of-the-road scenarios of the much discredited IPCC reports, whose projections span the range from nothing to worry about to the apocalyptic, with the latter relying on highly unrealistic and implausible assumptions even by IPCC standards. For examples of the IPCC’s standards think “Himalayan glaciers gone by 2035” and “Hockey Stick.”

The good news is our journos are so convinced that they’re right that they don’t try to hide what they are doing. The above quotes show them to be proud of their work and not at all furtive. They don’t hide, in the language of today, “where they are coming from.”

I am also reluctant to be too hard on them. Not so long ago I was convinced by MIT computer modellers that by now we would have run out of fossil fuels with consequent war, starvation and pestilence having collapsed the world’s human population to a fraction of what it is today.

It didn’t happen. I am just pleased back then I wasn’t a scribbler so my scary scenarios that I knew to be so right weren’t recorded to embarrass me forever more. It’s also true that while the running-out-of-resources scenario generated a great many headlines and caused quite a stir, it had little or no effect.

And so we should not get too hot and bothered about the poor and biased reporting. It’s also having next to no effect. Over the past 25 years the world’s annual consumption of fossil fuels has increased a glorious wealth-promoting 57%.

Peak oil? Hasn’t happened yet. It seems there is plenty bubbling up from the ground. Global cooling? Didn’t happen either. Global warming? It seems to have paused. Ice-free Arctic by 2012? Nope, still covered in ice. It’s rubbish, junk science even.

The media are just too stupid to see they are being played.



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