Thursday, January 25, 2007

Media Manipulation and Global Warming

This week's Georgia Straight published a punishingly accurate condemnation of the Canadian media's role in convincing the public that there is a scientific debate about global warming, when in reality there is none. Calling their actions "journalistic malpractice" columnist Mitchell Anderson deftly outlines the failure of our media system and the role of big oil in manufacturing that failure.

the public is being misinformed on climate science by poor journalism that continues to tell both sides of the story even when there is no other side. The resultant political inaction might well kill the planet.

The opinions of any so called global warming "skeptic" should be considered null and void until unless they can refute the contents of this article.

The piece also offers some valuable reading for anyone who wants to be informed about the truth about global warming and are also listed under the new Must Reads header on the Conscious Earth's sidebar. They are required reading for anyone with an interest in both the global warming and the environmental debate.

Smoke, Mirrors & Hot Air: How ExxonMobil Uses Big Tobacco's Tactics to "Manufacture Uncertainty" on Climate Change - the title says it all.

Balance and Bias: Global Warming and the U.S. Prestige Press - outlines how global warming science is distorted by media.


Jan_ from_ BruceCounty said...

excellent post - great story by Georgia Strait.

Kyle G. Olsen said...

I always find it skeptical when people use language like this. Saying that global warming is absolute truth, and does not deserve to be presented, analyzed, and debated in the media denies a tenant of democracy.

What they are talking about is propaganda, not journalism.

It is wrong to present only one side, at all times. Also, conflict sells papers and if the global warming case is so strong, why worry about people on the other side presenting their view point?

Citizen should make up their own minds on the issue.

Your of lack faith in humanity is what I find most distressing.

Odiyya said...

I think you missed the main point of the article RE: "poor journalism that continues to tell both sides of the story even when there is NO OTHER SIDE".

Nobody is talking about denying democracy and your argument is a strawman's. If the press was quoting informed opinions that run in opposition to the established science of global warming then power to them, and to us all.

But they are not.

Anyone can be propped up in front of a camera to SAY anything. whether or not what they say is printed in the press needs to depend on their being any truth or fact behind their words. This is where so called skeptics and the press are failing.

Gwenny said...

I find it incredibly disappointing that, after waiting 40 years for the rest of humanity to start to recognize its negative impact on the planet, humans are only starting to act when they think they are personally threatened. I'm tired of the human-centric media hype about global warming and the total lack of concern about our personal responsibility to all life forms.

As for the doomsday, end of the world rhetoric, there ain't gonna be no end of the world. End of humans, perhaps, but I suspect that a planet which has survive both being a molten blob and a frozen snowball will survive anything we can possibly do.

Shame on us.

kitimat said...


Citizens should make up their own minds on climate change???

I don't know what you've read in the Calgary Sun...but the vast majority of climate scientists agree that global warming is happening. The evidence is undeniable and the consequences are extremely serious.

This is not propaganda..its fact.
We need to get passed the point of debate and begin to insist on meaningful action. The media needs to act responsibly and inform people of the hard, scientific consensus on this issue.

The only humanity I lack faith in are the corporations who would fund
the spread of disinformation on this issue. And of course those members of the media who would give them a stage to create doubt.

If you take the time to review the will see that time is not our friend with regards to global warming. We can't afford to argue about this anymore.

Anonymous said...

Those papers can continue to publish that sort of garbage, but the fact is, most Canadians, and even most Americans (where this sort of propaganda has been pushed even more so) already know global warming is happening because they can see it on a personal level. They're just wasting ink, because most of the population isn't listening. There's no point denying when you're not convincing anyone new.

Craig Mackintosh said...

Kyle G. - the issue is not wanting to stop journos telling both sides of the story - but rather that their way of telling of it leads people to believe there is an even-weighted argument, which is completely not so. This article may help amplify this thought.

E. R. Dunhill said...

Scientific discourse must be encouraged, but the dissent of fringe-groups and lobbyists should not be offered-up as equitable to the tide of scientific opinion.
We have to make decisions based on the best science available. Moreover, if we wait until there is universal concensus on absolutely every point, nothing will ever get done.