If you’ve ever wondered why there is a paucity of skeptical global warming articles from mainstream media outlets, journalist Matt Ridley explains why in his eye-opening OP-ED published today in The Times. He begins by describing how last week, The Times’ editor received a letter from several readers who were unhappy with two articles written by its environmental correspondent.
The letter was from Lord Krebs and 12 other members from the House of Lords (part of the UK’s parliament). In it, the authors admit that The Times’ coverage of the Paris climate conference had been “balanced and comprehensive,” but “denounced the two articles about studies by mainstream academics in the scientific literature, which provided less than alarming assessments of climate change.”
The now-infamous letter, which was “simultaneously leaked to the The Guardian,” provides an insider’s look into how mainstream media outlets, specifically newspapers, are being pressured to shut down any debate about the science of climate change. Essentially, there is a “heavily funded industry” at work, made up of anti-industry organizations, internal university factions, and Big Green environmental groups.
They include organizations like the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), Carbon Brief, Climate Coalition, the Campaign against Climate Change, publicly funded communication factions inside colleges, and worldwide environmental groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and World Wildlife Federation (WWF), just to name a few.
Many have multi-million-dollar budgets and others allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to pounce on “newspapers that publish anything skeptical about global warming.” Many are headed by former environmental journalists who seemingly have a “revolving door between environmental journalism and Big Green.”
Many of the scientists who actually believe in man-made global warming, but don’t think it will be catastrophic, are being targeted. Some are blacklisted, or blackballed, or go unpublished. Case in point, Ridley notes, is climatologist Lennart Bengtsson. After joining the UK-based think-tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation in 2014, the threats against his “healthy and safety” forced him to withdraw. He said it was a situation that reminded him “about the time of McCarthy.”
Other notables who still “brave the bullets” include the distinguished scientists “Judith Curry, Dick Lindzen, John Christy, Nic Lewis, Michael Kelly and David Legates.” Other climate scientists have told Ridley they “dare not put their heads above the parapet.” That’s not science or how it operates. That’s climate McCarthyism. And it’s being spearheaded by the heads of our largest federal agencies, including NOAA, NASA, and the EPA.
Democratic attorneys-generals from 16 states have also begun issuing subpoenas, targeting the think-tank Competitive Enterprise Institute among others, in “an attempt to silence its climate dissent.” Even journalists disposed to some sort of action on climate change have decried this decision: “I support action on climate change,” wrote Bloomberg Views’ columnist Megan McArdle. “But that doesn’t mean I’m entitled to drive people who disagree with me from the public square.”
Now they are going on fishing expeditions, attempting to hold oil companies, like ExxonMobil, responsible for climate change, accusing them of withholding information for over 30 years on the possible effects of increased CO2. The accusations against ExxonMobil came from an environmental group’s so-called ‘investigation,’ subsequently promoted by the NY Times and LA Times, with a far-reaching campaign funded by activists’ deep pockets.
Upon deeper investigation, the story was nothing more than suppositions and documents taken out of context. ExxonMobil even fired back a response that went largely ignored by the newspapers promoting the allegations.
Many of the journalists who cover climate change are far more likely to publish studies showing global warming catastrophe, and their editorial pages show this blatant bias. Scholarly journals that should remain above the fray also show similar bias. That’s what the 2009 ‘Climategate’ emails exposed: “intimidation against academics and journal editors who voiced doubts about the forthcoming Armageddon.”
The U.S. government is also complicit in the corrupt campaign to silence all doubt. The current administration is not doling out grants to scientists showing alternative research, and many have simply left the field or changed careers. The hostile climate of global warming study hearkens back to the Dark Ages, in which scientific endeavors were squelched for roughly 800 years under religious zeal.
Ridley also writes how in 2005, the Royal Society asked the editors of leading UK media outlets to be “vigilant against attempts to present a distorted view of the scientific evidence about climate change.” Then in 2006, the BBC held a then-secret meeting in which it “decided to limit the airtime given to climate skeptics.” At the meeting were the 28 “best scientific experts” but in reality “included only a handful of scientists remotely connected with climate among mostly environmental lobbyists.”
More recently, the “BBC upheld a complaint” for “allowing Lord Lawson to discuss climate change at all, commenting bizarrely that his views ‘are not supported by the evidence from computer modelling.'” The draconian nature of silencing debate goes all the way to the upper echelons of prestigious newspapers.
In 2013, Paul Thornton at the LA Times said they would “no longer publish letters from climate change deniers.” ‘Deniers’ has become the de facto pejorative term used by the faithful to liken Holocaust deniers with global warming skeptics. He rationalizes this by writing, “I’m no expert when it comes to our planet’s complex climate processes or any scientific field…when deciding which letters should run…I must rely on the experts.”
But as noted, many of the experts who don’t subscribe to catastrophic global warming aren’t getting published, funded, or hyped by the science outlets. They’ve become invisible. Toxic. Something to be avoided or, with nose clenched, begrudgingly noticed. But when congress became a Republican stronghold after two years of Obama-led rule, not only were they listened to, but to the chagrin of the mainstream media, were finally given a voice.
Enter Roger Pielke, Jr., who has testified before congress and is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado. After joining the FiveThirtyEight website, the vitriolic campaign against his hiring became too much. He told Discover Magazine that after the website editors “showed some reluctance” in publishing his work, he realized it was time for them to part company.
Professor Pielke is not a skeptic. But he’s also not an alarmist. And “with impeccably detailed evidence,” he showed “the increased cost of natural disasters is not the result of climate change.” That’s a problem if you’re trying to restructure the world’s economy around the belief that human-caused global warming is destroying the planet. Though an environmental expert, Pielke finally departed the climate change business.
Unfortunately, he won’t be the last.