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Are Warmist-Journalists Helping Spread The Skeptical Word In The UK?

Who could have guessed…journalists are third from bottom in the list of trusted public figures in the UK, a poll has just shown. A great progress indeed (they had the pride of last place until now), apart from the fact that this year they have been beaten by scandal-plagued parliamentarians and Government ministers on their way down.

Now, consider also the vast amounts of AGW belief among British journalism (eg BBC, Guardian, Independent, most tabloids if not all of them, apart from a tiny number of mostly politically-motivated people at The Daily Telegraph).

Is it any wonder then that AGW skepticism is on the increase in the UK?

Perhaps the impact of all the rivers of ink and bytes dedicated by non-skeptical AGW British media should not be underrated…

0 replies on “Are Warmist-Journalists Helping Spread The Skeptical Word In The UK?”

Of course the continued reporting on AGW is going to advance skepticism and it’s why the AGW camp keeps shooting themselves in the foot. The reporting causes discourse no matter what the view of the report is and discourse on the subject is only going to hurt AGWs case as the ridiculous claims they make continue to strain credulity. I know common sense isn’t that common but everytime the AGW harbingers of doom spout off some prediction of catastrophe that simply goes against what we observe around the world and in our own back yard it’s going to become more and more obvious that what’s happening and what the warmist say just don’t match up.

Looking at the article you link to, I see professors are near the top of trusted professions at 80% (no mention of scientists in the article). That may change if the current furore surrounding Briffa and his taxpayer-funded shenanegans in the Urals (see Climate Audit, Wattsupwiththat etc) hits the media.
I find the low figure for journalists truly surprising, but I doubt whether global warming hysteria has much to do with it. Even readers of Guardian Environment seem more interested in exotic tropical frogs and loft insulation than global warming.
The “serious” papers are caught between the demand of their “core” readers for quality journalism, and the commercial imperative of ever-increasing circulation. You either have a quality press read by 5% of the population, as in France and Italy, or a dumbed down version – half-serious, half tongue-in-cheek – read by 40%, as in Britain. Much as I hate their coverage of climate change, I prefer the Guardian to Corriere della Sera. Sorry Maurizio.

PS. Thanks to Luke Warmer for the link to the BBC Black article mentioning McIntyre and McKitrick. It’s incredible how often you see their work dismissed by warmers with this kind of comment: “Not the hockeystick again (yawn)”.
A last (off-topic) point on the current McIntyre / Briffa controversy: I can’t resist this quote on a Wattsupwiththat thread, from Cassandra King:
To see a world in a grain of sand, an eternity in a second, and the future from a dozen trees..

Geoff – to be clear: I am not saying that people do not believe in journalists because they don’t believe in AGW…it’s the other way around…AGW campaigning journalists are pushing a large amount of readers to the skeptical side, because people don’t generally believe in journalists…

Thanks for the correction Maurizio.
As the science of AGW collapses, and the journalists and politicians head for the liferafts, these apparently secondary questions will take on more importance.
Having worked in opinion research, I pay close attention to polls asking questions on “what will you do?” (who will you vote for, which product will you buy, etc) and very little to those which ask “What do you think of… ?”
Roughly 80% of respondents don’t trust journalists. Fair enough. 60% of the population read rubbish papers, or none, and so are correct in their assesssment. The other 20% represent half of the readers of the “serious” press. Perhaps it’s a good thing that half the literate population express scepticism? I trust Jeremy Clarkson to make me laugh, and I trust George Monbiot to piss me off. So do I have 100% trust in journalists? Sort of.
I have comments to make on your other interesting articles, but, as to opinions on the press, it’s all happening in Rome tomorrow. It may only be once a century, but sometimes it’s the press – however much despised – which makes the difference.

geoff – Even the WWF has decided to participate to the Rome gathering. If that doesn’t tell you what’s actually happening, I don’t know what will


A good point. I also think the media is helping to create skeptics by not grasping the nettle of the Yamal story at CA, for example, apart from by those with (perhaps) a political agenda.

The Beeb article link presents Dr Lorraine Whitmarsh’s work along with her prescription that “It is time we made it real to people.” This is clearly activism above and beyond her role as an Environmental Psychologist (sic) – she appears not to be as interested in the phenomenon itself but in making changes to people’s views. As with Oreskes work and others who look at this issue they seem unable to posit a null hypothesis that the IPCC is/ or even could be wrong.

I especially like the way she makes no judgement or comment (in this brief Beeb report at least) on the finding that “Half of the people surveyed believed the media was too alarmist” when we had that proclamation from Vicky Pope at the Met Office and many other examples of climate porn. Surely the finding that the public is both right and wrong (from Whitmarsh’s perspective) is a highly interesting one, especially in the age of the wisdom of crowds etc. Or perhaps she hasn’t been skeptical enough to realise that this 50% is right. Back to Yamal etc.

I then clicked through and eventually found one of Richard Black’s diatribes about skeptics – “Climate science: Sceptical about bias”

where he makes a very shabby point:

“Nature’s refusal to publish a re-analysis by Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick of the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) “hockey stick” graph has been so well documented elsewhere, not least in hearings instigated by US congressmen, that there is really nothing new to say.

So he doesn’t say!

Does he agree with the findings or not? Clearly that quip – “depending on your point of view” – is revealing in itself. Does he think it’s famous or infamous i.e. is the hockeystick right or wrong? That would be journalism.

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