Green Journalism; Mainstream Media Creating Climate Stories

green_machineJPGGuest opinion by Dr Tim Ball | Creating the News:

On August 4 2014, an article in The Guardian claimed, “World’s Top PR Companies Rule Out Working With Climate Deniers”. It is a classic example of what purports to be journalism today, a concocted story, in which the story contradicts the headline. It is a variation of what is known as yellow journalism, defined as, “a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.” I call it ‘green journalism’. G.K.Chesterton said, “Journalism largely consists of saying “Lord Jones is dead” to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.” In green journalism, it is likely Lord Jones didn’t exist, but if he did, he probably owned an oil company.

The Guardian story is another in a stream of articles in the mainstream media, apparently designed to counter growing public and political awareness that IPCC science is wrong. Increasingly, they take the form used by a person or group losing an argument. It is known as an ad hominem, defined as “attacking an opponent’s character rather than answering the arguments.” It usually applies to an individual, but the modern form is collective. You identify a group with a name, such as “birther”,conspiracy theorist”, “global warming skeptic”, or “climate change denier”, which marginalizes them and destroys their credibility. Is a collective ad hominem an oxymoron? It is further evidence of the political nature of the climate debate. As US commentator, George Will, said, “When a politician says the debate is over, you can be sure of two things; the debate is raging; and he’s losing it.”

Media Meddling And Manipulation

Green journalism articles amount to a PR campaign to create misinformation and illusion. As Michael Mann said in his 2004 email to Phil Jones, “…the important thing is to make sure they’re loosing (sic) the PR battle.” Mainstream media, particularly the New York Times and The Guardian, were exposed as actively involved with the people at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) when the emails were leaked. Their communications were not probing journalism, but requests to help spin the story. Seth Borenstein provides an example in a July 23, 2009 leaked email when he wrote to the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) gang.

“Kevin (Trenberth), Gavin (Schmidt), Mike (Mann), It’s Seth again. Attached is a paper in JGR today that Marc Morano is hyping wildly. It’s in a legit journal. Watchya think?”

George Monbiot of the Guardian, expressed anger and disappointment, not only about what the emails disclosed, but also about the failure to deal with the issue. As Steve McIntyre explained,

At the Guardian symposium last summer, George Monbiot’s opening question (to Trevor Davies of East Anglia) was: why was CRU’s response to this issue such a total car crash?

George Monbiot’s advice to the environmental community was simple: that they’d “only get past this by grasping reality, apologising where appropriate, and demonstrating that it cannot happen again.”

He is talking partly about the reaction to the leaked emails, but primarily the cover-up orchestrated by committees of inquiry set up by universities and others. His question is about why the University of East Anglia (UEA) hired PR person Neil Wallis of Outside Organization to handle the fall out. Wallis, a former editor at the News of The World, was arrested in connection with the phone hacking scandals that led to the resignation of London Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner, and Prime Minister Cameron’s press secretary Andy Coulson. In June 2014, Coulson was found guilty of hacking.

Monbiot’s comments suggest he didn’t grasp, or didn’t want to believe, the degree of corruption and deception disclosed by the leaked emails. He doesn’t mention that it was his reporting that disseminated the false information. His newspaper, the Guardian, apparently hasn’t learned, as the August 4 article indicates.

The Guardian Headline

The headline and subheading are deceptive in themselves. The headline says

“World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers.”

This implies they already held these positions. In fact, they were responding to questions designed to make them take a position. More problematic, the headline is incorrect. They didn’t rule it out. They provided skillful, carefully worded, answers using their professional PR skills that effectively took no position.

As the article explains half way through,

The PR firms were responding to surveys conducted independently by the Guardian and the Climate Investigation Centre, a Washington-based group that conducts research on climate disinformation campaigns.”

Kert Davies, Founder of the Climate Investigation Centre (CIC) is quoted saying,

The PR industry is a major component of the influence peddling industry that stretches across Washington and the world, and they are making large sums of money from energy companies and other important players that have businesses connected to fossil fuels and energy policy,

That doesn’t sound like a person and organization that would take an objective view. It is more like one that would carry out a survey to create a story rather than examine the scientific facts.

Sub-Headline

The subheading says,

“Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emission-reducing regulations.”

These remarks came after the Guardian and the CIC asked them, and only 10 out of 25 said it, despite pressure, as the article admits.

Only 10 of the 25 firms responded to multiple emails, phone calls and certified letter from the CIC, either directly or through a parent company.

The answers quoted by the article, presumably the most favorable ones, are masterpieces of PR. Rhian Rotz, spokesman for Waggener Edstrom World-wide, said,

“We would not knowingly partner with a client who denies the existence of climate change,”

The UK-based WPP, the world’s largest advertising firm by revenue, said,

“…taking on a client or campaign disputing climate change would violate company guidelines. “We ensure that our own work complies with local laws, marketing codes and our own code of business conduct. These prevent advertising that is intended to mislead and the denial of climate change would fall into this category.”

What a wonderfully cynical comment from people whose job it is to mislead or misdirect. The point is nobody denies climate change; the issue is the extent to which humans are causing climate change.

Synopsis

The Guardian, a socialist newspaper, and CIC, a singular-focus research agency, created data to try and prove PR firms were rejecting a certain group of clients. They weren’t, so a majority ignored the survey, but some provided carefully worded PR answers apparently to appear environmentally and politically friendly and correct. Few are more skilled at recognizing a set up.

Those who responded did so with masterful PR. They implied that business was business and they didn’t moralize about the message. For example, Fiona McEwan, spokeswoman for WPP that comprised 150 companies said, each made

“…their own decisions on clients and would not rule out campaigns opposing regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.”

 

The authors worked very hard, without success, to convince themselves they had meaningful results. Like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), they setout to prove their hypothesis, to further their political agenda. It didn’t matter if the procedure and results failed: there was what appeared to be evidence and cogent proof, sufficient to support the headline.

It is fascinating how PR people convince themselves that only their PR is the truth and maybe that is the ultimate PR spin. Look at Kert Davies comment (above). He forgets that many PR companies, likely most, are working to promote the misguided science of the IPCC, government and alternate energy companies. The article quotes James Hoggan, owner of a PR company and founder of DeSmogblog, which he created for, “clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science”. He is not a climatologist or a climate scientist, so his view is, at best, subjective. The article neglects to tell you he is also Chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation, a major Canadian environmental group, but maybe the omission was a PR decision. The more important question is why does climate science need PR at all? The answer is in George Braque’s observation; Truth exists, only lies are invented. And they need an inventor.

The way the article was created, written and presented are classic examples of what Michael Crichton, graduate of Harvard Medical School and author of State of Fear warned, in his 2003 speech,

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.

It is a classic example of green journalism, a more recent form of yellow journalism, “…that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers.” The Guardian headline is also a form of an appeal to authority. Ironically, it is a measure of the author’s desperation to create a story, because they don’t understand that PR and its practitioners are not considered authorities. The public knows they are masters of spin and deception, who are not needed, as Thomas Jefferson was aware. PR company philosophy is summarized in a Bosnian proverb that says, “Who lies for you will lie against you.”

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77 thoughts on “Green Journalism; Mainstream Media Creating Climate Stories

    • A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes (attributed mostly to Mark Twain)

    • “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

  1. Ordinarily, such an article would encourage me. However, given the numbers of the unthinking and uninformed motivated by the loaves thrown to them in the coliseum, I remain frightened.

  2. I believe it was Mark Twain who said: “If you don’t read newspapers you are ill-informed, if you do read newspapers you are misinformed”.

    • You could also say : “If you don’t read WUWT you are ill-informed, if you do read WUWT you are misinformed”, it works fine too.

      • The problem is that it’s easy to show how the newspapers are lying about major stories.
        You can’t do the same regarding WUWT.

      • No it doesn’t- all this reveals is your commitment to the use of lies to maintain your religion- (and again reinforcing the common use of childish fallacies by the uneducated followers of this nonsense) -“Environmentalism” was the crux of Michael Crichton’s (quoted from above) speech, in which he related, point by point, the parallels of the pagan religion of environmentalism to the Judeo-Christian religions. But, Eden cannot be re-created by crazed mobs burning the heretics at the behest of the enviro-priesthood. To use a choice word from the atheist bumper sticker crowd, “evolve.”

  3. “World’s Top PR Companies Rule Out Working With Climate D***”.

    Well that means the PR industry WILL work with climate change D*****s; the only people they DON’T work with are the people who deny that there is a climate.

    Well played by the PR guys.

  4. Unfortunately, people are very gullible and unless they read articles like this one, will
    continue to be missled by headlines or special offers.
    I spent the last 25 years of my life selling a product which my competitors appeared to
    market using key words like “special offer” “60% discount” etc.
    I never gave a discount but explained to my prospective customers that I was more than
    happy to give them my best price.
    The vast majority of people responded to that logic buy some were not convinced that
    they were being manipulated.

    Brilliant article

    • I don’t think its a case of gullibility as much as it is a case of intellectual ‘laziness’. People tend to ‘skim’ newspapers and draw conclusions from the headlines and maybe the 1st paragraph of an article. It takes a great deal of energy to critically examine a biased article and most busy people don’t have the time or inclination too do so. This is well known to folks like Borenstein and Monbiot, who bury the accurate information in the tail end of their articles while putting the ‘misleading’ information they want people to adopt in the title/1st couple of paragraphs. That way, when their writing is challenged they can say, “its accurate”.

      That and if the title reinforces already held beliefs people tend to accept it without question.

  5. I experienced the use of Ad Hominem argument on the Guardian comments quite recently. At the time I was arguing for a socialist position (as I do) and was shouted down by a fellow Guardianista because I don’t believe the world is ending.

    This may be illuminating of the mindset of alarmists.
    I wrote on the 18th August 2014, 11:06am

    I vote Labour because I care about the NHS and wealth distribution more than defence and nationalism or whatever the Tories are on about now.
    But that also means I support less regressive taxation policies. And this Tory proposal is less regressive. We all need electricity (rich or poor) but the poor are affected by higher energy prices more – relative to their income.
    So removing energy bill-payer subsidies appeals to me.
    It sounds like a policy that both Left and right would agree with.
    Does anyone oppose it?

    semyorka replied

    ”But that also means I support less regressive taxation policies.”
    You are a climate change denier. Before any political affiliation this matters because you reject science and are just using a political rationalization to reject action on what you believe is not a problem.

    What annoyed me most was his American spelling.

    Shortly afterwards I was banned from the Guardian for linking to and referencing IPCC AR5. It is unacceptable to win the argument in their own terms.

    • semyorka is a fully paid-up alarmist. He/she/it will not countenance any diversion from the Truth Path.

    • I got banned for linking to Arctic sea ice data ! Obvious, underhand science deeniers tactics.

      I complained to the readers’ editor about the way his papers comments were moderated and got a reply to the effect that it was some kind of “community” effort and that the editorial staff tried no to get involved.

      They are quite happy for their comments section to be AGW echo-chamber. It is just a platform for targeted advertising.

      I would suggest you take being banned from Guardian comments as God’s way of telling you to do something more productive with your time.;)

      • LOL, attempting too engage anyone in reasonable discussion in the comment section of a news site in the US (Fox,CNN, etc) is painful at best. Just reading the comments lowers your IQ by 10 points.

      • Some of our local newspapers here in western New York State (ie: the Batavia Daily News) decided they simply were not going to publish any letters or articles that make any mention of the ‘green’ boondoggle of industrial wind energy – even though wind (& solar) are the main thrust of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s current energy policy here. They haven’t even published the fact that citizens within their readership area have filed a $40 Million dollar lawsuit against Big Wind LLC, Invenergy, for the problems these taxpaying citizens are now experiencing as a result of Invenergy’s 58-turbine Orangeville, NY project.

        I guess they figure that by not telling the rest of the people within their readership area about the utter divisiveness that has been created by these sprawling, towering symbols of greed and stupidity, that no one will be the wiser, and their ‘green’ ideological dreams can continue to be forced onto consumers – facts and reality be damned. Unfortunately, the media controlling the message in this way is all too common today. See:

        New York Wind Wars – Hiding the Facts:

        http://www.masterresource.org/2013/09/new-york-wind-wars/

      • CORRECTION: The Batavia Daily News did print a small notice about Orangeville citizens lawsuit, but only online. They did not print in hard copy – which, for many citizens is the only way they get the news (especially older people who don’t have a computer, but do vote!)

      • Mary Kay,
        When people get fed up enough with wind energy and businesses that support wind energy this will end.
        Quit buying products from companies that support wind energy and ENGOs.

      • That may be true Barbara, but in the meantime taxpayers & ratepayers continue to be bilked out of $Billions of dollars for a USELESS, environmentally-destructive, ‘green’ energy boondoggle that can NEVER provide modern, dispatchable baseload power – which is continuing to “skyrocket” our electricity rates and add to the national debt our children & grandchildren will have to bear. That is simply unacceptable! And all the while this FRAUD is allowed to continue, those in the rural-residential areas of the country that are being targeted by these unscrupulous snake-oil salesmen (like the good people in my area of Western New York State), are having their health and quality of life negatively-impacted, and being cheated out of the value of their most expensive life investment – their homes! See:

        Orangeville [NY] Citizens file a $40 Million dollar lawsuit against Invenergy:

        http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_326873a8-2a7a-11e4-8f8b-001a4bcf887a.html

        And believe me, Barbara, I’ve been boycotting GE & fellow Big Wind swindlers for years now. I am totally aware of who it is that comprises the boards of these morally-bankrupt, financially self-interested corporate organizations (Check out the Boards of NYSERDA & AWEA).

      • Barbara, Read the sad testimony of a guy now stuck living within Invenergy’s Orangeville, NY wind factory, who posted this comment on the article:

        Orangeville, NY citizens File $40 Million Dollar Lawsuit against Invenergy:

        http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/news/article_326873a8-2a7a-11e4-8f8b-001a4bcf887a.html:

        From “sdamike”:

        I would like to chime in here, being located in Orangeville myself. Where we live, we are surrounded by more than 6 turbines with in 1/4 to 1/2 mile I’d guess. it may be more turbines than that im just going by how i can see easily. We moved to orangeville about 5 years ago and were totally neutral to the whole wind turbine issue. We figured lower property taxes would be nice and that how bad can the turbines be? So the fight about turbines went on for years and we never took a side. Then the turbines started being built. It was a mess and you dont absorb how big a turbine is until you see 1 blade being trucked in on a semi with a double length trailer bed. Months later after all the mess, they were done and running. First thing you notice is no more clean night sky, now there is always blinking red lights and if its foggy, the whole sky blinks red.

        Then we noticed water vibrating in our barn and in our house. Now we have lived here 5 years and never seen that before. And it happens In Just a plain old water bottle, the water vibrates… like in the movie jurrasic park when the t-rex is coming…its just like that just not as severe.

        Then as the weather changed for the worse or if the wind was stronger, we noticed the water vibrations get worse and we also noticed the wind turbines make much more noise. In our house we actually get a type of thumping in the right conditions. Its pretty terrible. I will close windows, turn fans on, turn the a/c on, turn the tv on just to drown out the noises. It also gives me a “I need to get out of here” anxiety feeling…and well, there no getting out of anywhere…its where you live! And we also run our business from here, so no escape at work!

        On the bad nights it effects my sleep, I just cant fall asleep. I even tried ear plugs…which will work sometimes.

        Thats another thing, forget having your windows open for the most part…especially at night, that seems to always be when the turbines make the most noise. But they can have noisy days if the weather is right.

        The one time it was like 3 days of constant thumping and noise…we called the invenergy rep to complain and they sent out some lady…didnt say much and didnt help much either.

        We had another instance where she and some head guy from Chicago came…I showed him what the water was doing on a video i had on my phone that I took, and also showed him in person, but he didnt even really acknowledge it. All they care about is the DB meter which is really not a fair measurement of what is going on here. Overall we probably called invenergy 5 or so times to complain over the past 5 or so months. But after a few times it just seemed like the same song and dance and then there doesn’t seem to be a point in calling to complain anymore.

        I will say now, i am getting headaches more frequently…not sure if its related, but it has increased. And i feel like i never really get good sleep…probably because the noise they make takes you out of REM sleep would be my guess.

        But its the thumping and noise that i cant deal with. Forget open windows, forget enjoying outside. Unless its just the right day with no wind or barely any and the turbine are barely even moving or are just not moving at all…you will hear them.

        Looking back now, I would rather pay the higher taxes then have the wind turbines here. They really have changed life in a negative way and i dont think anyone deserves that.

        To all that think Im making this stuff up, go live by some turbines…esp. these huge ones we have here in orangeville that are even bigger than the sheldon ones, for at least a month or two, and then tell me what you think.

        I wish i would have know about this lawsuit as maybe it will help fix something, the more people the better as there is strength in numbers, but how were we supposed to know about it to get on board?

      • Mary Kay,
        If all the people affected by industrial wind turbines across North America would quit supporting businesses that support wind energy then the money to support ENGOs and other parties would dry up.
        Posted the U.S.CAP so other interested people can view this information as well.

  6. Michael Crichton, 2003:” I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance” . In the meantime in the Netherlands: De Volkskrant of 28 august 2014: According a professor in Communication: ” Naked facts never convince”. We live in interesting times.

    • oebele bruinsma, this is exactly the problem. And I’ve noticed it frequently, since I develop web sites and often allow comments. Originally, like 20 years ago, someone commenting on the Internet was actually commenting. These days people run around in groups and deliberately deface comment systems. It’s horrid, actually. And yes, I’ve seen some of the same doofuses here at WUWT.

      After leaving a rational comment on a “yahoo” story last week, I was soon gang-commented by about 12 people who completely twisted what I had written, turned it around, and “nullified” it. Finally, one pointed out that people like me are simply paid shills for the oil industry, followed by a collection of agreement and the associated mocking. During this entire time I was unable to comment because I was blocked from the thread.

      This IS how the left are “controlling the dialog”. Just ban and block everything you disagree with. And the giant, youth-oriented internet services (particularly bad for “progressive” spew is Google) see absolutely nothing wrong with it. It’s pathetic, and in fact is the clearest ever sign of the demise of this civilization.

  7. “You see, the price of forever living in fear of something is to become indifferent to it in the end, and once you realise you’re still alive anyway, you’ll never fear that particular bogey man again.”

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/why-isnt-the-alarmist-propaganda-working/

    It’s yesterday’s fad. Look at how many environment “journalists” have been relieved of their job in the last few years. The Guardian & NYT are the last Japanese soldiers fighting on after the war was already lost …

    Pointman

    • Well that is very heartening but I’m not sure it is the whole story.

      How many science journalists, arts journalists and indeed any specialist journalists have been relieved of their job in the last few years?
      Journalism as a whole is in decline because of online competition.

      It looks to me as though the science and technology journalists have taken on the environmental role and the environmental mindset with it.

      Which actually weakens the rational case.

      • “Journalism as a whole is in decline because of online competition.”
        It’s in decline because most journalists are liars and propagandists, conspiring on JOURNOList (RIP) and Google groups to create the next outrage campaign.

      • DirkH, nah. You think too much of folk.
        Most people are happy being fed the news they are given.
        It’s a buyers market.

        Do you think bright-eyed young journalists dreamed of writing about Kim Kardashian?

      • “It looks to me as though the science and technology journalists have taken on the environmental role and the environmental mindset with it.”

        There doesn’t seem to be much actual science journalism – most of the science-related news items I find are written by people hopelessly out of their depth and consist exclusively of rehashed press releases and self-serving, exaggerated to outlandish claims by principal scientists. Those same journos follow the same uncritical, lazy approach when they “report”, or rather regurgitate, the environmentalist propaganda.

  8. Likewise the PR companies would not knowingly work with those advocating genocide.

    http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/25102

    07/31/2013 11:28 AM
    European Investment Bank, Ex-Im Bank Move Away From Coal Financing

    The EU’s public financing arm, the European Investment Bank (EIB), has joined the World Bank in pledging to limit funding for new coal-fired power plants.

    It will still consider loans to new or refurbished coal plants that emit less than 550 grams of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour. This could be accomplished if coal plants co-fire with biomass or add either combined heat and power (CHP) or carbon capture and storage technologies.

    (Photo credit: Mauri Rautkari, WWF-Canon)

    And the board also added two exemption clauses that will allow it to approve projects that contribute to Europe’s “security of supply” or that would contribute to poverty alleviation or economic development in other regions.

    Ex-IM Bank Denies Vietnam Project

    The U.S. Export-Import Bank, known for its penchant for financing fossil fuels, also finally took a stand against coal, following Obama’s climate change speech, where he vowed the federal government would halt support.

    It announced it would stop its potential financing for two coal power plants in Vietnam.

    “By denying taxpayer backed financing for this dirty coal project, the Export-Import Bank put the Action in the President’s Climate Action Plan. We applaud their courageous decision,” Doug Norlen, policy director of Pacific Environment told Bloomberg.

    http://pacificenvironment.org/blog/2013/10/on-the-right-track-what-a-partial-ban-on-the-funding-of-foreign-coal-plants-really-means/

    Halting U.S. Financing for Coal Abroad
    Posted by Doug Norlen / October 9th, 2013

    This summer was big for our efforts to halt public financing for fossil fuel projects. In June, President Obama launched a Climate Action Plan that calls for a partial ban on U.S. Government financing for coal plants abroad, except in limited circumstances. The ban includes U.S. taxpayer-backed financing for coal plants through federal agencies such as Export-Import Bank. Soon after the U.S. took a stand against the funding of international coal plants, the World Bank and European Investment Bank followed suit by also ending financing for coal plants except in limited circumstances.

    In July, the Export-Import Bank denied financing for a heavily polluting coal power plant in Vietnam.

    Finally, in August, Pacific Environment joined six other environmental groups in a lawsuit against the Export-Import Bank’s financing of coal exports from Appalachia. Exporting coal is a practice that causes severe damage to the environment and to human health.

    One of the exceptions is for coal plants that employ carbon capture and sequestration technologies (CCS). CCS is an experimental technology intended to capture CO2 from coal and other heavy carbon-emitting projects and to inject it deep underground. As Greenpeace and others have shown, the extensive process to capture, transport, compress and inject CO2 can dramatically increase the price of a coal plant, making it uncompetitive with alternatives. In any case, CCS remains financially and technologically risky and unproven at scale, and thus cannot deliver significant CO2 reductions in time to play a role in the effort of keeping the global temperature increase below 2° Celsius.

    A second exemption in the President’s ban is for situations in the world’s poorest countries in which the most efficient coal technology available is deployed and where no other economically feasible alternative exists. Yet, the International Energy Agency has found that due to the high cost of energy grid extension in poor countries, mini-grid and off-grid renewable energy solutions are now the most economically feasible means to bring energy to the majority of people that lack energy access. If the cheapest way to bring energy access to the world’s poorest people is with clean-distributed, renewable energy, why should poor countries pay more for polluting coal technologies? What’s more, when other factors, including the harmful health impacts of coal combustion are factored in, coal power is still more expensive.

    Kill off cheap coal energy that can save the lives of many millions of the poor, but it is not genocide as there are exemptions, namely loading down the proposals with added worthless constraints until they become too costly to pursue. Then complain about the exemptions as other sources are now cheaper, and claim victory with likely millions of lives saved by the preventing of the filthy polluting coal emissions.

    Now that’s good PR.

  9. Great piece Tim, and very timely. Alarmists are increasingly using this tactic because observations are thrashing their AGW theory to within an inch of its life.

    The Guardian has produced a string of hit pieces recently, often arguing against a minor individual or some less-significant point in order to secure a scary headline. They’ll scream that ‘West Antarctic glacier in irreversible collapse’, but ignore the small matter that said glacier collapse may take several hundred years! (ie, whether ‘true’ or ‘false’ it’s effectively irrelevant)

    Meanwhile the genuine newsworthy story – the satellite-era record Antarctic sea ice extent, of course goes completely unremarked upon. So not only do they project their spurious minority arguments, they also lie by omission.

    The only reason they’re operating this policy is they’re LOSING the serious debate, and what’s more they KNOW they’re losing it.

    • The only reason they’re operating this policy is they’re LOSING the serious debate, and what’s more they KNOW they’re losing it.

      That would explain why the Guardian now bans those who disagree with the majority view there on Climate Change.

      From a commercial viewpoint, protecting the minority view allows debate, encourages views and clicks and thus advertising revenue.

      But they are banning the minority voices, why?

      Perhaps because the debate is now so one-sided that the long-term revenue is considered to come from a small echo chamber rather than a large, lively forum.

      • “That would explain why the Guardian now bans ”

        But they’ve been doing that for ages; hence Delingpole always called their forum always Komment Macht Frei.

  10. Why on Earth would anybody use the value-judgement of PR companies as a judgement of truth and by extension right and wrong? Perhaps they’re left with only the dregs of the barrel.

  11. “The article quotes James Hoggan, owner of a PR company and founder of DeSmogblog, which he created for, “clearing the PR pollution that clouds climate science”. He is not a climatologist or a climate scientist, so his view is, at best, subjective. The article neglects to tell you he is also Chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation, a major Canadian environmental group, but maybe the omission was a PR decision. ”

    Hoggan’s DeSmagblog was the primary outlet for Peter Glieck’s faked Heartland papers. Making them accessories after the fact.

    So much for “clearing the pollution”.

    It is hardly surprising nor significant if people like Hoggan, who are deeply involved with promoting one side of the argument are going to refuse work from “deeniers”. A completely academic choice since no one would be daft enough to engage them to present the opposite view.

  12. NPR has been running regular stories on All Things Considered lately including how the “rising sea levels are destroying the rice industry in Vietnam” and how global warming is destroying the glaciers, the salmon beds, and producing droughts in Montana. Would be interested to hear the rebuts to their arguments – in the case of Vietnam, sounds like over-irrigation is pulling sea water up into bay to replace water, and that some vandalism of the dike system is being used to promote shrimping / destroy rice fields, but of course, global warming!

  13. This got me wondering about the fate of a recent show about an ad agency, and I found another example of curious “journalism” spin.

    Robin Williams
    ‘Crazy Ones’ Cancellation Devastating
    ‘A Personal Failure’

    8/16/2014 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

    Robin Williams was “devastated’ when his TV show, “The Crazy Ones,” was cancelled … sending him into a deep depression that ultimately led to his suicide.

    We’re told the cancellation after only 1 season sent Robin into a tailspin — as one person said, “It hit him hard” — and that’s why he entered the Hazelden Addiction Treatment Center last month — not for substance abuse, but for depression.

    Our sources say Parkinson’s disease wasn’t nearly as significant a factor in his depression as “The Crazy Ones.” We’re told Robin knew he had the disease for 5 months.

    One confidant tells us, “Robin was told by doctors the medications were so great he wouldn’t even start to show symptoms for 6 or 7 years.”

    The Crazy Ones was a brilliant subversive lampooning of PR and advertising. Just the sort of thing to make network brass worry about upsetting their advertisers, and cancel the show despite the talent before it could gain a larger audience.

    Did a cowardly cancellation decision by network bosses lead to a well-loved comedian’s death? Nah, Parkinson’s. All the network news shows said so.

    • The premiere of The Crazy Ones had the highest rating for its season with 15.52 million viewers. By the time it was cancelled, its viewership had dropped markedly with its finale getting only 5.23 million viewers. Obviously it wasn’t able to retain its viewers, so the decision to cancel it is only logical.

      • By the time it was cancelled, its viewership had dropped markedly with its finale getting only 5.23 million viewers.

        When you go beyond Wikipedia and check the references, you should note something:

        http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2014/04/18/thursday-final-ratings-greys-anatomy-adjusted-up/255190/

        They were then up against Grey’s Anatomy at the end. Didn’t you see up top in the Wikipedia entry where it mentioned the changed time slot? The 9:00 Crazy Ones did 6.19 million vs 8.45 for Grey’s. The competition right between them was American Idol at 7.97.

        That is a very good showing against such strong competition, especially for a first year half-hour comedy.

        As said, it was canceled before it could gain a larger audience. Next season would have been better, and a better timeslot wouldn’t have hurt either.

  14. The BBC makes £billions from selling documentaries around the World, selling “Climate Alarmism” in the guise of wildlife documentaries and travel programs……. The BBC staff read the Guardian for their “Climate Alarmist” views………..The Guardian reporters watch the BBC wildlife documentaries and travel programs to “learn” about “climate change” and write their articles based on what they see…… and around and around it goes to cause wilder and wilder claims!

  15. Great article. Thank you as well for reminding us in the CRU emails that the PR was the important thing from the get go. It was never about the science. The fact that “scientists” would contort themselves to rationalize obvious unscientific thinking, i.e. consensus/ no debate, is disturbing.

    • Oh, that is good. A bit like ‘An interesting Channel 5 programme’ (only people in Britain will ‘get’ that).

  16. At its core, enviro-socialism is a lie that is designed to advance an agenda. But lies are not “sustainable”, a concept the left loves to scold us about in other contexts. The words of a man who fought socialism up close are never more timely.

    Václav Havel: The Power of the Powerless

    “The principle involved here is that the center of power is identical with the center of truth.” Havel warns that socialist regimes create and enforce their own truth to maintain power. As time goes on, this truth diverges from factual truth and it increasingly forces those who support and depend upon the power of the regime to corrupt themselves to sustain the artificial truth.

    In the end, people not only lie to each other, but they start to lie to themselves.

    Havel’s essay also warns of the moral and spiritual corruption that must take place when people are forced to live a life of lies.

    see:

    http://www.vaclavhavel.cz/showtrans.php?cat=clanky&val=72_aj_clanky.html&typ=HTML

  17. Bogus. Even the article spouts the party line. “[Humans] have some impact.” Is it news that the impact on global temperatures is so trivially small it can’t be measured thus it can be ignored? Apparently not. Even a smote is worthy of headline news.

    The news that should be heralded is that humans DO have impact on temperature sensors!

  18. Where in the heck did the apostrophe come from?

    [That one? That isn’t there any more? 8<) .mod]

  19. “When a politician says the debate is over, you can be sure of two things; the debate is raging; and he’s losing it.”

    A good example would be: “The science is settled.”

  20. Reminds me of the journalist scandal. In 2009 it was revealed that a large number of prominent “journalists” had created an email list in which they discussed with each other how best to work together support Obama the 2008 campaign.

    • That was the JOURNOlist listserver. After Breitbart made it public it got shut down. It has since been replaced by a Google Group. Again, Breitbart talked about it recently. They still conspire. Not only journos, also college perfessors.

  21. The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.

    Thomas Jefferson

  22. When they were old enough to read a newspaper, I told my children that if you don’t have time to read the whole of an article, at least be sure to read the last paragraph. That’s the one where the editor will bury what he doesn’t want you to know, but can’t weasel out of including somehow.

  23. It’s always amazed me how much of advertising, and PR, was simply false. Take a close look at just about any advertisement, and you’ll see that they want you to believe something that simply isn’t true. Such as “free, with purchase of…”. Doesn’t sound free to me. Or “healthy-looking hair”. “Healthy-looking” isn’t the same as “healthy”. These are the little ways they lie to you, yet never get taken to task.

  24. Show me someone trying to find balance between effectiveness and honesty and I’ll show you a scheming liar.

  25. Using the same statistics and methods to eliminate scientists that were used in that famous University of Illinois study that says that 97 or 98 percent of climate scientists believe in man made global warming, the results could have also been published as ” Of 10,257 earth scientists who were asked, only 75 believe human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures!” Both statements are true based on the raw data in the study. Each statement is clearly a manipulation of the results in my opinion to support an agenda.

    Randy

  26. Instead of teachers blindly promoting AGW scaremongering; teaching their students about how people are manipulated through these PR campaigns would be of enormous benefit to society. Then students would be more aware of what’s going on in the real world and would not be so easily taken in by political parties, ponzi schemes, ad campaigns and . . . Oh yes! did I mention AGW scaremongering and chicken little stories? This excellent article by Dr. Ball would be an fantastic educational tool. Well written! ! !

  27. good Article.
    Once you separate out the PR and appeal to emotion, there is very little substance to CAGW .
    All the experts agree, is age old PR.
    Consensus of opinion? More of the same.
    Wherefore went the science, so loudly proclaimed?
    The Emperor is naked and a mighty cold wind is blowing.
    All the sycophants who adopted this same garb are shivering.
    I say spray them with water and stand ‘em outside at -40.
    In the name of Art, of course.

  28. I would think that clean burning high sulfur (high energy) coal (Anthracite), would represent a good alternative to burning cow dung,;unless it’s a place where they get plenty of cow dung, from cows running loose everywhere. It could be that one is just short circuiting the en-fossilization process, by a few millennia, or megennia. Use what ever you can get your hands on.

    Well on second thoughts, I don’t recommend getting your hands on cow dung; which perhaps, is as good a reason to burn it, as any.

    You could always, just eat the cows for food, which would get rid of the cow dung; well unless you use it to cook the cow, instead of burning coal.

  29. Talking of getting banned from a discussion forum, I’ve been banned from the Richard Dawkins site – because I kept asking awkward questions of some guy calling himself alan4discussion. He seems to be a senior cheerleader for AGW horror and couldn’t answer simple questions like exactly how much warming is due without question to mankind.

    Oh – the only other place I’m banned is “Catholic Answers” (and nothing to do with climate!)

    I claim this as a unique pair!

    • The email address passes your test.

      What more do you need?

      REPLY: behave, stop using different names, stop wasting my own and the moderators time. If you do shape up, you’ll come off moderation. If you further violate the site policy, then it’s straight to the bit bucket – Anthony

      • You are welcome

        How ever, your email verification site has some serious issues.

        REPLY: Oh puhleeze. I used THREE DIFFERENT SERVICES they all came up bad on the various email addresses you’ve used. By your own admission they came up bad in your own tests. You produced a new email address that suddenly “worked” on all three. Then there’s the issue of your shape shifting using different fake names, for all I know “Edward Richardson” is a fake name.

        So here’s the question for you. Do you wish to continue to waste my time, or would you like to go straight to the bit bucket permanently? My suggestion is that you call it a night and start fresh tomorrow, making no more replies tonight. Last chance. – Anthony

      • OK, “Edward Richardson” just sent me a taunting email.

        I gave you fair warning and an opportunity to change. Instead you send taunting emails.

        Banned. Permanently.

    • The stupid thing is – anyone can get a throw away email address that works! Google and Yahoo are begging you to sign up for some, and now Microsoft has entered the wars.

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