The Rise and Fall of Global Newspaper Coverage of Global Warming and Climate Change

SEE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THE POST

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Joe Romm of ThinkProgess/Climate presented a graph yesterday that showed the dwindling newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change. See his post Silence of the Lambs: Climate Coverage Drops At Major U.S. Newspapers, Flatlines on TV. The graph was produced by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado. See their webpage here. U.S. Newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change peaked in 2006 and 2007 with the release of Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and the IPCC/Gore nomination and award of the Nobel Peace Prize. Coverage has been declining ever since.

Worldwide newspaper coverage of global warming and climate change shows a curiously different curve.

Worldwide, newspaper coverage peaked in December 2009. And what does that coincide with? CLIMATEGATE!

World Newspaper Coverage

It should go without saying, if global warming enthusiasts would like additional newspaper coverage, someone at one of the research facilities, or a hacker, will have to release another round of emails that show climate scientists behaving badly.

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UPDATE: A couple of bloggers suggested that the 2009 COP climate conference in Copenhagen may have been the cause of spike in 2009. The following gif animation compares screencaps of Google Trends for “Climate Conference”, “COP conference” and “Climategate”. The conferences occur annually but there was unusually high interest in the one in 2009 (that trailed Climategate by a few weeks).

Google Trends - Climate Conference v COP Conference v Climategate

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M Courtney

It is interesting that AR5 got so little coverage.
Was it not newsworthy because it recorded no new discoveries, nothing new to say?
Surely that would be newsworthy in itself.

Bloke down the pub

It’s not just how much is being written but what. See Alex in today’s Telegraph.
http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02791/Alex15_01_13_2791104a.gif

Bob, the really interesting question is what will they do next? Ocean acidification has fallen flat, and the Biotech and Nanotech revolutions are still too distant to command enough attention. Marc Morano had a go at guessing the next scare story a few years ago – love to hear your thoughts.
http://www.climatedepot.com/2010/01/19/time-for-next-ecoscare-already-as-global-warming-movement-collapses-activists-already-testmarketing-the-next-ecofear-laughing-gas-crisis-oxygen-crisis-plastics/

The peak – Is it Climategate… or Copenhagen?
I suspect a large proportion is the later (that it failed utterly, for the reasons that the non-kyoto countries were never going to reduce emissions growth, is the wider picture)

richardscourtney

Barry Woods:
re your post at January 15, 2014 at 4:11 am.
I agree the peak was because of the failed Copenhagen CoP.
And that failure is why the issue is fading away as is shown e.g. by the lack of reporting of the AR5 release.
Richard

h

Owing to the US Energy Acts of 2005 and 2007 the US is currently leading the world in CO2 emissions reductions and well on it’s way to ‘energy independence’. (There was a small exemption to the Clean Water Act granted for experimentation with fracking fluids).
As gas in much of the US is cheaper then coal and the VC Summer nuclear demonstration plants have yet to be completed their isn’t a lot to discuss.

Leon Brozyna

It seems that the lack of coverage by the media is not going without notice … it appears that some politicians are planning on pushing for more coverage on the subject at the networks.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/democrats-plan-to-pressure-tv-networks-into-covering-climate-change-20140114

The boy who cried wolf. I think the public expect the alarmists to be hysterical so them being hysterical and underhanded no longer merits attention. CGII and 3 garnered minimal coverage in the MSM.

Leo Geiger

Frequency of coverage doesn’t meant much. See, for example, this blog. How many posts did WUWT do on record cold temperatures in the U.S. over the past little while? And how many will be done on the record warm temperatures in Australia?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25723867
A lot of posts on one and largely ignoring the other tells you something about the blog and little about the real world.

Peter in MD

Well, maybe “news” articles have dropped off, but things like The Weather Channel keep plugging along. I pop it on in the morning as I prepare to leave for work to catch local radar and forecast. This morning they follow up with a report from Breckenridge CO about how in the coming decades skiing could become a thing of the past because of climate change….. Well, in the coming decades meteors could strike the earth…. curtailing the ski industry. there could be nuclear war…… curtailing the ski industry….. there could be an ice age that covers half of the Northern hemisphere…. curtailing the ski industry (except in Mexico maybe)…. so we had better put in place remediation procedures to make sure none of the scenarios really happen. We MUST save the Skiing industry or all is lost!!!
PUHHHHHLEASE!
Leon, looks like it’s time to vote more Democrats out of office!

whatever happened to the full dump released in 2012? did anyone actually look at the files or did they wash their hands of it?

richard

Just had a look at the article on the Joe Romm site, hardly any comments there and one of them was for making money on the computer.

Jimbo

To my eyes we are almost at the levels of 2004 for all regions. No wonder they are screaming ever louder for action now before it’s too late. Now I know what the ‘too late’ represents. 😉

Leo Geiger says:
January 15, 2014 at 5:04 am
Frequency of coverage doesn’t meant much. See, for example, this blog. How many posts did WUWT do on record cold temperatures in the U.S. over the past little while? And how many will be done on the record warm temperatures in Australia?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25723867
A lot of posts on one and largely ignoring the other tells you something about the blog and little about the real world.

You have been averting your eyes from what Warmist blogs report also. Think about it, you are really funny, calling the kettle black. Puleeeeeeeeeeeese.

ozspeaksup

oh the aus medias all over the heatwave,,and ALL ignore the fact its come over n down after the recent cyclone up the top west corner seems to have upset the normal pattern. (my theory)
regardless its neither new novel or unexpected or unprecedented as a couple of Trove reports on realscience today listed.
Guardian au is full of panicking warmist crud as always.
mods are in full ban any sceptical mode.

Bill_W

Romm complains that in 2012 and 2013 they “only” averaged 29-30 stories a year on the “story of the century”. That is still more than 2X per month. It used to be almost 2X per week so this is a big drop. Actually there could be just as many stories about how the had exaggerated but that is not exciting enough.

Evan Jones

whatever happened to the full dump released in 2012? did anyone actually look at the files or did they wash their hands of it?
Yeah, they looked at ’em. But nearly all the red meat was in the first two dumps (mostly the first). But that was enough. It cost the CAGW advocates much of the trust they had garnered, and, considering their unscientific behavior, blunted their accusations of “anti-science”.
The public will accept error. (Often.) But fast-footing or even outright deception is another kettle of fish.

RichardLH

I rather suspect that the call for more stories on ‘global warming’ will rapidly dissipate (and possibly even reverse) if UAH/RSS/GISS/HadCriut4 does not resume the rise back to the ‘linear trend’ in the very near future.
As an aside, it could be pointed out the ‘flat earthers’ are just another example of ‘tangent to the curve’/ ‘linear trend’ thinking.

Frank K.

@Peter in MD
“This morning they follow up with a report from Breckenridge CO about how in the coming decades skiing could become a thing of the past because of climate change…..”
Peter – First, turn off The Weather Channel, and don’t look back. They are worthless…
Second, if you have home WIFI, get an iPad (or other similar, portable device), create a bookmark for you favorite weather site, and turn that on in the morning when you need weather info (I use Intellicast, but there are many out there to choose from). It’s a much faster and convenient way to get local weather stats, warnings, and forecasts. If you have a smart phone, you can use a similar setup on that device.

hunter

Some lefty extremist US Senators are leading a move to pressure TV into covering (as they define “covering”) more AGW related issues in coming times. The climate obsessed do not see media as place to discuss issues. They see media as a venue for indoctrination.

Alan McIntire

@Peter in MD
“This morning they follow up with a report from Breckenridge CO about how in the coming decades skiing could become a thing of the past because of climate change…..”
The ski industry argument has always struck me as the most stupid and hypocritical. Assuming CAGW is an actual THREAT, the FIRST thing we should eliminated is frivolous spending of CO2- like ski trips. If their argument was correct, skiing should NOW be a thing of the past!!

observa

As JoNova points out our MSM is still alive and kicking with global warming but the climate has changed rather dramatically-
http://joannenova.com.au/

Kat

Were radical environmentalist dropped on their heads at birth? I wonder how it must feel to live your whole life feeling anxious and afraid and seeing threats (usually all imagined) around every corner. When they’re on their deathbeds I wonder if they’ll ever think to themselves ‘man, I wasted my life’?

observa

And by the way did the UN do a forecast report on which US city would be the coldest on earth during your recent cold spell like we’ve just got with some hot weather?
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/un-report-says-temperatures-in-adelaide-will-make-it-worlds-hottest-city-on-thursday/story-fnl1ee8j-1226802735418
Or were they a bit too busy at the time with their computer models?

Arfur Bryant

No, the denier/ sceptics are all wrong.
1. Ten years is way too short for a realistic trend to be measured! How dare you cherry-pick that start point?
2. 2009 was just an outlier. The trend is still positive.
3. Reporting is not actually falling, it’s just a pause… or a hiatus! According to our models, the amount of reporting is very likely to continue to increase at an alarming rate.
4. Yes but this decade has still seen much more reporting than previous decades. In fact, it’s probably the highest ever level since records began!
5. What do you know? You’re not a real journalist!
6. The missing reporting is hiding in the deep ocean!
7. Stop denying what the experts’ models have been projecting.
Regards,
The Team x

David L

I fear it’s dropped because the damage has been done. The vast majority of the public regurgitate the rhetoric without the need for media provocation. The media doesn’t need to herald the “fact” of global warming anymore than they have to publish stories that the earth is round. The brainwashing of the public is complete as everyone now instantly ascribes any and all deviation to “normal weather” to climate change.

Jimbo

By the way Leo Geiger, I had already posted the BBC heatwave link on another thread. WUWT often posts heatwave articles, you just don’t want to look I suppose.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/heat-wave-2/

Doug Danhoff

David, I disagree. Ask 20 people at random what they think of AGW, and I believe that you will find as I did that most of them are skeptics

G. Karst

One can only listen to a mindless blaring klaxon for so long. If one cannot turn it off, then one must tune it out. A risky practice when the world is full of potential dangers. GK

Alec aka Daffy Duck

Senate Democrat plan to pressure tv network for more climate change coverage
http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/democrats-plan-to-pressure-tv-networks-into-covering-climate-change-20140114

Dr. Bob

“h” says:
Owing to the US Energy Acts of 2005 and 2007 the US is currently leading the world in CO2 emissions reductions and well on it’s way to ‘energy independence’. (There was a small exemption to the Clean Water Act granted for experimentation with fracking fluids).
The 2005 and 2006 Energy Independence and Security Acts did nothing to change the GHG emissions in the US. A major economic turndown caused a significant decrease in gasoline usage. The green energy programs sponsored by Congress have done nothing to change GHG emissions. Ethanol has been shown to have more ecological damage than fossil fuels by a wide margin. GHG emissions from Ethanol mandates (RFS2 specifically) actually increased while farmers got rich (land prices in northern Iowa reached $20,000/acre as farmers searched for ways to hide their income from the IRS).
Wind and solar energy projects have failed to meet even the minimum expectations of the government and continually fail to produce the power stated by their nameplate capacity. And these variable power sources require back-up fossil power sources to make sure the power grid is stable. The GHG emissions from back-up power plants idling doing nothing are not accounted for by life cycle assessment GHG emissions calculations.
And now California will MANDATE that these inefficient production technologies be coupled with further inefficient power storage technologies in a vain effort to eliminate the back-up power requirement. And in their infinite wisdom, California will not allow the most reliable and efficient power storage technology to be used–hydroelectric.
This idiocy will continue until the states and federal government run out of money (oops, already there) and/or the people decide that they have had enough of this silliness.

Reg Nelson

@ Arfur Bryant
8. Yes, there was more reporting during the MRP (Medieval Reporting Period), but it was a localized event according to tree-ring proxy data.
9. Although Climate Change Reporting is currently in a pause, Extreme Climate Reporting is unprecedented and continues to set new records.
10. 97% of Climate Change Reporters believe Climate Change Reporting is real, it’s happening now, and is caused by human activity.
11. Unless we act now, our grandchildren may never know what Climate Change Reporting looks like.

Gail Combs

M Courtney says:
January 15, 2014 at 3:44 am
It is interesting that AR5 got so little coverage.
Was it not newsworthy because it recorded no new discoveries, nothing new to say?
Surely that would be newsworthy in itself.
>>>>>>>>>>>>
AR5 is a ticking bomb.
It showed the Climate Models are not worth 2 pence much less the millions (billions?) spent on them. Worse it shows there IS no crisis. The propaganda outlets of our governments (MSM) are tip toeing away from that ticking bomb hoping the voters do not realize they have been had.
SEE: The IPCC discards its models

Gail Combs

RichardLH says: @ January 15, 2014 at 5:51 am
As an aside, it could be pointed out the ‘flat earthers’ are just another example of ‘tangent to the curve’/ ‘linear trend’ thinking.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Never forget that the President of the Flat Earth Society also believes in CAGW. Proud moment for warmists: President of real Flat Earth Society believes in the global warming hoax “Obama might do well to research more before he makes snide remarks….”
A bumper sticker
President of the Flat Earth Society and President Obama both believe in CAGW. Do you?

David L

Doug Danhoff on January 15, 2014 at 7:46 am
David, I disagree. Ask 20 people at random what they think of AGW, and I believe that you will find as I did that most of them are skeptics”
————–
I do hope you’re right! Maybe I should broaden and better randomize my data sampling!!! I seem to get nothing but the CAGW rhetoric from people like it’s a known fact

Don B

Greens may want more media coverage, but they don’t want what has been published in the Australian during the past week. Front page coverage was given to non-alarmist views.
“Another sign the debate is shifting, and probably in an irreversible way. Like a ratchet, the truth is slowly advancing, but once revealed, there is no going back.
“The debate is gaining nuance: instead of scientists and deniers, there the public starts to see the argument is about shades of grey. The real debate has never been about whether greenhouse gases were real, instead it’s about how much global warming will happen. The cheating tactic of pretending the conflict was about something that nearly everyone agrees upon is like a ticking bomb for alarmists. The fuse has been lit. They will pay for their deception eventually.
“Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, is following up on his extraordinary front page article in The Australian. He is influential and was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange, and was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008.
“Maurice Newman in The Australian today:”
http://joannenova.com.au/2014/01/newman-says-the-party-is-over-for-the-ipcc/

jbird

@Peter in MD
“This morning they follow up with a report from Breckenridge CO about how in the coming decades skiing could become a thing of the past because of climate change…..”
I’ve been an avid skier my entire adult life, and that initial prediction of how skiing could become a thing of the past was the one thing that got me interested in finding out what all the hysteria was about. That must have been about 8-10 years ago. I believe that the time when the ski industry was supposed to have collapsed (from the original prediction) has come and gone several years back.
I’ve taught basic research on the graduate level, and after doing my own review of the literature on AGW, I found nothing of substance to convince me that there was ever any real threat from it. Within a few weeks I essentially went from someone who thought that global warming might be real to someone who believed it was all hogwash.
What has amazed me in the years since, is that the whole thing continues to be believed, even after it has become quite clear that there has been no increase in global temperatures despite ever increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. That is hard evidence matched against computer models. Which should any reasonable person believe, the evidence or a hypothetical model?
I think this entire period in our history, with so many billions of dollars having been spent on “research” into global warming, the restrictions on fossil fuel development and use, the billions spent on failed alternative energy projects and so on, will be viewed by historians as aberrant.
It is superstition, plain and simple, and it is equivalent to past ages when people believed in witchcraft. How embarrassing for scientists who have ceaselessly promoted this failed theory! History will not be kind to them.
When you consider the tremendous waste in financial resources that this false belief has engendered, it must ultimately be viewed as the worst tragedy of our time. All of this money and public debt could have been put to much better use, i.e., medical cures and health care, investment in infrastructure, improvements in education, on and on. It is a terrible crime that deserves to be redressed.

Leo Geiger

Jimbo says: January 15, 2014 at 7:29 am

WUWT often posts heatwave articles, you just don’t want to look I suppose.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/heat-wave-2/

This is about frequency of coverage and its relation to the real world, so try using a neutral tag instead
http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/weather/records/
then go through several pages of older posts to get a feel for the relative number of posts here about record cold and snow versus other records. One could draw some obvious conclusions about the ‘editorial stance’ of this blog, but would it be wise to use this as a metric to estimate the relative number of actual records in the real world? For example, in the USA for record temperatures:
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/high-low-temps.html#fragment-2
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/weather-climate/high-low-temps.html#fragment-3

I suppose AL Gore’s biggest worry these days has nothing to do with the weather. He’s
probably afraid of his legacy, which may morph from his own desired “greatest prophet”
to that of “greatest scientific imposter”. If science settles on the idea that AGW is real, but
is no big deal, then Gore will be depressed, an odd reaction from one who supposedly only cared about the Earth and its inhabitants.

emmaliza

Per Reuters, the old news media have been dying, as few people watch the networks and fewer read newspapers. Since the National Weather Service has a website with local and national weather conditions/forecasts, the Weather Channel is probably going the way of other biased sources of propaganda….The web is now the source for information for most people with computers. It makes heroes of those who do true investigation and reporting, and that includes sites like this one.

Barbara

Capital E, LLC
Joseph Romm, Principal
Company provides advisory services for firms and investors in the clean energy industry.
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=26222759
Joe Romm makes money from Clinate Change.
This is more about making money than it is science.

Kelvin Vaughan

If you keep a plot going too long people become bored with it and loose interest. Then the circulation suffers.

JP

If the globe begins to significantly experience cooler and cooler years for the next decade, look for the Alarmists to flip narratives. That is why the re-branding of AGW to Climate Change was so important. But, don’t think they will ever go away. They know no shame and the Average Joe has a short attention span.

john robertson

One wonders, will the media coverage ramp up as the fraud of two centuries is subject to criminal inquiries?
Or will coverage of this madness of crowds, exist only on the new medias as they bypass the entrenched Presstitutes of the old media?
The problem with being exposed,as willing to lie to support your beliefs, is that you can return to meticulous honesty and no one cares what you have to say anymore.
So long MSM, I only go there for a laugh now, to see what they are omitting to report this week..

clipe

jbird says:
January 15, 2014 at 9:15 am

@Peter in MD
“This morning they follow up with a report from Breckenridge CO about how in the coming decades skiing could become a thing of the past because of climate change…..”
I’ve been an avid skier my entire adult life, and that initial prediction of how skiing could become a thing of the past was the one thing that got me interested in finding out what all the hysteria was about. That must have been about 8-10 years ago. I believe that the time when the ski industry was supposed to have collapsed (from the original prediction) has come and gone several years back

Whistler certainly hasn’t collapsed.
http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/kevster1346/wolframalpha-20120118164548020.jpg

ossqss
Russ R.

The newspapers In the US, are on an “ideological leash”. They only cover stories that can be spun to promote government solutions to any and all problems. And the government is too busy destroying the health insurance industry to bother with the energy industry. The bureaucrats have determined, they are much more effective, at reducing private sector industries to ruble, if they concentrate their focus on one at a time. After they are done with private health insurance, they can then turn their attention to energy production.

I have just had an editor at the SF Chronicle tell me by email that as far as they are concerned the science was settled 15 years ago and would, therefore, no longer cover the science fight. He said he would only report the political aspects. I put his responses out to a thread of physicists and mathematicians discussing GR and he was crushed by the response and finally ‘hung up the phone’.San Francisco is not a good place for climate skeptics with stupidity and arrogance running rampant, I can tell you that.:]

A very odd claim considering the heavy propaganda blitz during Fall 2013 wailing about IPCC’s summary’s false claims for ‘unprecedented’ disasters due to man’s CO2.
As I remember, hours of televised time and announcements coincided with many films claiming ‘climate change’.
When it is the Romm making noises, it’s determine if one still has all of their fingers, toes, and possessions before checking logic.