Amazing study of the IPCC and media concludes: "…reception and coverage in the media has varied widely."

From the Department of Obvious Science and from the University of Exeter comes this report that makes me wonder: why was time and money spent on it?

nobrainer-signA difficult climate: New study examines the media’s response to the IPCC

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) periodically releases Assessment Reports in order to inform policymakers and the public about the latest scientific evidence on climate change. The publication of each report is a key event in the debate about climate change, but their reception and coverage in the media has varied widely.

A study, published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, has for the first time analysed how Twitter, TV and newspapers reported the IPCC’s climate evidence. Understanding how media coverage varies is important because people’s knowledge and opinions on climate change are influenced by how the media reports on the issue.

The study found that there were markedly different ways in which the media portrayed the IPCC’s latest findings. The researchers investigated this through studying the frames (ways of depicting an issue) the different media sources used to emphasise some aspects of climate change, whilst downplaying others. They also found large differences in how much coverage each Working Group received (the IPCC has three, which focus on the physical science, impacts and adaptation, and mitigation respectively).

The researchers found ten different frames used to communicate climate change: Settled Science, Political or Ideological Struggle, Role of Science, Uncertain Science, Disaster, Security, Morality and Ethics, Opportunity, Economics and Health. The first five frames were used to communicate the IPCC reports much more frequently – whereas the latter frames were not used much at all.

Dr Saffron O’Neill, lead author of the study from the University of Exeter said: “We know that some of these frames are more engaging for audiences than others: for example, the Opportunity or Health frames are both effective at linking the distant issue of climate change to peoples’ everyday life. But these kinds of frames are little used in newspaper coverage, on TV, or on Twitter.”

The study suggests that the availability of visual content and accessible storylines played a big part in how IPCC science was reported by the media. The authors argue that these findings need to inform how future IPCC Assessment Reports are communicated, in order that policymakers and the public are better informed.


The study is part of a Focus Issue in Nature Climate Change titled ‘IPCC and Media Coverage of Climate Reports’, coordinated by Dr O’Neill. The Issue includes a commentary on social media and the IPCC by the journalist Leo Hickman; a study examining how risk language might help communicate climate change by media expert Dr James Painter; and a proposal for radically reworking the Summaries for Policymakers to increase understanding, by climate and energy commentator Richard Black.

‘Dominant frames in legacy and social media coverage of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report’ by Saffron O’Neill, Hywel T.P Williams, Tim Kurz, Bouke Wiersma and Maxwell Boykoff is published today in Nature Climate Change.

The study was funded through an ESRC Future Research Leader Award to Dr O’Neill, and through the University of Exeter Humanities and Social Sciences Strategic Fund.

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

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March 25, 2015 6:04 pm


Climate Heretic
Reply to  Max Photon
March 25, 2015 8:40 pm

Don’t Panic!

Reply to  Climate Heretic
March 25, 2015 10:21 pm

Maybe panic.

Reply to  Climate Heretic
March 26, 2015 12:08 am

Agreed. As this story is about media coverage . . . .
Really PANIC – if reading the Daily Telegraph on Saturday (Lean).
Don’t PANIC – if reading the Daily Telegraph on Sunday (Booker).
Be CONFUSED for the rest of the week.

Reply to  Max Photon
March 25, 2015 10:41 pm

Yet another article in which the hive obsesses over how to better “cut-and-polish” its agit-prop ballyhoo and hoopla so as to better soft-soap its carbon-hustles. So, like, do the hive-parasites producing these interminable, Pavlovian-reflex, hard-wired calls for an ever more finely “tweaked” eco-hype, ever stop to think that there’s really no “magic” PR-stunt, jingle, cutie-pie mascot, scare-story, pontification, catchy-slogan, “compelling”-narrative, false-flag, or snappy chant that’s going to win any “thinking” person over to the hive’s Gaia-con? Don’t they realize that all “thinking” persons have long since spotted the hive’s “climate change”, sucker-bait, flim-flam pitch as a greenwashed, make-a-buck/make-a-gulag Gruber-booger?
I mean, like, unfortunately for the hive, us “little guys” have been developing a pretty good “nose” for our betters’ abusive scams, for a good long time. It all started in the Paleolithic when “Honest” Og opened his first lemon-lot to flog his used clunker-flints. At first, Og’s B. S. blandishments convinced some of our innocent and naive, remote kin to purchase Og’s “trust-me!” wares. But after more than a few of Og’s customers got stomped to death by some one or another raging mammoth because their spear-points shattered at just the wrong moment, the cave-bubbas started wising up to Og and his proto-Gruber, manipulative ways–especially as they noticed that Og would never be caught-“dead” (literally), himself, with one of those failure-prone flints he was always trying to pawn off on everyone else. And their lineal descendants, us “little guys” of today, fortified through natural-selection, have remained wary of the Og-genic “hive” and its “tricks”, ever since.
And so when us “little guys” see our tenured-leech, GHG-phobe, Philiosopher-King betters flitting about the globe from one grab-ass, gas-bag, good-time gab-fest to another (eco-confabs that could all be easily held as zero-carbon video-conferences, it must be noted), spewing mega-tons of CO2–emissions that our privileged-white-dork, greengo, guru-flake betters, themselves, insist KILL BABIES!!! and KILL POLAR BEARS!!!–it awakens, in us “little guys”, Jungian, there-goes-Og-again! genetic-memories along the lines of: RIP-OFF!!!BIG-TIME RIP-OFF!!!
Sorry, guys, but that’s how these things work. And, oh by the way, hive-bozos, if you really believe all that crapola you’re peddling about “AGW”, then your in-your-face, willful emissions of green-house gas make you BABY KILLERS!!! and POLAR BEAR KILLERS!!! Ever think about that, guys? But enjoy your little carbon-piggie, party-animal rips, anyway.

Glyn Palmer
Reply to  mike
March 26, 2015 5:50 am

Blimey, Mike; a pity you don’t say what you think!

Reply to  mike
March 26, 2015 10:30 am

+1 This is one of the best posts I have ever seen.

Reply to  mike
March 26, 2015 3:22 pm

Tell’um how it is’ Mike! Well said.

empire sentry
Reply to  mike
March 26, 2015 11:04 pm

Thank gods!
I thought Mike had been AGW brainwashed using Clockwork Orange Ludovico brainwashing Vids and 5 hours of MSLSD!
But, at the end, I see he is still alive and well!

Reply to  mike
March 27, 2015 1:53 am

Actually it’s a legitimate question. The people pushing the hype are using techniques that advertisers and politicians have been using for decades, Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP isn’t a perfect science but it is perfect enough that marketers and politicians use NLP techniques to craft statements.
An example of NLP in advertising:
Establish a pretext: Everybody has teeth. Everybody wants clean, pleasant smelling and appearing teeth, right?
Provide some information: 99% of the experts surveyed said… The implication being that anyone who disagrees isn’t an expert. Implications are important, most of the time the conscious mind doesn’t discern negative implications but a lot of the time the sub-conscious mind does. Again, NLP isn’t a perfect science.
Provide the solution: the tooth paste that we’re peddling.
Use the basic framework as outlined to push any agenda. What you’re trying to do with the above stated simple frame work is to alter the way that people behave in the trance states that they operate in during the course of their lives. Case in point, do you deliberately focus on driving your car during your morning and afternoon commutes? Or are you thinking about many different things while part of your mind tends to driving your car? The idea behind NLP is to provide the individual with a pretext, information and solution so that the individual in the grocery store trance state picks up a tube of your tooth paste without stopping to think or compare to anything else.
What the government bureaucracy and dependent university researchers are struggling with is why hasn’t their basic message altered enough trance state in the population at large? My basic take is that their pretext is too complicated for most people to follow. “Oh, look it rained!” It’s rained before, go to the next issue. “Oh look, the sea level is rising!” The president just bought a house on the beach.
In a nutshell NLP attempts to play upon basic human tendencies. The tendency to cooperate for example. Conduct a test for yourself, get an ink pen then, with the pen in your hand ask a perfect stranger to borrow their pen. I betcha a weeks pay that if this person has a pen, even if they see that you have a pen in your hand will give you theirs. People tend to bunch up or herd up in the face of uncertainty. An individual may not have near perfect knowledge of a subject but if they see other people engaged in the activity, offering the opinion then the individual will do likewise.
And, in a nutshell, that’s how NLP works.

Craig Moore
March 25, 2015 6:04 pm

These reports are about communication. IF the measure of success is a “call to action” response, according to Gallup, they are failing.

March 25, 2015 6:04 pm

They forgot the frame

Reply to  Dave
March 25, 2015 6:50 pm

And laughter.

Reply to  Dave
March 25, 2015 7:21 pm

The frame they need is an old bearded prophet (profit?!) carrying a sign saying, “The End is Near!”

George Lawson
Reply to  Dave
March 26, 2015 2:37 am

…and sceptic!

Joel O'Bryan
March 25, 2015 6:07 pm

Is Saffron a male or female name?
Reminds me of Johhny Cash song.

Matt Bergin
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 25, 2015 6:28 pm

For me it would be Donovan
“I’m just mad about saffron
A-saffron’s mad about me”

Reply to  Matt Bergin
March 26, 2015 3:48 am

“Mellow Yellow”

John in Oz
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 25, 2015 6:39 pm

Female ( From her bio and research interests, it appears she drinks deeply from the CAGW Kool-aid fountain.
Climatic Change December 2013, Volume 121, Issue 4, pp 579-594
Comparing the atmosphere to a bathtub: effectiveness of analogy for reasoning about accumulation
Sophie Guy, Yoshihisa Kashima, Iain Walker, Saffron O’Neill

Understanding the process of accumulation is fundamental to recognising the magnitude and speed of emissions reduction required to stabilise atmospheric CO2 and, hence, global temperature. This research investigated the effectiveness of analogy for building understanding of accumulation among non-experts. Two studies tested the effects of analogy and graphical information on: (1) performance on a CO2 stabilisation task; and (2) preferred level of action on climate change. Study 1 was conducted with a sample of undergraduate students and Study 2, with a sample of the Australian public. In the student sample, analogical processing significantly improved task performance when information about emission rates was presented in text but not when it was presented in graph format. It was also associated with greater preference for strong action on climate change. When tested with the public, analogy and information format independently influenced task performance. Furthermore, there was a marginal effect of education such that the analogy especially might have helped those with at least high school attainment. Our results show that analogy can improve non-experts’ understanding of CO2 accumulation but that using graphs to convey emissions rate information is detrimental to such improvements. The results should be of interest to climate change communicators, advocates, and policy-makers.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  John in Oz
March 25, 2015 6:54 pm

She ‘s a Mannian Pseudoscientist. After the CAGW scam collapses , she’ll probably move on to studying cultural acceptance of homeopathy, crystal healing powers, and space alien abductions.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  John in Oz
March 25, 2015 7:15 pm

looking at her bio, I can suggest an “analogical” learning tool for her to try.
In 2 large glass barrels , one labeled A. and the other labeled B , place the following assortment of colored marbles:
First clear glass barrel:
7,800 red marbles.
2,100 blue marbles
996 pink marbles
3 green marbles
1 purple marble
Second clear glass barrel:
7,800 red marbles
2,099 blue marbles
997 pink marbles
4 green marbles
1 purple marble.
Seal the lids. Shake the barrels for sufficient time so that they are randomly dispersed.
With a large group of undergrads, teach them about the molar fractions of the atmosphere in circa 1850 and in 2015.
Then allow each student to examine each barrel in any way they wish that doesn’t involve opening the barrels and physically counting. They can shine lights, they can shake, whatever.
Test: Have them answer which barrel is an 1850 analog and which is the 2015 analog.
With a large enough group, the predicted outcome is A:50%, B: 50%.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  John in Oz
March 25, 2015 7:54 pm

correction: 2nd barrel should be 996 pink, just like 1st barrel.
Also tell them:
there are 10,000 marbles in each barrel.
Red = N2
blue = O2
pink = argon
green = CO2
purple = everything else, methane, helium, neon, O3, NO2, etc,

Tom J
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 25, 2015 7:25 pm

Um, Saffron is actually the name of an extraterrestrial.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Tom J
March 26, 2015 2:25 am

We’ve had a visit ???

Reply to  Tom J
March 26, 2015 5:08 am

Stephen, I don’t think it was a “visit” precisely… it was more like a pathetic, irresponsible alien daddy driving out to the boonies and dumping a “stray dog” so that it quits knocking over the trash cans.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
March 25, 2015 9:06 pm

BSc colouring-in
PhD eco-nuttery
Mike Hulme protégé
Ex Tyndall Centre
Now on the ESRC teat wasting my tax contributions on this nonsense when there are far more important social issues to be addressed in the UK. You can no longer find anyone reliable to milk cows in her own back yard. The entire county is turning into a retirement home without the infrastructure to support it. How sustainable is that with milk costing less than bottled water?

Reply to  AJB
March 25, 2015 11:54 pm

The entire county is turning into a retirement home for useless wind turbines and solar farms. How sustainable is that with both electricity prices and probability of blackouts rocketing?

Reply to  AJB
March 26, 2015 12:33 am

Phil, good call. With UK inflation rate now at ZERO, the 6.26% increase to our domestic UK electricity bills during the last four years (to offset the feed-in tariffs and green subsidies) is, allegedly, completely justified!
Source: Eon March 2015.
Ave. price for 2,250 kWh in March 2011 = £337.50 incl. VAT.
Ave. price for 2,250 kWh in March 2015 = £360.00 incl. new ‘standing charge’ (since 2013) & VAT.

March 25, 2015 6:07 pm

Win with spin!
Mass Media: The Tenth Principle of War

Russ R.
March 25, 2015 6:08 pm

Does this sound like a politician, running a focus group, to see which deceptive phrase, is more effective at garnering votes?

Reply to  Russ R.
March 25, 2015 7:08 pm

Scientific principles be dammed, the big problem is only the tunnel vision impaired and righteously baptised are buying the BS.

Reply to  Russ R.
March 26, 2015 2:16 am

Yup, Russ R. Note her hint about health. Segue to air quality(Pollution with a Capital P and it rhymes with CO2) and you’ll be inoculated against the next mania.

March 25, 2015 6:17 pm

They included – and counted as evidence of scientific endorsement – papers about TV coverage, […]

March 25, 2015 6:19 pm

When politicians and media lack knowledge of need for usage of Theories of Science and instead mix Faith with Political views adding Fallacie Appeal to fear as sugar on cream 😛
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the money gone?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  norah4you
March 25, 2015 8:01 pm

Elon Musk’s bank account.
Al Gore’s bank account.
Tom Steyer’s bank account.
Solyndra’s bankruptcy lawyers,
ad nauseum…

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
March 25, 2015 9:20 pm

Problem is how to prove any kind of belief being we who asks for sound solid arguments…

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
March 25, 2015 10:38 pm

Well Bernie Madoff got 150 years in jail for his $17.5 Billion heist. Plenty thinking time for the miscreants to share for this rather larger and equally despicable act of theft.

March 25, 2015 6:45 pm

In my corner of the world (Canada), the overwhelmingly left-leaning media almost exclusively presents the IPCC “findings” as absolute truths. The existence of scientists who don’t agree with the IPCC is not mentioned. From this position, these media “presentations” veer off into tirades about the Canadian government inaction. Usually, these attacks will proceed through “interviews” with figureheads of the green movement, such as David Suzuki or Elizabeth May.
It is a simple recipe for propaganda aimed at brainwashing the public. As so many of my friends and relatives have condescendingly told me when I tried to talk a bit of sense into them: “Come on…Global Warming is undisputable: It’s all over the news”

Reply to  BernardP
March 25, 2015 6:53 pm

@ Bernard, in our corner the CRTC refused to give SUN news the same “level” playing field as the CBC and CTV.

Reply to  BernardP
March 25, 2015 7:07 pm

I’m pretty certain that various governments and the UN have essentially limitless funds and people available to write the press releases that get unquestioningly published and given broadcast time.

Reply to  BernardP
March 25, 2015 8:48 pm

I’m one Canadian whose brain is yet to be washed. Ok that means it’s a bit dirty but at least it my dirt.

March 25, 2015 6:47 pm

Maybe they’d get a better handle on what went wrong if they started with “Climategate” and moved on to “Climategate 2.”

March 25, 2015 6:47 pm

Has any other branch of science relied on psychology the way climate science does? The fact that climate science crosses with psychology makes me feel like they’re always searching for the best way to brainwash people into being alarmists.
I understand that severe weather events are emotional for the people that go through them but this isn’t that. These psychology papers always deal with who the message of doom is reaching, who it isn’t reaching, why isn’t it, and how can we change that? It’s creepy.

Reply to  NancyG22
March 25, 2015 7:12 pm

…always searching for the best way to brainwash people into being alarmists.
And the occasional well-publicized attack on non-believers are also helpful, you know, pour encourager les autres.

Tom J
Reply to  NancyG22
March 25, 2015 7:34 pm

It’s not really psychology. It’s sales and marketing. Business administration. Political science. Finance. Advertising. Theatre. Film direction. Gender studies. Revisionist history. The fall of Western Civilization.

Bohdan Burban
Reply to  Tom J
March 26, 2015 6:07 am

“political science” is an oxymoron

Reply to  Tom J
March 26, 2015 5:02 pm

Oxymoron = a brain starved of oxygen

Reply to  NancyG22
March 25, 2015 11:40 pm

The study is presumably in order for their many PR and advertising companies to form their media and creative strategies. It’s essentially a very expensive marketing-based consumer survey.

Reply to  NancyG22
March 26, 2015 3:36 pm

I’m with you, Nancy. “Creepy” sums it up perfectly. It’s psychology and PR both. People can call it whatever they like, but it’s still all about mind-control and brainwashing and getting the masses on-side. You nailed it. You especially nailed it with “creepy”. No science needs or does that. It’s a dead giveaway that a scam is being perpetrated and that they need the people behind it to make it work. Since when did true science care about such a thing?

Tom J
March 25, 2015 6:55 pm

Many years ago I was involved in a vehicular accident. I probably shouldn’t go into a lot of detail here but suffice it to say that I didn’t have insurance. Now, in the state I was residing in the law was set up so that in any kind of accident both parties would always share some degree of liability. The other driver was clearly at fault but that pesty law and my lack of insurance had me concerned. Oh, almost forgot: the other motorist was drunk as a skunk.
Anyway, a dear friend recommended I get an attorney due to my uninsured status. He referred me to one.
I showed up shortly at the attorney’s office, accident report in hand. This attorney had an extremely foul mouth so I can only insinuate what he said. The other driver’s name was Charvella. My attorney looked at that and said, “Charvella … Charvella? What kind of ….ing name is that?” I knew then I had the correct attorney for the job.
Anyway, for some reason this memory returned to me when I saw the name of the lead researcher.
Saffron … Saffron? What kind of…

Reply to  Tom J
March 25, 2015 7:29 pm

Close enough to mellow yellow, and all that.

March 25, 2015 7:12 pm

They just can’t understand why nobody is buying what they’re selling.

March 25, 2015 7:13 pm

The sign would have been funnier had it read:

March 25, 2015 8:01 pm

Not the Geography I knew.
Dr Saffron O’Neill publications.
“Fear Won’t Do It” Promoting Positive Engagement With Climate Change Through Visual and Iconic Representation
Reorienting climate change communication for effective mitigation: forcing people to be green or fostering grass-roots engagement?
Is weather event attribution necessary for adaptation funding (With Mike Hulme!)

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Betapug
March 25, 2015 8:09 pm

Truly Orwellian. Right out of Groupthink.

Reply to  Betapug
March 25, 2015 10:03 pm

Have a read of this one, Betapub …
I really object to my tax contributions being wasted on rubbish like this. It’s akin to self-flagellation. I hand over tax for some half-wit to figure out how best to indoctrinate me. Well, no thanks Saffron. Find yourself a real job and earn your keep doing something useful rather than pontificating about pictures of polar bears. Since you’re based in Devon you could try learning how to milk a herd of cows … oh wait!

March 25, 2015 8:26 pm

It’s doesn’t matter how much polish you put on a turd, it’s still a turd.

Tom J
Reply to  sabretruthtiger
March 25, 2015 9:07 pm

I’ve heard this saying before: You can’t polish a turd, but you can roll it in glitter.

John L
March 25, 2015 8:31 pm

My faith in the common man is given a big boost.
He can still smell crap even when wrapped in “science”

March 25, 2015 9:14 pm

The physics and empirical evidence now overwhelming show there is NOT a CAGW crisis. We MAY get another 0.3C~1.0C (likely closer to 0.3C) of CO2 induced warming between now and 2100, plus or MINUS whatever the sun and natural variability decided to do between now and then.
There IS a definite crisis of scientific, political and media corruption, which has allowed the CAGW scam to persist, despite the overwhelming evidence disconfirming CAGW.
Once the CAGW hypothesis is finally smoldering on the pyre of failed ideas, scientific research funding, the peer-review process (aka pal-review), MSM bias, political propaganda/agendas, etc., will have to be assessed and changes made to avoid similar hoaxes from occurring in the future.
BTW, a new Gallop poll shows beliiiiiief in CAGW continues to tank:
As further evidence that CAGW is a political rather than a physical phenomenon, the Gallop poll shows only 13% of Republicans believe in CAGW, compared to 52% of Leftists… Oh, my.
Politicians follow poll numbers, not science. Once CAGW becomes a political liability, CAGW research funding and wasteful CO2 sequestration policies will decrease with the falling poll numbers.
CAGW is toast.

Reply to  SAMURAI
March 25, 2015 9:42 pm

Is the 52% of leftist believers waxing or waning? If waning, then it won’t be long, as you say, until CAGW becomes a political liability.

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 25, 2015 10:15 pm

CAGW already is a political liabiliy, on the left barely 50% are drinking the koolaid while on the other side of the aisle 83% is working against you – overall that says you have an opposition of something like 75%, that is you are motivating up to 75% of the population to advocate AGAINST your warmist presidential candidate! Nominate a non-warmist (Sceptic or Neutral player) and you remove that motivation of 75% to agitate against you.
While I’m from Oz where this just happened a couple of years ago – I have sent a clear message to my candidates. I don’t care what your other policies are, if you believe in fairy-tales like Global Warming, then you are either a politically populist liar, or, because of your inability to grasp some simple high school math, and the anti-human consequences of so called climate change action – you must be a soft brained incompetent. Either way you can’t be trusted with the reigns of government.
Because of that I have said there is no way in hades that any candidate that advocates any serious belief in climate change gets my vote even if I end up voting for no-one (In Australia that means voting informal – ie none of the above)

Reply to  noaaprogrammer
March 25, 2015 10:22 pm

Noaaprogrammer– Amazingly, Leftists’ belief in CAGW has continued to INCREASE since 2000, because that’s what political hacks, MSM, public schools, movies, culture, etc. tell them to believe; sad but true…
Once the CAGW hypothesis crashes and burns, hopefully some Leftists will FINALLY begin to understand that clueless and agenda-driven politicians/MSM/teachers/Hollywood actors, etc. should not be so blindly trusted…
The necessity of healthy skepticism should be self-evident to anyone with even a cursory understanding of world history, but Leftists often fail to learn the lessons of history… It’s a type of brainwashing which is partially attributable to the public school system, which pushes government dogma and fails to teach students HOW to think logically, they primarily tell them WHAT to think…

Chris Hanley
March 25, 2015 9:48 pm

Here’s another frame that the MSM could adopt: what the Summary for Policymakers states is that there is a consensus amongst the authors that they have a gut feeling that humans have been responsible for 51% of the warming since 1950 viz. 0.35C (or ~0.5C/century) which is well within the margin of error at least for the surface series and the only rational response is to do nothing.

March 25, 2015 10:04 pm

A simple message. 18 years of nothing. The idiots can say anything they want and all you need to say is ’18 years’. Next year it will be 19 years and the year after it will be 20. I’m frankly not interested in communicating with loons. Never have been and never will be

March 25, 2015 10:50 pm

Amazing the things one can get paid money for these days. I suspect that with the “creative distruction” of 90% of the jobs that existed 100 years ago by machines “creative employment” has been necessary to keep people busy in the capitalist system whilst we wait for more useful industries to be invented. It’s only a theory, but with the proper funding Im sure I could find more solid evidence for it. Send cheques to….

March 25, 2015 11:37 pm

Coming to a university near you, a Department of Propaganda, academic studies in how to better put across the vital messages of today about: equality, diversity, sustainability, climate control (sic).

Bohdan Burban
Reply to  climanrecon
March 26, 2015 6:17 am

“Department of Propaganda” has been rebadged as School of Journalism

March 26, 2015 12:43 am

***MSM is certainly busy promoting CAGW activists who favour renewables over fossil fuels, however foolish they may be. some are tools, some have their own investment interests at stake:
25 March: InsideClimateNews: Elizabeth Douglass: Exxon Shareholder Climate Vote Blocked, Chevron’s Approved by SEC
The SEC took a different stance on the ExxonMobil resolution. In a letter to Exxon dated five days after its Chevron decision, the commission agreed that the company could exclude the resolution…
In this case, Fugere of As You Sow said the commission must have based its Exxon ruling on some kind of wording technicality.
The SEC’s decision was “less about the substance and more about how we framed the resolution, so we’ll do a different draft of the resolution next year,” said Fugere.
*** “There’s a lot of discussion of carbon asset risk in the media, and financial analysts are now addressing it, so this is not an issue that’s going away.”
24 March: InsideClimateNews: Zahra Hirji: Harvard Beats Back Divestment Lawsuit, but Students Promise to Appeal
Seven filed suit to force prestigious college to divorce its fortune and its future from fossil fuels.
Justice Paul Wilson disagreed. In his opinion, he wrote that the students “have brought their advocacy, fervent and articulate and admirable as it is, to a forum that cannot grant the relief they seek…
Alice Cherry, a plaintiff in the case and a second-year law student at Harvard, told InsideClimate News that she and the other students plan to appeal…
In an October 2013 letter rejecting divestment, Harvard president Drew Faust wrote: “the endowment is a resource, not an instrument to implement social or political change.”
Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesman for the green group, which helped launch the fossil fuel divestment movement, told InsideClimate News that this argument doesn’t make sense. Historically, the university divested from tobacco companies and companies tied to apartheid in South Africa, he said…
According to, the primary argument for divestment is: “If it is wrong to wreck the climate, then it is wrong to profit from that wreckage.”

March 26, 2015 12:50 am

just say no:
24 March: Guardian: Fiona Harvey: MPs pension fund should not be divested from fossil fuels, says Liz Truss
Conservative environment secretary said she favoured carbon reduction targets over divestment at a public debate on green policies in the run-up to the general election
She told the Guardian: “I believe the right way [to affect investment] is through carbon reduction targets.”
Caroline Flint, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, said she would “look into it”. She declined to support divestment and said the debate over divestment should be about setting the right conditions for long-term investment in environmental sustainability.
The MPs were speaking to the Guardian on the fringes of a public debate on green policies in the run-up to the general election, held by the Green Alliance and a consortium of environmental NGOs…
***Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, told the debate that he supported divestment away from coal, but not gas as it would continue to be needed, and which currently makes up 80% of the UK’s energy use. He said this move was already happening.
***He said: “The way pension funds are going, they are interested in placing their money in what they see as sustainable forms of investment. To give incentives we need decarbonisation targets. I would make a distinction between coal and oil and gas.”
He also called for more transparency for investors. “If you look at the work of the Bank of England, the Bank of Brazil, the Bank of South Africa, you need to ensure investors have real disclosure about the assets of the companies they are investing in, [to see whether they are] building assets or long-term liabilities. Investor disclosure is one thing we can push through.”…
25 March: Guardian: Adam Vaughan: Wellcome Trust rejects Guardian’s calls to divest from fossil fuels
Director of the charitable trust, Jeremy Farrar, says retaining fossil fuel shares gives more influence over such companies – but they would not rule out divesting in the future, should engagement prove ineffective
But Farrar, writing in the Guardian on Wednesday, said that while divestment was a “grand gesture” it was not as effective as engaging with fossil fuel companies.
“By maintaining our positions, we meet boards again and again, supporting their best environmental initiatives and challenging their worst. We would not be able to have the frank discussions we require if we published details, but we are confident that our engagement has impact,” he said.
Selling its shares in such companies could undermine efforts to persuade companies to make their operations more low carbon to fight climate change, he said. “Were we to sell our holdings, it is unlikely that the buyers would exert the same influence.”…
In 2014, Wellcome’s £18bn endowment had more than £450m invested in Shell, BP, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The foundation sold a £94m stake in Exxon Mobil in January though it has not explained why.
However, Farrar noted in his article that: “when we are not satisfied that a company is engaging with our concerns, we are perfectly prepared to sell.” He added that the extent to which companies meet their environmental responsibilities was a factor in deciding whether to sell or not, and said “all companies engaged in fossil fuel extraction are not equal”…

March 26, 2015 12:53 am

When ever a political party is in trouble it’s all about not getting the message across?

March 26, 2015 1:03 am

We pay taxes around the world to fund this ‘research’?
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
How about we redirect research into improving the lives of people without clean water, or enough food, or no electricity.

Reply to  Robber
March 26, 2015 1:26 am

Correction, we have taxes *taken*, AT SOURCE, from our incomes to pay for this dribble. Certainly true for the UK, Australia and New Zealand. I wish the Gov’nt would leave my bank account (It’s been some time since regular emplyment was paid in cash. I recall those little brown envelopes (In the UK that is)) alone!

Richard Keen
March 26, 2015 1:10 am

This paper is distinctly a case of Saffron Journalism presented as science. I’ll admit I’ve never heard of Dr. Saffron, but I am familiar with the fifth co-author, Maxwell Boykoff. He is the founding father of the “Balance is Bias” meme that attempts to justify and encourage censorship and suppression of “dissenting” opinions. You can read more about this guy’s approach in some favorable articles and (if you’re OK giving those creeps your e-mail)
along with some critical articles at and
His bio says he’s not a climate scientist™ but has a degree in Psychology and is interested in “environmental governance”. Boykoff’s magnum opus, written with his brother Jules, “Journalistic Balance as Global Warming Bias: Creating controversy where science finds consensus.” claims “that when it comes to U.S. media coverage of global warming, superficial balance—telling “both” sides of the story—can actually be a form of informational bias.” He blames the misinformation on “conservative Think Tanks” (as opposed to the UN Stink Tank, I presume). The title of his panel talk (with Naomi Oreskes), “Exaggerating Denialism: Media Representations of Outlier Views on Climate Change” with the D-word applied to “outlier” views is an attempt to marginalize those who disagree with him using tactics (toned down for an academic audience) right out of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals #12: Destroy the Individual…. Pick the target, freeze, personalize, polarize, and isolate it.
Balance is Bias.– Boykoff Brothers, 2004
War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength. Freedom is Slavery.– Big Brother, 1984

March 26, 2015 1:28 am

Sooner or later you would hope that some of the more independent thinking students will rebel against the climate change orthodoxy and start asking questions of the academics that are currently milking it for all it is worth. I attended a forum at Melbourne University where the “climate eco chaps” performed like Oxford dons except they now have stubble and the odd tattoo to indicate their cultural relevance. It was hail Caesar stuff and afterwards drinks with the student toadies shuffling up to the benighted for recognition and a titbit of information that they could take back to augment their status amongst their fellows. There was a great deal of talking about grants and the latest research. Gross is all I can say, and not a whit amongst them.

March 26, 2015 3:34 am

I understand the IPCC quite clearly-
“Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use”
they haven’t a clue either.

March 26, 2015 3:37 am

Leo Hickman; the promoter of the 10:10 splatter feast video and ex Guardian all things green promoter who had CIF moderates on speed dial , currently doing the same job for WWF
Richard Black ex-BBC and Greenpeace insider who at times makes Bob ‘fast fingers’ Ward look honest, now pimping his green credentials and BBC contacts list to any who will pay .
I wonder did the study even consider that the failure of message may have have something to do with the ‘quality’ of the people who spread it ? Because it really would not take much ‘research’ to show why lying poor BS artists can more often make poor salesmen than good.

March 26, 2015 5:18 am

The study was funded through an ESRC Future Research Leader Award to Dr O’Neill, and through the University of Exeter Humanities and Social Sciences Strategic Fund.

Well, there’s your problem.

Reply to  Gary
March 26, 2015 1:02 pm

Yep, more in the pipeline … your tax contributions reinvested courtesy of ESRC misanthropy.
So what happened to cash allotted for the ‘Deadline passed’ items I wonder? Reads like a beading program for more useless eco-muppets.

Reply to  AJB
March 26, 2015 1:04 pm

Err, breeding program. Though beading probably not far off! 🙂

Alan the Brit
March 26, 2015 5:20 am

“The authors argue that these findings need to inform how future IPCC Assessment Reports are communicated, in order that policymakers and the public are better informed.”
Surely to better communicate how a future IPCC Assessment Report is to be communicated, one surely must know what its conculsions are already? Or am I missing something?

Dave in Canmore
March 26, 2015 7:47 am

“We know that some of these frames are more engaging for audiences than others: for example, the Opportunity or Health frames …”
There’s plenty of nonsense here but on a shallow note, what is with using “frame” to mean reference frame? Is there an ink shortage at Exeter? Making a noun out of a transitive verb just sounds so pretentious. The content is bad enough but do they have to dress it up like so much academic baffle gab nonsense?
I’m not sure what annoys me more, academics who can’t think or academics who can’t write!

Bruce Cobb
March 26, 2015 9:39 am

See, if they can find just the right brand and right shade of lipstick and slap it on the CAGW pig, it will become kittens and puppies, and all will be well in Climate Liar Land.

Alan McIntire
March 26, 2015 3:16 pm

Since IPCC Assessment reports are not news, the natural reaction of the NEWS media would be to ignore them.

March 26, 2015 7:19 pm

Did I just read something ? All I remember about it is blah, blah, blah, blah…

March 27, 2015 12:21 am

Amazing study of the IPCC and media concludes: “…reception and coverage in the media has varied widely.”
Comment by Jim Hutchison, Oz 27.03.15
I am beginning to feel sorry for the newly minted Dr Saffron. She is a geographer and makes no claim to be a climate scientist. She has learned to publish short articles in the correct journals and keeps careful track of the numbers of citations she generates. Thus she will make a rapid climb to the academic heights. The results of her work are really only a by-product of this climb – almost an unintended consequence. The relevance of her research to the real world ought to be, and apparently is, a secondary consideration.
Part of her PhD work, now published, was to solve the problem of assessing the future population of the Polar Bear – Ursus maritimus – when the current population data are incomplete and inadequate. The paper is:
Using expert knowledge to assess uncertainties in future polar bear populations under climate change
SJ O’Neill, TJ Osborn, M Hulme, I Lorenzoni… – Journal of Applied Ecology, 2008.
The methodology is neat. She found several Polar Bear experts and asked each one to separately estimate the future population of Polar Bears. This Delphi technique suggested to her that the population of the animal will decline in the future. Each of the experts was a member of the Species Survival Commission Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). Now we know from previous posts at WUWT that this group was some years ago given the task of determining the current population of Polar Bears. We also know that this task has not been completed. Thus, ironically, the problem Ms Saffron had to solve arose partly from the failure of ‘her’ experts to carry out tasks which they had earlier been given.
Her conclusion is that the population of this iconic animal will decline in the future.
No doubt she deserved to be awarded her PhD. She would have satisfied her supervisor and examiners. Her writing style would have been correct One of these days she may become a useful researcher.
Of course her results are nonsense. Soundly based science suggests that it is unlikely that Ursus maritimus will be threatened in the foreseeable future by hunting as was the case in the past, or by climate change which is taking place at present.
Two documents throw light on the subject:
First, is the December 2012 issue of the Canadian Geographic Magazine for which the URL is:
Secondly, is a paper written by Susan Crockford who is the foremost
International expert on the Polar Bear. The URL for this paper is:
Her maps show the 19 subpopulation areas inhabited by the animal.
Of note, is the fact that no accurate (or any) population study, has
been undertaken over about half of the area of the subpopulations.
Conducting such population study work was one of the principal reasons
for the establishment of the PBSG.
Crockford discusses the controversial issue of the supposed detrimental
effect on Polar Bears of earlier melt dates of sea ice. This quote is taken
from page 9 of her paper:
“ … a journalist or a polar bear biologist might glibly say, as they
often do, that ‘polar bears need sea ice and the ice is melting’. But
when you know that only late summer ice has declined dramatically
and that spring and early summer ice is what polar bears really need
for survival – a point that is backed up by peer-reviewed research
and sea ice maps that you can download and examine yourself
– you won’t be fooled by such half-truths.”
This commenter’s opinion is that there are probably at least 35,000
polar bears wandering about in the Arctic. That number is increasing
because hunting is tightly controlled; also there is no evidence of an
adverse effect on Polar Bears arising from earlier melting dates of sea
The Polar Bear is in safe international hands. The likelihood that it
will go extinct from hunting or climate change is miniscule.
Churchill, Manitoba will remain a popular Polar Bear tourist destination
for many years to come.

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