Last Tuesday, I reported on the Mirror story that much of London could disappear beneath the water within 80 years. One might suppose that a crack team of investigative reporters had sifted through hundreds of years of meteorological records and consulted numerous scientific authorities to come up with a eureka revelation that Nelson’s Column will disappear beneath the waves before the century is out. Of course, that didn’t happen. The newspaper was simply publishing custom-produced catastrophe copy from a heavily-funded green agitprop operation called Climate Central. Similar climate catastrophe stories are ubiquitous throughout mainstream media, and there are of course serious doubts about many of them, not least because they are designed to promote the Net Zero political agenda.
New Jersey-based Climate Central is open about its mission. Starting in 2008, it notes that it has grown from working with just a handful of media organisations “to collaborating with hundreds and making a mark on thousands”. It boasts of creating “fully produced” stories that “support” countless storytellers and stake holders in media, social media, government, business and NGOs. It specialises in targeting both national and local media with the pictures to tell a climate disaster story – “all for free”. Although it seems to operate mainly in the U.S., a number of local U.K. newspapers have run improbably flood stories suggesting area landmarks will soon vanish.
The operation is well funded and is supported by numerous left-wing foundations, including the Schmidt Family, the Grantham Foundation (active in the U.K. with three university Institutes) and the Hewlett Fund. (A fuller list can be found here.) Eric Schmidt ran Google until recently, and Wendy Schmidt is listed as a founding board member.
It is not just legacy media that’s being targeted. Climate Central runs a unit called Climate Matters that has established close links with American TV weather presenters over the last decade. It is now common for American weather forecasts to include references to climate change. In the U.K., of course, the Met Office needs little help in ramping up fear by directly linking single weather events and trends to long term changes in the climate. But America has many local broadcasting stations all supplying weather information. Climate Matters aims to bring climate change into weathercasting “via local voices highly trusted by Americans everywhere”.
A recent article in the Washingtonian highlighted the work of Professor Ed Maibach in creating a propaganda strategy aimed at U.S. weathercasters. Over a decade, it is reported, he has produced a “weather underground” said to be “a coast-to-coast network of TV weathercasters who believe that educating their audiences about global warming is as crucial as telling them when to bring an umbrella”.
The magazine notes that local news consumers across the country don’t know that behind that telegenic meteorologist is a social scientist and a team of academic researchers, data crunchers and ex-weathercasters, i.e., the staff of Climate Matters. “To a lot of our viewers, it’s lost on them how much Climate [Matters] really is doing,” says Kaitlyn McGrath, a meteorologist at WUSA9. “But it is so far from lost on us.”
Of course, we could ask why newspapers and American TV stations are employing lazy people who just sub the press release, and spout on air pre-prepared green agitiprop (the green equivalent of churnalism). Communicators who fail to investigate the science behind climate change and just accept the unproven hypothesis that humans are solely responsible for any recent warming of the atmosphere are making a very easy living.
The Westminster University economist Dr. Deborah Ancell noted recently in the Conservative Woman that national broadcasters are staffed with journalist advocates, whose exhortations lead to money being wasted “chasing rainbows, pixies and unicorns in fairy dells”. In Dr. Ancell’s opinion, the impact of lazy journalism has contributed to wrecking economies. “The damage includes reducing energy capacity; over-hyping electric vehicles; restricting agricultural production; taxing aviation emissions; operating fraudulent CO2 offset schemes; abandoning fossil fuels and pursuing unachievable Net Zero,” she explained.
Many legacy media brands are dying on their feet, a fate that in time might affect complacent state broadcasters such as the BBC. Needless to say, this state of affairs has not escaped the attention of billionaires looking for suitable recipients of vast quantities of free cash. Just one source, the Gates Foundation, has provided hundreds of millions of dollars to media operations over the last decade.
Last year, the investigative publication Mint Press News (whose account has been closed by PayPal), put the Gates spend on media projects at around $300 million, but noted the amount could be much higher once sub-grants are taken into account. Among the broadcasters receiving money were the BBC ($3.67 million), CNN ($3.6m) and NBC Universal ($4.37m). In the U.K., the Guardian collected $12.95m, while the less well known green, woke blog The Conversation was granted $6.66m. The Telegraph collected £3.45m, but that doesn’t include a recent $2.43m grant for “global policy and advocacy”. In Europe, Der Spiegel ($5.44m), El Pais ($3.97m) and Le Monde ($4m) all received money. Gates has also given money to charities run by media operations, with a massive $53m provided for BBC Media Action. Large grants are also provided for journalistic training purposes. The full list is available here.
Mint Press News looked at 30,000 individual grants and concluded that the Gates Foundation was underwriting a “significant chunk” of the media eco-system. It argued that this caused serious problems with objectivity when it comes to covering subjects close to Bill Gates’s heart, adding that the money spent by billionaires “allows them to set the public agenda, giving them enormous power over society”.
For some inexplicable reason, the Daily Sceptic is not on the Gates handout list. Curiously, the large bung from Big Oil, which many of our social media commentators routinely accuse us of taking, is also notable for its absence.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.