Green agitators working on the climate ‘blacklist’ site DeSmog have “scoured hours of online footage” and concluded that many journalists and presenters working at GB News are a tad sceptical about claims that the ‘climate emergency’ is rapidly approaching the point of no return and only the collectivist Net Zero project holds out any hope of averting imminent catastrophe. Needless to say, the Guardian is all over this scandalous outbreak of sceptical journalism. The Green MP Caroline Lucas notes the “truly toxic misinformation” on GB News, adding: “Ofcom cannot allow these statements to go unchallenged and un-investigated”.
DeSmog found that 16 of the station’s 31 presenters “attacked” U.K. climate policies last year, including the ‘Net Zero 2050’ target. The Guardian noted that 10 of the presenters made statements rejecting or challenging “widely accepted scientific findings” about how humans are affecting the climate, and the role the climate crisis plays in extreme weather events.
The latter comment is interesting. Attributing individual bad weather events to long-term changes in the climate is pseudoscience, and such claims invariably rest on computer models contrasting our atmosphere with wholly imaginary ones. Any data these models spit out fail to qualify as science since they are based on opinions that cannot be tested or falsified. The former economics professor and science writer Roger Pielke is particularly scathing about the attribution of extreme weather events to anthropogenic global warming, which has rushed to fill the alarmist space vacated by global warming running out of steam over 20 years ago. “I can think of no other area of research where the relaxing of rigour and standards has been encouraged by researchers in order to generate claims more friendly to headlines, political advocacy and even lawsuits”, he observed.
Neil Oliver, whose Saturday monologue is a social media hit, is singled out for criticism. On December 30th, he is said to have asserted that polar bears are “doing fine”, and the ice in Antarctica is getting thicker every year. In fact, polar bears are doing fine with surveys suggesting their numbers are at recent highs. Extra food in the Arctic and a ban on hunting has helped the recovery. Meanwhile, a recent paper in Nature (Singh and Polvani) notes that over the last seven decades, the Antarctica sea ice area has “modestly expanded” and warming has been “nearly non-existent” over much of the ice sheet. In November, Oliver criticised green policies by suggesting they were part of a “hellish potpourri of policies guaranteed to condemn hundreds of millions to death by poverty, death by starvation”. DeSmog characterises the statement as a “conspiracy theory”, although the less hysterical might regard it as a fair comment on a potentially disastrous political agenda.
Weather attribution propaganda reached a high point on July 19th last year in the U.K. with news that the temperature topped 40.3°C for 60 seconds half way down the runway at RAF Coningsby, home to Britain’s Typhoon jet fighters. GB News host Calvin Robinson, referring to the short heatwave surrounding the claimed record, accused the Met Office of “alarmism”. Around this time, Nana Akua noted that: “If we [humans] only generate 3.5% of carbon dioxide and the rest of it is natural, then surely the CO2 is not the reason for the climate changing because it’s such a small proportion?” DeSmog accuses her of “challenging the science consensus”, while Lucas in the Guardian clutches pearls and states that climate denial is “deeply dangerous”. Of course, Akua is simply identifying the dubious scientific assumptions that lie at the heart of the unproven hypothesis that humans have caused all or most global warming since the mid-19th Century by burning fossil fuels.
DeSmog only looked at the Net Zero and climate reporting record of GB News, but over on the rival station Talk TV, similar appalling levels of investigation and scepticism are flourishing. If DeSmog is looking to add to its ridiculous blacklist of climate sceptics, it will be spoilt for choice. Julia Hartley-Brewer, Richard Tice, Mike Graham, Kevin O’Sullivan and Dr. Renee Hoederkamp are names that spring immediately to mind, and there are many more. What is happening, of course, is that when journalists are employed on media that allows them to do what they do best – ask questions, inquire, debate – a more nuanced and interesting story often emerges. The Net Zero collectivist project is backed by decades of virtue signalling and the false claim that the science surrounding climate change is ‘settled’. As scientists learn more about the complex natural influences that have major impacts on long-term climate, attributing all or most of the recent changes to humans looks more implausible by the day.
Some media companies are also aware that scepticism about Net Zero and the climate catastrophisation that promotes it is gaining ground in the wider population. Last month, the Daily Sceptic reported that climate scepticism was on the rise throughout the world, as populations start to grasp the effects of the looming Net Zero disaster. A recent poll conducted by a group within the University of Chicago found that belief in humans causing all or most climate change had slumped in America to 49% from the 60% level recorded just five years ago. Last year, a major Ipsos survey covering two thirds of the world’s population revealed that nearly four in every 10 people believe climate change is mainly due to natural causes.
Perhaps worryingly for the BBC and the Guardian with their steadily shrinking audiences, the Chicago survey found climate scepticism increasing more rapidly in left-wing Democrat circles than among Republican. In addition, support for human-caused climate change fell by 17% among young people aged 18-29.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.