Sadly the coming climate apocalypse will have to take place without any specialist commentary from the American business cable channel CNBC. It appears the station’s climate desk has been quietly disbanded, causing seasonal favourite stories such as the threat to Thanksgiving pies and turkeys to disappear from the headlines. It’s an undoubted straw in the wind. Major TV stations tend not to cancel news output that attracts eyeballs and advertisers. But what climate catastrophising and green propaganda can CNBC contribute that isn’t repeated endlessly across mainstream media? With climate collapse promised on a daily basis for decades, it seems the general audience is getting wise to much of the fake, pseudoscience being used by well-funded elites to promote a collectivist Net Zero agenda.
Needless to say, the lamentations from fellow climate activists were spread over social media. Bloomberg reporter Akshat Rathi tweeted it was a “sad day” when a major news publication decided to cut jobs that provided essential coverage of a planetary crisis. “The science is clear, the impacts are here, and many world leaders are taking it seriously. So why does a media publication not see a business case?” he asked. The sensible might answer that there is no planetary crisis, it is an invention of political activists, the science is not clear, it is more in dispute than ever, while the catastrophisation of individual weather events is the last desperate throw of the dice following 25 years of slowing warming. The business case for CNBC seems clear – what money can be made by simply subbing clickbait press releases from academics desperately trying to secure funding for their increasingly fanciful climate claims? Not a lot, it seems, when all the competitors are acting as similar trusted messengers citing the usual, ‘scientists say’.
Mass Greta-style hysteria can only be kept going for so long before the disillusioned audience tires of the effort and walks down the mountain muttering disobliging comments about the latest false prophet. Anti-elite populist movements are growing again in many Western democracies as the full horror of the insane Net Zero project becomes apparent. The election of Donald Trump next year as President grows more likely, and this will kill any significant move to Net Zero. In the Netherlands, the Dutch seem to have won a major battle against the supra-national forces trying to destroy their agricultural tradition and business. In the U.K., the anti-Net Zero Reform party, led by the increasingly visible and likeable Richard Tice, is starting to gain traction in the polls. Nigel Farage, of course – who is honorary President of Reform – currently lurks in the undergrowth.
Two weeks ago, Ben Pile published a wide-ranging report that showed the enormous financial firepower wielded by a few ‘philanthropists’. They have considerable power to curate policy across governments, organisations, NGOs, science, academia and the media. In Pile’s view, this process excludes the wider society and promotes and often implements policies that have no grassroots support. The evidence is all around with plans to change diet, reduce car ownership, limit flying, restrict the use of fertiliser and ban the use of natural gas. The mainstream media play their part in grooming the population to accept these restrictions, and receive substantial financial support in this mission. Their compliance is vital. As Pile notes: “The green movement exists almost only because of support from a small number of philanthropic foundations.”
In the U.K. alone, the Gates Foundation has given selected U.K. publications around $83 million for various editorial purposes. The Guardian and the BBC are the biggest beneficiaries of this largess. Worldwide, Gates’s media gifts run into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Last year, Associated Press said it planned to hire 20 climate change journalists following $8 million of funding from a number of billionaires’ foundations. Announcing the move, AP said it retained “complete editorial control” of all content.
As reported in the past in the Daily Sceptic, there are many other ways that elite money controls the mainstream narrative. Covering Climate Now (CC Now) feeds over 500 media outlets with ready-to-publish climate disaster material. It runs out of the Columbia Journalism Review in New York and is backed by the Guardian. It is funded by a few billionaire green philanthropists. Its partners included Reuters, Bloomberg, Agence France Presse, CBS News, ABC and MSNBC. One line of approach recommended for captured commentators is to note that climate change “supercharges normal weather patterns like steroids”. Activists looking to ramp up climate hysteria are told that the fastest way to catch up is to emulate outlets that are already covering climate change well. “You can’t do better than the Guardian,” it helpfully suggests.
None of this poodle behaviour finds any favour with many old-school journalists of a previous generation. These days mainstream media is awash with stories of climate collapse, particularly in the run-up to the annual COP shindig. Neil Winton spent 32 years as a reporter with Reuters, including a spell as science and technology correspondent, and recently wrote in the Daily Sceptic that his alma mater used to be above all this hysteria. It would relentlessly apply its traditional standards of fairness and balance, but of late it seems to have “sold out to the hysterics and axe grinders”. The involvement of Reuters in the CC Now operation seems to Winton to be in “direct contradiction” of three of Reuters 10 ‘journalistic hallmarks’ – hold accuracy sacrosanct, seek fair comment and strive for balance.
Chris Morrison is the Daily Sceptic’s Environment Editor.