Have you noticed that many media outlets are no longer willing to give climate science deniers a platform? There has definitely been a sea-change in the attitude of New Zealand media in the last few years. Overseas, especially in the United States – not so much.
One of the leading NZ media companies to take this initiative is Stuff – in the last few months all of the stories on climate change contain the following statement –
Just today Stuff has released a complete review of its comments guidelines. These make sweeping changes to the moderation guidelines, and include an extensive list of topics which will not be tolerated – from 1080 to fluoride to those that “deny anthropogenic climate change”
In the UK the BBC has issued guidelines to its journalists that they no longer have to provide “balance” and involve climate science deniers when covering climate change stories
Locally, there has been a significant step in this direction. The Mercury Bay Informer last week announced that it would be revising its policy relating to climate change comments and letters to the editor. In a very welcome move, the Informer printed an opinion piece entitled “No room for “merchants of doubt”. The paper consulted a retired paediatric surgeon Prof Kevin Pringle, a Whitianga resident who has 45 years experience in academic research. Prof Pringle’s clear and strong message to the Informer was that climate science denying letter writers should no longer be tolerated. (bye bye Brickell) In future, all letters must be back up with references to peer-reviewed articles written in scientific journals. References to hoax websites or other unscientific unreferenced sources would no longer be accepted.
Here is the full text of the new Informer Policy –
“Effective immediately, climate change statements or data will only be published in The Informer or allowed to remain published on our website and social media channels if accompanied by a specific reference to the source of the statement or data. Please note mere reference to a website in general will not be sufficient. Reference to specific peerreviewed articles in scientific journals or statements by reputable organisations like NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (which are backed by research or data) will have to be provided.”
Of course the climate science deniers will cry foul and make unsubstantiated allegations that their “free speech” is being restricted. But if you’re looking for reasons as to how marginalised and dangerous climate science deniers are – this article from Medium confirms that –
climate change denial is becoming explicitly racist and more sexist. Male white nationalists are deniers as a tribal requirement.
In this article in the Guardian examines why climate action is the antithesis of white supremacy. “Why you will never meet a white supremacist who cares about climate change” Behind the urgency of climate action is the understanding that everything is connected; behind white supremacy is an ideology of separation .
And guess where the “talking points” come from that the climate science deniers inevitably use? From fossil fuel companies who are spending millions of dollars on lobbying and using social media to push an agenda to weaken and oppose any meaningful legislation to tackle global warming –
“Oil majors’ climate branding sounds increasingly hollow and their credibility is on the line. They publicly support climate action while lobbying against binding policy. They advocate low-carbon solutions but such investments are dwarfed by spending on expanding their fossil fuel business.”