Neil Winton disavows his uncritically adopting global warming belief in his Daily Skeptic article: Covering Climate Change for Reuters, I Thought CO2 to Blame for Rising Temperatures. I Was Wrong. Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.
If you wonder why much of the mainstream media seem united in accepting that the world will soon die unless humans don hair shirts, freeze in winter and walk instead of driving, you need to know about websites like Covering Climate Now (CCN).
Reuters and some of the biggest names in the news like Bloomberg, Agence France Presse, CBS News, and ABC News have signed up to support CCN, which brags that it is an unbiased seeker after the truth. But this claim won’t last long if you peer behind the façade. CCN may claim to be fair and balanced, but it not only won’t tolerate criticism, it brandishes the unethical ‘denier’ weapon with its nasty holocaust denier echoes. This seeks to demonise those who disagree with it by savaging personalities and denying a hearing, rather than using debate to establish its case.
CCN advises journalists to routinely add to stories about bad weather and flooding to suggest climate change is making these events more intense.
This is not an established fact, as a simple routine check would show.
I have a particular interest in Reuters’ attitude because I spent 32 years there as a reporter and editor. The global news agency’s traditional insistence on high standards in reporting makes this liaison with CCN seem questionable.
When Reuters announced its tie-up with CCN in 2019 it said this, among other things.
The (CCN) coalition, which includes more than 350 organisations [there are many more now] has no agenda beyond embracing science and fair coverage and publishing more climate change content.
That is clearly not true. It has a partisan agenda and encourages reporters
to dismiss those with contrary opinions as ‘deniers’.
The involvement of Reuters in CCN seems to me to be in direct contradiction to three of its 10 Hallmarks of Reuters Journalism – Hold Accuracy Sacrosanct, Seek Fair Comment, Strive For Balance and Freedom From Bias.
When I became Reuters global Science and Technology Correspondent in the mid-1990s, the global warming story was top of my agenda. Already by then the BBC was scaring us saying we would all die unless humankind mended its selfish ways.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) was the culprit and had to be tamed, then eliminated.
I had no reason to think this wasn’t established fact. I was wrong.
My Reuters credentials meant that I had easy access to the world’s finest climate scientists. To my amazement, none of these would say categorically that the link between CO2 and global warming, now known as climate change, was a proven scientific fact. Some said human production of CO2 was a probable cause, others that it might make some contribution; some said CO2 had no role at all. Everybody agreed that the climate had warmed over the last 10,000 years as the ice age retreated, but most weren’t really sure why. The sun’s radiation, which changes over time, was a favoured culprit.
My reporting reflected the wide range of views, with Reuters typical “on the one hand this, on the other, that” style. But even then, the mainstream media seem to have run out of the energy required, and often lazily went along with the BBC’s faulty, opinionated thesis. It was too much trouble to make the point that the BBC’s conclusion was challenged by many impressive scientists.
Fast forward 20 years and firm proof CO2 was warming the climate still hasn’t been established, but politics has taken over. Sure, there are plenty of computer models with their hidden assumptions ‘proving’ man is guilty as charged, and the assumption that we had the power and knowledge to change the climate became embedded.
The Left had lost all of the economic arguments by the 1990s, and its activists eagerly grabbed the chance to say free markets and small government couldn’t save us from climate change; only government intervention could do that. Letting capitalism run free was a certain way to ensure the end of the planet; smart Lefties should take charge and save us from ourselves.
The debate about climate change is far from over. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know enough to say it’s all man-made or not. But politicians and lobbyists have decided that we are all guilty.
They are in the process of dismantling our way of life, ordering us to comply because it’s all for the future and our children. If we are going to give up our civilization, at the very least we ought to have an open debate. Journalists need to stand up and be counted. The trouble is that requires bravery and energy, and an urge to question conventional wisdom.
Reuters should be leading this movement. All it has to do is stand by its 10 Hallmarks. And maybe tell CCN thanks but no thanks; it needs to apply Reuters principles to its climate reporting.
via Science Matters
February 24, 2023 at 08:50AM