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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #36

Posted on 7 September 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Sep 1 through Sat, Sep 7, 2019

Editor's Pick

Hundreds of climate sceptics to mount international campaign to stop net-zero targets being made law

Exclusive: The signatories are part of a network pushing for environmental deregulation after Brexit – and some have links with Boris Johnson’s cabinet

Boris Johnson & Cabinet

Some of the 400 climate deniers have links to the prime minister's top ministers ( Getty ) 

Hundreds of climate change deniers including academics, politicians and lobbyists are to launch a campaign to stop commitments to net zero carbon emissions being enshrined in law, The Independent can reveal.

A letter titled “There is no climate emergency” – which has been signed by 400 people who deem climate change to be a myth – is being sent to leaders of the European Union (EU) and United Nations (UN) institutions in the coming weeks ahead of key environment talks.

The group will take further steps, which are to be outlined in press conferences in Oslo, Brussels, The Hague and Rome.

The climate deniers are connected to a transatlantic network of think tanks pushing for environmental deregulation after Brexit, which also have a history of climate science denial.

The letter, obtained by investigative non-profit news organisation DeSmog, shows the group has links with members of Boris Johnson’s Cabinet.

Hundreds of climate sceptics to mount international campaign to stop net-zero targets being made law by Phoebe Weston, Environment, The Independent (UK), Sep 6, 2019

Click here to access the entire article.


Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun Sep 1, 2019

[On vacation.]

Mon Sep 2, 2019

Tue Sep 3, 2019

Wed Sep 4, 2019

Thu Sep 5, 2019

Fri Sep 6, 2019

Sat Sep 7, 2019

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Comments

Comments 1 to 16:

  1. It is obviously too easy to promote popular support for harmful and incorrect beliefs and actions in supposedly more advanced nations.

    Improving awareness and understanding applied in pursuit of the Ethical Objectives of 'Do No Harm' and 'Help Others, particularly those who are less fortunate, less aware or lacking in understanding' is a major thing that humanity potentially has 'going for it'.

    However, improving awareness and understanding can be a threat when a group, such as these 400, improve their awareness and understanding of how they can abuse the flaws in the developed socioeconomic-political systems to interfere with, and potentially set-back, the development of a sustainable improvable future for humanity.

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  2. Improving awareness and understanding of climate science has exposed the requirement for corrections of activities that have developed power, popularity and profitability.

    And the other Sustainable Development Goals threaten developed power, popularity and profitability.

    The pursuit of increased awareness and understanding of requirements for sustainability, and sustainable improvement, of humanity started before the 1972 Stockholm Conference. That meeting of global leadership (power) formally established a consensus understanding among global leadership that many corrections of what had developed are required. And it established an awareness and understanding that revised ways of governing what was developing would be required to block harmful actions before they became popular or profitable, and encourage helpful actions.

    Since then it has been clear that a portion of powerful people have been fighting to maintain their undeserved status by any means they can get away with. They have had success with appeals for people to be 'freer to believe whatever They want' to justify pursuing harmful and unsustainable actions that 'They perceive they personally benefit from'.

    Their leaders appear to claim that 'If Their Type of People (their portion of the population) were freer to believe and do as they please, they would behave less harmfully, more helpfully, more beneficially to others'. Their leaders appear to claim that efforts to force them to increase their awareness and understanding of how harmful their actions are to Others,(including the future of humanity), and related efforts to limit how much harm They can do, makes them be harmful rather than helpful.

    I will agree that efforts to improve awareness and understanding can make them react more harmfully. However, it is unlikely that attempting to please them will get them to agree to the corrections required for Them to behave less harmfully. And it appears even less likely that They will agree to the larger corrections required for them to become helpful to Others, especially to the future of humanity.

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  3. The following articles show the type of response to improved awareness and understanding that the likes of Boris and Trump encourage with their misleading appeals for support of Their powerfully passionately desired harmful beliefs and actions.

    "Threats, abuse move from online to real world, McKenna now requires security, CBC News"

    "Why is billionaire George Soros a bogeyman for the hard right?, BBC News"

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  4. One Planet Only Forever , @3

    It seems to me there are many  issues that are being falsely misrepresented. At least two are the looming debt crises in America ( and worldwide ? ) , and the much more worrisome climate change. We all can be a role model for thoughtful discussion.  " Ordinary people"  believing their biased media reports, need to become aware of other sources of information , i'm sometimes worried, under some phoney excuse our govts may even control the internet news..afterall , our thoughts on issues are controlled by what we have read/seen. When the powerful control most media, education is the best defence to stop it /getting worse..Maybe its really our flawed and lazy human faults ?, because with just a little effort, you can find most viewpoints on many subjects.

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  5. prove we are smart@4,

    A good explanation of a significant part of the problem of the 'stories that get told and incorrectly become popularly believed' is provided by Edward S. Herman's Propaganda Model presented in the 1987 book "Manufacturing Consent" (written with input from Noam Chomsky), and reviewed and updated in the 2019 book "Propaganda in the Information Age" by Alan MacLeod. 

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  6. "Manufacturing Consent" is actually a 1988 book.

    And a movie with the same name was made 1992.

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  7. prove we are smart @4

    Fair comments. The thing to do is understand how the mainstream media are biased and when they are unreliable, and use that as a filter when you read it.

    Most mainstream media is owned by corporate leaning interests and investment funds, with the sort of bias that brings.  Mass media also exaggerates some problems to get attention, but probably not so much the climate issue. The media wont want to annoy their advertisers many of whom have vested interests in fossil fuels. So the mainstream media does have some fake news, but not of the sort Donald Trump alleges. 

    Of course alternative sources of information all have their own biases, mostly. But you know that. So have the critical thinking skills switched on!

    Non partisan, non aligned  think tanks can be useful.

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  8. On the highly salient topic of media credibility: I recently became aware of patent attorney Vanessa Otero's media bias chart. Some of you may also be intrigued. The current version 4.0 is the product of a well-documented team effort. I'm still skeptical (i.e. not yet convinced, but willing to be) of the chart's intersubjective verifiability, so I'll study the documentation some more. 

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  9. At first glance, the chart corresponds very exactly to my experience with the organizations that figure in it, so I'm tempted to say it is a sincere and effective effort. However, I agree with Mal Adapted that more needs to be done to verify and corroborate, and I'd like to know more about the methods.

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  10. Thank you, Phillippe.

    Here's a somewhat different chart of the same phenomenon. IMHO, a degree of subjectivity in such a project is ineradicable, although it may still be reducible.

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  11. Philippe with one 'l', sorry 8^(.

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  12. Mal Adapted, thanks for that chart and it coincides with my own views. I've seen several attempts to rank media bias, and they all look pretty similar, so whatever methods they use one might almost say there is a 'consensus'.

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  13. No harm done :-)

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  14. Mal Adapted,

    Thanks for the links to the evaluations of media 'positions'.

    Evaluating L-R political bias is not really helpful. It is more important to be aware of how Helpful or Harmful a media provider is to improving awareness and understanding of the actions required to achieve and improve on the Sustainable Development Goals. For an evaluation of political L-R bias to be helpful the political L-R would need to be understood to be:

    • L Helps achieve and improve on the Sustainable Development Goals, helps develop a sustainable improving future for humanity, helps achieve and improve on the SDGs.
    • R resists improved awareness and understanding and the related corrections required to achieve and improve on the SDGs.

    Though there is generally a correlation of L-R in those directions, a L-R evaluation does not accurately do what needs to be done (distinguish how Helpful or Harmful a media is to the future of humanity).

    In the required evaluation, misleading presentations of any type are poorer than more accurate and more complete presentations. However, misleading or less complete presentations that help achieve the SDGs, breaking the correction/learning resistance of harmful developed popular and profitable attitudes and actions, are far better than misleading presentations that are detrimental to achieving the SDGs.

    Understanding how misleading a media source is being in its pursuit of promotion of its political bias is more important, including the type of things they allow in their presented "Opinions" (perceptions of balance can be very misleading). That can best be determined by people applying critical thinking while reading the ways that a diversity of media 'present their versions of a story'.

    Of course, personal 'preferences' for news sources bias people away from a diversity of story presentations that they could apply critical thinking to evaluate. A good book on that topic is "The News" by Alain de Botton. It includes and good presentation of how social media driven news feeds can divisively isolate people from a diversity of story presentations, allowing them to be ignorant of (less aware) or misled regarding important issues.

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  15. A serious consideration related to misleading divisive story presentations is the way that pursuit of a 'personal better life' can divisively bias a person away from wanting to increase their awareness and understanding to help achieve the SDGs.

    'Pursuit of a personal better life' can not only bias a person towards harmful Greed. It can bias them towards unjust dislike of Others who are 'Different'.

    Competition for perceptions of superiority relative to others can lead a lot of people to allow Selfish Tribalism (Harmful reactive instinctive human behaviour like Greed and Intolerance) to overpower improving awareness and understanding that would help achieve a sustainable improving future for humanity (Helpful thoughtful and considerate human behaviour).

    Thoughtful consideration regarding the future is a significant part of what distinguishes Humanity from Barbarism.

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  16. Mal Adapted @ 8 & 10, an interesting discussion accompanying those 2 charts and how best to understand them , thanks for the links. A quote from Mark Twain i use on my signature from another forum seems applicable here.." Travel is fatal to bigotry, prejudice and narrow-mindedness ".

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