Socialist Worker

Right wing press creates a climate of lies

Issue No. 2217

The Daily Express newspaper lied about climate change once again this week.

It ran a front page screaming “Climate Change Lies Are Exposed” and claimed that a new report shows there is “little evidence” for scientists’ warnings about global warming.

But it was utter nonsense.

The InterAcademy Council report investigated the procedures of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The report confirmed that “climate change is a long-term challenge” and stressed that the overwhelming evidence shows that climate change is a real threat.

It found that the process used by the IPCC to produce assessments on climate change was “successful overall and has served society well”.

Many of its recommendations for change focused on how the IPCC communicates its findings and responds to criticism.

It pointed out that this was particularly important as “a wide variety of interests” had entered the debate, and a “frenzied and often polarising media environment” put increased pressure on scientists.

The Daily Express front page is a perfect example of this frenzy.

The right wing press and climate change deniers focus on a handful of small errors to rubbish the whole idea of global warming.

In particular, they hype up the IPCC’s mistaken claim in 2007 that the Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035.

It will take much longer for the glaciers to melt—but the fact they are melting remains.

The error doesn’t undo the fact that human-made climate change is happening.

As Peter Williams, who was part of the InterAcademy Council review, put it, “The Himalayan mistake was one paragraph in a 4,000-page assessment. That’s not a bad batting average.”

Right wingers deny the reality of climate change because tackling it means challenging the interests of big business and the rich.


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What We Think
Tue 31 Aug 2010, 16:50 BST
Issue No. 2217
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