For over two decades, both the overall enviro-activist community and the mainstream media have had what amounts to nearly absolute control over framing the public narrative about the global warming issue. “It’s a settled science with a 97% consensus to back it up, and the critics who pop up are bribed to lie by the fossil fuel industry,” they say. But they were too complacent in their belief expectations about the 2016 US presidential race, and were blindsided by the election results. Now, while they still have control over the situation, the long knives are out for Donald Trump and anyone he chooses for resolving the global warming problem. But these efforts are political suicide to an absolutely embarrassing extent.
To his own detriment, Trump famously said in vastly too simplistic of terms, the global warming issue was a Chinese-created hoax, and that he would cancel the Paris Climate Accord. When asked about the latter during his 11/22/16 meeting with the staff of the New York Times, the spin from mainstream media reporters was that he was doing a complete about-face on global warming. My own favorite target for quantifiable global warming reporting bias, the PBS NewsHour, echoed that exact spin when the program host offered no rebuttal about it, despite the fact that Trump – to informed ears – had not changed position in any way.
How embarrassing, and at the very least, indicative of a larger problem with mainstream media news reporting on the global warming issue.
But more troubling in my opinion, and indicative of a deeper problem, was the long knives effort seen just days earlier on the NewsHour to besmirch the character of Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency Transition Team leader, Myron Ebell.
On 11/17/16, the NewsHour’s guest analysis segment on the Ebell story** (** see end of post) featured Vox writer David Roberts (formerly with Grist magazine, where one of his pieces channeled a Ross Gelbspan Talking Point), who said the following in only his second sentence about Ebell (full text & video here),
His belief is that climate change is a hoax or possibly no big deal, happening and no big deal, or possibly happening and good for us, depending on which day you ask him.
Most people won’t recognize the words I highlight in red there. I did, because I had already highlighted basically the same talking point set words eight times in my January 30, 2014 blog post, noting how the first seven citations were only a couple of degrees separated from Ross Gelbspan, and the eighth was from Gelbspan’s own words back in June 2000:
… people like Fred Singer, Pat Michaels and Dick Lindzen speak in sweeping absolutes. At first, there was absolutely no global warming. Then there was absolutely no connection between global warming and extreme weather. Most recently, it has become, yes there is a little global warming — but so little as to be negligible and, in fact, even beneficial… (source, full text, page 10)
So Myron Ebell is accused of holding an inconsistent position on global warming – which he has never had – that was first applied over seventeen years ago to three other people who also never had inconsistent assessments of the issue. And this latest accusation happened at a mainstream media news outlet which offered no rebuttal of any kind during that interview segment, or any such rebuttal for 38 instances when climate scientists preaching the certainty of catastrophic man-caused global warming appeared on their program.
Ironically, the NewsHour also decried the rise of “fake news” on the same day Roberts appeared, much like other news outlets have done in recent weeks after the US presidential election. A particularly telling detail (hat tip to Eric Worrall for this) revealed in an 11/23/16 The New Yorker article was these quotes from President Obama, on perhaps what the real goal of this whole new ‘fake news’ tactic is, portraying opposition to the certainty of man-caused global warming as fake news fabrications:
“… everything is true and nothing is true,” Obama told me later. “An explanation of climate change from a Nobel Prize-winning physicist looks exactly the same on your Facebook page as the denial of climate change by somebody on the Koch brothers’ payroll. And the capacity to disseminate misinformation, wild conspiracy theories, to paint the opposition in wildly negative light without any rebuttal—that has accelerated in ways that much more sharply polarize the electorate …”
“Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior, because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it …”
Nossir. That sort of agreement is not pushed in a democracy, it is pushed in a fake news misinformation environment where critics are said to deny something they don’t deny, while being portrayed as corrupted when they are not, concerning a situation portrayed to be a problem under false premises, where zero rebuttal is permitted by those pushing this so-called agreement.
In short, it looks like the kind of propaganda that’s found in places where those in power must never lose control of what the public sees and hears, out of fear of the public losing all faith in their judgment and ability to govern, which of course leads to them being removed from power.
**There’s always more to these situations. In the setup for the NewsHour’s 11/17/16 Myron Ebell story, they showed a very brief scene at the United Nations’ Morocco Climate Conference where an unidentified “man” was seen declaring that the US would shred the Paris Climate Accord, before being escorted away by UN security police. The “man” was no less than CFACT’s Marc Morano, who runs the internationally recognized ClimateDepot website, an adept speaker fully capable of offering rebuttal to Vox’s David Roberts (along with several other readily available CFACT speakers), who has already been recognized and interviewed by at least one regional PBS media outlet.