Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, November 20, 2006

Global Warming And Climate Change: Are Mass Media Reporting The Truth?

Global Warming And Climate Change: Are Mass Media Reporting True Scientific Facts or Are They Spinning a Panic Wheel Again To Favour a Hidden Economic Agenda?

Image credit: Gino Santa Maria

Global warming and climate change are suddenly very hot topics in the global mass media. According to the UN Framework Convention On Climate Change, national governments, mass media broadcasters and even advertisers, we all need to be doing our bit to prevent a climatic cataclysm.

An apocalyptic portrait of our future is being painted by governments and mass media.

We are told to expect the worst, and to prepare ourselves for great sacrifices and sweeping changes that will effect us not just at the environmental level, but also at a very real economic level. The British government's recent Stern Report makes some very serious claims as to what we have to look forward to, and the future, it seems, is very bleak unless we all make some big changes.

Temperatures, we are told, are to increase by 3.6 degrees by the middle of the century, resulting in melting glaciers, flooding and choked water supplies that will threaten the livelihood of millions. Crops will fail, we are told, disease will run rampant, rising sea levels and intense droughts will create hundreds of millions of refugees, and up to 40% of species will face extinction.

The claims are biblical in scale, and filled with the apocalyptic fire and brimstone of Revelations.

As more and more people question the nebulous and ill defined War On Terror, perhaps the greatest seed of mass panic this decade has seen, it seems that a new "story" is indeed necessary to keep people in a state of constant fear.

From such apparently paranoid and "conspiracist" viewpoint, global warming and climate change could very well be that "story".

But challenging the claims of the climate change convention new research indicates that the whole truth is NOT being given to the public.

Could it be that information is being deliberately filtered to create a climate of fear, sneak in new taxes, ensure the longevity of cheap third world labour and increase government control of citizens' rights?

In the following guide to the mounting evidence running contrary to the fear and panic being peddled by governments and mass media across the developed world, I look at the other side of the story, along with the responses that this research has gathered.



Carbon Footprints - this seasons WMDs?

The mass media rely heavily on the use of buzzwords to slowly but surely drive home their point. There are few people that wouldn't now be familiar with the fact that the term WMD stands for Weapons of Mass Destruction, and fewer still that could claim not to have heard this term used countless hundreds of times. The Carbon Footprint is this seasons WMD, a phrase we will hear and see again and again, ad infinitum, in broadcast after broadcast for some time to come.

We are told that carbon emissions are directly responsible for global warming. We are told that if we, as individuals, cut down our use of electricity, use more public transport instead of driving all around the town, turn our TVs off at night instead of leaving them on standby, this will make a noticeable effect on our carbon footprint. Some disagree.

Among the dissenters is The Telegraph claim to present data that raises serious doubts as to all we have been told so far about the state of global warming and the shape of things to come.

In this guide to Monckton's contrarian position, which has been both supported and denied by scientists in the field, I look at the fundamental differences between the official line, the findings of those that disagree with it, and the reactions that have arisen from this challenge to the status quo.

Challenging climate change theory

Photo credit: Christopher Monckton

In the first of his two articles, Climate Chaos? Don't Believe It Monckton raises questions around the dramatic climate changes we are told to expect, and their connection to C02 emissions. Explaining a 1996 UN report that indicated a dramatic upturn in temperature over the past decade, Monckton claims that certain key data was left out that makes for a vital difference in how the facts might be interpreted. He writes that the report of 1996:

''...showed a 1,000-year graph demonstrating that temperature in the Middle Ages was warmer than today.

But the 2001 report contained a new graph showing no medieval warm period. It wrongly concluded that the 20th century was the warmest for 1,000 years. The graph looked like an ice hockey-stick. The wrongly flat AD1000-AD1900 temperature line was the shaft: the uptick from 1900 to 2000 was the blade.

Here's how they did it:

  • They gave one technique for reconstructing pre-thermometer temperature 390 times more weight than any other (but didn't say so).
  • The technique they overweighted was one which the UN's 1996 report had said was unsafe: measurement of tree-rings from bristlecone pines. Tree-rings are wider in warmer years, but pine-rings are also wider when there's more carbon dioxide in the air: it's plant food. This carbon dioxide fertilisation distorts the calculations.
  • They said they had included 24 data sets going back to 1400. Without saying so, they left out the set showing the medieval warm period, tucking it into a folder marked "Censored Data".
  • They used a computer model to draw the graph from the data, but scientists later found that the model almost always drew hockey-sticks even if they fed in random, electronic "red noise."

Monckton's first controversial contention, then, is that C02 was not to blame for previous climate changes, that these radical and natural changes were deliberately brushed under the carpet to support the claims of the UN, and that the changes experienced in recent times are not so much an anomaly as changes with a precedent - a precedent caused not by C02 emissions, but by the sun.

Solar influence over climate change

Photo credit: Sebastian Kaulitzki

The role of the sun in climate change, Monckton contends, was also played down in the UN Framework on Climate Change's vision of events. By manipulating the data that they had to hand to their advantage, it is argued, the UN managed to entirely sweep away the impact that the sun has had historically, and continues to have, on climate change.

How was this achieved?

Monckton writes that:

  • ''The UN dated its list of "forcings" (influences on temperature) from 1750, when the sun, and consequently air temperature, was almost as warm as now. But its start-date for the increase in world temperature was 1900, when the sun, and temperature, were much cooler."
  • "Every "forcing" produces "climate feedbacks" making temperature rise faster. For instance, as temperature rises in response to a forcing, the air carries more water vapour, the most important greenhouse gas; and polar ice melts, increasing heat absorption. Up goes the temperature again. The UN more than doubled the base forcings from greenhouse gases to allow for climate feedbacks. It didn't do the same for the base solar forcing."

However we feel about Monckton's other claims, if these allegations of data fondling hold any truth, as supporters in the scientific community would contend that they do, then a campaign of deliberate misinformation is taking place. A campaign that apparently manipulates undesirable data to distort and greatly simplify the reality of the situation.

No one is contending that we are not going through a climate change, but the extent and causes of this change are being opened to debate by these findings.

The case of the UN, and the mass-media push an anthropogenic model of climate change - in other words, climate change caused by man.

Monckton, and those that support his case, argue that people's role in these changes is perhaps not as great as is being suggested, if relevant at all. He goes on to note that:

''Sami Solanki, a solar physicist, says that in the past half-century the sun has been warmer, for longer, than at any time in at least the past 11,400 years, contributing a base forcing equivalent to a quarter of the past century's warming. That's before adding climate feedbacks.

The UN expresses its heat-energy forcings in watts per square meter per second. It estimates that the sun caused just 0.3 watts of forcing since 1750. Begin in 1900 to match the temperature start-date, and the base solar forcing more than doubles to 0.7 watts. Multiply by 2.7, which the Royal Society suggests is the UN's current factor for climate feedbacks, and you get 1.9 watts - more than six times the UN's figure.

The entire 20th-century warming from all sources was below 2 watts. The sun could have caused just about all of it.''

Whether you agree that climate change is entirely due to the sun or that carbon emissions have played a role in the process, the fundamental issue is one of information policing, and misrepresentation of the facts. But the misinformation doesn't stop there, Monckton argues.

Other Contentions

Monckton also makes other claims as to the ways in which the UN has falsified or carefully censored its finding on climate change in his initial article for the Telegraph.

These are largely limited to the abuse of statistics and the use of (deliberately) flawed means of data collection, which ultimately lead to partially true, or in some cases entirely false, predictions and records pertaining to the nature of climate change. In addition to the the claims made in Monckton's article, he supplies a 39-page PDF document detailing the research behind the claims.

Wrong problem, wrong solution

Photo credit: Jón Helgason

In the second of his articles for the Telegraph Monckton spends some time responding to his critics, such as the Guardian's 200 responses to his article, including those of eminent scientists supporting his research. He then goes on to consider what changes would actually take place were the UN Framework Convention For Climate Change and Stern's proposals actually executed.

Stern proposes that the British pay one per cent of their GDP from now onwards towards reducing further climate change, and claims that doing so will reduce the changes of temperature rises of 4-5° C and above "at which levels some of the worst impacts occur".

However, for this $500 billion a year - levied from sources including a carbon tax that bizarrely aims to tax all forms of electricity generation, regardless of whether they produce carbon emissions - the results would have a less than powerful impact on climate change.

Monckton notes:

''The UK accounts for just 2 per cent of global emissions, and falling.

Even if Britain stopped using energy altogether, global temperature by 2035 would be six thousandths of a degree C less than if we carried on as usual.

If we shut down once a week on Planet Day, make that less than one thousandth of a degree.

Even if every Western country complied with Kyoto (and most won't), Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma says temperature a century from now would be a 25th of a degree lower than without Kyoto.''

What is likely to happen is a number of international legislative actions that will providegreater control over citizens freedom, and a guaranteed increase in taxes, without any concurrent significant change in the actual status of global temperature-related affairs, paralleled by an increasingly greater amount of pollution generated by the many developing industrial nations.

Keeping the developing world from developing?

Photo credit: Yong Hian Lim

Could it be that this is the very point of the spin being produced - to ensure further control over the economic expansion of the developing nations?

If climate change truly promises to bring catastrophe on a global scale, wouldn't it be within the UN's rights to halt the growth of developing industrial nations?

If this were -as a consequence - to ensure the ongoing supply of cheap labour so richly depended on by Western megacorporations, that would of course be an unfortunate but profitable side effect.

Monckton asks:

''At whom is this spin aimed? At the Chinese, the Indians and the Brazilians. China has 30,000 coal mines. It is opening a new power station every five days till 2012. The Third World is growing. It won't be told it can't enjoy the growth we've already had. It wouldn't sign Kyoto till it was exempted, so, under President Clinton, the US Senate voted unanimously to reject Kyoto. Whatever the West does to "Save the Planet" is mere gesture unless the developing world agrees to give up its right to grow as we've grown.''

As the British media reports on the atrocious levels of pollution coming from the developing world - with a special focus on China - is the motive genuinely to curb man-made carbon pollution and avert ecological disaster, or is it rather to ensure that an ongoing source of cheap production and labour continues into futurity for the exploitative corporations feeding on these nations in the production of their overpriced goods?

The emphasis on the carbon footprint as the sole source of climate change, at the expense of the other factors detailed in Monckton's research, places a very definite means to halt or at least retard the industrial growth of developing nations.

By manipulating figures and telling half truths, fear is used once again as a weapon to keep those in power from those that threaten to take it away.

Speaking of Stern in one such example Monckton notes that:

''By 2035, says Sir Nick, temperature will have risen by "over 2° C". It sounds alarming.

What he means, though, is over 2° C since 1750, when we don't know what the temperature was.''

Who to trust?

Regardless of how you feel about Monckton's research, the key factor in all of this is the need to question those that would support to serve up panic after panic, only to rescind on their initial claims with the next turning of the tide.

Mass media news, quite often the mouthpiece of governments and the corporations behind them, need to be questioned and challenged at every turn.

We have already learned at our expense that behind the artificially-created "story" of weapons of mass destruction lied an excuse to secure oil and increase military spending.

Though you not like to look into the face of such historical truths, the panic-inducing apparatus, attempting to keep us in a constant state of mild panic - fear about our health, how we look, how we fare against our neighbours, whether those neighbours are terrorists, if the world is even going to be here tomorrow - is a long and very well established means of keeping people in control, obedient and spending their money on things they neither want or need. Go back to check some history books before calling names and double check some of the above facts before saying that who asks these questions, like I am doing here, is all but a paranoid.

Next time you see another story on the TV news about Chinese pollution, followed by a commercial for the latest Humvee, ask sincerely yourself whether when you watch those apparently genuine news documentaries you are really being served the unimpeded, unfiltered truth or if someone else's interests are also somewhat being taken care, all along the way.

Read more elsewhere

Readers' Comments    
2010-02-03 20:57:11

Effects of Global Warming

The Effects of Global Warming is amazing. Somebody joked that there are nuclear power stations in the arctic region that heat up the area around the antarctic ice sheet and is causing sea level rise. After reading this article I am not so sure which all info I am getting to believe and not to believe

2009-10-28 12:58:05

philip clarkson

(Some Solutions for the mitigation of long-term radical adverse global Climate change)

1. Make sure emissions peak in 2012 and decrease as rapidly as possible towards zero after that.

2. Developed countries must make cuts of 50 percent on their 1990 carbon emissions by 2030 with mandatory regulation by United Nations.

3. Developing countries must slow the growth of emissions by 20 percent by 2040, with support from industrialized nations

There is an inexorable link between global Eco-equity and global financial equity.

It is clear there is a need to link global sustainable economies, with global Eco-sustainability.

Failure to coalesce, for the mitigation of global adverse climatic change, in the short term, will force the planet to make that decision for us, whatever action we take then, will ultimately benefit the planet.

Long live, the planet.


2008-12-10 02:57:08


I really can't believe how many people have been brainwashed into believing that global warming is a one-sided argument. It is important to view both sides of an issue before jumping to conclusions and parroting the media (the media feeds off of bad news). There are hundreds of facts, figures, and bits of statistical evidence left unpublished because it is not sensational enough to sell. Be careful about what you read, don't blindly believe it just because "studies show" or "scientists agree." Although it is nice to hear the "other" side, this is not a very good article, I wouldn't rely on it. It is better to read "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and "The Deniers." I am an environmentalist who wishes to see an unbiased take on the issue, and both of these books were completely unoffensive and very helpful.

2007-07-20 15:15:27

david becher

How can individuals with no qualifications in the sciences, mathematics, economics and congnitive sciences speak about climate change? Mass media and the internet has turned this into the largest circus the planet has ever seen. We have models built on data that is not validated. Modeling of future trends is admittedly not predictive and conclusions are shaped by preconceived political agendas. There are a half a dozen people in the world who use objective and scientific approaches - these are not IPCC and the Stern Group. Stern is an educated baboon.

2006-11-25 09:56:12


Global climate has never been this worst for the past 500 years. Based on scientific studies, harmful emmissions from plants, cars and other fuel burning machines are the major culprit to the rapid climate change. This phenomenon called global warming has been felt in several parts of the world and is noticable in the abnormal behavior of thyphoons and tidal waves.

it is everybodys responsiblity to help maintain the environment and save mother earth.

You might find this sites useful:

Alternative Fuels
Future Cars
Hybrid Cars

2006-11-21 08:06:31

Sepp Hasslberger

I am just reading a comment from a friend on Monckton's article, as I see this post on masternewmedia.

Let me share that comment, I believe it has relevance to the debate.

To be clear, I am not saying that we should go on polluting our environment, or that we should be burning oil for energy. On the contrary, we should do everything to get out of that vicious cycle, but we shouldn't do so FOR THE WRONG REASON.

Here is Bert Schwitters' contribution:

strongA contribution to the Climate Debate/strong
The "Climate" issue was put on the political - UN - agenda in 1972 by Mr. Maurice Strong et al, when he commissioned Barbara Ward and René Dubos to concoct a book entitled em"Only One Earth"./em The book makes interesting reading. It served to set the tone and the agenda for the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm during June of the same year, 1972. Mr. Strong not only commissioned the writing of the book, he was also the secretary-general of the Stockholm Conference. The book abounds in phrases that have been repeated over and over again.
In Chapter 13 (an ominous number indeed) entitled em"The Shared Biosphere",/em CO2 and climate change are squarely put on the table. On page 194, Ward and Dubos write: "It is not therefore irrational to wonder whether a massive man-induced increase in the atmosphere's carbon dioxide, coinciding with one of nature's own warmings up, might not change a slight move at the center of the seesaw into a violent shifting of weight and the risk of major and unpredictable global consequences." Words that still freely flow, today, from the pens of those who write the speeches for Tony Blair, Kofi Annan and other world leaders who push the “Climate Agenda”.
In the same Chapter, on page 195, Ward and Dubos hint at their true intentions: "All these concerns with global air pollution lie beyond the effective protection of individual governments." But it is only in the book's last chapter, em"Strategies for Survival",/em that Ward and Dubos show their cards: "…, it is only by forthright cooperation and action at the global level that nations can protect mankind from inadvertent and potentially disastrous modification in the planetary weather system, span style="text-decoration: underline;"over which no nation can assert sovereignty./span The underlining is mine.
On page 213, Ward and Dubos plant the seed for the IPCC (Geneva) and related organisations such as UN/FCCC (Bonn): "This implies cooperative monitoring, research, and study on an unprecedented scale. It implies an intensive world-wide nertwork for the systematic exchange of knowledge and experience. It implies a quite new readiness to take research wherever it is needed, with the backing of international financing. It means the fullest cooperation in converting knowledge into action - …"
On page 195, Ward and Dubos already explained that "sophisticated simulation" (not just facts and verifiable observations !!!) shall form the tools for the scientists to fill the need for "far more knowledge", as they write: "We need far more knowledge, far more sophisticated span style="text-decoration: underline;"simulation of climatic effects on giant computers/span, far more monitoring on a global basis, far more exact information on what we are actually doing in the atmosphere that the whole of mankind must share." The underlining is mine. Shifting from weather to pollution, Ward and Dubos then continue: "All these concerns with global air pollution lie beyond the effective protection of individual governments."
And then, Ward and Dubos lay it out in no uncertain terms: "Where pretentions to national sovereignty have no relevance to perceived problems, nations have no choice but to follow the course of common policy and coordinated action. In three vital, related areas this is now the undeniable case - the global atmosphere, the global oceans, and the global weather system. All require the adoption of a planetary approach by the leaders of nations, no matter how parochial their point of view toward matters that lie within the national jurisdiction …. It is no small undertaking, but quite possibly the very minimum required in defense of the future of the human race."
Thirty-four years after the publication of em"Only One Earth",/em we witness what the "sophisticated simulation" has produced. Man-made climate forecasts pouring from the computer simulations announced by Ward and Dubos, and mainstream media predicting havoc and catastrophe. Those who challenge the outcomes of IPCC's "sophisticated simulation" models are bluntly positioned as "terrorists" who need to be silenced. Why ? Not because they threaten the survival of mankind, but because they interfere with the greater plan, i.e. with the plan to do away with the principle of the sovereignty of individual nations.
Ending their book, Ward and Dubos refer to this greater plan, to this "vision of unity", as "a hard and inescapable scientific fact". The authors' ideal world is one where "the practices and institutions with which we are familiar inside our domestic societies would become, span style="text-decoration: underline;"suitably modifed/span, the basis of planetary order." The underlining is mine. Why this vision is a "scientific fact" is left undiscussed.
Planetary order, that's the true goal the Climate Clergy is really serving.
Bert Schwitters

2006-11-20 09:00:50

Gary Cockerham

Why is it so hard to believe that our continued use of carbon based fuels in combination with the continued destruction of forests and jungles could be bad for our ecosystem?

You claim that the error is based on a computer model of planetary temperature records, but I doubt that is the main basis for this scientific conclusion. Mile wide icebergs breaking off Antartica might be a better clue.

The conclusion of global warming is not derived from a group of left wing liberals with a computer program, but research by the same individuals who effect out daily lives in maybe a more mundane way in predicting the weather. It is an unexact science, but they're getting better at it. When they say 50 percent chance for rain--ignoring the prediction and leaving your umbrella could leave you all wet.


posted by Michael Pick on Monday, November 20 2006, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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