There are some very wealthy industries that make their money off burning fossil fuels and emitting greenhouse gases. It is in their financial interest to prevent action to tackle climate change, so they fund lobby groups and denier propaganda. There is a large population of ‘useful idiots‘ who soak up this propaganda and repeat it. They deny climate change because to acknowledge it for the problem it is fundamentally challenges their ideology of limitless growth, individualism, and capitalism.
But these deniers could not propagate and reproduce their anti-scientific and dangerous beliefs without the aid of a willing media. The labour movement used to call the newspapers who defended capitalism ‘the bought priesthood’ because they – owned by capitalists, funded by capitalist advertisers, and cloaked in assumed gnostic authority – indoctrinated the people with the religion of capitalism. Today, the media perpetuates and gives legitimacy to the religion of climate change denial.
You don’t see in every article on a new fossil discovery space given to a creationist. Articles on astronomy don’t include rejoinders from geocentrists or reminders of astronomers who used dodgy science once or twice. But that is standard fare were climate change is concerned. Then there’s the endless denier columns that out-number serious columns on climate change two to one at least. These columns come not from climatologists mind but idiot failed vice-Presidential candidates, sell-out ex-environmentalists, self-styled comedians, and time travellers from the 1950s.
Why does the media give a platform to deniers?
The polluters are acting in self-interest, the useful idiots are acting out of deluded ideology, but the bought priesthood? They’re fuelling climate change denial for no good reason – mostly, it seems, it is a misguided and miscinsruced attempt at ‘balance’.
In the process the media are failing in their duty to inform and, instead, fostering misinformation in the public. And that’s a serious problem for us all because the longer denialism remains a potent force, the longer until we can begin to take the urgent action needed to prevent an environmental, economic, and social disaster on a scale humanity has never seen before.
I don’t want a media that only prints what I want it to print. I just want a media that spreads information, rather than misinformation and polluter propaganda.