Media Climate Debate Labelled ‘Phony'

“Climate science is a cumulative enterprise built upon hundreds of years of research. The heat-trapping properties of CO2 were discovered in the middle of the 19th century, pre-dating even Sherlock Holmes and Queen Victoria.” So write scientists Michael Ashley and Stephan Lewandowsky in an article that ends a wide-ranging series on climate change in The Conversation. ‘The false, the confused and the mendacious: how the media gets it wrong on climate change’ is a withering but highly entertaining critique of anthropogenic climate change denialism in the media. It distinguishes between a sceptic, whose mind is open to the evidence, and a denialist, who will maintain her position regardless of the evidence. In evidential terms, the authors write that the debate on climate change is taking place outside, or at least on the fringes of, the scientific community. “The very fact,” the writers conclude, “that society is wracked by a phony debate where there is none in the scientific literature provides strong evidence that the Australian media has tragically and thoroughly failed the Australian public.”

Of the Wheeler Centre’s many videos and podcasts on the topic, we especially recommend Tim Flannery’s opening address for last year’s Alfred Deakin lecture series, Clive Hamilton on the coming climate change crisis, and David Suzuki on changing the relationship between economics and the environment. On climate economics, watch or hear James Cameron, Tim Jackson and our panel discussion on emissions trading.

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