Climate Change Scientific Facts, Assessment, And Information Sourcing.




Most American journalists have complete control over how they cover a story and whose sources they utilize. 



When sources have established credentials, understand news production standards, are well-known to the public, and have the means to fulfill the media's information requirements on a consistent basis, they are seen as more trustworthy. 


The assertiveness and quotability of a source, as well as his or her knowledge of daily media routines, ability to give reliable information on a timely basis, and availability to contribute opinion or analysis, may all influence how prominent he or she is in news coverage. 

Similarly, the Meyer's Credibility Index evaluates a communication source's credibility based on five factors: fairness, bias, completeness, accuracy, and trust. 



When reporting climate change, news organizations often fail to follow up on sources. 


In selecting science news, specialist journalists in the British national press place a higher value on journalistic professionalism and skill than formal training in their field of specialization, apply traditional news values but emphasize relevance to the reader, and use elaborate routines for obtaining credibility, including actively cultivating mutual trust with sources. 

Prospective interview sources with a variety of interests and objectives compete for control of information flow via media gatekeepers. 



When it comes to reporting climate change, source trustworthiness affects how environmental journalists select interview sources from environmental organizations. 


For example, while covering an international climate conference, the Peruvian media mostly relied on official sources and offered opposing voices such as environmentalists little access. 

When it comes to the battle for public attention via the media, interview sources have a significant impact on how news concerning climate change is presented, and politicians and government officials are major winners. 

Journalists often depend on interviews with a limited number of ‘‘authorities," rather than seeking out a broader variety of viewpoints, particularly when climate change coverage is prompted by an impending or ongoing catastrophe. 



In news coverage of climate change, the public gives political and expert sources the greatest credibility, and this public confidence in authoritative figures may affect climate policy decision-making. 


By gaining momentum for their ideas and shifting public discourse via media coverage, contrarians, environmental organizations, and other nongovernmental claim-makers may have a significant effect on public understanding. 

These claim-makers have gradually supplanted scientists as the primary interview source. 

The results are determined by those who have the ability to define the debate's parameters. 



Climate change deniers and other doubters have often received preferential media access. 


Skeptics' attempts to speak out against the scientific consensus on the reasons of rapid climate change have been emphasized by journalists seeking balance. 

As a consequence of this coverage, the public's perception of uncertainty has grown, as has the view that humans have a little influence in climate change. 

Contrarians with entrenched authority and public legitimacy via the media may widely disseminate the counterclaim that climate change is not a concern. 



Fox News Corporation became ‘‘carbon neutral" in 2007 and supported scientific concerns about global warming in general. 


Rupert Murdoch, the company's CEO, stated not only that the company had a corporate position on climate change, but also that its journalistic coverage will alter. 

From 1997 to 2007, opinion articles published by News Corporation-owned newspapers and television stations mainly rejected climate change research and ridiculed people who were worried about it. 

While the severity of climate change criticism varied among News Corporation's media properties, the company's corporate perspective framed the problem as one of political correctness rather than science. 



Climate doubt was presented as brave dissent, while scientific understanding was depicted as orthodoxy. 


Corporate and special groups have devised a variety of techniques in recent decades to create doubt about climate science because it threatens their economic interests. 

Reporters contribute to the social construction of ignorance in scientific disputes by covering rhetorical assertions about scientific ignorance and uncertainty that actors use to discredit dangerous research. 

Trade organizations have used rhetorical assertions in an attempt to confuse the public about university research that threatened to harm their businesses' operations. 



Journalists' use of these assertions seems to be influenced by their views of their journalistic responsibilities and viewers, but their scientific expertise appears to play a role as well. 


Climate change deniers hacked Michael Mann's e-mails from computers at Britain's University of East Anglia in an attempt to discredit him, according to Michael Mann, the scientist who helped create the well-known "hockey stick" climate change temperature graph. 

Deniers said Mann's e-mails revealed unethical behavior, while scientific groups and academic committees supported Mann and climate science's legitimacy. 

Even though the event seems to have had little impact on popular confidence in climate science, Mann thinks that press coverage of the campaign against him ultimately caused the US Senate to reject to take action on carbon dioxide emission limits. 



Three main counterclaims in media coverage of climate change have been highlighted by scholars: 


  • that global warming has a weak, unclear, 
  • or faulty evidence base, that global warming will have significant long-term advantages,
  • and that climate policy action would do more damage than good. 

They discovered that dissidents work with conservative think tanks, anti-environment organizations, and the carbon-based business to spread ideas that marginalize top climate research in national and international debates over climate change causes. 

In the 1990s, government officials in the United States who referenced skeptics surpassed scientists as the most often mentioned interview sources in elite news stories across the world. 



Environmental pressure groups like Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, and Environmental Defense not only help to overcome social inertia and bureaucratic resistance to policy action, but they also have the ability to push media discourse beyond the boundaries of what science can currently claim, framing issues as overly catastrophic or alarmist. 


Because the topic is frequently futuristic, journalists must add speculative remarks in most climate change coverage. 

If the interview sources for these tales followed Gregg Easterbrook's "rule of doom saying," they would forecast disaster no sooner than 5 years from now but no later than 10 years from now, close enough to frighten but far enough away for people to forget if they are incorrect.


~ Jai Krishna Ponnappan


You may also want read more about Global Climate Change here.



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