It’s been my impression in recent years that if there’s a “consensus” view on anything, it’ll be the mainstream media who’ll be pushing it, and pretty much all the dissent will be found on the internet, which is the only place where there’s any real debate these days.
This is particularly true of AGW alarmism, which was taken up by the MSM more or less everywhere, leaving sceptics like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts in the wilds of the internet – where both have prospered.
So it seems to me to be news if some large MSM outfit turns sceptical about AGW, as seems to have happened with Germany’s Bild (circulation 4 million):
“THE CO2 LIES … pure fear-mongering … should we blindly trust the experts?”
That’s what Germany’s leading daily Bild (see photo) wrote in its print and online editions today, on the very day that renowned publisher Hoffmann & Campe officially released a skeptic book – one written by a prominent socialist and environmental figure.
This is huge. More than I ever could have possibly imagined. And more is coming in the days ahead! The Bild piece was just the first of a series.
Mark this as the date that Germany’s global warming movement took a massive body blow.
Today, not one, but two of Germany’s most widely read news media published comprehensive skeptical climate science articles in their print and online editions, coinciding with the release of a major climate skeptical book, Die kalte Sonne (The Cold Sun).
If AGW scepticism has been on the rise in recent years, it’s been entirely thanks to the internet, and no thanks at all to the MSM (and in the UK, no thanks to the BBC in particular). So does the conversion of Bild to AGW scepticism signal the beginning of the collapse of the climate “consensus” in the MSM? My German readers probably have a better idea than I do.
I don’t know how the “consensus” gets created in the first place, but I suspect that MSM outlets all watch each other, and keep an eye on the way opinion is moving. It’s got nothing to do with climate science, and everything to do with the climate of international opinion. It’s a matter of keeping up with the prevailing fashion. Are skirts going up or down this year? Is climate alarmism in or out? The one thing you don’t want to be is the last person to catch onto the changing tide of opinion, because it makes you look, well, …totally uncool.
And somehow or other, Bild seems to have decided that AGW alarmism is becoming uncool, and want to be ahead of the pack on the way out of the door. In this respect they appear to be following the internet-driven rise in public scepticism.
The question Bild asks - should we blindly trust the experts? – is in many ways the key question. A sceptic is almost by definition someone who doesn’t blindly trust experts, and doesn’t follow the prevailing fashion.
But if the MSM climate consensus is showing signs of breaking down, and they’re starting to question the experts, how about ceasing to trust a few other experts? Like f’rinstance, antismoking “experts”.
Climate science, after all, is actually pretty good science. They may disagree about cause and effect, but they actually do measure stuff like temperatures with things called “thermometers” in units called “degrees”. In antismoking science, nothing is measured at all. All the numbers are guesses, and the units they use are things called “cigarettes”, some of which are twice as long as other ones. That’s like having rulers marked out in inches, with the inches on some rulers being twice as long as the inches on others.
Climate science is hard to criticise. But antismoking science is an open goal waiting for someone, anyone – even a five year old who can’t kick a ball properly – to fire in about 25 goals in rapid succession. Make that 100 goals. Before half time.
A lot of people say that AGW alarmism is the biggest scam in human history. It isn’t. There’s at least one far bigger one in plain view. If nobody much has ever questioned it, it’s probably because for most of its life people didn’t have the internet to question it with, and so had to blindly trust the “experts”. Those days are over.