Big Green’s out-sized influence over free speech

cop21If you’ve ever wondered why there is a paucity of skeptical global warming articles from mainstream media outlets, journalist Matt Ridley explains why in his eye-opening OP-ED published today in The Times. He begins by describing how last week, The Times’ editor received a letter from several readers who were unhappy with two articles written by its environmental correspondent.

The letter was from Lord Krebs and 12 other members from the House of Lords (part of the UK’s parliament). In it, the authors admit that The Times’ coverage of the Paris climate conference had been “balanced and comprehensive,” but “denounced the two articles about studies by mainstream academics in the scientific literature, which provided less than alarming assessments of climate change.”

The now-infamous letter, which was “simultaneously leaked to the The Guardian,” provides an insider’s look into how mainstream media outlets, specifically newspapers, are being pressured to shut down any debate about the science of climate change. Essentially, there is a “heavily funded industry” at work, made up of anti-industry organizations, internal university factions, and Big Green environmental groups.

They include organizations like the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), Carbon Brief, Climate Coalition, the Campaign against Climate Change, publicly funded communication factions inside colleges, and worldwide environmental groups like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and World Wildlife Federation (WWF), just to name a few.

Many have multi-million-dollar budgets and others allocate hundreds of thousands of dollars to pouncing on “newspapers that publish anything skeptical about global warming.” Many are headed by former environmental journalists who seemingly have a “revolving door between environmental journalism and Big Green.”

A frightening aspect of this are the scientists who actually believe in man-made global warming, but don’t think it’s the catastrophe being forecast. Some are blacklisted, or blackballed, or go unpublished. Case in point, Ridley notes, is climatologist Lennart Bengtsson. After joining the UK-based think-tank The Global Warming Policy Foundation in 2014, the threats against his “healthy and safety” forced him to withdraw. He said it was a situation that reminded him “about the time of McCarthy.”

Other notables who still “brave the bullets” include the distinguished scientists “Judith Curry, Dick Lindzen, John Christy, Nic Lewis, Michael Kelly and David Legates.” Other climate scientists have told Ridley they “dare not put their heads above the parapet.” That’s not science or how it operates. That’s climate McCarthyism. And it’s being spearheaded by the heads of our largest federal agencies, including NOAA, NASA, and the EPA.

Democratic attorneys-generals from 16 states have begun issuing subpoenas, targeting the think-tank Competitive Enterprise Institute among others, in “an attempt to silence its climate dissent.” Even journalists disposed to some sort of action on climate change have decried this decision: “I support action on climate change,” wrote Bloomberg Views columnist Megan McArdle. “But that doesn’t mean I’m entitled to drive people who disagree with me from the public square.”

Now they are going on fishing expeditions, attempting to hold oil companies, like ExxonMobil, responsible for climate change, accusing them of withholding information for over 30 years on the possible effects of increased CO2. The accusations against ExxonMobil came from an environmental group’s so-called ‘investigation,’ subsequently promoted by the NY Times and LA Times, with a far-reaching campaign funded by activists’ deep pockets.

Upon deeper investigation, the story was nothing more than suppositions and documents taken out of context. ExxonMobil even fired back a response that went largely ignored by the newspapers promoting the allegations.

Many of the journalists who cover climate change are far more likely to publish studies showing global warming catastrophe, and their editorial pages show this blatant bias. Scholarly journals that should remain above the fray also show similar bias. That’s what the 2009 ‘Climategate’ emails exposed: “intimidation against academics and journal editors who voiced doubts about the forthcoming Armageddon.”

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Unfortunately, he won’t be the last.