Mike's Minute: The media is full of hot air on climate change

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 20 August 2019, 10:16AM

Watch out, the global media has decided you need to be bombarded with climate change stories. Covering climate change is now a thing. 

Locals here have signed up, from Radio New Zealand to TVNZ. 

The Guardian, CBS, La Republica, all over the world it's about media organisations telling us, again, what they regard as one of the most important stories of our time. Which, sadly, is why I have increasingly little time for too many parts of the modern media. Reportage is secondary, if not further down the line, these days to campaigning. 

The organisers tell us they don’t tell the media outlets how to cover it. All they want is to increase visibility and uplift its coverage, which is the same as saying it’s a campaign. 

Are they honestly expecting anyone to dedicate any time to those who argue it’s a hoax? Or to those who still have questions? Or to anyone who's not singing from the “it's almost too late” song sheet? 

A lot of climate change coverage is not what you would call good journalism. What I call good journalism is questioning everything, second guessing everything, checking and rechecking so called 'facts.'

On the climate change front, it is fair to say lots of people are on board with it. Lots of people worry about it, lots of people know about ice shelves and wacky weather. But I bet you anything you want, much of that concern is driven by the bombardment of what has become a religion. 

By the way, this isn't an anti climate change rant. I haven't taken a side. Why? Because I have a lot of questions that haven't been answered. 

I'm perfectly happy, if the day ever arrives, to believe this dilemma we face is entirely man made, or partially man made, or entirely or partially natural. But that’s the thing, most of us don't know, not for sure. 

A lot of people think they might know, but most don't know for a fact and that is where the media, at least, in part plays a role. But the media in this area is hopelessly tainted, most people who write about climate change are disciples. 

There is no balance, there is no opposing side. That's why we have sayings like "the science is settled." And that’s why we use the term “before its too late.” 

And the down side of all of this, apart from the fraudulent aspect of the reportage, is that it's a pile on, it's part of the modern way, which is to deluge you with whatever the topic or cause du jour is. No one is into a pile on like the media. The media is afraid of missing out on what the rest of the media does. 

And as a result I would quite happily claim, that they have become so obsessed with climate change these past few years there isn't a person around who pays any passing interest to the topics of the day that doesn’t have a view on climate change, hasn’t read about climate change, hasn’t seen the headlines, the debate, the claim and counter claim about climate change. 

And with so much material you run the real risk of a turn off, or to put it bluntly, boring people to death. 

And here's the irony, the media's earnestness and insistence on telling us what's important leads to the exact opposite of what they set out to do. 

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