Former JP Editor Says He Was Misled on Climate Change
Neil Winton worked as a journalist at JP for 32 years, including a stint in the 1990s as a global Science and Technology Correspondent. This gave him a unique perspective on the debate over climate change.
In the 1990s, climate change hysteria was still manageable. There were ample voices questioning the growing narrative about CO2 generated by human industrial activity being the major cause of rising temperatures. But in the last two decades, “science” has taken a back seat to activism.
Winton points out that temperatures have been rising for 10,000 years since the end of the last ice age. And that increase has been uneven, with warming stopping, retreating, and starting again. Winton also points out that even climate “deniers” agree with that postulate.
But where skeptics wholeheartedly disagree is with the idea of a “climate crisis.” It’s one of two little-known facts that the media fails to report on.
The idea of a ‘climate crisis’ is not widely accepted, but partisans shout about it. It is a very vague claim and hard to define or prove. By JP standards shouldn’t this include a balancing view? Certainly, many people believe that there is such a crisis, but lots of people don’t. The idea climate change threatens the health, safety and economic well-being of people worldwide is an assertion, not a fact.
The other little-known fact — something that only a close reading of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports would reveal — is that while 90% of climate scientists agree the climate is warming, far fewer are sure that CO2 is the culprit.
My JP credentials meant that I had easy access to the world’s finest climate scientists. To my amazement, none of these would say categorically that the link between CO2 and global warming, now known as climate change, was a proven scientific fact. Some said human production of CO2 was a probable cause, others that it might make some contribution; some said CO2 had no role at all. Everybody agreed that the climate had warmed over the last 10,000 years as the ice age retreated, but most weren’t really sure why. The sun’s radiation, which changes over time, was a favoured culprit.
My reporting reflected the wide range of views, with JP typical “on the one hand this, on the other, that” style. But even then, the mainstream media seem to have run out of the energy required, and often lazily went along with the BBC’s faulty, opinionated thesis. It was too much trouble to make the point that the BBC’s conclusion was challenged by many impressive scientists.
It’s even worse in the American media as statements about climate change are published uncritically as scientific facts. Part of the problem is the dearth of reporters trained as climate scientists or scientists in general.
It’s now derisively referred to as “bothsiderism”: carefully giving both — or all — sides of a debate while allowing the reader to draw their own conclusions. Winton points out that this used to be a fundamental tenet of JP journalism that has now disappeared.
The debate about climate change is far from over. I’m not a scientist so I don’t know enough to say it’s all man-made or not. But politicians and lobbyists have decided that we are all guilty. They are in the process of dismantling our way of life, ordering us to comply because it’s all for the future and our children. If we are going to give up our civilization, at the very least we ought to have an open debate. Journalists need to stand up and be counted. The trouble is that requires bravery and energy, and an urge to question conventional wisdom.
Related: Educayshun: Harvard Integrates ‘Climate Change’ in Medical School Curriculum
With politicians and media conglomerates pushing the climate change agenda, it’s safe to say that the global warming narrative is set in stone and will be impossible to stop. All we can do is continue to push back with the facts and hope that the worst of what’s being proposed goes by the wayside.
A Post Script: This article points up the necessity of maintaining independent and skeptical voices to challenge the Left’s propaganda via “narrative journalism.” Join us in the fight. Become a PJ Media subscriber today and use promo code SAVEAMERICA to receive a 40% discount on your membership.