Azara Blog: Navel gazing on climate change

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Date published: 2006/08/03

The BBC says:

Apocalyptic visions of climate change used by newspapers, environmental groups and the UK government amount to "climate porn", a think-tank says.

The report from the Labour-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) says over-use of alarming images is a "counsel of despair".

It says they make people feel helpless and says the use of cataclysmic imagery is partly commercially motivated.

However, newspapers have defended their coverage of a "crucial issue".

The IPPR report also criticises the reporting of individual climate-friendly acts as "mundane, domestic and uncompelling".
They analysed 600 newspaper and magazine articles, as well as broadcast news and adverts.

Coverage breaks down, they concluded, into several distinct areas, including:

Publications said often to take a "sceptical" line included the Daily Mail and Sunday Telegraph.

Into the "alarmist" camp the authors put articles published in newspapers such as the Independent, Financial Times and Sunday Times, as well as statements from environmental groups, academics including James Lovelock and Lord May, and some government programmes.

"It is appropriate to call [what some of these groups publish] 'climate porn', because on some level it is like a disaster movie," Mr Retallack told the BBC News website.

Well what a great contribution to the debate the useless consultants at IPPR have provided, including introducing the usual consultant con of coming up with a few silly categories (e.g. "settlerdom"), which allegedly can be used to label all contributors to the debate. Many of the alleged offenders mentioned (e.g. Robert May) make much more sane comments about climate change than anything IPPR has ever published. The phrase "climate porn", used by the report, is "consultant porn", simply used to make headlines so as to sell the IPPR to the world. The UK would be much better off without all these useless so-called think tanks.

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