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Climate Change Deniers KOed In COP21 Final

Have you noticed that the voices of climate change disbelievers have become a little quieter lately? Many hope that the Paris Agreement has stilled these counterproductive contrarians. Climate Nexus puts its view nicely: “They lost the battle and the war when the world came together and agreed to transition away from fossil fuels.”

Original hockey stick graph by Mann, Bradley, and Hughes, 1998 (meteo.psu.edu/holocene)

Original hockey stick graph by Mann, Bradley, and Hughes, 1998 (meteo.psu.edu/holocene)

Dr. Michael E. Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, recently told Brad Friedman on the BradCast:

“It’s difficult to understate the significance of this agreement. I think we are witnessing the end of the age of fossil fuels and the beginning of a new age of a clean global energy economy.”

Michael E. Mann on marginalized denial

Mann joined the IPCC and Al Gore as a co-Nobel Prize winner in 2007 for his creation of the “hockey stick graph,” which showed proxy climate reconstructions that reveal drastic recent temperature increases after centuries of relative inactivity.

Media Matters, relentless in its revelation of duplicity in reporting, quantifies the  in several recent articles. It begins by noting how the event scheduled by climate change deniers in Paris was “a flop.” The mainstream press ignored or belittled it, noting that the climate change challengers now bucked the tide of both of the science and history. Politico pointed out there was “little interest” in the event, and even the usually calm Reuters news agency referred to deniers as “yesterday’s men.”

As it did several years ago in covering the same subject, Media Matters reviewed the opinion pages of major newspapers. Only four of the ten most widely circulated US newspapers published the views of climate change deniers after the Paris Agreement was formed. “The vast majority of coverage was sensible,” MMFA found.

Senator Jim Inhofe brandishes a snowball in Congress to "debunk" climate change (screenshot, Tampa Bay Times)

Senator Jim Inhofe brandishes a snowball in Congress to “debunk” climate change (screenshot, Tampa Bay Times video)

Nine pieces out of hundreds about the talks that the organization reviewed took an adversarial stance: four from the Wall Street Journal, running true to form; two from USA Today, which still hasn’t gotten the hint about false balance; two from the New York Post (hardly a paragon of serious journalism); and one from the Orange County Register (not exactly a national press organ).

Perhaps we can all breathe a sigh of relief that the arguments over climate change have moved from debating its veracity to choosing among and implementing viable solutions. Dr. Mann draws a conclusion from past and future findings about climate change about the role of science in steering public information and politics:

“We must convey what is known in plainspoken jargon-free language, while acknowledging the real uncertainties that exist. Further, we must explain the implications of those uncertainties, which in many cases imply the possibility of greater, not lesser, risk. Finally, we must not be averse to discussing the policy implications of the science, lest we fail to provide our audience with critical information that can help them make informed choices about their own actions as citizens.”

 
 
 
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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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