Radical environmentalism sees truth as a threat to its objectives. Propaganda (whether outright lies, exaggerations, or distortions) in pursuit of green goals is justified.
Perhaps the most famous example of green propaganda has been the persistent claim that 97% of climate scientists agree that man-made climate change endangers the planet. Studies sporting the 97% figure were debunked in 2014. In one such study, four independent reviewers found that only 0.3 percent of 11,994 abstracts cited actually stated that human activity is the primary cause of global warming.
But forget about a measly 97%! In November 2019, the green propaganda machine upped the ante. Now, they claimed, there is 100% scientific consensus that humans are the main drivers of climate change. 100 percent?!? What about the “350 [peer-reviewed] papers published since 2017 [that] subvert the claim that post-1850s warming has been unusual” and dozens of additional articles in 2019 found “that there’s nothing alarming or catastrophic about our climate”?
Another commonplace tactic of green propaganda has been simply to fudge actual temperature records. Environmentalist and computer model expert Tony Heller has documented many of those shenanigans in a series of eye-opening videos. (Here is another link. And another.) Interestingly, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the official keeper of temperature records for the United States was, according to The Wall Street Journal, explicitly exempted from the Data Quality Act – the federal law that requires sound science in policymaking.
Another fertile field for green propaganda shenanigans is the “peer review” process. First , many scientists believe that the peer review process itself is broken. Some describe it as “a form of censorship” – a gate-keeper to keep out dissenters. Others assert, “peer review is known to engender bias, incompetence…ineffectiveness, and corruption.” Dr. John Ioannidis, who has been so on-target with his critiques of data gathering and modeling in connection with Covid-19, maintains that the “hotter” a field of scientific research is (“hotter” meaning more popular and active) “the less likely the research findings are to be true.” And what field of scientific research has been hotter than climate change for the last 30 year?
Second, as we have learned from climategate emails and other sources, peer review in climate science has been highly incestuous, with key figures in the alarmist camp arranging to review each other’s work while shielding their work from review by other scientists.
Third, the late IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri haughtily asserted that IPCC uses only peer-reviewed science. Not so. The IPCC’s much-ballyhooed “climate bible” (the 2007 report that garnered a Nobel Peace Prize for IPCC) cited 5,587 non-peer-reviewed sources such as “press releases, newspaper and magazine clippings, working papers, student theses, discussion papers, and literature published by green advocacy groups.”
A common propaganda technique is to tell only one side of the story. Thus, green propaganda hyped the record-warm temperature of 64.94 degrees F. (18.3 C.) in Antarctica in February this year. While hyping a record summertime high in the southern hemisphere, the green propagandists turned a blind eye to a record wintertime low in the northern hemisphere that had happened a month earlier – specifically, a temperature reading of minus 86.8 degrees F. (-66C) in Greenland.
Similarly, when the mercury in the Siberian town of Verkhoyansk touched 100 degrees F. on June 20, the green propaganda machine went into overdrive. (That temperature was less than one degree above the previous record high set in 1988.) They failed to mention that such heat north of the Arctic Circle was not unprecedented. The temperature reached 100 degrees F. in Fort Yukon, Alaska way back on June 27, 1915. Oh, by the way, I didn’t see any green reports that the people of Verkhoyansk woke up to snow on the ground on July 5. Wild temperature gyrations are a fact of life there due to peculiar topography and other natural factors.
Did you catch the BBC report about the Antarctic glacier Thwaites melting rapidly? That’s true, but the report failed to mention that active volcanoes beneath the glacier are causing the melting. Banning SUVs will not keep Thwaites from melting.
Last September, 250 news organizations around the world openly proclaimed a coordinated campaign to convince their readers and viewers of the urgent need for political action to address catastrophic climate change at the UN’s climate summit that month. Any pretense of journalistic impartiality was explicitly disavowed. The media outlets openly and proudly announced themselves as advocates (propagandists) for their favored viewpoint. Variety magazine even featured an article entitled, “Is Hollywood Doing Enough to Fight the Climate Crisis,” as if the entertainment industry should be in the vanguard of public brainwashing.
Meanwhile, some green zealots are insisting that the green propaganda aimed at children here and abroad over the last few decades needs to be ramped up. One British greenie wrote, “Teachers…will have to help young people critique and rethink…deeply ingrained assumptions, attitudes and expectations that run throughout history, and now endanger much of life on Earth.”
I’ll leave you with a question: Do you really know the truth about climate change, or have you heard green propaganda so many times that you just assume what they say is true?
Mark Hendrickson, Ph.D., is an economist who has analyzed the global warming story for 30 years.