Saturday, April 14, 2012

3434.txt

date: Thu Sep 11 10:53:46 2003
from: Tim Osborn <t.osbornatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: FW: Media coverage of the recent heatwave
to: cru.all@uea

Dear cru.all@uea
you might be interested in signing up to the letter below. I'm not sure of the originator
(i.e. writer) of the letter, just gives an Oxford address. Personally I agree with some of
the content but don't think it is worded carefully enough in places. Maybe you feel
differently!
Tim

From: "Laura Middleton" <Laura.MiddletonatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
To: <tyn.hqatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
You may or may not wish to respond to this.
Laura
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Laura Middleton
Scientific Assistant
The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
-----Original Message-----
From: David Cromwell [[1]mailto:ddc@soc.soton.ac.uk]
To: laura.middletonatXYZxyz.ac.uk

Please consider signing the following letter and perhaps sending round Tyndall
Centre colleagues.
N.B. Do NOT reply to this email to sign up. Please email infoatXYZxyzingtide.org.uk as
instructed below.
David Cromwell
James Rennell Division for Ocean Circulation and Climate
Southampton Oceanography Centre

RISING TIDE SIGN ON LETTER TO PROTEST MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE HEATWAVE
*****************************************************************************
Dear Friend,
The news media's reporting of the heatwave was a disgrace, especially the coverage
given to the climate change deniers. And it is dangerous. Ask around and you'll soon
find that most people have absorbed the message that everything is going to get
better in a greenhouse world.
This is a chance to challenge the underlying editorial values. Please SIGN this
letter and distribute it on your own lists as far and wide as possible.
Note the deadline of 12th September
This letter will be sent to the news editors of all the national newspapers, the
national evening television news, the main national radio news programmes, audience
complaints programmes, and the Press Complaints Authority. In each case it will be
personally addressed to the main contact. We will also use it to try to stimulate a
wider debate about how climate change is being covered in the UK.
TO SIGN THIS LETTER REPLY TO INFOatXYZxyzINGTIDE.ORG.UK AND PUT YOUR NAME IN THE SUBJECT
LINE. PLEASE RESPOND BY FRIDAY 12TH SEPTEMBER.
If you are signing on behalf of an organisation, or wish to give a few words about
yourself such as your occupation or qualifications add the details to the top of the
reply. We will keep your e-mail details confidential, pass them to no one, and will
only write back to you to tell you about any response we receive.
************************************************************************************
************
SIGN ON LETTER TO CHALLENGE THE UK MEDIA ON ITS COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE DURING
THE RECENT HEAT WAVE
Dear Sir or Madam
We the undersigned individuals and groups are writing to you to express our deep
concern and frustration over the recent coverage given to the August heat wave in
the UK news media.
The news media failed to truthfully report the heat wave in two important respects:
it failed to accurately reflect the overwhelming consensus of the two thousand
scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the
endorsement they receive from governments and major scientific institutions.
Secondly it
failed to report the heat wave with value free objectivity.
In the first case, newspapers and television regularly reported climate change as an
unresolved debate between experts. Prominent and uncritical coverage was given to
the tiny handful of confident self promoting contrarians who defy the scientific
consensus. In the Times (August 8th) Philip Stott, who claims I do not believe in
climate
changewas allowed a leader column to argue that global warming has morphed into an
ancient style religion. Bjorn Lomborg was set up in debate formats on both
Channel Four evening news and the Radio 4 Today Programme to argue that climate
change is an exaggerated problem that is too expensive to counter.
On the 10th August, when temperatures rose far above previous records, the BBC
evening news introduced the news item as the climate debate. It carried an interview
with a so-called climate skeptic, Piers Corbyn saying it has nothing to do with
global warming- it is correlated with particles from the sun. It was irresponsible
and
unprofessional to give such uncritical legitimacy to Corbyn, who has no scientific
credibility and refuses to subject his eccentric climatic theories to peer review.
On ITV
viewers heard the reporter signing off with the words- if and when we see these
scenes again will depend on whether it is down to global warming or just fluke.

Yet, if the public was being left in doubt as to whether climate change existed,
they were left in no such doubt that higher temperatures were an altogether
desireable
outcome. Smiling presenters made live link ups to reporters eating ice cream at the
sea side. They spoke of the excellent weather, basking in sunshineand
presented forecasts of continuing heat as more good news. The newspapers were
similarly awash with bikinis, cheering holidaymakers and news of record grape
harvests. Even the Guardian, which had otherwise faithfully reported climate change,
called on readers to rejoice(Editorial 11th August).
This reporting of national celebration was biased and value-driven. It allowed no
consideration of the extreme discomfort and danger such extreme temperatures posed
to
the sick and old. We now know that there were over 900 additional deaths in Britain
during the week ending 15th August. In France the heat wave killed at least 13,000
people. In a wider context climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of
millions of the worlds poorest and most vulnerable people.
What is more, this coverage allowed a space for contrarians to promote the
pernicious argument that climate change will be beneficial. Bjorn Lomborg argued
that
warmer winters would lead to fewer deaths overall. Philip Stott claimed that a
little warming in the UK can only be a good thing(Times, 8th August). An
extraordinary
editorial in the Spectator attacked the mass of hot air generated by the climate
change lobbyand argued that Britain should not take a lead in international action
because we would benefit more than anybody from climate change(9th August).
We are therefore writing to you to express our deep frustration that, after two
decades of consistent and growing evidence, the news media is still reporting
climate
change in this confused and superficial manner. Accurate and consistent reporting is
all the more important to maintain focus against a problem which is relatively slow
to develop and does not readily fit short term political and business cycles. We
fear that yet another important opportunity has been lost to consolidate public
opinion
behind a wide ranging and timely response to this crisis.
Yours sincerely,

************************************************************************************
************
RISING TIDE Email: infoatXYZxyzingtide.org.uk Phone: 01865 241097 Address: 16b Cherwell
St, Oxford OX1 1BG. Web site [2]www.risingtide.org.uk
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