If you look at most televisions, you’ll find that climate change deniers get half the air time – or even more. OK, that seems logical, we have to give equal time for both camps in a scientific debate to argue their claims. But the problem is that there is no scientific debate. The vast, overwhelming majority of researchers working in the field understand that the climate is warming up and that we are causing it, so then it doesn’t make sense to share media time equally.
In a survey of roughly 1,900 scientists, 90 percent of the respondents who had published more than 10 peer-reviewed climate science articles “explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the dominant driver of recent global warming” — a result in line with findings detailed in recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
However, when it came to media time, things were quite opposite. Out of the climate change deniers, 30 percent of them reported being invited regularly to share their opinions – compared to just 15 for other scientists. Meanwhile, even though in the scientific community there is a high agreement between most people, regular people are still very divided – and this is where the media is a problem.
When you give two sides equal air time, you plant the idea that both are equally right, or have equally strong arguments – which they don’t. In other words, to put it bluntly, the media is misleading the population into thinking that climate change not happening is very likely.
A noteworthy fact is that out of the 14.000 peer reviewed papers on climate change published by 2013, just 24 reject global warming.
Scientific Reference: Scientists’ Views about Attribution of Global Warming
Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!