Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Did you know there was a climate change conference going on?

I'm sitting on my balcony overlooking the hotel pool and the Caribbean Sea answering emails when I come across one from a friend who was surprised to learn there was a UN climate change conference going on. The next email was this article from The Business and Media Institute:

Cancun vs. Copenhagen: Have the Media Forgotten About Global Warming?

A Year after broadcast network-hyped U.N. Climate Change Conference in Denmark, same networks don't even mention same event in Mexico.

Crickets chirping

That's the sound you would hear if you were looking for any sort of broadcast media coverage on site at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference going on now in Cancun. A survey of the broadcast networks over the week leading up to the Cancun event and two days into it shows it hasn't even been mentioned on any of the evening news broadcasts, morning shows or Sunday morning public affairs programming.

However, the same event hosted in Copenhagen in 2009 was all over the radar of the broadcast networks. A similar survey of the same programming leading up to Copenhagen show five reports about the event, with ABC and NBC having reporters on-scene at the conference.

So what happened? Do the media finally getting it about climate change and the United Nations' conference? Or are they just reluctant to cheer-lead alarmism about climate change with a sour economy and lower poll numbers for President Barack Obama?

It's a good question. The article details the coverage and the optimism of so many news anchors and show hosts over last year's conference, but notes that nothing is really expected from this one. The article then explains, perhaps, why the media isn't paying too much attention:

But the most amusing commentary on the Cancun climate summit came on 'Fox News Watch' on Nov. 27. Host Jon Scott referenced 'Red Eye' host Greg Gutfeld's attack on the entire concept of global warming and a psychoanalysis some University of California-Berkley professors offered on alarmism.

"So climate change experts finally got the message and the message is their message reeks," Gutfeld said. "In fact, their scare-the-hell-out-of-us screed was so awful researchers claim that it actually undermined their mission, which I always thought was to scare the hell out of us. But according to Cal Berkeley shrinks, dire predictions about global warming can, quote, 'backfire if presented too negatively,' end quote. Of course, that raises one question, how do you offer dire predictions positively? Hey, we're all going to die, LOL?"

Gutfeld went on to reference other over-hyped 'scares' like the coming ice age, the dangers of nuclear power, artificial sweeteners and DDT. He noted the ad hominem attacks on those pushing back against global warming alarmists but declared these 'shrinks' had it wrong. Global warming isn't an issue the public should be worrying about at all.

"Worse, with global warming, we saw that anyone questioning that hysteria would be labeled a skeptic and treated like a leper,' Gutfeld continued. 'But the ClimateGate scandal proved that inevitably these cocky experts would overstep the science, get humbled, retreat into therapy. Have you seen Gore lately? So now finally shrinks are saying these experts should rethink their messaging. But, no, the shrinks are not telling experts to stop exaggerating consequences, instead, start offering solutions too. Meaning, just assume your lies were right all along and push those curly light bulbs. That ain't going to work either. The jig is up."

We'll see. Tomorrow morning I'll be at the entrance to the conference where I hope to get interviews with attendees and I'll ask them if they've noticed the lack of coverage, too.

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