(Editor’s note – As grandparents, we know that life goes on after we are gone, but what kind of life with our grandchildren and great grandchildren inherit? We must think about tomorrow today, and do whatever it takes to keep the global warming trend from reaching critical mass. I urge all grandparents to listen to the scientic community, and not the paid mouth pieces for big oil and other corporate lobbyists. Whether or not you agree with the politics of granddad, Al Gore, please take a minute and watch this video on global warming http://www.grandmagazine.com/news/2013/03/al-gore-americas-dudley-do-right/
By Kathleen Rest, PhD, MPA, Executive Director of Union of Concerned Scientists
In case you haven’t turned in to Fox News recently, here’s what you missed:
“The science is not settled: on global warming.”
Last year’s climate change data is “meaningless garbage.”
“The Earth won’t notice the difference if you shut down the EPA for ten years.”
Fox News is now the single most popular news source in America. Their constant misinformation about climate change isn’t just annoying—it’s damaging. A new study from Yale University found that this kind of distortion “decreases trust in scientists which, in turn, decreases certainty that global warming is happening.”
Don’t stand by and let Fox News get away with twisting the facts.
Speak out and don’t be afraid to confront the people who are happy to spread lies and put future generations at great risk.
- Are some major media outlets really distorting climate science? Yes.6 Our groundbreaking analysis found that 93 percent of Fox News Channel’s coverage of climate science was misleading or outright false. For the Wall Street Journal, it was 81 percent. They’re not the only ones, but as the worst offenders, they need to be called out. So we gathered tens of thousands of signatures calling for them to stop their distorted coverage—and we made sure our findings were covered in dozens of other media outlets.
- Who’s bankrolling the so-called climate science “experts?” The fossil fuel industry.7 We launched “Unreliable Sources” to expose the media’s overuse of industry-funded “think tanks” as credible sources. We reviewed more than 1,000 stories from outlets like the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times and discovered that these respected news sources failed to disclose potential conflicts of interest in two out of three stories.
- Why aren’t more scientists speaking up? Because explaining science to the media is a skill that isn’t routinely part of scientific training or curricula. But we know the best spokespersons to set the record straight are scientists themselves. That’s where you come in. Your support helps provide tens of thousands of scientists with the resources and training to communicate their findings effectively with reporters.
But there are signs of hope. The Los Angeles Times recently announced that they will not publish letters to the editor that deny accepted climate science.8 While it’s perfectly appropriate to debate climate policy, letters that misstate facts or contain personal attacks on climate researchers have no place in a serious newspaper. With your support today, we can do even more in the New Year to ensure that science is reported accurately and the integrity of science is protected.
The attacks on science aren’t just in the media. Climate deniers in Congress, oil, gas, and coal companies, the Koch brothers—they’re powerful, and they’re relentless. That’s why UCS members are crucial. We don’t have large corporate funders or government support. But we do have the facts on our side, and the facts will win in the end. We need you to stand up for the facts.