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New US Evidence on Climate Change Scepticism: How Does This Stack Up, Boris?

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So, the UK has a cold snap, London experiences proper snow, and Mayor Boris announces he’s a climate-change sceptic, on the basis that… the weather feels colder, not warmer.

Thus, it was fascinating to read the results of new research on climate change scepticism. Polling carried out by the University of New England suggests that people who change their views on climate change at times of unseasonable weather conditions, are likely to be politically independent rather than being aligned to the Democrat or Republican parties.

Of course, Boris isn’t politically independent but maybe this research finding also applies to a maverick (definition: an unorthodox or independent-minded person). In which case, I fully expect Boris to flip-flop on climate change if we have a hot summer.

Personally, I reckon that what Boris says on this subject is not necessarily the same as what Boris believes. I suspect he fully understands that higher global temperatures lead to erratic weather conditions. I guess he made his statement to endear himself to the less scientifically minded sections of the Tory Party.

Or is that a trifle cynical?

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Climate Change Sceptics – Media Analysis

newspapers detailThe Green Alliance blog carried this assessment of media scepticism on climate change in a guest post by James Painter of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

In summary: Right wing newspapers in the UK are promoting climate change scepticism through their opinion pieces rather than through their news columns.

The RISJ has conducted research and according to Painter:

This research prompts an array of interesting questions.  One is the obvious and oft-asked one of why climate scepticism is more of a right-wing phenomenon both in the media and in wider society.

But it is also worth asking what the main drivers are of climate scepticism in the media.  Is it newspaper owners or editors pushing an agenda?  Is it journalists concerned with ‘balance’? Or is it the decline of specialist environment correspondents, who have an understanding of where mainstream science consensus lies?

Or are the media merely reflecting wider society, where there are loudly sceptical politicians and lobby groups?

At a time of questioning of journalistic standards in the press, it’s worth wrestling with these questions more.

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