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Those Darn Skeptics And Their Communications Professionals

“All right, boys,” began James Hansen, “Listen up. Climate contrarians are winning the argument with the public over global warming.

“This is so even though climate science itself is becoming ever clearer in showing that the earth is in increasing danger from rising temperatures.

“Why? I’ll tell you: the skeptics have sneaked behind our back and have employed your actual communications professionals to put forward their vile message that we—even we!—are too sure of ourselves.

“We’re losing because we genuine scientists are just barely competent at communicating with the public and don’t have the wherewithal to do it.

“So let’s summarize our media contacts and see where we stand. Then we can formulate a plan of attack. Agreed?

“We have the paper of record, the New York Times, especially Krugman who properly calls anybody who disagrees with the science a traitor that should be strung up.

“The Washington Post is on our side, of course. The LA Times and those Chicago papers can always be counted on for a pro-warming view. Plus, there lots of the medium-sized papers that take their led from their betters.

“And don’t forget England, where we at least have The Guardian and The Independent and so on. Pro-consensus views are always found there.

“We have the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia, as is only proper. And that’s just the English-speaking world. Le Monde is magnificent. Asahi Shimbum toes the line, as do The Times of India and Korea’s The Joongang Ilbo. Heck, even Bild follows us a lot of the time.

Let’s face it: we have fighting our cause the major papers in every capitol, English-speaking or not. Am I right?”

New York Post“Right boss,” said G., his ever-faithful sidekick. “We have them all except for the New York Post andThe Daily Mail. What about the blogs?”

“Huffington, naturally. Daily KOS, Salon, and several other of the largest always do what’s expected of them. And I’d never forget your own valiant efforts, nor those of hundreds, even thousands of other blogs who preach the word of doom.

But, sadly, those vile skeptics have blogs, too. All are born out of ignorance or are the results of the pens of hired communications professionals—they get their funding from energy companies, you know.”

“Only fools read those blogs, boss,” ventured G. “Why not talk about what really counts—television.”

“TV? Why, we have NBC, CSB, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and all the government-funded PBS affiliates.”

“CNN?” asked G.?

“Right: CNN is a solid. But we musn’t forget HBO and Bill Maher. And these are just the stations in the USA. Looking abroad we find all the channels of the BBC, ABC in Australia, Al Jazeera, France 5 (and maybe the other four, too), Germany’s EarthTV and the Deutsche Welle.

Then there’s the All-Nippon News Network‎ and NHK in Japan, CBC in Canada, RAI in Italy, and so forth.

Once more, we can count as allies nearly every major television and cable outlet in every country except China.”

“Oh, how I hate Fox and Sky News!” G. shook his fist at his invisible enemies.

“True, G. Those backward networks are more evidence of the pernicious influence of communications professionals. The only explanation of the success of these media outlets is that these recalcitrant, wayward broadcasters is that they employ communications professionals whereas the other networks do not.”

“They must be stopped!” G. was trembling with rage.

“Before we get to that, let me remind us of the magazines on the side of the consensus.”

“No need, boss,” said G., anxious to show off his knowledge. “We all know about  TimeNewsweekThe NationThe New RepublicScientific AmericanNew York Review of BooksMother Jones and the many others in the US, plus the several major publications in every civilized country. Plus, we own Hollywood. What I really want to know about are the politicians, the source of real power.”

“That’s easy. We have the Democrats and, believe it or not, even a few Republicans in the USA. We have Labour in the UK, the Greens, the Left, and Christians of various stripes in Germany, the Greens, Left, and Liberal in France, all of the EU hierarchy, the Greens and Liberals of Canada, Brazil is ours. Then there’s the Greens, Labor, and even the Liberal in Australia. That enlightened country even, thank the Powers, voted in a new carbon tax!

I could go on, but any fair counting shows at least half, and in many countries most, of the politicians support our cause, or at least say they do publicly.”

“What’s the bottom line, boss?”

“It’s obvious! We must address the glaring discrepancy in media access, which weighs so heavily in the favor of our enemies. We must pass a law banning the use of communications professionals!”

Parts of this post were prepared with the assistance of Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe, a public relations firm based in New York City.

William M Briggs, 13 October 2011