Hypocrisy from climate deniers

| 12th May 2020
Paradise
Think tank run by climate deniers targets Sir David Attenborough’s documentary, ‘Climate Change – The Facts’.

The GWPF gives no indication of what the human or monetary cost would be if we didn’t achieve these targets.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), issued a complaint to the BBC over Sir David Attenborough’s documentary, ‘Climate Change – The Facts’.

GWPF is a right-wing think-tank registered as an ‘educational charity’. It pushes a climate denial narrative that contradicts much of the modern scientific consensus.

The think tank actively attacks sources of public climate education, as well as producing articles of their own that mislead and misinform the public. 

Misleading

Peiser accuses the programme of containing statements that would be “seriously misleading” for a “reasonable viewer” unaware of “the academic discourse on these topics.”.

Dr Peiser is effectively accusing the BBC of reporting information and data in such a way that is not incorrect, but is presented in a way as to mislead members of the public who are not aware of wider information on the topic. 

The hypocrisy of these claims is easily demonstrated by looking at the GWPF’s own publications. Their article ‘State of the Climate 2018: Global Warming is not Accelerating’ contains statements like ‘after the warm year of 2016, temperatures last year continued to fall back to levels of the so-called warming ‘pause’ of 2000-2015’.

Whilst not strictly incorrect, since 2016 has been the hottest year on record so far, the way they present this in an article titled ‘Global Warming is not Accelerating’ is highly misleading for any ‘reasonable’ member of the general public.

The article neglects to mention how drawing conclusions from a period as short as a couple of years would be highly inaccurate due to the statistical randomness of temperature data. The article also neglects to mention that this conclusion goes against the wider data collected by NASA or the Met Office which shows a clear increasing trend in global average temperature. 

Hypocrisy 

This is far from the only example of the GWPF’s hypocrisy. In an article discussing how the costs of the government’s net-zero carbon emissions target could be ‘astronomical’, they then ask the reader ‘can you afford net-zero?’.

The GWPF gives no indication of what the human or monetary cost would be if we didn’t achieve these targets. They have also discussed how ‘polar bears are thriving’ due to a report seeing stable numbers of polar bears in 2017. They don’t discuss the threats that global warming is posing to polar bear populations or how other reports have seen falling numbers.

Both of these examples fail to reach the very standards they have used to criticise the BBC.

The hypocrisy shown by the GWPF here highlights how this organisation cannot claim to be an ‘educational charity’. Through their own standards, they have presented information in a way that is ‘misleading’ for any ‘reasonable’ reader, and so by their own admission they fail to educate effectively. 

This Author 

Alfie Hoar is a university student from the UK.

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