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This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.

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Charles Clover

Too little,too late to reverse climate change.
Daily telegraph, Nov 20,2007.
If you missed this piece,I thought you might like to know that you curmudgeonly lot,who put contrary stuff on this forum, are a lot of Flat-Earthers,who probably spend too much time propping up the bar of their local.
There was a strong reaction in the comments, and I expected at least one letter to the editor to pick up on this childish insult. But no, not so far,although
Roger Helmer,MEP has written a letter to Charles.The letter is on "Eye on Britain."
What is it about these Environmental Editors?
Is there a degree course somewhere on Environmental
Journalism where they all learn to be on-message?

Re: Charles Clover

The reason environmental journalists are always on-message is quite simple Edward, environmental journalists are part of the Green lobby. They are the only bunch of journalists I can think of who effectively act as lobbyists, other specialised journalists (like sports journalists, music journalists, theatre critics, celebrity gossip columnists, etc) have a reputation if anything for 'biting the hand that feeds them' in terms of representing the interests of the news sources that keep them in work.

Veteran US anti-junkscience campaigner Alan Caruba gave the following four reasons why environmental scare stories are prevalent in the US media:
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=9883

1 Over the past 25 years, environmental reporters have generally ignored scientific opinions that differed from those of environmentalists.

2 Few journalists have a scientific background, and thus they are easily manipulated by ecological activists.

3 Environmental groups have mounted an effective and well-funded PR campaign that started in 1970 and continues today.

4 The media’s urge to build circulation and ratings often makes them willing to present ecological scare stories as dramatically as possible.

One of the reasons Caruba gives is that environmental journalists don't tend to have scientific qualifications. In Britain I've heard it said that about 70% of environmental journalists have a degree in English, for example Charles Clover has a degree in English and Philosophy. But given the standard of environmental reporting on New Scientist (where staff are almost certain to be scientifically qualified) I don't think it would make all that much difference if environmental journalists were required to have scientific qualifications.