Below is a fascinating 9-minute segment of Al Jazeera’s programme The Listening Post on why climate scepticism persists only in what it terms the Anglosphere media – those in the United States, UK, Australia and Canada. Paradoxically, the media in other big polluters, such as China and India, offer climate change deniers no houseroom at all.
The answer, the programme concludes, relates primarily to where political and economic power resides in each system.
In China, the media follow the party line, which is to accept the scientific evidence for approaching climate meltdown. In India, the corporations are so dominant, and political accountability so weak, that big business need not expend energy and waste money on manufacturing popular consent for its policies of rape and pillage of the planet.
In the Anglosphere, on the other hand, far more is at stake for the corporations. Ordinary people hold potentially more power, if they ever chose to exercise it. Science-based debates about climate change are, therefore, dangerous. So the corporate media seek to sow doubt, confusion and apathy by downplaying the science and conferring credibility on the deniers.
The issue of climate change is revealing about the key role of the media – and why I keep banging on about it. Given the science, there really should be zero room for doubt about imminent climate meltdown. Our confusion and apathy exist only because they have been manufactured by the media in the face of the overwhelming factual and scientific evidence.
So if we are being duped by the Anglosphere’s “free” media on climate change, where the facts are known and the consequences devastating for all of us, imagine how much easier it is to deceive us on other, less scientific matters – ones that occur far away and rarely touch directly on our own lives.
How reliable then is that same western corporate media likely to be in covering, for example, the endless resource wars that have been packaged and sold to us as wars on terrorism and instances of humanitarian intervention? The stakes, after all, are just as high for the corporations – the plunder of other countries’ resources and the maintenance of sky-high profits for their military industries.