Writing about Climate Change Science, attempting to navigate the complexities of the communication of Climate Change, plus dealing with the torrent of disinformation out there, can take people to some strange places in their minds.
Yet again, I have been challenged that I am being too negative, and too down on the Media kids (instead of “down with”). There has been an inordinate level of bad journalism about Climate Change, particularly in the last few months, and I am not the only person whose internal sense of wrongness has been stirred.
But how to express it ? How to constructively make a contribution towards the betterment of the Media ? I do not know the way. All I can do is pick holes and light beacons. Are there any journalists we can trust any more – trust to treat Climate Change Science and the Climate Change Scientists correctly ?
Randomly, I met Liz Hunter from Media Net the other day, whose mission is to “empower and inspire Christian journalists” – a noble goal of supporting Christians in the mindbending Hell-on-Earth that is the newsroom – people who you could expect to have a double portion of conscience, and consequently a double portion of moral stress :-
“”My conviction is that the best way to influence the Media in the UK is to love and support and nurture the people who make the stuff.”
Even more randomly, the first time I met her was when she was just about to help launch Media Net. We shared about the appalling state of Science journalism and the high levels of Climate Change “sceptic” propaganda going on at the time, and her recommendation was to keep calm in the storm (condensing a piece of more spectacular advice).
This weekend, I shared with her that I had lost all confidence in mainstream journalists on the subject of Climate Change, even those who work on ostensibly sensible and thoughtful Media channels, like the BBC, The Guardian and The Times.
She encouraged me to keep on keeping on, and that there are some good journalists out there. What we need is a little more love here, I suppose. But you know what the heart of love is ? Telling the truth.
And so, I must explain that there is a rat in the kitchen (to use an expression) – Jonathan Leake.
Jonathan Leake is the person who nearly caused the University of East Anglia (UEA) investigation to fail, by persisting in demanding on a statement from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which was widely misquoted in the Press, and caused the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to go into communications overdrive :-
Jonathan Leake is the “journalist” mentioned in the hearing of the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Commons on 1st March 2010 :-
My question is this : does he not realise that his actions have had the effect of interfering destructively in this delicate, stressed deliberation between the legal eagles and the boffins ?
A further question would be : why do the articles written by Jonathan Leake and his small group of colleagues regularly contain mis-statements ? Are they of the intention to create an unholy fuss for the purpose of the increased sales of their newspaper ? Are they descending into Tabloid sensationalism and all the inaccuracies that that breeds ?
Tim Lambert at Deltoid has investigated a number of issues, and fairly and squarely lays the blame on Jonathan Leake. I asked Jonathan Leake by e-mail what he thought of this professional assassination, but according to his e-mail signature I am not legally permitted to show his reply :-
Having been convinced that you were a decent, reasonable fellow when I first encountered you, I have been following your apparent descent into Climate Change scepticism with disappointment.
Tim Lambert at Deltoid has much more patience than I have for analysing the background to your work :-
and so on.
Would you care to comment on your treatment by Deltoid ?
Have you studied Climate Change Science ?
Would you be prepared to take a new look at the facts ?
Are you under any pressure from your editorial management to adopt or adhere to a particular line of reasoning ?
And who do you name among your influences (please name names), especially regarding your new-found Global Warming scepticism ?
Of course, anything you say or write would be excellent source material for a short article, so it would have to be on the record.