Antarctic Confusions

Posted on 2 January 2014 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Australia is home to The Australian, a flagship product of Rupert Murdoch's stable of media organs. Although The Australian is technically a broadsheet, it sadly has a track record of distortion and misrepresentation when it comes to climate reporting.

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ABC documentary demonstrates the how and why of climate denial

Posted on 26 April 2012 by John Cook

This is a repost from Skeptical Science. Note that STW's own Stephan Lewandowsky has also published on this topic in The Age/Brisbane Times and Australian Media Centre/ABC Environment.

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The Curious Invisibility of Progress

Posted on 16 December 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

The Australian sustainable business market will grow to $2.9bn in 2014 from $1.6bn in 2010, according to a new report from independent analyst firm Verdantix. Their report, issued on 19 April 2011, goes on to quote author Susan Clarke that “... carbon regulations, rising energy prices and natural resource scarcity also create new market opportunities. Innovative firms ... already benefit from the market for energy efficiency and carbon management."

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Australian Media and Reporting of the Carbon Price Debate

Posted on 1 December 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Professor Wendy Bacon and a team of researchers have published a report on the coverage of climate change in the Australian media.

The research is based on a comprehensive review of 3971 media articles which were published in ten Australian newspapers on the topic of climate change policy, during the period February 2011 and July 2011. 

Key Findings of the research are at the front of the report. They include:

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Submission to the Independent Media Inquiry

Posted on 9 November 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

This is the full text of a written submission to the independent inquiry into media and media regulation, which commenced public hearings in Melbourne on 7 November 2011.

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The Loud Fringe: Pluralistic Ignorance and Democracy

Posted on 18 October 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

It appears self-evident that democracy functions best if its citizens share a common reality. There is common agreement that society stands to benefit from diversity of opinions, but most people also appear to agree that a society would suffer when segments of the population operate within a fictional social world that is disconnected from reality.

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Scientists on Trial: Risk Communication Becomes Riskier

Posted on 29 September 2011 by Michael Smithson

Back in late May 2011, there were news stories of charges of manslaughter laid against six earthquake experts and a government advisor responsible for evaluating the threat of natural disasters in Italy, on grounds that they allegedly failed to give sufficient warning about the devastating L'Aquila earthquake in 2009.  In addition, plaintiffs in a separate civil case are seeking damages in the order of €22.5 million (US$31.6 million). The first hearing of the criminal trial occurred on Tuesday the 20th of September, and the second session is scheduled for October 1st.

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Yes, There is a Pattern

Posted on 27 August 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

It’s beginning to add up. After some period of uncertainty, the picture that emerges is beginning to fit into the neo-McCarthyite pattern of attack on scientists that has become all too common in the United States.

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Something Does Not Add Up

Posted on 2 August 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Something does not add up.

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The ABC of tomorrow’s world: Amphibians, Bailouts and Carbon

Posted on 21 July 2011 by Steven Smith

Three seemingly unconnected news items caught my attention this week, but they each tell us something about the stresses on our world.

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Professor Ross Garnaut's Lecture at UWA (2 June 2011)

Posted on 3 June 2011 by Anne Young

Professor Ross Garnaut, the nation’s chief independent climate advisor, doesn’t believe in worrying about the things he cannot change. He just works “quite hard” on the things he can. Western Australians were treated to an example of his hard work yesterday as he packed 3 engagements into half a day in Perth.

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Addressing the “Balanced Coverage” Issue in the Media

Posted on 17 May 2011 by Michael Smithson

The tactics and techniques for manufacturing doubt in the face of a scientific consensus were perfected by major tobacco companies during the 1950’s and 60’s, in their efforts to discredit cancer researchers’ burgeoning evidence of the link between smoking and lung cancer. In his 1995 book “Cancer Wars,” Robert Proctor documented the influences of professional, economic, and political interest groups on American governmental priorities and funding of cancer research. An infamous 1969 memo from one corporate executive declared that “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

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Responsible Energy Reporting

Posted on 31 March 2011 by Steven Smith

Scientists and science communicators have a responsibility to report new research in a balanced and objective way. Exaggerated claims of the importance of fundamental discoveries and technological developments in areas such as alternative energy and carbon capture, lead to false expectations and poor policy. The message that should be conveyed is that science and technology is important to pursue, but it does not have the answers to deliver cheap clean energy in the amount that societies have come to expect from fossil fuels.

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The Challenge of Understanding Accumulation

Posted on 15 March 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

As the physical understanding of climate change within the scientific community has become more and more robust, paradoxically the public debate has become progressively more disconnected from the scientific literature.

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