Climate deniers receive more media attention than the experts
Share article:
Share article:

Climate deniers receive more media attention than the experts

© Belga

Climate change deniers have received more media attention over the years than recognised climatologists, according to a new study.

This creates confusion in the minds of the public and runs counter to the fight against global warming, notes the study, published this week in Nature Communications.

The researchers analysed 100,000 articles on climate change published in the press or on the Internet between 2000 and 2016, focusing on how often they mentioned or quoted hundreds of well-known climatologists and an equal number of deniers – academics, business people and politicians who doubt the planet’s climate is warming up or attribute the higher temperatures to natural causes.

The visibility of the climate deniers was 49% higher than that of the climatologists, note the authors of the study, which was led by Alexander Petersen of the University of California at Merced.

Even in a selection of top-ranking English-language newspapers such as the New York Times, The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal, climate deniers were quoted more often.

Scientific data shows that the world has become +1°C warmer since the pre-industrial era due to greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activity, and climatologists have been warning for a long time about the threats global warming poses to humanity.

The deniers have succeeded in having a strong voice in political and scientific communication, the study’s authors said, noting that the imbalance in media visibility creates a false impression of the distribution of experts’ opinions and undermines the credibility of climate scientists.

The imbalance is made even worse by the amplifying effect of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, according to the study.

Since the publication in October 2018 of an alarming report by the UN Group of International Experts on the Climate, GIEC, the issue of global warming has moved to the forefront of public concerns, and demonstrations calling for action on climate change have become increasingly frequent. Some western governments have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Yet, mainstream media continues to serve as a platform for dubious and even discredited positions on climate change.

The Brussels Times

 

Latest news

Belgian Health Minister wants pharmacists to administer vaccines
Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke has said he wants to change Belgium's law to allow pharmacists to administer Covid-19 vaccines against, ...
Ruined photos from flood victims restored for free
Much of what victims of this summer’s deadly flooding lost is irreplaceable, but when it comes to photographs that were ruined, a Brussels company is ...
New Belgian video game aims to help children who stutter
A new video game by Belgian-American start-up Say It Labs aims to teach children with a stutter various techniques to improve their speech.  ...
More than 1 in 4 Belgians use mobile phones whilst driving
A recent European study into the use of mobile phones whilst driving highlights some alarming results: 26% of Belgians read or send messages on their ...
Belgium in Brief: Memories Of Masks
Belgium's experts are concerned with the rising coronavirus figures. One possible solution could be that, once again, masks are used more widely. ...
Museum Night Fever returns to Brussels on Saturday night
After a break last year, Museum Night Fever 2021 is back again with free visits to 32 museums hosting performances, music and other events. The ...
More than €1.5 billion injected into SNCB
More than €1.5 billion in additional funding has been injected into the Belgian railways, Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet told the House ...
Non-vaccinated applicants no longer welcome at ZNA hospitals in Antwerp
The Antwerp hospital group ZNA is only taking on new employees who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to reporting from VRT. ...
Pharmacies prepare to administer more rapid antigen tests
From November, anyone presenting coronavirus symptoms for less than six days will be able to take a rapid antigen test in a pharmacy, announced the ...
Chocolate, Christmas, and cocaine
Do you consider yourself a news buff? Someone constantly on top of what's going on? Then maybe you have what it takes to ace The Brussels Times ...
Introduction of Covid Safe Ticket leads more in Brussels to get vaccinated
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in the Brussels-Capital Region on 15 October seems to have led to a higher number of residents ...
More and more testimonies, and a second rally against sexual violence in Brussels
A second rally against sexual violence was held in the Brussels neighbourhood of Ixelles on Thursday evening, and a sister-rally was held ...