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Environmental agenda is slipping off the radar screen


The Eagle

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Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    Have you got Green fatigue?

    First there was compassion fatigue: the wearing down of public generosity caused by good-cause overkill. Now it seems eco-exhaustion has set in, and Gemma O'Doherty thinks she's caught the bug

    Wednesday September 26 2007

    God bless the Americans. They have such a knack for saying what the rest of the world is thinking.

    It was only a matter of time before they lay back in therapy and concocted the latest 21st century disease of the mind - a condition that afflicts all right-thinking, muesli-hating humans on the eve of bin day, in the exotic fruits section of the supermarket, on their way to the airport in their SUVs for their third foreign holiday of the year.

    Green fatigue.

    Have you got it? Are you fed up trying to be a "conscientious consumer" scouring the shelves for teabags with pictures of smiling African families on a recycled box you know is going to end up in a Beijing dump?

    Do you cringe when your eco-obsessed eight-year-old threatens to calculate your carbon-gobbling footprint and expose you as a planet-wrecker? Were you secretly longing for those dry, hot summers we were promised courtesy of global warming and feel utterly deprived we've just had the worst one in living memory?

    If the answer is yes, yes, yes, don't despair. You're not alone. Green, it seems, is no longer the new black. In fact, it's falling distinctly out of fashion.

    The first sign that the non-sandal wearing section of the planet had grown tired of all things eco being rammed down their throats 24 hours a day was the bombing of the Live Earth concert this summer -- a green-fest that gave a new meaning to the word hypocrisy.

    So vast was the volume of private jet fuel and hot air emitted on the day, there are rumours it created a new hole in the ozone layer.

    Fuming that the show was taking up one of their 867 domestic channels on a Saturday night, Americans did their bit for the planet and switched off en masse. Thankfully, Live Earth will go down in TV history as a dismal ratings flop.

    This, of course, has a lot to do with the man behind the event, Al Gore, whose pledge to save humanity was somewhat undermined when an inconvenient truth was revealed about his own carbon-devouring lifestyle. Do you really need eight bathrooms, Al?

    In the end, it took a British lorry driver to stand up to the former US vice-president and demand that his wishy-washy claims about cataclysmic catastrophes and ticking time bombs be dampened down once and for all, at least in front of the children.

    Stewart Dimmock, from Kent, is taking the British Government to court on the grounds that its policy to show schoolchildren Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth -- whose central thesis is that man-made carbon emissions are responsible for climate change -- is nothing more the propagation of a political view. Spin-doctoring, in other words.

    And in yet another act of defiance against the over-bearing green movement, the BBC has cancelled its Comic Relief-style day of programmes about the environment after it was attacked by senior news executives for being blatantly impartial.

    Planet Relief, which was to be fronted by over-exposed comics Ricky Gervais and Graham Norton, was yet another nag-athon tormenting viewers to take part in a mass "switch off" in their homes -- bar their telly, mind.

    But the Head of News put a stop to it all, saying it was "not the BBC's job to save the planet nor should they proselytise about it."

    I reached saturation point with the warmists after watching the Green Party's cynical party political broadcast aired before the Ahern-Kenny TV debate in May.

    The one with all those spotty brats on their bikes saying how much they'd love to be able to vote, and lecturing us adults about how to use ours.

    After all that whingeing about brown envelopes and Daddy not being home at night to read them a story, poor darlings, I wonder how they felt when Eamon Ryan et al leapt into power with their own worst enemy.

    But my rejection of all things green with a capital G is more deep-seated than that.

    My wake-up call came the day a developer knocked on the door of my cottage in the foothills of Slievenamon with word of his big plan to build a wind turbine factory in the surrounding countryside.

    Being a knee-jerk green back then, my gut reaction was yes, go ahead, roll on in. But luckily, before I sacrificed my little piece of heaven, I checked the facts and asked what exactly the planet would be gaining from a handful of giant turbines plonked on top of an ancient Tipperary hill.

    Damn all, as it turns out. As one of Europe's most respected news magazines, Der Spiegel, put it in a spine-chilling exposé on the subject: "Wind energy was once the dream of an environmentally friendly energy, but has turned into the highly subsidised destruction of the countryside."

    Then last week came another revelation for sufferers of green fatigue when it was revealed that more than 500 scientists around the world now believe that climate change is a completely natural process and has nothing to do with man-made greenhouse gases.

    The week before, American scientists studying extreme climate events showed that, far from becoming more frequent in recent decades, serious droughts are rarer than they were a century ago.

    In direct contrast to Al Gore's pseudo-science, this powerful research (read it on www.co2science.org) identified the 30 most severe and persistent droughts of the 20th century.

    More than 20 happened between 1900 and 1960 dropping to five between 1961 and 1980.

    The last two decades of the century, and supposedly the warmest, saw just three.

    In an embarrassing stepdown, Al Gore's scientific ally, James Hansen of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), has also been forced to admit that the hottest year of the 20th century was not 1998, as is generally accepted, but 1934.

    And with its cold weather and endless downpours, summer 2007 has proved a real fly in the ointment for the global warming brigade.

    Figures show that it was hotter back in the chilly Eighties.

    Time for a rain-check, maybe?

    I think this summer has really put the green lobby on the back foot. Have not heard anything about GW on the news in the last few weeks and rightly so. Like all fads its come to an end.

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......

    Der......Have you suddenly turned into Mr 'Far removed from reality' on disconnected street in the land of Nod?????

    For my own part I've posted in excess of 12 worrying reports on the speed and impact of recent climate change events over the last month, none greater than the reduction of the Polar ice to it's new minimum extent (27% lower than the old minimum of 2005).

    We've been flooded, Africa is currently flooded, Indonesia's been flooded, India's been flooded , Australia is still in the grips of 'The big Dry' Europe has been in drought with record temps being set week by week. Large parts of the Med. have burned (with Greece holding national enquiries into it's fires), Two Cat. 5 Hurricanes made landfall within 2 weeks of each other...........

    May the Gods help us if we get a 'Darkman Busy period'! LOL

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I think this summer has really put the green lobby on the back foot. Have not heard anything about GW on the news in the last few weeks and rightly so. Like all fads its come to an end.

    Darkman, do you understand that 'green' and 'GW' are not the same thing? Do you also understand that 2007 will, globally, likely be one of the ten warmest years on record? Do you know when the other nine were? Do you understand anything at all about climate change?

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
  • Weather Preferences: Hot & Sunny, Cold & Snowy
  • Location: Mytholmroyd, West Yorks.......
    Darkman, do you understand that 'green' and 'GW' are not the same thing? Do you also understand that 2007 will, globally, likely be one of the ten warmest years on record? Do you know when the other nine were? Do you understand anything at all about climate change?

    :) P

    Maybe it's a joke and he's more a 'darkhorse' than a darkman? It really didn't make much sense (article or comment) I take it the Irish reporter feels Ireland is the world and if so does this explain the majority U.S. view????

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    Guest Viking141
    Darkman, do you understand that 'green' and 'GW' are not the same thing? Do you also understand that 2007 will, globally, likely be one of the ten warmest years on record? Do you know when the other nine were? Do you understand anything at all about climate change?

    :)P

    I think he probably does P3 but I think what Darkman is talking about is not facts but perception. Because this summer has been wet, cool and generall bl**y awful, Joe Public will perceive that GW is a load of hooey, regardless of the facts. We on this forum may very well debate the facts and the science behind GW/AGW on here but we are not representative of Joe Public in this media-driven world where peoples perceptions are often based on what they hear and see (or not as the case may be) in the media.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    I think he probably does P3 but I think what Darkman is talking about is not facts but perception. Because this summer has been wet, cool and generall bl**y awful, Joe Public will perceive that GW is a load of hooey, regardless of the facts. We on this forum may very well debate the facts and the science behind GW/AGW on here but we are not representative of Joe Public in this media-driven world where peoples perceptions are often based on what they hear and see (or not as the case may be) in the media.

    Fortunately, i don't think this is the case any more, Viking; look at this: http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf...e_Sep07_rpt.pdf

    In short, most people in most places know what is going on, and also support political action to do something about it. Darkman's brand of skepticism, which afaik is simply aimed at 'winding people up', is pretty much fruitless these days; not many people buy it any more.

    ;)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    none greater than the reduction of the Polar ice to it's new minimum extent (27% lower than the old minimum of 2005).

    Avoiding the Antartic these days are we? I wonder why? :)

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    Guest Viking141
    Darkman's brand of skepticism, which afaik is simply aimed at 'winding people up', is pretty much fruitless these days; not many people buy it any more.

    ;)P

    Perhaps, but then equally you dont have to fall for it either!!

    :mellow::)

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Perhaps, but then equally you dont have to fall for it either!!

    :mellow::)

    Herein lies the quandary; does one ignore it or point it out? Some say the former, some the latter. Me; it depends on what mood I'm in, and what my post count is.

    :)P

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    Guest Viking141
    Herein lies the quandary; does one ignore it or point it out? Some say the former, some the latter. Me; it depends on what mood I'm in, and what my post count is.

    :)P

    You and I have much in common!

    :mellow:

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    Perhaps, but then equally you dont have to fall for it either!!

    :mellow::)

    Indeed but this thread was, as the title suggests, meant to be about growing public scepticism and tiredness with the whole agenda. Exactly why he is criticising the thread for not being 'scientific' I dont know.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Indeed but this thread was, as the title suggests, meant to be about growing public scepticism and tiredness with the whole agenda. Exactly why he is criticising the thread for not being 'scientific' I dont know.

    If you look at the survey I linked to, you'll see that the opinions of the journalist which you cut & pasted are wrong; there isn't a 'growing skepticism', but a growing awareness. And what does distinguishing between 'green' and 'GW' have to do with science?

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    If you look at the survey I linked to, you'll see that the opinions of the journalist which you cut & pasted are wrong; there isn't a 'growing skepticism', but a growing awareness. And what does distinguishing between 'green' and 'GW' have to do with science?

    :)P

    This is a public relations issue. Do you think, honestly, that the vast majority of people care about alleged man made GW? Lets start with the billions below the poverty line......do they care do you think?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    This is a public relations issue. Do you think, honestly, that the vast majority of people care about alleged man made GW? Lets start with the billions below the poverty line......do they care do you think?

    This is a familiar routine, but anyway; if the billions below the poverty line were told that their lives and those of their children will probably be much worse because some of us weren't bothered to do anything about it, even though we knew what was olikely to happen, I'd bet they'd care; wouldn't you?

    Let's deal with the people who are supposedly represented in the original 'growing skepticism' claim; was this meant to represent those people? Surely, they won't have changed their opinions recently, so the claim is made for people who read newspapers/watch TV, and for these people, the claim is false.

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    if the billions below the poverty line were told that their lives and those of their children

    Oh so now they dont know? - How can they care if they dont know? Global surveys eh?

    Of course they dont know which makes that BBC piece irrelevant.

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    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    I would just say that if this summers weather has put the green lobby on the back foot, they really do only have themselves to blame. If you allow your argument to be carried by media hype and political agenda's you really cannot be surprised if you get a massive backlash.

    The argument that our summers will get ever hotter and we will fry type of message delivery is doing the case of AGW no end of harm, what now if we get a cold winter followed by a couple of average summers in the UK?

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea

    Nope, sorry, this time your logic has defeated me. This is what you said in the original post:

    I think this summer has really put the green lobby on the back foot. Have not heard anything about GW on the news in the last few weeks and rightly so. Like all fads its come to an end.

    You seem to be saying that green issues and GW (or are they the same thing?) are less important, or are taken less seriously, than they used to be. I have provided evidence that this is not the case. Can you provide evidence that it is?

    PS: enjoying the cut & thrust...

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
  • Location: Near Newton Abbot or east Dartmoor, Devon
    I would just say that if this summers weather has put the green lobby on the back foot, they really do only have themselves to blame. If you allow your argument to be carried by media hype and political agenda's you really cannot be surprised if you get a massive backlash.

    You seem to expect the green lobby to be able to control the output of the media/politicians? How?

    The argument that our summers will get ever hotter and we will fry type of message delivery is doing the case of AGW no end of harm, what now if we get a cold winter followed by a couple of average summers in the UK?

    Dunno, increased complacency perhaps?

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    Posted
  • Location: South Yorkshire
  • Location: South Yorkshire

    For technical reasons (!) I can't access the survey,but I believe only 2000 people participated? Sorry if I'm wrong,but it's hardly representative of public opinion. (Were they selected?). It can't be denied though,the vast bulk of the populace know NOTHING about climate and take everything on board which they see on that irksome programme 'the news' just before settling down to Coronation Street,Stars For Their Eyes (ha ha),whatever. They don't have the stomach or interest to think further;to them it is boring and becoming tedious. Coupled with the lack of climate/weather disasters and a distinctly unsummery summer ( 'they' were promised both ),climate change has lost all it's weight and whatever credibility it ever had.

    Perhaps rightly,they are far more concerned (as far as news items go ) with crime,pensions,council tax,work tomorrow,Becks' latest tattoo etc than a possible,unknown future scenario. I know I have got much more pressing things to worry about,and I speak as a happy,solvent,healthy family man with a small child. Much bleaker things over which I have no control lie in his future,things which make climate change seem utterly insignificant. Sorry,all you AGW supporters,but that's a fact which is almost universally widespread.

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    We've been flooded, Africa is currently flooded, Indonesia's been flooded, India's been flooded , Australia is still in the grips of 'The big Dry' Europe has been in drought with record temps being set week by week. Large parts of the Med. have burned (with Greece holding national enquiries into it's fires), Two Cat. 5 Hurricanes made landfall within 2 weeks of each other...........

    Which really goes to illustrate the problem. There is not one single iota of evidence to link these random extreme weather events with GW. Until global TV and the internet the world had its massive up and downs of climatic variation going on in different parts of the globe. Bad though they were, no-one tried to link them altogether in some massive pseudo-scientific argument that somehow they all connected like a giant cosmic snake. Today it's yet another example of the complete pap being churned out by un-thinking people in support of GW. And if GW is truly happening the abysmal science behind some of the assertions will be one of the reasons people switch off from taking it seriously. If it's happening that is.

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    Posted
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
  • Location: Co Dublin, Ireland
    Can you provide evidence that it is?

    Are you denying there is far less about GW in the media following our oh so average summer? Thats all the evidence you need. You must have noticed the fall off in media coverage of Global warming in general in recent months. Also in the piece I posted at the start - the whole Al Gore thing has just pushed it over the edge IMO. People dont like being told what to do. I find the whole structure of the debate from the Pro AGW side actually condescending - because it is. Maybe its not their fault but thats how it comes across.

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    Posted
  • Location: Chevening Kent
  • Location: Chevening Kent

    The message delivery of AGW is a total mess, its structured in such a way that it has become all things to all people whichever side they be on. What Laserguy is saying is quite true that is how most people think in a kind of tabloid world, but to demean the argument by presenting it to them in tabloid manner is only going to end in trouble. As simply in the that world today's news is tomorrow's chip paper before the ink has dried, I am not saying I have all the answers but feel this is really an educational subject of which GW is only a part of overall sensible environmentalism. The problem is the press won't print it and the politicians would have to look elsewhere for money.

    We have managed to put ourselves in the situation where most Jo publics are sceptics just because they don't like the government and don't want to be taxed more. You got about 30 million people all cheering for the anti AGW lobby and laughing their heads off because we get one average summer, it really is not good!

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    Posted
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
  • Location: Sunny Southsea
    Are you denying there is far less about GW in the media following our oh so average summer? Thats all the evidence you need. You must have noticed the fall off in media coverage of Global warming in general in recent months. Also in the piece I posted at the start - the whole Al Gore thing has just pushed it over the edge IMO. People dont like being told what to do. I find the whole structure of the debate from the Pro AGW side actually condescending - because it is. Maybe its not their fault but thats how it comes across.

    I'm not the best person to ask whether there is less coverage in the media, because I look for it, and tend to notice it when it comes up, which it does seem to do on an almost daily basis. Given that this year we've had the IPCC AR4, Geneva, New York and Bali, as well as the CGI this week, new European legislation and most major industries (insurance, banking, investment...) coming up with plans for dealing with GW, I can't (literally) remember a day when GW has been out of the noews insome form or another.

    I will, however, agree that, since we haven't had any particularly hot days this Summer, our usual media trash about heatwaves and the end of the world has been, thankfully, in short supply. The piece you posted at the start contains one paragraph summaries of four of this year's 'popular' pieces of denialist disinformation, all of which are false, which doesn't say a lot for that particular journalist's objectivity or their knowledge of the subject.

    I thoroughly agree with you that people don't like being told what to do, and that some of the commentators on GW are heavy-handed and pushy, but the same goes for lots of people who have an agenda driving their personal bete-noir, whatever its flavour is; there's nothing special about GW in this respect. I also agree that such a pushy approach about how we should behave is not very productive, but this isn't the same a pointing out to people the actual facts about what is happening, in response to deceptions perpetuated by lobbyists (mainly in the USA) which are designed to trick people into thinking that there is still some doubt about the changing climate.

    I know what you mean about feeling you are being 'spoken down to'; sometimes I get over-excited and make this mistake myself; my apologies. But I will not apologise for exposing material designed to deceive as the mendacious rubbish it is.

    This doesn't mean I don't think you have the right to believe what you choose, but I will respond to claims that GW is a 'fad' if I think they are not true, and to other claims if they are based on falsehoods.

    Laserguy; the survey was conducted in 21 countries with about 22000 respondents; there is no reason to believe its conclusions are any more or less valid than any other properly conducted survey. Though you may be correct, this is evidence of a kind that most people - certainly in the UK - are both aware and concerned (I think it's over 90%). Perhaps you are underestimating the public a little?

    WIB: I'm not entirely unsympathetic to what you are saying, but I would point out that most of the 'unscientific pap' comes from non-scientists; as ever, I'd suggest that people go and look at the source material for themselves, and be cautious about media-linked proclamations. You also overlook the point that the global climate is the issue with GW, not the British Summer, such as it is. Perhaps we can use the technical thread to discuss the evidence (or lack of it) for the causes of various weather anomalies, as this is an interesting but tricky area to deal with.

    That'll do for now.

    :)P

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    Posted
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl
  • Weather Preferences: Snow and lots of it or warm and sunny, no mediocre dross
  • Location: Cheddar Valley, 20mtrs asl

    Doesn't an awful lot of this just come back to what we discussed earlier in the summer; public perception? I said it then and at the risk of being boring... most folk notice what's in their back yard. We have been repeatedly promised by the world at large, media and accredited scientists alike, that we will have hot Med style summers and this year it didn't happen. The AGW argument has gained vastly in popular belief in this country due entirely to the weather over the last few years. If we'd had average summers and colder winters then the whole premise of AGW would have been a lot less believable to the average man in the street. As far as I'm concerned, if public support for a greener lifestyle or confidence in the accuracy of AGW has been dented, then all concerned only have themselves to blame. We're all familiar with the fable of the boy who cried wolf and that's precisely what has happened if this survey is an accurate representation. It's not just the media or the tabloids or dodgy films, but scientists themselves too. Every drought, every flood, every midge which makes it over the channel is being blamed on AGW to further the argument; so much of it is nonsense but you have to have more than a vague interest to be bothered to find out for yourself, most people don't. Sooner or later, if you over-egg something it will come back and bite you firmly on the backside, it's like lying on a CV to get a job, you can only blag your way so far before you get caught out.

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