Website Claims NZ Media Biased on Climate Change
New Zealand Climate Science Coalition
12 October 2006
U.S. Website Claims NZ News Media Biased on Climate Change Coverage
A claim of bias on the part of New Zealand news media against evidence that challenges current notions about climate change has been made on the website of the National Association of Manufacturers in America, has been made by Professor Bob Carter, a graduate of Otago University, now on the staff of James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.
In an article headed "Global Warming McCarthyism" for which the link is
Professor Carter says: "The debate on global warming has, to its detriment, long ceased to be a scientific one. Instead, moral fervour for this cause has become a leading religion of our time. Maintaining the fiction that human-caused global warming is so dangerous that it requires the restructuring of the world economy has come to involve the dedicated efforts of a legion of disciples."
He cited New Zealand as an example of bias and censorship: "In a small country such as New Zealand there is a high risk of press bias influencing public policy outcomes about complex science issues. With a market of only 4 million people to sell into, New Zealand media outlets are of limited diversity. The danger that journalistic sheep-like behaviour will inhibit discussion of important public issues is therefore ever present, and has indeed been manifest in the debate, or rather lack of it, on global warming.
"One can but wonder why media editors wish to deny New Zealanders knowledge of basic climate facts and alternative views, especially given the endless column space, air time and viewing time that they allocate to alarmist speculations and the fact that climate change was a critical issue in New Zealand's election last December."
Professor Carter said the New Zealand situation is evident elsewhere in the world, where "media outlets worldwide mostly present either the simplistic view that there are 'two sides to the debate', or the brain-dead assertion that 'the science of climate change is settled'. In fact, of course, there are almost as many sides to the climate change issue as there are expert scientists arguing it, and the science will never be 'settled', whatever that might mean. And, anyway, to reduce public discussion to a 'he says, she says' or 'there is a consensus' piety is to formularize it into meaninglessness."
Professor Carter asked that it be noted that he excluded from his criticism, the New Zealand internet news site, www.scoop.co.nz, which allows for expressions of opinion unedited on all sides of any debate, leaving it to readers for form their own conclusions.