To muffle the climate denialists in the media, make climate change less boring
Interesting take from Red Pepper on how green advocates need to get cleverer in the way they present their arguments to the media - framing them in such a way that climate change denialists don't seem relevant to the discussion. Author of "The Climate Majority" Leo Barasi writes:
Suppose you’re a producer and you have a story about some warning of how bad climate change will be and how essential is that the world cuts emissions. It’s an important issue, so you agree to run an item on it.
But it hardly sounds new and risks being a bit dull. How can you generate tension to show your audience that there are disagreements and decisions to be made? You won’t get that tension if you invite on Friends of the Earth. So instead you call up someone – [a climate change denier] like Lord Lawson – who will baldly reject the core of the story and will guarantee a fight. It’s terrible for public debate but it’s a much better spectacle than two people agreeing about how awful climate change is.
An upheld complaint about this latest climate denial might make a producer think again for a while. But sooner or later they – or their successor – will need to spice up some dull but important climate change story and will look for an obliging Tory peer.
It doesn’t have to be like this. There are plenty of disagreements about climate change that are far more interesting and important than fabricated rows about whether it’s happening.
Leo suggests topics like "what's the best way to restrict flights?" or "How do we respond to rising sea levels, in the way we use land?" or "Is nuclear power an effective way to reduce greenhouse gases?" He goes on to suggest that:
...What’s important about these arguments is they give the tension a producer needs, without depending on disagreements about whether climate change is real. They entirely take place between people who accept that cutting emissions is crucial for the world to avoid dangerous warming – but they aren’t boring. If these debates become the questions that journalists ask about climate change, deniers will have to either catch up or find that they are no longer invited to take part.