Progressive Twitter slams the media for elevating corporate hacks in the climate-change debate after government report

A climate change denier talks to NBC News.
Peter Bolton

Donald Trump is distancing himself from one of his own government’s reports, which predicts impending and devastating climate chaos. But it is the media’s reaction that has attracted the most fierce criticism. Because outlets are still giving a platform to peddlers of denialist pseudo-science. And progressive voices have taken to Twitter to call these figures – and the media – out for their nonsense.

A buried report

On 23 November, the Trump administration released a report on climate change that provided a sobering vision of its present and potential future impact. The ‘National Climate Assessment’ comes from 300 scientists from 13 different agencies of the US federal government.

Spanning more than 1,600 pages, the report points to wildfires, poor air quality, failing crops, and increased outbreaks of disease as some of the major consequences of climate change. It also highlights potential economic costs. For example, according to its predictions, climate chaos could shrink the US economy by 10% by the end of this century and further exacerbate the ongoing crumbling of the country’s infrastructure.

The report directly contradicts Trump’s own political position on the matter. He has repeatedly stated that he does not believe in climate change and regards it as a hoax orchestrated by China. So unsurprisingly, he rejected its findings when questioned by reporters. He stated simply:

No, I don’t believe it.

The timing of the White House’s release of the document also raised some eyebrows. Because it chose the day after Thanksgiving – ‘Black Friday‘, when many Americans go shopping in search of discounts. It is, therefore, a convenient day for minimizing the impact of news that runs counter to powerful interests.

False promotion of ‘the debate’

But what has ruffled the most feathers has been the mainstream media’s decision to broadcast the views of climate-change deniers. Although media outlets claim they’re seeking to include ‘both sides’ of the debate, critics have pointed out that doing so lends credence to the false idea that the scientific community is still somehow in disagreement.

Furthermore, some media outlets fail to point out the corporate and financial interests that taint the testimony of many of the supposed experts on the non-scientific side of the debate. In response, progressive voices took to Twitter to expose the lies and misrepresentation of such fossil-fuel-industry mouthpieces:

One Twitter user attacked the right-wing’s obfuscation on the matter in a string of tweets:

And newly-elected progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on the deniers to simply leave the discussion:

She also attacked right-wingers for their use of the ‘I’m not a scientist, but…’ line, comparing it to a “get out of jail free” card:

With even Trump’s own government now saying humanity faces impending climate chaos, the deniers are undoubtedly in defence mode. But their equivocations now seem all the more pitiful and desperate in the face of such overwhelming scientific – and now governmental – consensus.

Featured image via NBC News

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