Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Large audiences are taken in by USA’s booming conspiracy culture of climate science denial

More terrifying than Trump? The booming conspiracy culture of climate science denial, Guardian, Graham Readfearn, 6 Dec 16, 

Conspiracy websites and hyperpartisan media outlets are building huge online audiences who want to hear climate change is a hoax “…….

climate-denialistsClimate change is an issue he [Alex Jones]covers regularly on his shows, where he has interviewed climate science deniers such as Christopher Monckton (a familiar name to Australians given his multiple speaking tours here), Marc Morano and James Delingpole.

While it’s easy to dismiss the conspiracy culture pushed by Jones as pseudoscientific rubbish, it is not so easy to dismiss the size of the audience he has been building. Jones’s website gets 57m page views per month – double where it was six months ago.

According to analytics site Social Blade, the Alex Jones YouTube channel has 1.8m subscribers and just racked up its one billionth (that’s not a typo) video view. (For comparison, the BBC News YouTube channel has 992,000 subscribers.)

Jones’s Infowars site is part of an ecosystem of hyperpartisan media outlets that insist climate change is a hoax. Like Jones, that ecosystem is rapidly building a receptive online audience.

Those sites can now reach hundreds of millions of people with headlines insisting that human-caused climate change is a hoax, that global warming has stopped or that adding CO2 to the atmosphere is good.

One example. The most popular climate change story across social media in the past six months was not some diligently researched piece from one of the many very good science journalists writing for major news organisations around the world.

Rather, the story claimed that thousands of scientists had come forward to declare that climate change was a hoax. The writer was a guy running a website in Los Angeles who worked for eight years for the UK conspiracy theorist David Icke.

Icke thinks the moon might be some sort of spaceship, that the world is controlled by a globalist illuminati and, yes, that climate change is a hoax. Icke is a regular guest on Infowars.

Infowars will often source material from Breitbart – the website that used to be run by Trump’s campaign chairman and soon-to-be chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Many of Breitbart’s most popular climate change items are written by Delingpole, a British polemicist. Guess what he thinks of climate change?…..

Breitbart is also building its audience. According to data from SimilarWeb, the site now gets 168m page views per month, doubling its reach in the past six months……

I’m happy to admit the online growth and reach of climate science denialists and conspiracy theorists terrifies me. Why?

The problem is not that these sites exist but that not enough people seem to know the difference between actual news, fake news, partisan opinion and conspiratorial bullshit. One of those people is the president-elect of the United States.

Either that, or people don’t even care to differentiate between fake and real, especially if what they read taps into their own prejudices.

There is a concerted attempt to cut sensible climate policy off at the knees by building a popular online movement against the science itself.

For decades, the fossil fuel industry and so-called “free market” ideologues at conservative thinktanks have misled the public on the science and the risks of climate change.

Now, the decades of material produced by that climate science denial machineryis finding a new audience. Those talking points are being reheated and screamed, in FULL CAPS.

So what’s the answer? No one seems to know but much appears to be in the hands of Google and Facebook.

Other than that, a crash course in critical thinking and recognising climate science denial brought to you by the illuminati might be the order of the day. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/dec/06/more-terrifying-than-trump-the-booming-conspiracy-culture-of-climate-science-denial

December 7, 2016 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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