Do Developing Nation Journalists Cover Climate Science Better (or at Least Better Than U.S. and U.K. Papers)?

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As the European debt crisis scrapes along, there has been talk about the possible need for developing nations, like China and Brazil, to ultimately help bail out some spendthrift “developed” nations.

A new study suggests that maybe they should also help bail out some of our media.

The study comes from James Painter of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and his colleagues. After looking extensively at climate change coverage in major papers in six nations—the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, China, and India—the paper finds that global warming “skepticism” is “largely an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon.”

Consider a selection of findings:

1.      80 percent of all quotations of climate “skeptics” were in U.S. and U.K. publications.

2.      40 percent of the articles including “skeptic” perspectives were opinion articles, and again, these were much less common in France, Brazil, China and India.

3.      These skeptical opinion articles were clustered in conservative papers in the U.S. and U.K. (Wall Street Journal, Telegraph), but not in the other countries.

4.      In France, Brazil, China, and India, the politics of a paper didn’t relate to the prevalence of climate skepticism. The reality of global warming just isn’t the subject of political dispute in these nations, and their media reflect that.

5.      Overall, “skeptic” perspectives were more likely to be articulated by politicians than by “skeptic” scientists, and politician-skeptic voices were once again overwhelmingly clustered in the U.S. and the U.K.

Here are the papers studied, by country: Brazil (Folha de São Paulo, Estado de São Paulo), China (People’s Daily, Beijing Evening News), France (Le Monde, Le Figaro), India (Times of India, The Hindu). In the U.S., the study examined The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. In the U.K., there was a very extensive look at all ten of the national papers.

Given all of this, I know what you’re really wondering: Which country wins the overall climate journalism responsibility and competence prize?

Drum roll…it’s Brazil, whose papers contained the least climate skepticism. China also didn’t have much, but that’s harder to get too thrilled about, because of course journalists in that country were following the government line.

So here’s a thought experiment: What if we restaffed the Wall Street Journal editorial page with journalists from Brazil? I’d certainly lift a caipirinha to that!

Australia was not included in the study, but you would imagine that it would be more consistent with the U.S.-U.K., “Anglo-Saxon” trend. 

For me, it is tough not to think about this finding in the context of two other major global developments:

1) the increasing dominance of developing countries in clean energy–especially China, but Brazil is a big contender here as well;

2) the increasing competitiveness of developing nations, and especially China and India, in global science and research.

Basically, then, take these new findings about climate skepticism as yet another sign that  countries that used to be in the rearview mirror are now either even with, or passing the U.S. by on the highway to the future.

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“Australia was not included in the study, but you would imagine that it would be more consistent with the U.S.-U.K., “Anglo-Saxon” trend.”

Well, Murdoch owns 70% of the papers here. You can guess what the main theme is. Some states don’t have any choice but a Murdoch paper.

I’ve often said , that denialism is in direct proportion to how much fossil fuels ones country owns.

Another study!

I think Ralph has nailed it. You notice the countries that are crying loudest at Durban for the climate fund (Maldives, etc) are really only looking to cash in before the inevitable soon-to-be crash of the AGW movement. The handwriting is on the wall in this case.

But people aren’t stupid and governments in the developed world aren’t going to dump hundreds of billions in a welfare fund, especially in these economic times, if there isn’t more solid proof.

“are really only looking to cash in before the inevitable soon-to-be crash of the AGW movement.”

Ive been participating on blogs like this for nealy 8 years now & from day one I have been hearing that same comment. It’s all over, go home, games up, the hoax is up, crash of the AGW movement.

It’s all just so passe now.

“But people aren’t stupid and governments in the developed world aren’t going to dump hundreds of billions in a welfare fund, especially in these economic times”

I think you have a point there. If we were in better economic times , then there would be no excuse & little wriggle room. But now, most western countries are screwed financially.

It’s like living in a high fire danger zone & being told there is an extremely good chance there will be a fire nearby……..but having no money to buy insurance. The USA & Europe are screwed financially. Germany is doing ok, Australia, Canada? & most Asian countries too. So it’s a damn hard sell under these economic conditions.

“if there isn’t more solid proof.”

They know there is solid proof, there just isnt any money. I know….less regulation!


The thing is, this is what the majority now believe. Here’s a link to a recent Wall Street Journal article (yes, they are biased) but it’s very appropriate of today’s sentiments;

“The Great Global Warming Fizzle”

This is now the mainstream point of view. Read some of the comments for the ‘word on the streets’ if you don’t believe it.

“This is now the mainstream point of view. Read some of the comments for the ‘word on the streets’ if you don’t believe it.



You just dont seem to get it Hank, or you do & think others should be conned also. WSJ is a conservative publication & can hardly be considered representative of a broad range of opinion. It can be deemed representative of conservative opinion & thats about it. You could point to WUWT, or right side news or Fox news & say the same thing. Thats mainstream POV! Ahhh yeah right.


mainstream POV can be discerned by what the politicians are talking about. Nobody talks about climate anymore. They talk about jobs. Climate enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight early in Obama’s current term. No more. 

I assume Obama will try to breath some life into it in his second term but he may never get one.

“Nobody talks about climate anymore. They talk about jobs. Climate enjoyed a brief moment in the spotlight early in Obama’s current term. No more.”

So if it’s all over, why are you still here? If you believe climate realists are holding a candle light vigil at blogs like this reminiscing over what once was, why are you still here?

It’s obvious you feel the opposite, otherwise you wouldn’t be here to continue defending you perceived attack on the right.

I admit I’m a little surprised how climate has been swept under the rug by most of the media. That’s just the current state of affairs. It’s possible that that might change in the future.

I’m not entirely sure that the climate cause is just an attack on the right. It is that, but of course it’s more complex than that. The cllimate cause to some is the central issue of concern to humanity. Questioning that assumption is valueable. If an assumption cannot withstand questioning, it must be weak. Can the climate cause withstand cynicism or is it too weak for that? Cynicism has value.

You will find denialism wherever there is a cost to buying into the AGW scheme and conversely a lack of deniers where there is an incentive to buy into the AGW scheme.

Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, China, Norway, Saudi Arabia all have deniers. Where you do not see them is where there are political and strategic interests otherwise. Most of Europe was under the thumb of Russia during the 90’s with natural gas being used as a weapon and with the exception of Norway have little or no fossil fuel reserves. After they lost the access to Oil in Iraq with the second Iraq war (Remember the UN oil for food scandal where it was sold to european nations) they jumped on the AGW bandwagon.

Global warming is much less about science than it is positioning your country for Geopolitical success. The same held true for slavery during the day and will hold true for any access to economic power and might.

Now that Britain has found trillions of cubic feet of natural gas look for them to move away from and AGW hardline, now that the US is poised to become the worlds largest producer of Oil again, AGW is dead in the US, same holds true for Canada. Coincidence but Europe is poised to become the worlds largest net importer. I think not.


absolutely true. The world will not be shaped and organized by climate science. It will be shaped and organized by narrow national self interest - self interest that cares not a bit about climate science.

Clear… concise..  I think you are right.

I think AGW is a big issue, but its essentially mired in political self interests.

International self interests I can understand (like opposition to, Kyoto Carbon Trading). 

National, is similar.  In Canada you’ll take oil profits (via Carbon Tax) and send them to Green (anything).

But to ignore it, is worse IMO.  Even I wouldn’t put all the ‘damages’ here down to Climate Change;

but it is certainly making things a lot worse.

Is this one of the erudite articles from an anglo saxon nation we are talking about or is this one well researched and factual?


Not much more to say.  It would be lovely to live in a world without pressure.  A world where you could do what you want the way you wanted.  But that’s not this world.

So, how are you guys doing at digging up the info on the scientists who reviewed his work?  And all the other guys who are using it?  I’m just curious since since all the work involved was vetted, and has been found to be repeatable and accurate by different scientists.

the selected quotes in that article seem to be a bunch of paranoia. These guys should know that paranoid discussions about McIntyre and apparently deep self doubts about their own work and the need (and complete failure) to erase emails was going to be a big problem if and when it all came out.

You can say the science is sound all you want but optics matter and these guys are screwing up the optics in a spectacular way.

One of desmogs favorite passtimes is to analyze the world in order to figure out why they fail and why no one agrees that AGW is a serious issue. Much of the Pro AGW media starts out on a few false premises.

1. The AGW crowd beleives that perception is reality

2. That there is no absolute truth, simply share realities or opinions

3. In the case of AGW the ends justifies the means.

As a result, science is fiddled with as well as journalism. Extreme weather is linked to AGW as well as reduced dolphin breeding, dead cats etc… The attempt is to create a perception.

The science operates in a similar manner. We don’t have the evidence so lets concentrate on what a cliamte scientist beleives. Unfortunately when they encounter someone who oeprates on the basis that their is a such thing as truth,reality trumps perception and the ends never justifies the means they get stuck. Most of the world comes from the point of view that.

A theory should prove itself in the real world rather than computer models. Someones opinion is great but back it up with evidence and please do not tell us the scientific method is too slow or cumbersome considering the grave consequences.

Climategate, contradictory natural evidence kill global warming every time no matter how many andrew revkins and micheal Manns claim to be right.