Scientific facts about climate change are consistently misrepresented by two of the most popular media outlets in the U.S., according to a scientist advocacy group.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has released a new report. Researchers analyzed how climate science was presented in two of News Corp’s biggest flagship properties, Fox News Channel and the Wall Street Journal. The report states that over a recent six-month period, Fox News misled prime-time viewers about climate science in 93 percent of the cases UCS examined — 37 of 40 instances. Meanwhile, in 39 of 48 instances in the Wall Street Journal opinion section, when climate science was addressed over a yearlong period, it was misrepresented or mocked.
Another interesting point: The only depictions of climate science in the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section that the group found legitimate were in letters from readers responding to misleading editorials and columns. That’s according to UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel who spoke at a UCS panel on media and climate science in New York last week.
The International Business Times quotes Ekwurzel. Even though UCS acknowledges that opinion pages are a place for editorialization, Ekwurzel said, “We don’t think it’s an evidence-free zone.”
The UCS report cited several examples of the Wall Street Journal or Fox News contributors dismissing climate science or mocking the field altogether. The outlets also reportedly cherry-picked scientific evidence — to undermine the fact that most scientists agree that global warming is occurring and is driven by human activity.
The International Business Times reports that while some individual scientists are skeptical about the tenets of human-driven climate change, there is a broad consensus among climatologists — 97 percent to 98 percent of them agree that climate change is occurring and that it is driven by human activity. That’s according to a 2010 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.