Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Possibly Get Any Sleazier, the Return of Climate Porn, WMO Style

Plus Obama’s Name-and-Shame Deal in a Different Light

Climate Porn is the title of a February 21, 2007 article in Cosmos Magazine authored by Tom Lowe.  He writes:

By doing what they do best, the media have taken hold of the climate change debate and placed it firmly in the public and political psyche. However, its predominantly gloomy spin does not appear to have had a significant affect on our day-to-day behaviour; for the majority of people it’s business as usual.

The alarming way in which climate change is presented to the public was referred to recently by a leading U.K. think-tank as ‘climate porn’. It has been described as unreliable at best and counter-productive at worst.

There are a number of papers on the counterproductive effects of promoting climate-related agendas with climate porn.  And these are not papers written by skeptics. They’re by true-blue believers in the hazards of human-induced global warming.  The abstract of Lowe (2006) Is this climate porn? How does climate change communication affect our perceptions and behaviour? reads:

There is growing concern that the social construction of the issue of climate change and its amplification by normative communication channels may be acting to distance or even remove much of the lay public from a point at which they feel they can take action. This paper discusses the extent to which such representations are imbued by the public psyche and, importantly, the extent to which such messages are likely to effect behavioural change. Evidence is presented from a controlled experiment which explores whether a filmic experience may promote a greater individual reaction to the potential dangers from climate change than simply reading a compendium of scientific information detailing the causes and potential effects of human induced climate change. Results suggest that although the public harbours deep concerns about the effect climate change is having or may have, there is a disconnect between this and the actual sacrifices we are willing to make. Popular reporting of climate change in the style of environmental ‘science fiction’ appears not to be a catalyst for change; rather it creates a nagging concern, the solution to which is felt to be beyond the reach of the ordinary person.

Under the heading of Alarmism, Ereaut and Segnit (2006) write in Warm Words – How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better? (My brackets and boldface):

The difficulty with it [alarmism] is that the scale of the problem as it is shown excludes the possibility of real action or agency by the reader or viewer. It contains an implicit counsel of despair – ‘the problem is just too big for us to take on’. Its sensationalism and connection with the unreality of Hollywood films also distances people from the issue. In this awesome form, alarmism might even become secretly thrilling – effectively a form of ‘climate porn’. It also positions climate change as yet another apocalyptic construction that is perhaps a figment of our cultural imaginations, further undermining its ability to help bring about action.

And what has the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently revived?  Yup, you guessed it.  Climate porn, in the form of alarmist “weather reports from the future”.  Remarkable!!  See the WMO webpage How will climate change impact our weather in the year 2050? Watch “weather reports from the future”.

Anthony Watts reported on this a few days ago with his post UN/WMO Propaganda Stunt: climate fantasy forecasts of hell on Earth from the future, and Donna Laframboise has authored The WMO’s Macabre Climate Fiction, which is also well worth a read.  The subtitle of her post is:

“Rather than persuading us with reason and logic, the World Meteorological Organization is making stuff up”.

To add further insult to everyone’s (almost everyone’s) intelligence, by their own admission, the WMO has created that series of climate porn YouTube “commercials”—or as Anthony Watts termed them “propaganda stunts”—to promote the UN Climate Summit later this month.   And the videos are just a couple minutes long, like alarmist flashing.

About 8 years ago it was determined that climate porn like the WMO’s “weather reports from the future” was counterproductive. Yet, the meteorological arm of the United Nations has chosen to produce a series of 22 climate porn videos.

With the United Nations’ past failures at establishing a new climate accord, they’ve ramped up their levels of futility and desperation.

Congratulations to the WMO.  You’ve now entered the realm of purveyors of sleazy climate porn.

# # #

Speaking of futility and desperation, look at what the United States is planning to bring to the global-warming negotiations table.  According to the New York Times online article Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty (My boldface):

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions.

Naming and shaming?   To my mind, that immediately brought images of childish schoolyard bullying.

Here, let me show you.

It’s well known that the greatest growth in greenhouse gas emissions has come from developing nations, not developed nations. My Figure 1 compares the CO2 emissions (1975 to 2013) of “developed nations” (Australia, Canada, all of Europe and Eurasia, Japan, New Zealand and United States) to those of all other nations, which we’ll encompass under “developing nations”. The data are from the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2014.

CO2 Emissions Developed v Developing

Figure 1

Clearly, developing nations are responsible for vast majority in the growth in CO2 emissions. So, to put the childish name-and-shame schoolyard bullying into a different light, it’s like high-school bullies from affluent families verbally disparaging the kindergarteners of the disadvantaged…the disadvantaged who are endeavoring to work their way out of poverty.  Apparently, the Obama administration’s climate negotiators are regressing into affluent bullies.  The U.S. climate negotiators have reached rock bottom in their attempts to promote an agenda.

Climate Negotiator 1: Hey, look at those people living in huts.  They cook over dung fires inside those huts, burning crap and breathing the smoke. 

Climate Negotiator 2: Ooh, that can’t be too good for them.

Climate Negotiator 1: It’s not.  Something like 4 million people die annually from indoor air pollution. But now they want electricity, and they want it from something cheap like coal, something that supplies them with continuous electricity…not that on-again, off-again high-cost electricity from solar panels.  What are we gonna do?

Climate Negotiator 2: I’ve got an idea.  Let’s name them and shame them.

They’ve reached new levels of absurdity.

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About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in Alarmism. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Just When You Thought It Couldn’t Possibly Get Any Sleazier, the Return of Climate Porn, WMO Style

  1. Bob Tisdale says:

    Oops. Added a couple of hyperlinks.

  2. Thanks, Bob.
    I like science-fiction, is WMO any good?

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