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Media Denialism of Climate Change

Ouissal Harize Ouissal Harize
5th August 2022
Media Denialism of Climate Change
Media plays a vital role in the battle against climate change (Getty).

Note: The views and opinions expressed in blog/editorial posts are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the views or opinions of Misbar.

The tardiness of international media's response to climate change and the threats it poses has been unrelentingly reproached during the past decades. The reproaches are getting harsher in tone now that people are becoming more aware of campaigns weaponizing misinformation and disinformation to deny climate change. The problem of misinformation about climate change issues has deep roots and dangerous ramifications.

Many activists have insisted that major conglomerates of energy and political lobbies are studiously working on denying climate change to safeguard their own interests, without caring about the price that planet Earth and future generations will pay.

Over the past weeks, social media users have harshly criticized the absurdity of climate change denialism and the media's complacent avoidance of highlighting the imminent dangers of climate change. 

Shocked internet users have compared several media interviews that tried to downplay this summer’s heatwaves and their relation to climate change to scenes from the film “Don’t Look Up.”

Life Imitating Art Imitating Life

Following the heatwave that hit Europe this summer 2022, social media users have aptly compared the media's endeavor to deny climate change to scenes from the film “Don't Look Up.”

Misbar's blog about the film previously highlighted the proximity between fiction and reality: “The manipulation of scientific facts by the political and media authorities, and their disregard for the crisis reflects the reality of some political authorities in our real world. Who among us has not closely monitored the U.S. election campaigns in recent years? Who among us has not heard so many discourses that weaponize false information and misleading statements? Who among us has not witnessed the candidates exploiting the powerful to finance their electoral campaigns?”

The comparison between the media’s discourse on climate change and the representation of the media’s role in the film opens our eyes to the absurdism behind climate change denialism. 

The writer and activist Dr. Charlie Gardner openly condemned the media for the role it plays in promoting climate change denialism. “Denialism is common, the media must take some responsibility for that. For decades media organisations such as Sky News, such as yourselves, have been downplaying the risks and helping ridicule environmentalists for warning us about this,” said the activist.

Now that the effects of climate change are perceptible to everyone, it is too late to deny it. The climatologist Professor Michael E. Mann uses the term “inactivists” to describe people who choose to do nothing in terms of fighting a phenomenon dangerous enough to threaten our existence as a species on Planet Earth. 

According to Professor Mann’s recent book “The New Climate War,” a lot of power, money, and influence are deployed to create and sponsor campaigns that deny climate change or thwart media’s coverage of climate change. This is first and foremost to protect the interests of conglomerates and oligarchies whose wealth is based on fossil energy. 

The Oppression of Activists Fighting Climate Change 

There have been several incidents of oppressing activists fighting climate change around the globe. Whether they are subjected to police brutality or harsh campaigns that discredit them online, climate change activists face endless hardships.

Greta Thunberg, the famous Swedish environmental activist, made it to global news by being one of the youngest and most outspoken activists. Despite her young age, Thunberg has faced vicious campaigns. In 2020, for example, a graphic illustration of a violent sexual nature was posted online to demoralize the activist. The illustration of the silhouette of a girl with two braids resembles the activist, and the word “Greta” is written across the back of the girl in the illustration. Many were enraged by the debased illustration. The activist chose to rise above the degraded attack.

A good strategy to get involved in the battle against climate change is to get familiarized with the key questions, which this blog will address.

What Is Climate Change?

Generally, climate refers to the average weather in a place over a long period of time. An increase or decrease in the average conditions of weather over time is called climate change.

We are now experiencing rapid climate change due to the use of oil, gas, and coal in homes, factories, and transportation.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main gas released when fossil fuels burn. The planet's temperature rises because gas traps the heat of the sun.

There are many other factors contributing to the climate change such as the rampant meat industry in many western countries. 

According to a 2021 article by The Guardian, “the raising and culling of animals for food is far worse for the climate than growing and processing fruits and vegetables for people to eat.”

How Is Climate Change Impacting Us?

The continuous rise in the temperature will turn many areas of the planet into uninhabitable spaces. The harsh heatwaves of the summer are making more and more people rely on air-conditioning to survive the extreme heat, which unfortunately leads to more gas emission and creates a vicious circle of unresolved problems.

Other than the heatwaves, dangerous floods also threaten the planet.

These conditions do not just affect us as humans, they also affect the fauna and flora of our planet.


What Can We Do?

First of all, it is important to push for governments to take the issue of climate change more seriously. 

There is a need for literacy about a problem that could lead to our extinction. Therefore, education is the first step to raise awareness, and most importantly, to prepare future generations to be involved in the battle against climate change. 

As individuals, people can work on improving their carbon footprint in the planet by reducing their flights, reducing their consumption of gas and energy, and getting involved with the conversation surrounding climate change. 

Checking the facts about climate change is also of key importance. Misbar has previously addressed several claims about climate change.

Misbar’s Sources


BBC News

Business Insider

Dr. Charlie Gardner

Greta Thunberg

Guardian News


New York Times Events

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Stuart Capstick 

The Guardian

The Guardian

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

United States Environmental Protection Agency

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