prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

Global Warming’s PR Problem

Posted by prof e on March 31, 2010

Forgive me for stating the obvious, but global warming (aka climate change) is a divisive issue. Amongst scientific theories it ranks right up there with the origin of human life as a topic on which scientists, and non-scientists, hold strongly to contrasting positions. Global warming evangelists, think Al Gore, have made a career espousing the dire consequences of ignoring the obvious fact that the earth is getting warmer. Melting polar ice caps and the resulting inundation of coastal regions, increasingly violent weather, and the inability of the world to feed itself are just a few of the consequences of standing by while the earth as we know it self-destructs.

One the other side are a few climatologists who are skeptical not so much of the gradual warming of the earth but of the causes of the warming. They also question the apocalyptic tone of those who are leading the charge to do something now to change our course.

But the bigger problem (in the eyes of Al Gore and friends) may be the growing skepticism of the American public about the claims of global warming. Why are American’s so skeptical about something that is very complex and difficult to understand? Perhaps it is the perception that those advocating for programs to address global warming are motivated by political concerns. Recent cap and trade legislation has been pushed by democratic members of congress but appears to be stalled by a lack of Republican support in the Senate.

Skepticism can also be tied to recent revelations of cover-ups, manipulation of data, and other unethical behavior on the part of global warming advocates. The release of incriminating emails and other documents suggests that even climatologists can be compromised when they commit to a position before all the evidence is in.

A recent article in the NY Times suggests yet another reason for a skeptical public. Meteorologists, aka weather forecasters, are frequently speaking out in opposition to the climate scientists’ dire predictions of global warming. According to the Times,

A study released on Monday by researchers at George Mason University and the University of Texas at Austin found that only about half of the 571 television weather-casters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and fewer than a third believed that climate change was “caused mostly by human activities.”More than a quarter of the weather-casters in the survey agreed with the statement “Global warming is a scam,” the researchers found.

Since local news weather forecasters are often seen as a credible source of information about weather-related issues, this difference between climate scientists and meteorologists poses a serious PR problem for those who want to convince the public that not only is global warming real, but that steps need to be taken now to avert disaster in the future.

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18 Responses to “Global Warming’s PR Problem”

  1. Labrittany Coleman said

    What is the worl coming to?Maybe back in 2007 -2008 i renmember that global warming was taking a big tole in america,but never thought it would come back this hard. People say the world is goijg to burn up which i dont think that, but i know it will come to disaster. When it comes to watching the weather channel reporters we as the people are definitley going to look to them for the weather and whats its going to be that next day, because that’s a credible source about the weather. I dont think that the whole global warming issue is a scam, i just think people dont have there infromation right and there getting there research from the wrong place.

  2. Johnathen Vigil said

    I think that “Global Warmiing” is happing but not just because of human activity. I have seen research stating that a warming and freezing of the earth is earth’s natural pattern. That the ice ages that earth went though was a natraul thing because earth had wrmed up and then an ice age hit. I think this will happen over and over because it is a pattern. So if what I belive is right than we are due for another ice age.

  3. Quaneisha Collins said

    Global Warming this is an issue that everyone needs to come to terms with. This is very serious and will countinue to be that way until people acknowledge that there is something wrong.Scientist have done the research and have found dramatic results that seem like they would convince any person with a little bit of common sense.If this is so then what is the problem, why aren’t people tyring to change? Peoeple are not trying to except it because they feel as if it will go away eventually, or if enough people do the right thing not including themselves it will get better. The reality is that it is not getting better because not enough people are doing the right thing, and the media is not doing their part to help everyone either. The media should be giving the facts unbaisly, so that at least everyone would know the truth. But instead of them giving the correct information, effectivly they rather keep it hidden so that people will continue to be in the dark. I do not think that it is only human activites that caused the warming to spiral out of control, but human had gave a helping hand in most of the destruction. Once people get to a point where there can be nothing else done to help the warming to slow down or stop it is going to be to late.

  4. eric santarelli said

    The main problem with “Global warming” is more on “Global Stupidity”. If you listen only to your Weatherman on weather issues you wont believe your own eyes. Weatherman said it would be 30 degrees, when its over 90 who are you going to believe? What It comes down to is people need to do their own looking, their own thinking, something America doesn’t do often. Americans are always looking for someone to tell them what to think. Global warming is a problem whether its human made or not, and Its always good to use our resources wisely. The world has finite resources, we will run out, so why not conserve?

  5. Kameron Wilhite said

    Global Warming is happening and it is a big issue going on, but I do think that they are making it bigger than it is right now. People like Al Gore are trying to scare people and make them take action now, but there is research stating that freezing and warming happen all the time it is just the earths patterns. Do I think global warming is a scam? No not at all but I do think that Al Gore is making some people believe that by trying to scare everyone. I don’t think that global warming is just happening because of human activity but we are fueling the fire by releasing so much toxic chemicals into the air and thats not helping. But no one really knows that much about global warming in my opinion because if they did they would have invented all kinds of new things to prevent us from adding to the problem. I also think that if it was such a big deal then the weather channel would tell us about it everyday and try to tell Americans what they can do to help the situation.

  6. Greg Morrell said

    When it comes on what to believe about global warming, I’m as decided about it as gay marriage and abortion, which I am very undecided about. They are touchy subjects and are hard to agree with one side or the other because there are so many activists for each side that makes good arguments. Global warming is a very scientific and difficult theory to understand for most of us average Americans. What I do believe though is that we are burning up resources and our world will eventually have something very bad happen to it, but in my eyes it’s not global warming because too much evidence and too many credible people don’t believe in it, and I’m going to believe credible sources over skeptics like Al Gore.

  7. Angelina Arriaga-Lucero said

    Global Warming’s PR Problem

    I strongly believe that Earth’s global warming issues are far from a scam. It is obvious that the Earth is going through dramatic changes. However, people involved with the news and the government are not saying much because they do not want citizens to panic. Yes, the Earth goes through many changes frequently and has been going through its cycles for millions of years. However, people do need to start taking care of their environment. There is a major lack of respect and appreciation from people who live on this planet. Some things people could do to help is: recycle, get their vehicle smog checked, don’t litter, just be clean with yourself and your surroundings. It’s not that difficult and it could really make a difference. It is sad to see the tragic natural disasters occur and see animal’s and people’s lives change because of it. Hopefully, the Earth will eventually balance itself out without causing a total, worldwide hysteria. Also, I hope that at least a few people are getting the message that pollution just makes things worse, and they have opportunities to make a difference.

  8. Gina Ortega said

    I believe that global warming will happen one day, but I do think that it is blown out of proportion. Like the article stated who is more reliable the meteorologist and climate scientist, or skeptics like Al Gore. I think that if it were as serious as some people think more people would be aware of it and how to prevent it. I do think that it could happend but I don’t believe it will happen anytime soon.

  9. Patrick Carey said

    I believe that global warming is a real problem and not just a scam, with how many people we have on this planet and all the things that they do to the planet it has to have some kind of effect on our planet. I think that people are ignorant and stubborn and don’t want to believe that there is something happening to our planet so they choose just not to believe it. With the increase in climate change these last several years it makes me believe that global warming is real.

  10. Nick Bertaud said

    I don’t see how global warming could be a scam. who would make money? Global warming is pretty much a fact and i don’t understand why someone would deny it. Ice chunks the size of state of New York have fallen off which shows that the climate clearly is shifting. People pollute the earth a lot everyday so we have to take responsibility for our actions and think of a plan how to stop it. The disturbing thing is people don’t seem to care about it if they don’t believe it’s going to kill us. Does it have to be a potential catastrophic disaster for there to be any action taken? We need to act now while the effects are manageable and before it gets out of hand.

  11. Angel Smith said

    The earth is just going through a natural cycle I feel. If we look back in history and observe weather patterns, the earth warms and freezes in a cycle so what is occurring now is normal. But i could be wrong… who really knows?

  12. Lisa Hughes said

    Global warming is a way to get people’s attention and make them concerned. Al Gore has made a living becoming a spokes person for it and still is shaky in answering the questions of it. This is because it is used as a scam instead of looking at the statistical data. People need something to worry and be riled up and do not even look into the facts of the issue and make an educated decision for themselves. They look to people like Al Gore to do it for him and when he is mistaken or wrong the people suffer from it. By taking the time to educate themselves they could learn what global warming actually is and stop the overwhelming rant on the issue.

  13. Dalton Ries said

    Global warming’s PR problem is they do not have uniformity all the way through their experts, those that are presenting the weather should believe in global warming since they are around it every day. yet if experts that we trust with our weather information believe it is a scam, then what are we to believe? the experts are experts for a reason who are we to not believe them on a topic they dedicated their life to?

  14. LeeAnn Miller said

    Global Warming is a huge issue for today’s societies this issue affects all aspect of media in a way of a big controversy. Due to the affects of the world at hand, and how this also affects our human race. This is a large issue not only due to humans but the world’s atmospheres and the biological effects on Mother Nature. The earth is getting warming and polar ice caps are melting this is resulting in inundation of coastal regions this is causing very violent weather. This is a main issue and should not be taken lightly, and seen that the world will self destruct due to this if it is not taken care of.

  15. Len Marks said

    The earth is just going through a natural cycle I feel. If we look back in history and observe weather patterns, the earth warms and freezes in a cycle so what is occurring now is normal.

    I agree with this premise, Please visit my blog and leave a comment

    Len Marks
    <a href="http://peppercornpages.com/global_warming&quot;

  16. Dom Harris said

    Global warming is obvious. We don’t take care of our earth enough to care about the long term affects we do on our earth. People might say it’s a natural cycle but how would we know what a natural cycle is?

  17. PR články…

    […]Global Warming’s PR Problem « prof. e.[…]…

  18. Deontrae Cooper said

    global warming is a pretty big issue… i often wonder if it still takes place. most people underestimate how the world operates, we all need to take the time in figure out.

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