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Climate change deniers, as well as people who are skeptical against other forms of established science, will from now on be given much less coverage from the BBC. The move comes after the release of an independent progress report (pdf) from the BBC Trust, the governing body of the public service broadcasting network. The report criticised the BBC for giving too much airtime to unqualified people with "marginal views" on non-controversial scientific facts, such as climate change, in a misguided effort to provide impartiality and editorial balance. "The Trust wishes to emphasize the importance of attempting to establish where the weight of scientific agreement may be found and make that clear to audiences," the BBC Trust writes in the report. "Science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views but depends on the varying degree of prominence such views should be given. […] Impartiality in science coverage does not simply lie in reflecting a wide range of views," the report concludes. The report builds upon a similar review issued back in 2011 which took a closer look on the networks' accuracy and impartiality when reporting on various scientific issues. The 2011-review came to the conclusion that the BBC had an "over-rigid" approach to impartiality that often resulted in "undue attention to marginal opinion" - such as climate denialism. As a result of that review, around 200 journalists and staff members at the BBC attended various seminars and workshops intended to improve their science coverage. However, this does not mean that skeptical voices will be silenced altogether. The BBC Trust still thinks it's important that the public service broadcasting network gives coverage to dissenting opinions and to reach an ideal balance of coverage. But the viewers should from now on be able to more easily distinguish between scientific facts and opinions. "Audiences should be able to understand from the context and clarity of the BBC’s output what weight to give to critical voices," reads the report. Related: John Oliver and Bill Nye shows why climate debates are ridiculous
People's World posted a article in Business & PoliticsPresident Obama gave a de facto follow-up to his previous climate change speech on June 14, during his commencement address at the University of California-Irvine. In a bold and positive move, he called out climate change deniers, emphasized the urgency of the matter, and called on students to push the issue beyond the current partisan divide in Washington, D.C. He criticized the negative remarks made by Republicans in Congress, such as those of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who claimed that the effects of climate change, if any, were "unknowable;" and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who diverted questions on global warming and simply said he was not a scientist. "One doesn't need to be a scientist," Obama pointed out, "to act on scientific issues while in public office." The President said that when Americans were set on a course for the moon, "nobody ignored the science. I don't remember anyone saying that the moon wasn't there or that it was made of cheese. Today's Congress, though, is full of folks who stubbornly and automatically reject the scientific evidence about climate change. They will tell you it's a hoax, or a fad. There are some who also duck the question. They say, 'Hey, look, I'm not a scientist.' And I'll translate that for you: what that really means is, 'I know that climate change is happening, but if I admit it, I'll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate change is a liberal plot, so I'm not going to admit it.'" Vox writer Ezra Klein said the speech was a diverse one in that it "was about more than just the Republican Party. It was an impassioned case for why climate action is necessary. And it was, politically, a speech that showed Obama is done trying to convince Republicans to work with him on climate change and has moved on to trying to convince the public - and in particular, the next generation of American voters." Obama is indeed clearly trying to work with young environmentalists, as evident by his remarks: "People are [too busy] thinking about politics instead of thinking about what's good for the next generation. The reason I'm telling you this is because I want to light a fire under you. As the generation getting shortchanged by inaction on this issue, I want all of you to understand you cannot accept that this is the way it has to be. You're going to have to push those in power to do what this American moment demands. You've got to educate your classmates, colleagues, family members, and fellow citizens, and tell them what's at stake. You've got to push back against the misinformation and speak out for facts." Ben Adler, Grist.org writer, pointed out that Obama's act of reaching out to the new generation is a smart move. He said, "Republicans will never embrace climate action just because most people passively support it, or because environmentalists ardently do, but young people could entice them. The millennial generation is growing in electoral strength, leaning heavily Democratic but showing signs of disappointment with the Democrats. If young voters really did show elected officials that support for climate change is a prerequisite for their votes, Republicans might eventually take notice." "I'm not a scientist either," said the President. "But we've got some really good ones at NASA. I do know that the overwhelming majority of scientists who work on climate change, including some who once disputed the data, have since put that debate to rest." It's time, he concluded, "to invest in what helps and divest in what harms. We have to realize that climate change is no longer a distant threat. It has moved firmly into the present." This article was originally published in People's World by Blake Deppe.
Simon Leufstedt posted a article in Business & PoliticsNorway, a rich country in Scandinavia (in northern Europe) with a population of almost five million people enjoy the second highest GDP per-capita (after Luxembourg) and third highest GDP (PPP) per-capita in the world, and has maintained first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001-2006). Most of the wealth comes from large fields of natural resources such as oil and gas. Norway is the third largest exporter of oil and gas worldwide. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia export more oil than Norway. In 2006, oil and gas accounted for 58% of all the services and products exported. Ah yes, Norway is one of the few countries that are generating huge amounts of money on the continuation of global warming. While it's probably true that most people in Norway feel a bit ashamed about this fact the second largest political party (as of the 2005 parliamentary elections) in Norway, the Fremskrittspartiet (shortly translated to the "progress party"), wants to gain more votes by downplaying the severity of climate change. All the other major political parties in Norway acknowledge the severity of man-made climate change and have unanimously decided on tougher actions against climate change. So why would a sane political party go against all trustworthy scientific reports you might ask? Well, what would you expect from a conservative political party like Fremskrittspartiet. A political party that advocates free market economics and deregulation of the economy, stricter limits on immigration, closer cooperation with NATO, United States and Israel in foreign policy and less state aid to developing countries. One of Fremskrittspartiet's goals is to limit immigration to 100 people per year (Source: Dagens Nyheter 11/4/2008). They especially want to stop Muslims, illiterate and poor people from coming to Norway. The party leader Siv Jensen believes that by denying global warming the Fremskrittspartiet will attract more voters from the other political parties in Norway and might have a chance to win the coming election from the current red-green government. By educating 1000 party members to confront the "exaggerated" public and scientific opinion about climate change and to use chosen "scientists" in the election campaign Siv Jensen hopes to profile Fremskrittspartiet as the "deviant and sane voice" in Norwegian politics.