Ministry of Truth: The Guardian and the Orwellian Language of Global Warming

There’s a short piece in today’s Guardian that perfectly illustrates the Orwellian influence of the global warming scare on everyday journalism and language. The article itself is a minor, inside-page piece, but it is worthy of note for the way it demonstrates the degradation of journalism and even language under the influence of the global warming lobby.

Britain is already experiencing yet another bitterly cold and snowy winter, the latest in an continuing series of arctic winters which have made a mockery of alarmists predictions that global warming would mean mild winters and no snow in Britain (we all remember the headline about snow in Britain being a thing of the past).

But rather than set the article on the latest cold winter within the context of increasingly cold and snowy winters, or instead simply reporting the bald facts, The Guardian shows the extent to which the Orwellian double-think of global warming propaganda influences the language of everyday reporting.

Readers are told that the snow and cold weather of another arctic winter is a “cold snap” rather than part of a trend and is due to gales from Scandinavia or Siberia (as though all other weather is home-made, and it’s only freakish cold weather that is blown in from elsewhere).

Consider, for a moment, the lead-in to the Guardian article:

The cold snap gripping Europe shows no sign of letting up as the UK braces for snow next week.

Overnight frosts will continue throughout next week, with increasingly wintry showers turning from sleet into snow.

UK Braces for More Snow as Cold Snap Continues

Readers are told the bitter cold is a “snap” – implying an extremely short-lived phenomenon. They then have to struggle to accommodate the cognitive dissonance of an extremely short-lived event that is “gripping” Europe and “shows no signs of letting up”. We are given the truly bizarre and contradictory statement that “Overnight frosts will continue throughout next week”! Worthy of the Ministry of Truth indeed.

The point to this is that one minor news article is of no real importance; but it demonstrates an extremely important point – the extent to which journalists today are locked into the meme of global warming and report from the assumption that the theory is correct and the facts must be made to fit. It is the very definition of Doublespeak.

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18 responses to “Ministry of Truth: The Guardian and the Orwellian Language of Global Warming

  1. I used to buy and read the Grauniad up to a decade or so ago. It was renowned for detailed, analytical and comprehensive reporting, At least on any topic remotely “green” it is no longer so. Sometimes its reports are so full of crap that I can’t even bring myself to finish reading one, so I generally don’t bother to even begin reading. Often the article’s title tells you all you need to know and to avoid it.

    Some statements are so way out that even its most ardent sycophants issue a mild rebuke in the comments. However, the Telegraph and the Mail are prone to exaggeration over weather; recently the former reported that “Large areas of the UK were covered by snow”. In fact it was most of Scotland and the northern Pennines – hardly unusual at this time of year, which is apparently called winter and exhibits much lower temperatures than the rest of year (who’da thought it? The latter (I always think of the Daily Mail as “the latter”) reported a week or more ago that “Blizzards lash the UK”, implying much, if not all of this glorious realm. They weren’t blizzards (no high winds evident anywhere), and it wasn’t the whole UK but Scotland, hills in the West Country, and East Anglia had a light dusting. They included a pic of a Somerset village “blanketed by heavy snow” which clearly showed the roadside kerbs rising inches above that “heavy snow”. Perhaps the lack of depth is explained by the appearance of some new denser version created by climate change.

    A local Luton rag reported huffily a few days ago that forecasts were for “light snow”, but that they’d gotten a WHOLE INCH of the stuff. Another inch and it’d have been reported as “heavy snow” in the Mail.

    I do agree with you though – I just read a report (may blog on it) on how decreasing snowfall was severely reducing business in ski resorts “across America”. I thought I’d Google a skiing-conditions site, and found little evidence of decreased snowfall, at least at the start of this season. If the quoted 80″ at several resorts is “decreased snowfall” early in the season, what did those sites get in the past, I wonder?

  2. I’m not sure about this. I’m old enough to remember a time before global warming, and journalistically a cold period with snow was always described as a ‘snap’. So I think this is just a perpetuation of newspaper shorthand rather than a reasoned attempt to promote a warming agenda.

  3. For me, I understand how our mainstream media friends’ personality type would steer them into the direction of Doublespeak, which probably sounds logical in their small circles, but that is precisely why it looks inexplicably suicidal to the rest of us – all it takes is for a larger number of us to ask critical questions based on irrefutable reasoning to prompt ever growing numbers of otherwise disinterested people to say “Oh, wow, why did that reporter just drive off a cliff with that assertion?”

    That is their mistake, to assume the public is not smart enough to think for themselves and ask tough questions. I cannot begin to fathom what brings on such perceptions by the MSM. But the MSM has gotten so used to chanting their chants without opposition that I believe they will crumble to dust when anyone actually challenges them in the toughest, most public way possible, not much different that what happens in this classic clip:

    AGW, as I’ve said in a few of my various writings, appears every bit to be a ponzi scheme based on constant infusions of false media information about its science claims and constant infusions of corruption accusations and/or other character assassinations of its critics. If enough people grasp that, no amount of salvaging by the MSM can then save the issue, so the only way they can save face is by turning on each other in a pathetic effort to justify how they could have fallen for such a scam.

  4. It’s interesting to look back and recall what sort of future UK climate was generally being predicted in the media 5-10 years ago. After the heatwave of 2003, for instance, there were plenty of headlines like this one from the BBC in 2004 (“Europe heatwaves ‘soon routine’”, although the article itself is a little more nuanced):

    And there were also the mild winters. Here’s the Guardian in 2004: “With the pace of global warming increasing, some climate change experts predict that the Scottish ski industry will cease to exist within 20 years.”:

    Now there have been a number of years without a major heatwave in the UK to rival 2003, with cooler, very rainy summers and with some colder than average winters. The narrative has changed, to compensate for this, with the melting of Arctic ice being (rather conveniently) blamed for colder summers and winters (hence recent Guardian articles with such titles as “Arctic sea ice melt ‘may bring harsh winter to Europe’” and “Global warming could make washout UK summers the norm, study warns” – with the latter article asserting that scientists “have established a clear link between shrinking Arctic ice and extreme weather in lower latitudes”).

    Yesterday’s “new norm” thus fades from view and a new “new norm” takes its place…

    • Thanks for taking the time to remind us of those articles, Alex. Very much appreciate it. Think i will revisit some of those articles soon in a blog piece. Will use these if you don’t mind!

      • Oh yes: all those articles about summers getting hotter and dryer, to the point where only mediterranean garden plantings would survive.
        Searching newspapers’ online archives uncovers no end of artist’s impressions, National Trust press releases, and water boards doom-mongering.
        I remember seeing regularly, at the Malvern Show, a stand for Severn Trent water plugging the storyline about how we should plant low-water gardens.
        Problem was, the stand was the other side of an area of grass (or, as people would commonly call it, liquid mud) and the public seemed unwilling to wade across with their umbrellas to read of the impending watering crisis. Over several years, the cognitive dissonance seems to have eventually discouraged that particular theme..

    • This is another version of “shoot an arrow into the air and where it lands call it the target”. When we were getting warmer winters, the models apparently predicted (sorry projected) that. Now we’re told our string of colder winters was “projected” all along – we must have misunderstood somewhere along the way. When Antarctic land ice was melting (actually just on the peninsula, part of which is outside the Antarctic circle) we were informed it applied to the whole of the continent, and sea-ice would follow suit. Now it’s clear sea-ice hasn’t slavishly followed the “projections”, we’re told that the models “projected” that all along – we must have misunderstood somewhere along the way. Somewhere along the way more people have become mistrustful and some downright sceptical of the ever-changing “projections” which seem to subtly morph into whatever the climate or even weather is currently doing – all on its own with no intervention from anyone or anything. Random archery is the “new norm”.

  5. The Grauniad must be keeping an eye on this blog. They’ve now flipped to the other extreme: “Arctic conditions to persist across UK until Thursday”

    They have a somewhat frosty pic – “A dog walker makes her way through Ashton Court estate in Bristol, where temperatures dipped to -3C”. Their idea of what constitutes “Arctic conditions” needs an update I’d say, though it fits in with their total acceptance of “Global Warming” and our role in it. I understand the Arctic is going through a “cold snap” at the moment. Anyone who believes it’s “warming at a faster rate than anywhere else” is welcome to attempt a visit right now. Take a sealskin coat if you’re planning to watch out for the ever-dwindling remnants of the polar bear population. It’ll keep you warm, until you actually encounter a bear.

    I’ve lost count of the number of places and regions that are “warming at a faster rate than anywhere else”. I should start a site like NumberWatch to list them. Any suggestions for a name? I thought CanaryWatch has the right connotations.

  6. It is still obvious that the 13-month running average in Roy Spencer’s November plot has been declining since 1998. This is totally as would be expected due to a roughly sinusoidal superimposed 60 year natural cycle, for which there is now compelling evidence. See for example, the linked references to such in my current paper about planetary surface temperatures, which is on the PROM* system at PSI for a month or so.

    When you remove the effect of the 60 year cycle (with, for example, a trend for a 60 year running average) you get down to analysing the underlying long term trend which has periodicity of about 1,000 years, maybe a bit longer. This was the cause of fairly regular warming periods observed for at least the last 7,000 years, the most recent being the Roman and the Medieval W.P. which have both now been confirmed to have been worldwide and at similar temperatures to the present.

    There is however still a slight incline in this long term natural cycle. About 100 years ago the mean rate of increase was around 0.06 C/decade, whereas in recent times it has declined, but only to about 0.05 C/decade. If it is also roughly sinusoidal we should see a maximum in about 200 years, probably less than 0.8 degree above the current trend. But of course, after that there would be 500 to 600 years of long term cooling, even though the superimposed 60 year cycle will continue to cause some alarm each time it rises for 30 years, as happened from around 1970.

    Again, there is now compelling evidence that these natural cycles are the only “forcing” for our climate. There are links to evidence in my paper, and even to some evidence that the cycles are in some way controlled by planetary orbits, which makes sense because such orbits are the only “timing mechanisms” of such long duration in our solar system.

    The reasons why carbon dioxide has no effect are explained in a radically new way in my paper. Nowhere else have I seen the hypothesis which brings together evidence from different sources into what I consider a cogent argument for a completely different explanation of planetary surface temperatures, not to be found elsewhere to the best of my knowledge. Yes, parts of the explanation are elsewhere, but it has not hitherto been coordinated to give an explanation based on correct physics.

    For example, I contend that there is no other valid explanation for the surface temperature on the planet Venus. That surface receives less than 10% of the amount of Solar radiation which we receive on Earth’s surface. It’s not correct to assume that the CO2 atmosphere caused a massive GHE, because the surface could not have been heated in the first place to over 700K with so little energy being received through the thick and dense atmosphere. Nor was it heated by radiation from what is still an atmosphere that is at much lower temperatures, less than 230K at an altitude of 50Km, for example.

    Until people come to grips with what I believe to be the correct physical mechanism which produced (and maintains) the temperature of the Venus surface, they will never correctly understand what is the same process working on Earth, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – all the planets in our solar system with qualifying atmospheres.

    As I have said, the paper is up for worldwide open review on the PROM* system at Principia Scientific International. It has already been reviewed by several of our 150 members, but if you wish to submit any comments, criticism, rebuttal or support, you may do so through our CEO John O’Sullivan or our Chairman, Dr Timothy Ball, a retired professor of climatology. You may also contact me via the email address on my website which opens when you click my name above.

    However, I will only respond to those who have clearly read and understood the whole paper, whether or not they agree with the conclusions reached.

    (*Peer Review in Open Media.)

  7. Now that the leaked IPCC Draft Report for 2013 indicates something of a backdown, you may be interested in my climate analysis and projections as in Appendix 1 of my paper published March 2012. You will need to open it to see the graphics and supporting links, but the text reads …

    Q.1 How do you explain the fact that the Earth has been warming?

    Technically the Earth is currently in an interglacial period and the last few glacial periods have occurred at roughly 100,000 year intervals. This indicates the possibility of there being natural cycles, short and long, which appear to be related to astronomical orbital events. For example, the planet Jupiter has an effect on the eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit in such a way that the difference in the distances between the Sun and the Earth at the aphelion and perihelion can vary (over many thousands of years) from just over 0% when its orbit is nearly a true circle, up to about 5% when it is elliptical. Such variations affect the mean distance and that will then affect the mean radiative flux over the course of a year.

    Many scientists also believe there is clear evidence of a 60-year cycle which may be related to the alignment of the planets Jupiter and Saturn every 59.6 years. This cycle appears to have been the main cause of the observed temperature increases which raised alarm in the 30 years or so leading up to the maximum in 1998. However, there is also a longer cycle which appears to be very approximately 1,000 years. The underlying trend in the rate of ncrease can be detected when a trend line is added to the plot below (from this site) which shows 30 year trend gradients.

    It appears that the mean rate of increase per decade has decreased from about 0.06oC early in the 20th century to about 0.05oC per decade in recent times, as you can see from the green trend line. Perhaps the 1,000 year trend will reach a maximum in the next 100 to 200 years and be 0.5 to 1.0oC warmer than at present. So natural trends can and do explain the historic climate record, right up to the current slight decline which is probably due to the 60 year cycle declining, but being mostly countered by the underlying upward trend of the 1,000 year cycle.

    You will find an explanation in my new paper linked here.

    • Why don’t you start your own blog Doug? Is it because you prefer to hijack others’ threads and get the visibility? Why did you ignore my question on TallBloke’s blog (thread now closed). It was:

      Doug Cotton says:
      November 16, 2012 at 12:39 am
      In Maxwell’s Theory of Heat on pages 244 & 245 he describes how a gas only absorbs radiation when it is cooler than the emitter.

      Where precisely on those two pages does he say that?

  8. Pingback: The Last Bureaucrat (Part 2) « Excursions Into Imagination

  9. The IPCC is in chaos because their “concept” of the physics of planetary atmospheres is seriously flawed. For example, they cannot possibly use their “School of Thought” to explain Venus surface temperatures, where the surface receives less than 10% of the insolation reaching Earth’s surface.

    The small amount of solar energy absorbed by the Venus surface would very easily exit the surface the next night by conduction (diffusion) and radiation. Then, when this small amount of energy is back in the atmosphere there is plenty of carbon dioxide to radiate it away. There is absolutely no possible way by which such energy would be trapped in the surface and somehow add hundreds of degrees. The problem is, if you follow the “First School of Thought” (the IPCC bluff) then you are at a complete loss to explain Venus temperatures, because, if you think like the IPCC it is because you have been subjected to Ignorant Promulgation of Chaotic Consensus.” You need a paradigm shift to the “Second School of Thinking” in my paper.

    Please respond to this comment on another thread..

  10. There’s a great example of the way the old “new norm” of warmer winters used to be reported, in a classic edition of BBC’s “One Planet” programme in 2007.

    The audio is saved here in the Internet Archive:

    Also, I’ve saved a transcript of the entire programme here:

    A belated Merry Xmas to Haunting the Library and commentators – hope everyone’s had a good one!

    • Hi Alex, been so busy with my own (non-climate related) research and visiting family and everything i’ve neglected the blog. A (very!) belated Christmas to you, and once again i stand in awe of your research and archiving skills. Will certainly make use of this. Many thanks! :)

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