A species facing extinction.
There are many reasons why a particular species may become extinct; a better adapted one elbows them out of their own ecological niche, the debilitating effect of a new disease they have no resistance against, over-predation or quite simply, their habitat disappearing completely.
In general terms, it happens because there has been a change in their environment, which they can’t adapt to fast enough. They’ve been pushed out of their nice warm home and into the bitter cold of Winter and it’s a cruel old world out there when you’re alone and homeless in nature. It’s mercilessly red in tooth and claw, so it’s goodnight Vienna, I’m afraid.
It’s been obvious for some time, that the writing is on the wall for climate alarmism. People are just sick to death of one scare after another and that has been compounded by economic woes closer to home. Staying in work and making ends meet is the priority now, and all those green taxes are doing more to undermine the cause than anything us skeptics could ever do. When you’re struggling to pay ever spiraling power bills, you start to ask questions, and the answers emerging are really starting to piss people off. They’re beginning to realise it’s all about a bunch of fat cats lining their pockets at the expense of the ordinary person, and those cats couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the environment or pushing the small people into fuel poverty. It’s about the love of money.
A couple of opinion polls of late, put worries about a global warming end of the world right at the bottom of the common person’s concerns. That sort of nonsense, like the good times that engendered it, is now gone. It’s been back to basics for some time. With every passing day, our secret weapon, is cutting ever bigger swathes through the alarmist ranks.
If you want to sell papers or get people to visit your site, you need to bag that big scoop on a regular basis. Mostly, there aren’t that many scoops around, or at least ones you can report on, so you spice up fairly mundane stories. It’s a tendency as old as print journalism and to a large extent, the readership is aware of it and makes an appropriate allowance for it. The alternative approach is to concentrate on producing high quality articles and opinion pieces on topics, which you’ve carefully selected to attract an audience demographic of interest to your particular advertisers. It’s a slower but surer way of building up a habitual readership.
What pays the wages of journalism is advertising, and unless a significant number of people are consuming your product, that advertising moves away to a more popular provider. Your continued existence now depends on the bean counters, and they simply don’t care about how noble your intentions are. Get more readers, get more viewers or get more hits because otherwise, you’re about to become history.
If you look at the numbers for what used to be the popular alarmist websites, they’ve been heading steadily downwards for the last few years. I’ve no doubt that trend is reflected in the print and other mediums; it’s what has come to be known as climate fatigue in the news business.
The bean counters are now at work and wielding their budget chopping axes on what used to be some of the mainstream propaganda outlets for the climate alarmists.
The New York Times closed its environmental desk and probably because there wasn’t much of an outcry about that decision, within a fortnight decided to make a clean sweep and close all its environmental blogs as well. If you look, the internet numbers for their product were simply miserable anyway. Just this week, the Washington Post decided to follow suit and “redeploy” some journalists specialising on the environment, into other areas. As it happens, it was a tidy solution to more than a few nagging personnel problems. They’re all of course still totally committed to saving the planet, but not at the expense of their bottom line. It’s as graceful a retreat from what used to be a very fashionable cause as they can manage, but make no mistake, they’re all leaving the party.
Newsrooms around the world are being culled, but I think it’s significant that it’s the environmental area which is now taking the brunt of the cuts and seen as surplus to profitable requirements. It can safely be given the chop. That would have been unthinkable four or five years ago. Of course, the quasi-state television channels will continue to push the alarmist line, simply because they have no commercial pressures they’re obliged to respond to. In the long term though, that doesn’t matter in their particular case, as the advent of internet television stations will ultimately push them into extinction as well. In passing though, it’s interesting to note that the BBC have over the past few months, dispensed with the services of a number of so-called reporters, whom any reasonable person would have to class as nothing better than climate activists.
This slow demise of so-called environmental journalism is actually an act of euthanasia, a mercy killing. To my mind, it always embodied the very worst aspects of journalism. All the grubby professional sins were there; advocacy dressed up as balanced reportage, an intolerant moral arrogance, totally one-sided reporting, knee-jerk churnalism, absolutely no distinction between opinion and factual pieces, suppression of stories that didn’t square with an approved set of viewpoints, selective misinformation, hit pieces dressed up as respectable journalism directed at their pet hate figures, a crusading willingness to sacrifice truth, by both omission and commission, in the name of a higher cause and a basic dishonesty to both the reader and their profession.
The environmental niche in which such dire journalistic practices could flourish, is on the way out and they’re simply not adapting to that new situation. Beyond a large amount of denial and what frequently looks to be plain displacement activity, their solution appears to be to try and repackage the product, but that simply doesn’t address the fundamental problem – the product no longer has any mass appeal. It’s not selling. That’s the writing on the wall. Read it.
Things like Climategate, along with a cascade of other gates and a stream of failed predictions, have undermined and destroyed the credibility of the science on which the whole house of cards stood. It’s toast. Because of the easy ingrained habits of churnalism, passively reproducing press handouts and never doing much more than commenting on other people’s articles and papers, they failed in general to produce outlets publishing a steady stream of original and quality content. Their volume audience was essentially a transitory fashion demographic, and the fashion has now changed. When that happened, they lost their mass audience.
Ordinary people, struggling through the worst recession in living memory, see environmentalism as just another financial overhead they’re having to contend with. They simply haven’t got time for it any more. No time and no interest at all.
It was a type of journalism which was never really about the environment, never mind science, but rather it was about the idea of a single correct political viewpoint on any topic. It was a vital element of a failed social re-engineering project, which now lies in ruins. They rode a hysterical fashion wave far up the shore in the mistaken belief that it was somehow permanent, but that wave is now receding, never to return.
People have by now gone through the stage of tiredly shrugging off your latest efforts to continue scaring them and are just plain ignoring you by now, which is why all the cuts. You’re being culled, because the bean counters are perceptive enough to know there won’t be any blowback these days from any significant quarter.
Like all species who are no longer fit for purpose, the environmental journalist is facing extinction.
Related articles by Pointman:
The Climate Wars.