In case you were tired of wall-to-wall climate coverage regardless of whatever else is happening, Brodie Fenlon, “editor in chief and executive director of daily news for CBC News” at the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, wants you to know they plan even more, and won’t let a mere Ukraine War distract them from the menace of runaway global heating. We appreciate that if you really think people need to be warned about something then, like Churchill in the 1930s with respect to Hitler, you should keep banging on about it even in the face of massive indifference. But there is also something to be said for wondering why, if the problem is so obvious, so few people are really listening, instead of claiming you haven’t been talking about it non-stop but intend to start when in fact you can’t change your mind and won’t change the subject.
The CBC is not callous about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The piece states up-front that “As the Russian invasion of Ukraine ends its eighth week promising more bloodshed, destruction and instability, it can be difficult to focus on other stories.” And then mentions how great their coverage of it has been. “CBC News has been on the ground in and around Ukraine in significant numbers since before the invasion began on Feb. 24, and our commitment to covering this war in person, first-hand, is steadfast.” Again in case you hadn’t noticed because so few Canadians actually watch the CBC. (Despite well over $1 billion in state subsidies a year, for instance, it has far fewer subscribers than shoestring right-wing Rebel Media.) But they will continue to yell that our hair is on fire even if we don’t notice the flames in the bathroom mirror.
“Last week, the world’s top climate scientists on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we will need to dramatically cut global greenhouse gas emissions this decade beyond what nations have committed to if there’s any hope of keeping warming below 1.5 C to 2 C degrees by 2100. The report’s authors said that without action, they had ‘high confidence’ that Earth will be an average of 2.4 C to 3.5 C warmer by the end of the century, resulting in severe impacts on the planet.” Now this number is rubbish, since it relies on ECS (Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity) being very high and we smell RCP8.5 burning in the background. But in case it’s not scary enough, “We have already witnessed severe and historic weather events in Canada attributed to our changing climate.” Which again misrepresents both the science and people’s actual experience, which is that the weather is weathery as always. As a reader/viewer reminds us, for instance, a disastrous week-long hurricane hit southern England in 1703, sinking not only hundreds of ships but the Eddystone Lighthouse, which if it were to happen today would instantly be blamed on climate change though as The Week reminded readers this February “Wild weather has always caused death and destruction in Britain”.
The media and alarmists, increasingly a single category, do not seem to know about the old joke that if foreigners fail to grasp spoken English you should shout it at them. In fact most people tell pollsters they do believe in a man-made climate crisis, oh yes sir indeed. But then you ask them to pay $10 a month to stop it and they say no thanks, so they don’t really believe in it. (And why would they, we ask, as temperatures in Ottawa continue to drop below freezing in late April?)
In the case of the CBC, “As noted last year, we have made climate change a significant focus of our journalism and a priority area of coverage for our newsrooms, programs and digital platforms. Those ongoing efforts, under the banner ‘Our Changing Planet,’ will be given added emphasis this week in the lead-up to Earth Day on Friday”. Moreover, “We will soon launch a new climate page on CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app to showcase all of our related journalism. This will be an important resource for our audiences, schools and teachers across the country.”
On and on it goes, with the Fifth Estate, panel discussions for high schools, documentaries, the gas stoves of climate death, a newsletter and more documentaries because “Our goal is to be the undisputed leader of climate journalism in Canada and a trusted, reliable resource for all Canadians navigating climate-related changes to the planet. We won’t lose sight of this mission, even as other urgent, important stories demand our attention. That is our promise to you wherever you access our journalism across CBC.”
If you do, that is.