Neil Winton worked at Reuters for 32 years, including as their Science and Technology correspondent. Therefore when he claims that he was wrong about carbon dioxide being the cause of rising worldwide temperatures, he can't be easily discounted. Winton made this admission in Thursday's edition of The Daily Sceptic, "When I Covered Climate Change for Reuters I Thought CO2 Was Certainly to Blame for Rising Temperatures. I Was Wrong."
When I became Reuters global Science and Technology Correspondent in the mid-1990s, the global warming story was top of my agenda. Already by then the BBC was scaring us saying we would all die unless humankind mended its selfish ways. Carbon dioxide (CO2) was the culprit and had to be tamed, then eliminated. I had no reason to think this wasn’t established fact. I was wrong.
My Reuters credentials meant that I had easy access to the world’s finest climate scientists. To my amazement, none of these would say categorically that the link between CO2 and global warming, now known as climate change, was a proven scientific fact. Some said human production of CO2 was a probable cause, others that it might make some contribution; some said CO2 had no role at all. Everybody agreed that the climate had warmed over the last 10,000 years as the ice age retreated, but most weren’t really sure why. The sun’s radiation, which changes over time, was a favoured culprit.
Winton noted that media outlets lost their previous sense of at least trying to appear to be objective in their reporting on climate change:
My reporting reflected the wide range of views, with Reuters typical “on the one hand this, on the other, that” style. But even then, the mainstream media seem to have run out of the energy required, and often lazily went along with the BBC’s faulty, opinionated thesis. It was too much trouble to make the point that the BBC’s conclusion was challenged by many impressive scientists.
Fast forward 20 years and firm proof CO2 was warming the climate still hasn’t been established, but politics has taken over. Sure, there are plenty of computer models with their hidden assumptions ‘proving’ man is guilty as charged, and the assumption that we had the power and knowledge to change the climate became embedded.
Winton also pointed out one of the culprits for the media unanimity that the causes of global warming cannot be debated because the "science has been settled."
If you wonder why much of the mainstream media seem united in accepting that the world will soon die unless humans don hair shirts, freeze in winter and walk instead of driving, you need to know about websites like Covering Climate Now (CCN).
Reuters and some of the biggest names in the news like Bloomberg, Agence France Presse, CBS News, and ABC News have signed up to support CCN, which brags that it is an unbiased seeker after the truth. But this claim won’t last long if you peer behind the façade. CCN may claim to be fair and balanced, but it not only won’t tolerate criticism, it brandishes the unethical ‘denier’ weapon with its nasty holocaust denier echoes. This seeks to demonise those who disagree with it by savaging personalities and denying a hearing, rather than using debate to establish its case.
We can now expect the media to denounce Neil Winton as a "climate denier" in 5...4...3...2...