Monday, February 6, 2012

No news is good news

Readers of Klimazweibel might be interested in the posting at the following link concerning declining attention to climate change in the media.

As one person commented, it is likely because the media is supposed to report news, hence they are just doing their job.


Hans von Storch said...

This decline in public interest is consistent with my own experience - there is considerably less inquiry from media and less demand for public presentations. This goes along with heightened interest in skeptical positions.

Futile claims in the media that the warm regional winter (until recently) would be due to El Nino, and the present regional cold caused by lack of sea ice last summer do not help to improve the reputation of climate science.

All this may be a sign that climate science is moving back to more normal (less post-normal) conditions: the public market place of knowledge claims and political agendas becomes less important in doing climate science. Decisions seem to be less urgent - since they are unavailable, not since they are not needed.

Reiner Grundmann said...

According to my own research media attention has fallen but is still at levels of 2005-6. This level is much higher compared to the period 1988-2004. We saw two peaks in 2007 and 2009 which are unique and not sustainable. But we may see new peaks (perhaps not as high as 2007 and 2009) during special events, such as Rio +20 or the release of the 5th IPCC report.

I am not sure if this lower media attention makes climate science now a normal science again. Much depends on who defines what "urgent" means. Many scientists think the issue is urgent and will try everything to keep it in the news.

Hans von Storch said...

I agree, Reiner - climate science is still operating in a strongly post-normal milieu. But it may be "moving back to more normal (less post-normal) conditions". Maybe a good opportunity of STS-folk (STS = Science, technology and society studies) for studying a case of shrinking post-normality, in which, I would presume, resistance from vested interests (also, but not only among involved scientists) are normal.

But, maybe, it is just an intermittent downturn in an ongoing sequence of attention cycles, which has been recorded by Gallup for the US public since 1990.

Dennis Bray said...


There are other institutes besides science institutes now shaping the issue with a considerable vested interest in maintaining the staus quo. There are many institutes that exist soley to spread the word. Maybe part of the post normal whatever is a shift away from the authority of science (which it is)towards the morally based opinion of sages. Has science lost control of its own project? More to the point, does public opinion even matter? And if so, how?

Dennis Bray said...

The art of mainting the status quo

itisi69 said...

Less interest in the MSM for climate change? Don't think so....:

And what about "Die kalte Sonne", Herr Dr. Von Storch?

itisi69 said...

Or in this MSM articel:

Methinks...lots of news is good news?