There’s been some interesting articles around recently about the level of anti-environemntal propaganda in the UK media. The most noticeable concerns BBC’s Top Gear, which is currently being sued by electrical car manufacturer Tesla for faking it’s on-screen failures. It’s up to its old tricks with the Nissan LEAF:
The latest ‘EV bashing’ stunt was to set off for a drive in the Nissan LEAF and then run it out of energy, as well, so they have to again push it, idling their time making rubbings of Lincoln Cathedral…
Well, Mr. Clarkson and his minions might have gotten away with their little stunt in Lincolnshire, but for one little hiccup. Nissan was watching the whole time. No they weren’t tagging along literally, but they were there virtually through their CarWings telematic services, which shares data on the car through wireless networks. [See typical display readout below].
While CarWings doesn’t necessarily know where you went — though that data is also available if you program it to receive news alerts and traffic reports — it does know how you went by silently — though not secretly — transmitting information on energy usage, distance and time traveled.
That’s likely how Nissan knew that when Clarkson and his co-host James May set out on their little jaunt across the bucolic English countryside, they set off with only enough range to drive 30 miles. According to the Times of London, “Top Gear team intended the drivers to run out of power in Lincoln, knowing there were no public charging points there.” Further, viewers were not told that the car had less than half a charge when Clarkson and May set out on the drive. The LEAF has a estimated range on a full charge of more than 90 miles according to the U.S. EPA.
Continuing this theme, there’s a really good article in today’s Guardian, which assessed just biased how UK newspapers were against renewable energy.
The results don’t make very happy reading for advocates of renewable energy. In the Mail, a staggering three-quarters of articles “centrally concerned with renewables” took a negative stance, and only 8% were positive. The Sun came out almost as anti-renewables as the Mail – though largely thanks to the efforts of Jeremy Clarkson, who singlehandedly accounted for two-thirds of the Sun’s negative pieces, according to the research…
As Pirc researcher Tim Holmes points out in his introduction, press coverage is important because it can influence not only “what people perceive and believe” but also “what politicians think they believe”. Indeed, politicians take the temperature of public opinion partly through the barometer of the press, and consistently negative coverage of renewables will doubtless “limit the perception of political space and impetus for political action”, as Holmes puts it.
It’s also worth noting that it has been noted how the Daily Mail gives 5 times more space to articles churned out by the denial group Global Warming Policy Foundation than any other source on climate change. This famously anti-environmental, anti-scientific denial group “chooses not to disclose its funding sources”, though some digging has been done, to suggest that nearly all its income comes from single donors rather than memberships.
I wonder who those donors might be?
The environmental movement is up against some staggering propaganda, all of which shapes the opinions of our population.