openDemocracyUK

Climate denier scandal: who's been taking them seriously?

Which UK media have published under-fire climate deniers Matt Ridley and the Global Warming Policy Foundation in recent months?

Adam Ramsay
Adam Ramsay
9 December 2015

Climate deniers got a bit of a kicking yesterday. Undercover investigators from Greenpeace revealed that two of the most prominent academic supporters of climate change scepticism are willing to sell themselves to fossil fuel companies.

While the sting was in the US, it spilled over into the UK, with the British think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and its adviser Matt Ridley both bound up in the investigation. In particular, both appear to have claimed that research has gone through the academic peer review process when, in reality, it hasn't.

So, which UK media outlets have been taking these guys seriously in recent months? Our partners at the Centre for Media, Communication and Power at King's had a look, and this is what they found: 

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Data from the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power

[Note: We took out the Guardian, because their two articles on the organisation were both critical of it, and we've asked the Times and Spectator for comment – so far no reply].

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We're digging through the media to see how climate change is reported over the Paris climate talks and beyond. Sign up to hear what we find out.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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