Research shows no trust for our politicians, media or energy suppliers
A report by Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG) and Chatham House inadvertently exposes the truth behind Britain's attitude to politicians, the media, the energy supply companies and the science of global warming.
For the last two years the Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG) and Chatham House have been doing research into why we don’t take climate change seriously and what can be done to change our behaviour.
The report, just published, talks about “people” but really they mean “us”. You and me.
In order to get the attention of those they were talking to the researchers made radio programmes which pretended to be real news broadcasts from the future. The news items painted a picture of what the world will be like after a 4 degree rise in global temperature. This technique certainly was extraordinarily successful. The subjects were deeply shocked at what they heard and were suitably softened up to talk about their attitudes and failings in an open and honest way.
The researchers were surprised at the success of their charade. I don’t know why. In 1938 Orson Wells caused a near panic in New York with a broadcast of his version of HG Wells’ The War of The Worlds. The first forty minutes of Wells’ one hour radio drama were presented as a sequence of non-stop, radio news reports. It was probably Wells’ finest hour. The same can hardly be said for the gullible New Yorkers
The GUMG report’s main findings about global warming and all that stuff are fascinating. There’s a link to a summary at the end of this piece. More fascinating and far more alarming however is what the research revealed about the people they spoke to. Those people, like us.
The research makes clear that we have only a vague understanding of the science behind global warming but we can’t be bothered to try to understand it because we believe it to be inconsistent and therefore useless.
Furthermore we do not trust politicians at all. We have so little respect for them that messages about global warming that are espoused by politicians are tainted by association. The lesson is, do not seek the support of politicians, or your cause my be irreparably damaged.
And we don’t trust the media the report reveals. We mistrust the media so much that we won’t listen to them on important subjects like….you guessed it….global warming.
Our distrust of politicians and the media is equalled only by our mistrust of our energy supply companies. We don’t trust our media, it seems, nor do we trust our politicians nor our energy suppliers who are all, we think, a scabrous part of the crust of corruption that tops off our society.
Furthermore, the research concludes, a widespread culture of cynicism and distrust among people has led to feelings of powerlessness generally.
This research, it seems to me, is a perfect example of the operation of the law of unintended consequences. The researchers set out to find out why we felt the way we feel about global warming. Along the way they found out that people like us are terminally cynical, disillusioned and untrusting of the “grown-ups” who run our society. And like all outcomes ruled by the law of unintended consequences the fact that this understanding was stumbled upon by accident makes it all the more easy to believe it.
I would be worried and depressed by all this if it were not for the fact that I don’t trust researchers. They are, it seems to me, just part of the corrupt scum that has risen to the top of our uncaring and feckless society. They must be making it all up but I can’t be arsed to find out how and why and even if I could would I bother trying to do anything about it?