LEST the Congress and the Marcos administration blindly adopt costly and goofy programs to control climate change and prevent epidemics, I want to call attention to a new concern voiced by international media about how these issues are being fanned today through the overt manipulation of public fear and the hype of the alleged dangers, in order to promote radical reform and secure financing.

This Aug. 21, 2022 aerial file photo shows the dry sections of Poyang Lake in the city of Jiujiang in China’s central Jiangxi province. The drying up of this lake is caused by an unusually severe drought that some blame on climate change.

Fearmongering is on the march, and people are being scared silly by what various media are witlessly spreading.

Public panic is a very bad guide for policymaking, and governments are wisely warned about the danger from this to national well-being.


Fearmongering, or scaremongering, is a form of manipulation that causes fear by using exaggerated rumors of impending danger (Wikipedia).

According to evolutionary psychology, humans have a strong impulse to pay attention to danger because awareness of dangers has been important for survival throughout our evolutionary history. The effect is amplified by cultural evolution when the news media cater to people’s appetite for news about dangers.

Fearmongering can have strong psychological effects, which may be intended or unintended. One hypothesized effect is mean world syndrome in which people perceive the world as more dangerous than it really is. Fearmongering can make people fear the wrong things, and use too many resources to avoid rare and unlikely dangers while more probable dangers are ignored.

Manipulation in the recordOn January 7 this year, the Issues and Insights (I&I) website published a hard-hitting commentary entitled “What climate scare and pandemic fearmongering have in common.”

“Climate alarmists have said it’s necessary to ratchet up the fear about global warming to get the public’s attention. It’s the same story with the coronavirus outbreak. Authorities wanted to strike fear in the people, so they exaggerated the lethality of a virus that is deadly to only a narrow demographic segment,” it said.

I&I made a thorough review of how the scare campaign has been propagated in the media, and asked readers to compare what is in the record:

Global warming, 1988. “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have,” about global warming, said Stanford climatologist Stephen Schneider.

Pandemic, 2020. Britain’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior warned “that ministers needed to increase ‘the perceived level of personal threat’ from Covid-19 because ‘a substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened’,” the London Telegraph reported last year in its coverage of “A state of fear: How the UK government weaponized fear during the Covid-19 pandemic,” by Laura Dodsworth.

Global warming, 2014. The academics who wrote a paper published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics said their article “provides a rationale for” the tendency of “news media and some pro-environmental organizations” to accentuate or even exaggerate “the damage caused by climate change.”

“We find,” they wrote, “that the information manipulation has an instrumental value.”

Pandemic, 2020. The Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behavior recommends the perception of fear regarding the coronavirus needed to “be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”

Global warming, circa 2001. University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist John Christy, lead author on the 2001 United Nations’ climate report, had lunch with three European colleagues who talked about “how they were trying to make the report so dramatic that the United States would just have to sign the Kyoto Protocol.”

Pandemic, 2021. The New York Times’ “overblown” warnings “must be viewed in context of the Gray Lady’s wider lock-down-the-world agenda,” says the New York Post’s Steve Cuozzo. “The paper rarely reports unqualified hopeful news about taming the virus.”

Global warming, 2004. NASA scientist James Hansen, who is the godfather of climate alarmists, wrote in Scientific American that an “emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue.” In the next sentence, he added that, “now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate-forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions.”

Pandemic, 2021. “I did a simple Google search of ‘recent coronavirus news reports’,” says psychologist Ilisa Kaufman in Psychology Today. “The first random five headlines had the words, ‘death toll rising,’ ‘new infections,’ and ‘thousands of Covid cases, hundreds of deaths.’ Those were the first five. Also, it is May 2021, a full 14 months since the beginning of the pandemic. Absolutely nothing reassuring, hopeful, or non-alarming.” She goes on to suggest “some ways to help correct or prevent mental health consequences from the ‘fear porn’ industry.”

We’re not fully convinced the lockdowns were conspiratorial dry runs to accustom the world to future restrictions handed down under the guise of “fighting” global warming. But as we said when the lockdowns were still relatively new, “observant and cunning politicians have gone to school” and were thinking over the possibility they could “use the pretext of a climate emergency to control Americans and break the back of capitalism.”

The chilling fact here to be afraid of — is not of a falling sky or a virus that we hope is on the wane, but of those eager to stir up dread and anxiety so they can exercise the raw power they covet.”

Covid-19 and lockdownsThis month on August 26, I&I made an acute warning about lockdowns:

“For over about two-and-one-half years, Covid-19 has killed a little more than 1 million Americans and another 5.5 million in the rest of the world. It’s a grim toll. At least its deadly effects will decrease as it becomes endemic.

The same can’t be said for the lockdowns. Their poison will be killing victims for years.

A recent article from the London Telegraph posted in Yahoo News tells the story of ‘experts’ believing ‘decisions taken by the government in the earliest stages of the pandemic may now be coming back to bite.’

‘Policies that kept people indoors, scared them away from hospitals and deprived them of treatment and primary care are finally taking their toll,’ said the Telegraph.

For more than three months, excess deaths in England and Wales have averaged around 1,000 a week, and none are due to Covid.

It’s not as if the decision-makers weren’t warned. Robert Dingwall, a Nottingham Trent University professor and a government adviser during the pandemic, told the Telegraph that ‘the picture seems very consistent with what some of us were suggesting from the beginning.’

On our side of the Atlantic, ‘from April 2020 through at least the end of 2021, Americans died from non-Covid causes at an average annual rate 97,000 in excess of previous trends, says a National Bureau of Economic Research paper.

It further contends that ‘excess mortality continues into calendar year 2022,’ though it’s safe to say they will persist well past that date.

The lockdowns have not only been deadly, they brought economic catastrophe (which has its own lethality — economists even have a multiplier they use to calculate deaths due to unemployment); an agonizing mental health crisis; delayed child development; and possibly irreversible educational losses.”

Wreck of global warming narrative

Last year, I&I called the global warming narrative a wreck. It said the climate alarmists’ narrative “continues to crash into reality.”

“To start with, how do they explain that three new studies show warming from 2001 to 2019 ‘was driven by increases in absorbed solar radiation, not human emissions’? Sure, the eco-activists will do what they always do: obfuscate, dodge, change the subject and call out the ‘science deniers.’

They will do the same when confronted with the news that the last six months were the coldest on record in Antarctica. Just one of those places in a warming world, they say, where it happens to be more frigid than usual.

‘As Antarctica holds about 90 percent of all the ice on the planet, what happens in Antarctica will have major effects on the rest of the world,’ Discovering Antarctica, a partnership of organizations that includes the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said some years ago.

More recently, we were told that ‘Antarctica is headed for a climate tipping point by 2060, with catastrophic melting if carbon emissions aren’t cut quickly.’

Maybe the record-breaking winter in Antarctica is simply an anomaly on the way to that ‘tipping point.’ But Richard Lindzen, professor emeritus of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has noted that across the world ‘temperatures at any given location’ are ‘almost as likely to be cooling as warming.’ So while one region is warming (or cooling), another somewhere is cooling (or warming). It’s useless to argue otherwise. Of course, if Antarctica had just gone through its warmest winter on record, the news would be filled with stories of how it’s irrefutable evidence of impending doom.

The alarmist narrative has also been beaten back by the facts, as the hysteria about ‘sea level, hurricanes and other weather extremes,’ is ‘based on the illegitimate cherry-picking of starting dates for the trends,’ says Lindzen.

Furthermore, the widely accepted, often-used assertion that says 97 percent of scientists agree that the climate and our earthly environment are in trouble due to warming is a blatant case of misinformation. Lindzen calls it ‘a bizarre fantasy’ concocted through ‘various shenanigans.’

The global warming scare is more than three decades old, yet the disaster that’s been forecast on a nearly daily basis since the late 1980s has yet to arrive. That’s the reality, that’s the brick wall that the alarmists keep banging their heads into. That’s the fact they refuse to acknowledge.

No wonder, the fearmongers have replaced the term ‘global warming’ with ‘climate change.’ And now they are testing a shift from ‘climate change’ to ‘climate emergency’.”

Source – https://www.manilatimes.net/2022/08/30/opinion/columns/climate-and-pandemic-alarmists-engage-in-manipulation-of-fear/1856488