ISD’s recent Dispatch on alt- and mainstream media climate activism headlines is covered extensively by Euronews Green. After analysing more than 8,000 headlines, report author, Sara Bundtzen, found that 35 percent of news headlines in ‘alternative’ outlets, and 8 percent of those in mainstream outlets, followed at least one of three overarching ‘anti-climate’ activism narratives: ‘Climate hysterics’, ‘climate terrorists’, and ‘climate elites’. In addition to these narratives, a glossary of derogatory terms are being deployed framing climate activists as ‘climate crazies’ to ‘Klima-Kleber’ (climate gluers) and ‘militants écolo-pastèques’ (watermelon environmentalists.
“The use of undifferentiated or defamatory rhetoric has been a key part of the climate delayist strategy that targets the legitimacy of any activism or advocacy,” quotes Euronews.
“Such tactics do not need to address the science or even specific solutions or technologies. Instead, they portray those demanding urgent and decisive action as mentally unstable, quasi-religious fanatics, security threats or part of nefarious conspiracies.”
“When amplified across the media ecosystem, [incendiary coverage] only serves to interfere with public debate on key policy issues like the pace and scale of net zero transitions”, quotes Euronews.