Open Letter to the media on climate change denial

A group of writers calling themselves Writing for the Environment – organised by Alys Jackson, Leah Kaminsky and Gretchen Miller – have penned an open letter to the media demanding they cease supporting climate denialism.
Open Letter to the media on climate change denial Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

Writing for the Environment

Tuesday 21 January, 2020

We the undersigned demand that the media stop undermining climate science. Giving a platform to climate deniers must cease immediately, across all formats, from print to online.

In 2011, the Garnaut Climate Change Review was presented to Julia Gillard. This document, commissioned by the government and paid for by us, the taxpayers, clearly outlines the science of climate change and the human and economic impacts of inaction. ‘Recent projections of fire weather (Lucas et al. 2007) suggest that fire seasons will start earlier, end slightly later, and generally be more intense. This effect increases over time, but should be directly observable by 2020.’ (Garnaut Climate Change Review).

Today, lives are being lost due to those ‘directly observable effects’ and through the inaction by governments past and present.

In the words of Malcolm Turnbull: ‘How much of our country has to burn, how many lives have to be lost, homes destroyed before we resolve as a nation to act on climate change?’ (from 'Scott Morrison can't afford to waste the bushfire crisis when Australia urgently needs its own green new deal', Guardian Australia)

This is a bipartisan crisis and too important to be turned into entertainment, social media baiting or to be buried by vested interest.

To date, significant sections of the media have been complicit in slowing down the inevitable public acceptance of decades’ worth of scientific evidence.

By undermining the value of science, under-representing the voices of the scientific community and giving voice and space to unsupported climate deniers, these elements of the media have been accessories to the spread of misinformation and outright lies.

The vast majority of the Australian public have been sidelined and profit put ahead of human and environmental damage.

This can no longer continue.

The media needs to take a stand and join the scientific community in constructive debate on how to face the future, mitigate risk and help ameliorate the disastrous consequences of climate change.

It is time to support the climate science, actively seek out the voices of experts and desist giving space to climate deniers. We further request  that in your social media you take responsibility to actively discourage climate deniers, trolls, haters and fake news.

Signed,
Alys Jackson – Author and Poet
Gretchen Miller – Audio Documentary Maker
Dr Leah Kaminsky – Author
Kirsten Krauth – Author and Editor
Linda Adair
Alexandra Alt – Author
Inda Ahmad Zabri – Doctor, Author and Artist
Amanda Anastasi – Poet in Residence – Monash Climate Change Communications Research Hub
Trish Anders
Lynette Arden – Writer, Poet and Publisher
Sarah Armstrong – Writer
Emma Ashmere – Writer
Sally Ashton – Writer, Teacher and Firefighter
Meera Atkinson – Writer and Academic
Abigail Austin
Dr Eugen Bacon – Writer, Editor and Board Director ASA
Inez Baranay – Writer
Ricci Bartels
Anya Beyersdorf – Writer
Teresa Benetos
Gita Bezzard – Playwright
Holly Bidwell – Storyteller
Judith Bishop – Poet
Helena Bond – Editor
Georgia Booth – Writer
Lauren Boxhall – Writer and Library Technician
Belinda Broughton – Poet and Artist
Xtine Burrows – Poet
Kel Butler – Podcaster and Writer
Dr Robyn Cadwallader – Author and Poet
D. M. Cameron – Writer
Graham Catt – Writer and Poet
Frances Chapman – Author
Lauren Chater – Writer
Maja Chodorowski – Writer
Margaret Clark – Architectural Designer, Poet, Editor, NT Administrator’s Medalist
Amanda Collins – Author
Anne Connor - Author
Katrina Cosgrove
Angela Costi – Poet and Human Rights Advocate
Louisa Deasey – Author
Robyn Deed - Editor
Melissa Deitz – Academic
Christy Dena – Writer
Koraly Dimitriadis – Writer and Actor
Meg Dunley – Writer
George Dunford – writer and content director
Wendy J. Dunn – Author, Publisher and Educator
Astrid Edwards – Educator, Writer and Reviewer
Clare Elizabeth Rhodin
Amy Espeseth – Writer and Academic
Lisa Evans – Academic and Author
Delia Falconer – Author and Academic
Peter V Fenton
Melissa Ferguson – Author and Scientist
Carly Findlay – Writer, Speaker, Appearance Activist
Clementine Ford – Writer
Kathleenellen T. Ford
Rebecca Freeman – Freelance Editor and Writer
Heather Gallagher
Kelly Gardiner – Writer
Jeanne Gassman
Josh Gateau – Comedian, Musician and Writer
Ian Gibbons – Poet, Video artist, Neuroscientist, Emeritus Professor
Jane Gilmore – Journalist and Author
Melissa Goorie
Virginia Gordon
Jill Gower
Stephanie Green
Kit-Bacon Gressitt – Writer, Publisher and Lecturer
Sheryl Gwyther
Hazel Hall
Liz Hall-Downs – Writer
Elisabeth Hanscombe
Keren Heenan – Writer and Arts Teacher
Maureen Helen - Writer
Alysha Herrmann – Writer and Creative Producer
Jess Hill – Journalist and Author
Natalia Hodgins – Writer and Event Producer
Stephanie Holt – Writer, Editor and Teacher
Genevieve Hopkins – Author, Illustrator and Publisher
Mike Hopkins – Poet, Writer and Blogger
Judy Horacek – Cartoonist and Illustrator
GM Houghton
Sean Hurley – Author and Publisher
Heidi Hutner
Deborah Kelly – Artist
Amanda Kendle
Paula Keogh - Author
Dr Tamsin Kerr – Writer and Director Cooroora Institute
Dr Maree Kimberley - Writer
Desney King – Writer and Editor
Pixie King
Jo Jackson King – Writer and Occupational Therapist
Leesa Lambert – Bookseller
Rose Lane - Writer
Rowena Lennox – Editor, Researcher and Writer
Natasha Lester – Writer
Dr Elizabeth Lhuede – Writer
Alon Loeffler
Katherine Lyall-Watson – Writer
Anna Maguire
Emily Maguire – Author
Sara Marchant – Author
Aislinn Martin – Writer
Kristin Martin – Author, Poet and Educator
Dr Sylvia Martin – Biographer
Kate McKenry – Bureaucrat
Cass Moriarty – Author
Wahibe Moussa
Monique Mulligan - Author
Kate Murdoch – Author
Rashida Murphy – Writer
Peta Murray
Dr Melanie Myers – Author and Academic
Emily Naismith – Writer
Kali Napier – Writer
P. M. Newton – Author
Christie Nieman - Author
Rachel Nightingale – Writer and Academic
Bianca Nogrady
Dr Alan Nguyen – Writer and Lecturer
Finn O’Branagain – Playwright and Arts Worker
Lizzie O’Shea – Writer
Dr Stephanie Owen Reeder – Author
Karen Pickering – Writer 
Sally Piper – Writer
Dr Sian Prior – Writer
Kathy Prokhovnik
Ruth Quinn
Jess Racklyeft – Author and Illustrator
Dr Cameron Raynes – Author, Academic and Filmmaker
Vicki Renner – Writer and Trainer
Dr Clare Elizabeth Rhoden – Author
Susie Rodgers-Marcroft – Visual Artist
Stephanie Rose
Emma Sandford – Teacher, Writer and Environmental Campaigner
Michelle Scott Tucker – Author and Consultant
Jennifer Scoullar
Ann Shenfield – Poet and Animator
Laura Shore – Writer
Justine Sless
Lucy Smith MEnvSC, Ecologist and Science Writer
Anna Solding – Author, Editor, Publisher and Festival Director
Tracy Sorensen – Writer
Beth Spencer – Writer
Mark Spencer
Sarah St Vincent Welch – Writer
Clare Strahan – Writer and Teacher
Veechi Stuart – Executive Director, Varuna the National Writers’ House
Cindy Sullivan
Miriam Sved - Author
Lian Tanner – Author
Heather Taylor-Johnson – Writer
Anne Theresa Myers – Writer and Palliative Care Nurse
Lucy Treloar – Author
Julie Twohig – Writer, Psychotherapist, Educator
Dr Debra Wain – Writer, Academic and Volunteer Firefighter
Julia Wakefield Houghton – Artist and Writer
Lisa Walker
Catherine Walsh – Writer
Lynette Washington – author, editor, Publisher and Educator
Rachel Watts - Writer
Professor Jen Webb – Poet and Researcher
Sandy Webster – Screenwriter and Editor
Dee White – Author
Jessica White – Writer and Academic
Rowan White – Poet
Kimberly Wine
Susan Wyndham – Journalist
Jesse Xanthe - Writer
Christine Eyres — Writer
Mary Napier — Writer
Michelle Brock — Tanka Poet
Joyce Kornblatt — Writer
James Foley — Writer/illustrator
Barbara Curzon-Siggers — Writer, poet
Professor Susan Hawthorne — Poet, ecofeminist, political commentator
Dr. Tom Cho — Writer, editor
K.A. Bedford — Writer

You can add your signature to the open letter via the Google Doc, Media and the Rise of Climate Change Denial. This list of names updated on 22 January 2020.

About the author

Writing for the Environment is a group of writers campaigning for action on climate change founded by Alys Jackson, Leah Kaminsky and Gretchen Miller.