The media is getting sharper in the language they use in covering climate change, a Midlands expert has claimed.
Dr Andy Baker, a lecturer in climatology at Birmingham University, spoke out in the wake of research which claimed alarmist language used to discuss climate change was tantamount to "climate porn".
The study by the Institute for Public Policy Research, analysed more than 600 articles from the UK press as well as over 90 TV radio and press advertisements, news clips and websites to find out how the media, government and green groups are communicating climate change.
Dr Baker admitted some reporting of the subject had made him "wince."
However he said: "Over recent years the standard has improved. The issues are complex and scientists speak in terms of probabilities while journalists are looking for definites. But I'd say these days, out of ten, the media is in the top half, rather than the bottom half."
The Institute for Public Policy Research report argued that the discussion on climate change in the UK was confusing, contradictory and chaotic, and with the result the public feels disempowered and not inclined to act. It says climate change communications should avoid using inflated or extreme language. Ten different ways of talking about climate change were identified and two were dominant.
First was alarmism. This pessimistic approach refers to climate change as awesome, terrible, immense and beyond human control. It excludes the possibility of real action - "The problem is just too big for us to take on." Second was small actions ("I'm doing my bit for the planet - and maybe my pocket"): The "small actions" approach is the dominant one in campaign communications from government and green groups.