Star ‘complicit in genocide and ecocide’ over reader’s climate change letter, say campaigners

The Star has been accused of being ‘complicit in genocice and ecocide’ after publishing a reader letter which questioned the science behind climate change.

Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 6:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th June 2019, 6:50 pm
A walrus, yesterday.

The letter, written by Neville Martin of Castledine Gardens in Sheffield and featured in the May 31 edition of the paper, describes man-made climate change a ‘myth’ aimed at ‘controlling society’.

It also said a David Attenborough-presented BBC programme on the subject was a ‘tissue of lies and fake news’ and that claims he made about Pacific walruses on the programme were a ‘total fabrication’.

A walrus, yesterday.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

In response, Sheffield-based activist Graham Wroe has created a petition calling on the Sheffield Star to ‘tell the truth about the climate catastrophe’.

He said: “The Star must stop misinforming the public and start to educate them about the massive issue of climate and ecological catastrophe.

“Unless the public understands the dire consequences of continuing "business as usual", it will be impossible for the Government to implement the emergency measures required to prevent mass extinction.

“Newspapers that actively oppose the measures required to stop climate and ecological catastrophe will be complicit in both genocide and ecocide.

“The science is clear: It is understood that we are facing an unprecedented global emergency. We are in a life or death situation of our own making. We must act now.”

The petition he set up two days ago has since attracted 168 signatures on the 38 degrees online petitions website.

A number of signatories also left messages including Jemima P who said: “We are in a climate emergency caused by human behaviour. The evidence is clear and it is extremely damaging to give a platform to these completely discredited views.”

And Steven J said: “It is just not acceptable to publish what is known to be untrue. This is a crisis of epic proportions fueled by an indifference to lies such as these.”

The row comes at a time when media organisations are coming under more pressure to change the way they talk about climate science.

The Guardian newspaper has recently decided to use the words ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’ instead of ‘climate change’ and ‘global heating’ rather than ‘global warming’ in an attempt to be less neutral about the environmental challenges they say we face.