It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.
Oh, but, look what Townhall did for us!!! Ungated version here!!!!! http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2027390
It starts with the idiocy of Al Gores inconvenient truth and references the several demonstrations of lies it contained. Then it mentions the IPCC ….
Surprisingly, it has even been discovered that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a well-known intergovernmental scientic body, mistakenly claimed that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035, which contradicts some basic physics. The IPCC has tended to over-generalize its research results and accentuate the negative side of climate change. Following it, the mainstream media has then gone even further. It would be a routine and accepted practice that elements in the IPCC reports indicating the possibility of high levels of crop damage in certain African countries would be reported by the media without any qualifying considerations and with such headlines as IPCC predicts 50% crop reductions in Africa.2 Hulme (2009) finds out considerable overclaim-ing in the UK media reports on the IPCC Fourth Assessment. …… Taken together, considerable evidence suggests that international mainstream media have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change.
Later in the paper it has this ……
Nonetheless, the message sender has a channel to influence their beliefs to some extent through information manipulation. In equilibrium, we find that the message sender may have a strict incentive to exaggerate the damages of climate change when it is less severe in order to increase the global welfare ex post.
Continuing, they show that the media bias has already been academically proven ….
In theory, our paper suggests a model complementing the existing ones of media bias including Baron (2006), Ellman and Germano (2009), and Stone (2011), and provides a new angle to explain the observed exaggeration of the climate damages by the mainstream media. ….
In this paper, we o¤er a rationale for the phenomenon of climate damage exaggeration on the part of the international mainstream media. …… Using a modi ed IEA model with two states and asymmetric information, we show that the aforementioned exaggeration of climate damage may alleviate the problem of insufficient IEA participation. When the mass media has private information on the damage caused by climate change, in equilibrium they may manipulate this information to increase pessimism regarding climate damage even though in actual fact the damage may not be that great. Consequently, more countries
(with overpessimistic beliefs about climate damage) will be induced to participate in an IEA in this state, thereby leading to greater global welfare ex post. ….
More generally, our model sheds lights on the resolution of various environmental and public problems. In a recent paper, Sartzetakis, Xeparadeas, and Petrakis (2012) consider the role of information provision as a policy instrument to supplement environmental taxes.
This paper actually models behavior after being intentionally misled by the media, and seems to advocate lying to us. And, it demonstrates that we have been lied to. They discuss it as a matter of fact after referencing many papers which demonstrate this. It further references many papers, for other things, such as the one above about how to extract more taxes through media distortions and manipulation.
And, no, it isn’t shocking. This has been going on for some time now. The paper does mention there would be a minor issue of trust, and say in toto, it isn’t clear if lying to the public is the best strategy or not, but, they’ve got a cool model for the lunatics to use!!!!