By Bill Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune
This swing to subjective journalism on environmental issues began decades ago. But it reached a tipping point in 2001, when both U.S. News & World Report and Time jettisoned all pretense of objectivity and cranked out sensationalized cover stories about the various apocalypses that anthropogenic global warming was certain to bring to our tender planet. Since then, most mainstream journalists effectively have decreed that the global warming debate is over, that man’s fossil-fuel burning is the primary culprit and that anyone who doesn’t parrot the James Hansen-Laurie David party line is in bed with ExxonMobil or is the moral and intellectual equivalent of a Holocaust denier.
Scientific American has devolved into a huckster for Al Gore. The senile tough guys at “60 Minutes” have gone soft. Only John Stossel of ABC’s “20/20” can be counted on to regularly challenge the media’s alarmist consensus on climate change. Compare skeptic Stossel to Anderson Cooper. For his laughably one-sided “Planet in Peril” special last week, Cooper jetted to Greenland’s treacherous ice sheets to demonstrate, ad nauseam, that global warming is causing glaciers there to melt at a faster rate than 10 years ago.
No ice chip of skepticism threatened CNN’s scary story line. Cooper—who made a major gaffe when he said 40 percent of Greenland’s ice sheet had gone away in the last 40 years—did manage to admit it was not likely the island’s 630,000 cubic miles of ice were going to melt anytime soon. See full story here.
By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters
As media regularly accuse every scientist skeptical of man’s role in global warming as being on the payroll of Big Oil, you almost never see a news report addressing the funding of those responsible for spreading climate alarmism. This all changed Thursday when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer published an op-ed by the John Locke Foundation’s Paul Chesser detailing how one environmental advocate receives funds from largely liberal donors to encourage state governments to impose strict regulations on all things speculated to be causing global warming.
Chesser’s fabulous exposé began: Imagine you are an advocacy group and want to sway a government’s policy development, but really want to keep your activism a secret. You could learn a lot by observing and then avoiding the practices of the Center for Climate Strategies, a group of global warming worrywarts.
CCS in recent years has approached many states, including Washington, with an inexpensive, tantalizing offer: to establish and manage a process for climate change policy development. The results are a study legitimized by government that promotes onerous regulations, property rights infringement through smart growth initiatives, and new taxes and fees on fuels and utilities. Read more here.
By Mike Rosen, Rocky Mountain News
Here’s a prediction: Someday, when future generations look back on the Great Global Warming Panic of the early 21st century and Al Gore’s 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (for fanning global warming hysteria with selective propaganda and gross exaggerations), Gore’s award will be regarded as even more preposterous than Yasser Arafat’s Nobel for bringing peace to the Middle East.
Yes, there’s been a modest increase in mean global temperatures over the last hundred years, about 1 degree Fahrenheit. Big deal. And most of the warming in the 20th century occurred from 1900-1940, when man-made greenhouse gases were even less of a factor. The impact of human activity continues to be overwhelmed by myriad other variables, most of which we don’t fully understand or have the ability to accurately predict. Even if we squander trillions on feasible greenhouse gas mitigation, we’ll only achieve minor reductions at the margin. Minor reductions of a minor influence. This is insanity fueled by mass hysteria.
Climate change is a natural and age-old phenomenon on this planet, predating humanity by millions of years. Ice ages have come and gone, long before industrialization and SUVs. So count me among the skeptics. Of course, I’m no scientist. But neither is Al Gore, a politician looking for a new career and a new cause. My opinion on this has been shaped by scientists, experts in the field, who have refuted the alarmists, point by point. There are many more of these dissenters than you’ve been led to believe by the liberal mass media, which have been driving the global warming bandwagon.
There are qualified climatologists, meteorologists and astrophysicists who’ve had the courage to take on the so-called consensus, just as Galileo and Copernicus took on the conventional wisdom of their day. And let’s be clear, these are legitimate dissenters, not deniers, as they’ve been branded by global-warming brownshirts attempting to equate them with Holocaust “deniers.” To deny the Holocaust is to deny a historical infamy that undoubtedly occurred, for which there are eyewitnesses and physical evidence. To disagree about the likelihood of highly debatable, alarmist forecasts of what might occur hundreds of years in the future is quite another matter. Read more of this excellent Op Ed piece here.
By Manav Tanneeru, CNN
Most of the scientific community believes that some warming is occurring across the globe and through some layers of the atmosphere. But why it is occurring and what that means for the future is scientifically and politically contentious.
The temperatures were relatively unchanged from 1880 to 1910, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They rose till about 1945, cooled until about 1975 and have risen steadily to present day. There are several possible reasons for the warming, scientists say. A change in the Earth’s orbit or the intensity of the sun’s radiation could change, triggering warming or cooling. The reason most cited—by scientists and scientific organizations—for the current warming trend is an increase in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, which are in the atmosphere naturally and help keep the planet’s temperature at a comfortable level.
But there are those who do not share this view, and among the skeptics is Richard Lindzen, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We’ve suddenly taken to reading tea leaves,” he said. “When we saw cooling from 1940 to 1970, we were proclaiming global cooling. Since then, there’s been a few tenths of global warming, so we’re proclaiming global warming.” He believes the current warming trend is the result of natural variability, where a planet goes through phases of warming and cooling and the human contribution to it is minimal. “The Earth is always getting colder and warmer,” he said. “It’s always changing. In fact, this is true of any fluid-covered planet.”
By Mike Simonson, on BusinessNorth.com
Not everyone is onboard when it comes to former Vice-President Al Gore’s award of the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Mike Simonson talked to local meteorologists about it.
The weather forecasters all agreed global warming is happening. But they didn’t all agree on whether Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” is part of the answer. WDIO-TV’s Kyle Underwood questions some of the information in the Academy Award-winning film. “We need to be careful about where we get our information on global warming, and this debate unfortunately is driven by politicians.” He and KBJR-TV Meteorologist Carl Spring agree the topic is important to get on people’s radar screens. But Spring hasn’t seen the movie. “And I wouldn’t pay a dime to see it for many reasons. (Why?) Politically. He’s a left-wing nut. And he does things for other agendas.” Spring says Gore exaggerates the impact of global warming. Even so, Fox 21 Forecaster Todd Nelson says the movie was important. “Before the movie, people were kind of talking about it but now that the movie is out there in the mainstream media, people are talking about it every single day.” National Weather Service Warning Coordinator Carol Christianson agrees. She says global warming is a fact since the beginning of the industrial revolution. “Whether you like Al Gore and his politics or not, he probably has skewed a lot of the statistics quite a bit but maybe that’s a good thing to get people to act.” As for Gore’s politics, his political advisors say winning the Nobel Peace Prize will not increase his chances of running for President. Read more here.
By Noel Sheppard, Newsbusters
On Friday’s special, Gore’s claim that global warming has had effects on the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and tornadoes was the first of the nine points examined, as O’Brien brought aboard CNN meteorologist Rob Marciano to discuss the subject. On Friday’s special, Marciano relayed that there are no studies that show “an increase in tornadoes due to global warming,” and contended that there is still debate about hurricanes.
O’Brien brought aboard Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama, a member of the ICPP who was also featured on “20/20” the same night on ABC. Christy took exception with Gore’s willingness to “speak with certainty” about an issue as unpredictable as climate change, and suggested the Nobel committee was trying to “influence American elections.” He also pointed out the absence of media coverage when a recent study showed that “Antarctic sea ice extent reached its all-time maximum.
About halfway through the show, O’Brien brought aboard political analyst Bill Schneider to discuss poll numbers on the public’s views of global warming. O’Brien began his recitation of the poll results: “This one is a surprise. This is the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, recent one. ‘Which of the following statements comes closest to your view of global warming?’ we asked. And here’s the response. Global warming is a proven fact, mostly man-made: 56 percent. Global warming is a proven fact, mostly natural: 21 percent. And then, completely unproven: 21 percent. It’s interesting when you lump those bottom two together, isn’t it?” He thought it “interesting” that so many Americans are in a “skeptical realm” even though “more than 90 percent of scientists would say it is man-made and happening.”
Regarding the finding that only 35 percent of Americans see global warming as an “immediate threat,” Schneider fretted that “our political system can deal with the problems only if people see an immediate crisis,” and contended that “it’s unlikely much can happen unless people sense a crisis, and the only time they’ve sensed it is in Hurricane Katrina, and of course then, government did not work.” Read more here.
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley for SPPI
A spokesman for Al Gore has issued a questionable response to the news that in October 2007 the High Court in London had identified nine “errors” in his movie An Inconvenient Truth. The judge had stated that, if the UK Government had not agreed to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine “errors”, he would have made a finding that the Government’s distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools had been an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.
Al Gore’s spokesman and “environment advisor,” Ms. Kalee Kreider, begins by saying that the film presented “thousands and thousands of facts.” It did not: just 2,000 “facts” in 93 minutes would have been one fact every three seconds. The film contained only a few dozen points, most of which will be seen to have been substantially inaccurate. The judge concentrated only on nine points which even the UK Government, to which Gore is a climate-change advisor, had to admit did not represent mainstream scientific opinion.
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, an expert witness in the UK legal case condemning the movie, compiled the science-based list of 35 errors in Al Gore’s discredited climate movie An Inconvenient Truth in response to recent inaccurate public comments by Gore’s environment advisor relative to the High Court’s findings. Said Monckton, “Each of Gore’s 35 errors distorts or exaggerates in one direction only – toward unjustifiable alarmism. The likelihood that all 35 would fall one way by inadvertence is less than 1 in 34 billion. Gore’s movie is not only inaccurate but prejudiced. The movie is unsuitable for children. It should not be shown in schools.” Read full report here. See thoughts from Newsbusters on this paper here.
By Daniel B. Botkin
Global warming doesn’t matter except to the extent that it will affect life—ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.
You might think I must be one of those know-nothing naysayers who believes global warming is a liberal plot. On the contrary, I am a biologist and ecologist who has worked on global warming, and been concerned about its effects, since 1968. I’ve developed the computer model of forest growth that has been used widely to forecast possible effects of global warming on life—I’ve used the model for that purpose myself, and to forecast likely effects on specific endangered species.
I’m not a naysayer. I’m a scientist who believes in the scientific method and in what facts tell us. I have worked for 40 years to try to improve our environment and improve human life as well.
I believe we can do this only from a basis in reality, and that is not what I see happening now. Instead, like fashions that took hold in the past and are eloquently analyzed in the classic 19th century book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” the popular imagination today appears to have been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis. Read more here.