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Thursday, September 20, 2007
Northwest Passage

By Craig James, Wood TV Blog

The headline in this press release from the European Space Agency reads “Satellites witness lowest Arctic ice coverage in history”. In history! That sounds like a long time. However, when you read the article you find “history” only goes back to 28 years, to 1979. That is when satellites began monitoring Arctic Sea ice. The article also says “the Northwest Passage – a long-sought short cut between Europe and Asia that has been historically impassable.” I guess these people flunked history class. It has been open several times in history, without ice breakers. The first known successful navigation by ship was in 1905.

This is all very similar to the story on the NBC Nightly News Friday, 14 Sep 07 where the story on water levels in Lake Superior never mentioned that the lowest recorded water level on the lake occurred in March and April 1926, when the lake was about 5 inches lower than it is now. Instead, NBC interviewed several people who could never remember seeing it this low and blamed most of the problem on global warming. Never mind that the area has seen below normal precipitation for several years and for most of this year has been classified as being in an extreme to exceptional drought.

A spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers has said ” Global warming could be an underlying cause, but the scientists said it’s too soon to know. We need to do more tracking,” also, “The last time Lake Superior was so low was November and December 1925 and January through September 1926, during a long drought that preceded the great dust bowl.”

Brian Williams actually led into the story by saying that much of the Great Lakes area has been wet. But why let facts get in the way of a good global warming story? And they wonder why not as many people watch television news anymore.

Read Craig’s blog here.

Posted on 09/20 at 10:59 PM
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