Global warming... a good read
If you have nothing to do...this is a great read on global warming and the media causing hysteria
Global Warming Is Media-Hyped Hysteria
Table of Contents: Further Readings
U.S. senator James M. Inhofe is a Republican from Oklahoma. He is a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and has remained a professed skeptic of climate change due to human-induced global warming.
For years, environmental alarmists have asserted that the earth is heating up due to human activity—especially the releasing of carbon emissions. Few have made the keen observation that the earth is warming naturally as it overcomes the effects of the Little Ice Age that had plagued the globe until the mid-nineteenth century. Instead, the hysteria over runaway global warming has become an entrenched belief, and it has been reinforced by an unenlightened media that whole heartedly swallows environmentalist fears. Fortunately, the biased media organs preaching disaster cannot fool the people forever as more scientists step forward to point out the flaws of global warming theories.
I am going to speak today about the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time, global warming. I have spoken more about global warming than any other politician in Washington today. My speech will be a bit different from the previous seven [Senate] floor speeches, as I focus not only on the science, but on the media's coverage of climate change.
Global Warming—just that term evokes many members in this chamber, the media, Hollywood elites and our pop culture to nod their heads and fret about an impending climate disaster. As the senator who has spent more time educating about the actual facts about global warming, I want to address some of the recent media coverage of global warming and Hollywood's involvement in the issue. And of course I will also discuss former Vice President Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth."
Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods. From 1895 until the 1930's the media peddled a coming ice age.
From the late 1920's until the 1960's they warned of global warming. From the 1950's until the 1970's they warned us again of a coming ice age. This makes modern global warming the fourth estate's fourth attempt to promote opposing climate change fears during the last 100 years.
Recently, advocates of alarmism have grown increasingly desperate to try to convince the public that global warming is the greatest moral issue of our generation. [In mid-September 2006], the vice president of London's Royal Society sent a chilling letter to the media encouraging them to stifle the voices of scientists skeptical of climate alarmism. During the past year, the American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media and entertainment industry, which link every possible weather event to global warming. The year 2006 saw many major organs of the media dismiss any pretense of balance and objectivity on climate change coverage and instead crossed squarely into global warming advocacy.
The Hockey Stick Fallacy
First, I would like to summarize some of the recent developments in the controversy over whether or not humans have created a climate catastrophe. One of the key aspects that the United Nations, environmental groups and the media have promoted as the "smoking gun" of proof of catastrophic global warming is the so-called "hockey stick" temperature graph by climate scientist Michael Mann and his colleagues.
This graph purported to show that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century presumably due to human activity. Mann, who also co-publishes a global warming propaganda blog reportedly set up with the help of an environmental group, had his "Hockey Stick" come under severe scrutiny.
The "hockey stick" was completely and thoroughly broken once and for all in 2006. Several years ago, two Canadian researchers tore apart the statistical foundation for the hockey stick. In 2006, both the National Academy of Sciences and an independent researcher further refuted the foundation of the "hockey stick."
The National Academy of Sciences report reaffirmed the existence of the Medieval Warm Period from about 900 A.D. to 1300 A.D.and the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1850. Both of these periods occurred long before the invention of the SUV [sport-utility vehicle] or human industrial activity could have possibly impacted the Earth's climate. In fact, scientists believe the Earth was warmer than today during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings grew crops in Greenland.
Climate alarmists have been attempting to erase the inconvenient Medieval Warm Period from the Earth's climate history for at least a decade. David Deming, an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma's College of Geosciences, can testify first hand about this effort.
Alarmists fail to adequately explain why temperatures began warming at the end of the Little Ice Age in about 1850, long before man-made CO2 emissions could have impacted the climate.
Dr. Deming was welcomed into the close-knit group of global warming believers after he published a paper in 1995 that noted some warming in the 20th century. Deming says he was subsequently contacted by a prominent global warming alarmist and told point blank "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period." When the "Hockey Stick" first appeared in 1998, it did just that.
Natural Warming Follows Little Ice Age
The media have missed the big pieces of the puzzle when it comes to the Earth's temperatures and mankind's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. It is very simplistic to feign horror and say the one degree Fahrenheit temperature increase during the 20th century means we are all doomed. First of all, the one degree Fahrenheit rise coincided with the greatest advancement of living standards, life expectancy, food production and human health in the history of our planet. So it is hard to argue that the global warming we experienced in the 20th century was somehow negative or part of a catastrophic trend.
Second, what the climate alarmists and their advocates in the media have continued to ignore is the fact that the Little Ice Age, which resulted in harsh winters which froze New York Harbor and caused untold deaths, ended about 1850. So trying to prove man-made global warming by comparing the well-known fact that today's temperatures are warmer than during the Little Ice Age is akin to comparing summer to winter to show a catastrophic temperature trend.
In addition, something that the media almost never addresses are the holes in the theory that C02 has been the driving force in global warming. Alarmists fail to adequately explain why temperatures began warming at the end of the Little Ice Age in about 1850, long before man-made CO2 emissions could have impacted the climate. Then about 1940, just as man-made CO2 emissions rose sharply, the temperatures began a decline that lasted until the 1970's, prompting the media and many scientists to fear a coming ice age. Let me repeat, temperatures got colder after CO2 emissions exploded. If CO2 is the driving force of global climate change, why do so many in the media ignore the many skeptical scientists who cite these rather obvious inconvenient truths?
The history of the modern environmental movement is chock full of predictions of doom that never came true.
My skeptical views on man-made catastrophic global warming have only strengthened as new science comes in. There have been recent findings in peer-reviewed literature over the last few years showing that the Antarctic is getting colder and the ice is growing and a new study in Geophysical Research Letters found that the sun was responsible for 50% of 20th century warming.
Recently, many scientists, including a leading member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, predicted long-term global cooling may be on the horizon due to a projected decrease in the sun's output....
One final point on the science of climate change: I am approached by many in the media and others who ask, "What if you are wrong to doubt the dire global warming predictions? Will you be able to live with yourself for opposing the Kyoto Protocol?"
My answer is blunt. The history of the modern environmental movement is chock full of predictions of doom that never came true. We have all heard the dire predictions about the threat of overpopulation, resource scarcity, mass starvation, and the projected death of our oceans. None of these predictions came true, yet it never stopped the doomsayers from continuing to predict a dire environmental future.
The more the eco-doomsayers' predictions fail, the more the eco-doomsayers predict. These failed predictions are just one reason I respect the serious scientists out there today debunking the latest scaremongering on climate change....
The Media Cannot Keep Their Story Straight
Many in the media, as I noted earlier, have taken it upon themselves to drop all pretense of balance on global warming and instead become committed advocates for the issue.
Here is a quote from Newsweek magazine: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth."
A headline in the New York Times reads: "Climate Changes Endanger World's Food Output."
Here is a quote from Time Magazine: "As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval."
All of this sounds very ominous. That is, until you realize that the three quotes I just read were from articles in 1975 editions of Newsweek Magazine and the New York Times, and Time Magazine in 1974.
They weren't referring to global warming; they were warning of a coming ice age.
Let me repeat, all three of those quotes were published in the 1970's and warned of a coming ice age.
In addition to global cooling fears, Time Magazine has also reported on global warming. Here is an example: "[Those] who claim that winters were harder when they were boys are quite right... weathermen have no doubt that the world at least for the time being is growing warmer."
Before you think that this is just another example of the media promoting [former] Vice President Gore's movie, you need to know that the quote I just read you from Time Magazine was not a recent quote; it was from January 2, 1939.
Yes, in 1939. Nine years before Vice President Gore was born and over three decades before Time Magazine began hyping a coming ice age and almost five decades before they returned to hyping global warming.
Time Magazine in 1951 pointed to receding permafrost in Russia as proof that the planet was warming.
In 1952, the New York Times noted that the "trump card" of global warming "has been the melting glaciers."
There are many more examples of the media and scientists flip-flopping between warming and cooling scares....
Media Predictions Should Inspire Skepticism
These past predictions of doom have a familiar ring, don't they? They sound strikingly similar to our modern media promotion of [the] former vice president's brand of climate alarmism.
After more than a century of alternating between global cooling and warming, one would think that this media history would serve a cautionary tale for today's voices in the media and scientific community who are promoting yet another round of eco-doom....
Which raises the question: Has this embarrassing 100-year documented legacy of coverage on what turned out to be trendy climate science theories made the media more skeptical of today's sensational promoters of global warming? You be the judge.
On February 19th of , CBS News's "60 Minutes" produced a segment on the North Pole. The segment was a completely one-sided report, alleging rapid and unprecedented melting at the polar cap. It even featured correspondent Scott Pelley claiming that the ice in Greenland was melting so fast, that he barely got off an ice-berg before it collapsed into the water.
"60 Minutes" failed to inform its viewers that a 2005 study by a scientist named Ola Johannessen and his colleagues showing that the interior of Greenland is gaining ice and mass and that according to scientists, the Arctic was warmer in the 1930's than today.
On March 19th of this year "60 Minutes" profiled NASA [National Aeronautics and Space Administration] scientist and alarmist James Hansen, who was once again making allegations of being censored by the [George W.] Bush administration. In this segment, objectivity and balance were again tossed aside in favor of a one-sided glowing profile of Hansen.
The "60 Minutes" segment made no mention of Hansen's partisan ties to former Democrat Vice President Al Gore or Hansen's receiving of a grant of a quarter of a million dollars from the left-wing Heinz Foundation run by Teresa Heinz Kerry. There was also no mention of Hansen's subsequent endorsement of her husband John Kerry for President in 2004.
Many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen's huge grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation....
"60 Minutes" also did not inform viewers that Hansen appeared to concede in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that the use of "extreme scenarios" to dramatize climate change "may have been appropriate at one time" to drive the public's attention to the issues.
Why would "60 Minutes" ignore the basic tenets of journalism, which call for objectivity and balance in sourcing, and do such one-sided segments?
The answer was provided by correspondent Scott Pelley. Pelley told the CBS News website that he justified excluding scientists skeptical of global warming alarmism from his segments because he considers skeptics to be the equivalent of "Holocaust deniers."
This year also saw a New York Times reporter write a children's book entitled "The North Pole Was Here." The author of the book, New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin, wrote that it may someday be "easier to sail to than stand on" the North Pole in summer. So here we have a very prominent environmental reporter for the New York Times who is promoting aspects of global warming alarmism in a book aimed at children.
In April of this year , Time Magazine devoted an issue to global warming alarmism titled "Be Worried, Be Very Worried." This is the same Time Magazine which first warned of a coming ice age in the 1920's before switching to warning about global warming in the 1930's before switching yet again to promoting the 1970's coming ice age scare.
The April 3, 2006 global warming special report of Time Magazine was a prime example of the media's shortcomings, as the magazine cited partisan left-wing environmental groups with a vested financial interest in hyping alarmism.
"More and More Land is Being Devastated by Drought"
"Earth at the Tipping Point"
"The Climate is Crashing,"
Time Magazine did not make the slightest attempt to balance its reporting with any views with scientists skeptical of this alleged climate apocalypse.
I don't have journalism training, but I dare say calling a bunch of environmental groups with an obvious fund-raising agenda and asking them to make wild speculations on how bad global warming might become, is nothing more than advocacy for their left-wing causes. It is a violation of basic journalistic standards....
Gore's Inconvenient Truth
In May, our nation was exposed to perhaps one of the slickest science propaganda films of all time: former Vice President Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth." In addition to having the backing of Paramount Pictures to market this film, Gore had the full backing of the media, and leading the cheerleading charge was none other than the Associated Press [AP].
On June 27, the Associated Press ran an article by Seth Borenstein that boldly declared "Scientists give two thumbs up to Gore's movie." The article quoted only five scientists praising Gore's science, despite AP's having contacted over 100 scientists.
The fact that over 80% of the scientists contacted by the AP had not even seen the movie or that many scientists have harshly criticized the science presented by Gore did not dissuade the news outlet one bit from its mission to promote Gore's brand of climate alarmism.
I am almost at a loss as to how to begin to address the series of errors, misleading science and unfounded speculation that appear in the former Vice President's film
Here is what Richard Lindzen, a meteorologist from MIT [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] has written about "An Inconvenient Truth."
"A general characteristic of Mr. Gore's approach is to ignore the fact that the earth and its climate are dynamic; they are always changing even without any external forcing. To treat all change as something to fear is bad enough; to do so in order to exploit that fear is much worse."
What follows is a very brief summary of the science that the former Vice President promotes in either a wrong or misleading way:
* He promoted the now debunked "hockey stick" temperature chart in an attempt to prove man's overwhelming impact on the climate.
* He attempted to minimize the significance of Medieval Warm period and the Little Ice Age.
* He insisted on a link between increased hurricane activity and global warming that most scientists believe does not exist.
* He asserted that today's Arctic is experiencing unprecedented warmth while ignoring that temperatures in the 1930's were as warm or warmer.
* He claimed the Antarctic was warming and losing ice but failed to note, that is only true of a small region and the vast bulk has been cooling and gaining ice.
* He hyped unfounded fears that Greenland's ice is in danger of disappearing.
* He erroneously claimed that the ice cap on Mt. Kilimanjaro [in Tanzania], is disappearing due to global warming, even while the region cools and researchers blame the ice loss on local land-use practices.
* He made assertions of massive future sea level rise that is way outside of any supposed scientific "consensus" and is not supported in even the most alarmist literature.
* He incorrectly implied that a Peruvian glacier's retreat is due to global warming, while ignoring the fact that the region has been cooling since the 1930s and other glaciers in South America are advancing.
* He blamed global warming for water loss in Africa's Lake Chad, despite NASA scientists concluding that local population and grazing factors are the more likely culprits.
* He inaccurately claimed polar bears are drowning in significant numbers due to melting ice when in fact they are thriving.
* He completely failed to inform viewers that the 48 scientists who accused President Bush of distorting science were part of a political advocacy group set up to support Democrat Presidential candidate John Kerry in 2004.
Now that was just a brief sampling of some of the errors presented in "An Inconvenient Truth." Imagine how long the list would have been if I had actually seen the movie—there would not be enough time to deliver this speech today....
Some Welcome Resistance
It is an inconvenient truth that so far, 2006 has been a year in which major segments of the media have given up on any quest for journalistic balance, fairness and objectivity when it comes to climate change. The global warming alarmists and their friends in the media have attempted to smear scientists who dare question the premise of man-made catastrophic global warming, and as a result some scientists have seen their reputations and research funding dry up.
The media has so relentlessly promoted global warming fears that a British group called the Institute for Public Policy Research—and this from a left leaning group—issued a report in 2006 accusing media outlets of engaging in what they termed "climate porn" in order to attract the public's attention.
Bob Carter, a Paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia has described how the media promotes climate fear: "Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as 'if', 'might', 'could', 'probably', 'perhaps', 'expected', 'projected' or 'modeled'—and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense," professor Carter concluded in an op-ed in April of this year.
Another example of this relentless hype is the reporting on the seemingly endless number of global warming impact studies which do not even address whether global warming is going to happen. They merely project the impact of potential temperature increases.
The American people know when their intelligence is being insulted. They know when they are being used and when they are being duped by the hysterical left.
The media endlessly hypes studies that purportedly show that global warming could increase mosquito populations, malaria, West Nile Virus, heat waves and hurricanes, threaten the oceans, damage coral reefs, boost poison ivy growth, damage vineyards, and global food crops, to name just a few of the global warming linked calamities.
Oddly, according to the media reports, warmer temperatures almost never seem to have any positive effects on plant or animal life or food production.
Fortunately, the media's addiction to so-called 'climate porn' has failed to seduce many Americans.
According to a July Pew Research Center Poll, the American public is split about evenly between those who say global warming is due to human activity versus those who believe it's from natural factors or not happening at all. This is down from 85 percent just a year ago.
In addition, an August Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe global warming is naturally occurring is on the rise.
Yes—it appears that alarmism has led to skepticism.
The American people know when their intelligence is being insulted. They know when they are being used and when they are being duped by the hysterical left. The American people deserve better—much better—from our fourth estate.
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