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 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 speaking about
the facts regarding 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 u201CAn Inconvenient Truth.u201D
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. Just last
week, 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
SUMMARY OF LATEST DEVELOPMENTS OF MANMADE
GLOBAL WARMING HOCKEY STICK
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 u201Csmoking gunu201D of proof of catastrophic global warming is
the so-called u2018hockey 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 u201CHockey
Sticku201D come under severe scrutiny.
The u201Chockey sticku201D 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 u201Chockey stick.u201D
The National Academy of Sciences report reaffirmed
the existence of the Medieval Warm Period from about 900 AD to 1300
AD and the Little Ice Age from about 1500 to 1850. Both of these
periods occurred long before the invention of the SUV 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. 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 u201CWe have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.u201D
When the u201CHockey Sticku201D first appeared in 1998, it did just that.
END OF LITTLE ICE AGE MEANS WARMING
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
In addition, something that the media almost
never addresses are the holes in the theory that CO2 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
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?
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
A letter sent to the Canadian Prime Minister
on April 6 of this year by 60 prominent scientists who question
the basis for climate alarmism, clearly explains the current state
of scientific knowledge on global warming.
u201CIf, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what
we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not
exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.u201D
The letter also noted:
u201Cu2018Climate change is real' is a meaningless
phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that
a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause. Neither
of these fears is justified. Global climate changes occur all
the time due to natural causes and the human impact still remains
impossible to distinguish from this natural u2018noise.'u201D
COMPUTER MODELS THREATEN EARTH
One of the ways alarmists have pounded this
mantra of u201Cconsensusu201D on global warming into our pop culture is
through the use of computer models which project future calamity.
But the science is simply not there to place so much faith in scary
computer model scenarios which extrapolate the current and projected
buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and conclude that
the planet faces certain doom.
Dr. Vincent Gray, a research scientist and
a 2001 reviewer with the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) has noted, u201CThe effects of aerosols, and their uncertainties,
are such as to nullify completely the reliability of any of the
Earlier this year, the director of the International
Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks Alaska, testified to Congress
that highly publicized climate models showing a disappearing Arctic
were nothing more than u201Cscience fiction.u201D
In fact, after years of hearing about the computer
generated scary scenarios about the future of our planet, I now
believe that the greatest climate threat we face may be coming from
alarmist computer models.
This threat is originating from the software
installed on the hard drives of the publicity-seeking climate modelers.
It is long past the time for us to separate
climate change fact from hysteria.
KYOTO: ECONOMIC PAIN FOR NO CLIMATE GAIN
One final point on the science of climate change:
I am approached by many in the media and others who ask, u201CWhat if
you are wrong to doubt the dire global warming predictions? Will
you be able to live with yourself for opposing the Kyoto Protocol?u201D
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. Scientists like MIT's Richard
Lindzen, former Colorado State climatologist Roger Pielke, Sr.,
the University of Alabama's Roy Spencer and John Christy, Virginia
State Climatologist Patrick Michaels, Colorado State University's
William Gray, atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, Willie Soon
of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Oregon State
climatologist George Taylor and astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas,
to name a few.
But more importantly, it is the global warming
alarmists who should be asked the question – u201CWhat if they
are correct about man-made catastrophic global warming?u201D –
because they have come up with no meaningful solution to their supposed
climate crisis in the two decades that they have been hyping this
If the alarmists truly believe that man-made
greenhouse gas emissions are dooming the planet, then they must
face up to the fact that symbolism does not solve a supposed climate
The alarmists freely concede that the Kyoto
Protocol, even if fully ratified and complied with, would not have
any meaningful impact on global temperatures. And keep in mind that
Kyoto is not even close to being complied with by many of the nations
that ratified it, including 13 of the EU-15 nations that are not
going to meet their emission reduction promises.
Many of the nations that ratified Kyoto are
now realizing what I have been saying all along: The Kyoto Protocol
is a lot of economic pain for no climate gain.
Legislation that has been proposed in this
chamber would have even less of a temperature effect than Kyoto's
undetectable impact. And more recently, global warming alarmists
and the media have been praising California for taking action to
limit CO2. But here again: This costly feel-good California measure,
which is actually far less severe than Kyoto, will have no impact
on the climate – only the economy.
Symbolism does not solve a climate crisis.
In addition, we now have many environmentalists
and Hollywood celebrities, like Laurie David, who have been advocating
measures like changing standard light bulbs in your home to fluorescents
to help avert global warming. Changing to more energy-efficient
light bulbs is a fine thing to do, but to somehow imply we can avert
a climate disaster by these actions is absurd.
Once again, symbolism does not solve a climate
But this symbolism may be hiding a dark side.
While greenhouse gas limiting proposals may cost the industrialized
West trillions of dollars, it is the effect on the developing world's
poor that is being lost in this debate.
The Kyoto Protocol's post-2012 agenda which
mandates that the developing world be subjected to restrictions
on greenhouse gases could have the potential to severely restrict
development in regions of the world like Africa, Asia and South
America – where some of the Earth's most energy-deprived people
Expanding basic necessities like running water
and electricity in the developing world are seen by many in the
green movement as a threat to the planet's health that must be avoided.
Energy poverty equals a life of back-breaking
poverty and premature death.
If we allow scientifically unfounded fears
of global warming to influence policy makers to restrict future
energy production and the creation of basic infrastructure in the
developing world – billions of people will continue to suffer.
Last week my committee heard testimony from
Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg, who was once a committed left-wing
environmentalist until he realized that so much of what that movement
preached was based on bad science. Lomborg wrote a book called u201CThe
Skeptical Environmentalistu201D and has organized some of the world's
top Nobel Laureates to form the 2004
u201CCopenhagen Consensusu201D which ranked the world's most pressing
problems. And guess what?
They placed global warming at the bottom of
the list in terms of our planet's priorities. The u201CCopenhagen Consensusu201D
found that the most important priorities of our planet included:
combating disease, stopping malaria, securing clean water, and building
infrastructure to help lift the developing nations out of poverty.
I have made many trips to Africa, and once you see the devastating
poverty that has a grip on that continent, you quickly realize that
fears about global warming are severely misguided.
I firmly believe that when the history of our
era is written, future generations will look back with puzzlement
and wonder why we spent so much time and effort on global warming
fears and pointless solutions like the Kyoto Protocol.
French President Jacques Chirac provided the
key clue as to why so many in the international community still
revere the Kyoto Protocol, who in 2000 said Kyoto represents u201Cthe
first component of an authentic global governance.u201D
Furthermore, if your goal is to limit CO2 emissions,
the only effective way to go about it is the use of cleaner, more
efficient technologies that will meet the energy demands of this
century and beyond.
The Bush administration and my Environment
and Public Works Committee have been engaged in these efforts as
we work to expand nuclear power and promote the Asia-Pacific Partnership.
This partnership stresses the sharing of new technology among member
nations including three of the world's top-10 emitters – China,
India and South Korea – all of whom are exempt from Kyoto.
MEDIA COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE:
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:
u201CThere 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.u201D
A headline in the New York Times reads:
u201CClimate Changes Endanger World's Food Output.u201D Here is a quote
from Time Magazine:
u201CAs 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.u201D
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. http://time-proxy.yaga.com/time/archive/printout/0,23657,944914,00.html
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:
u201C[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.u201D
Before you think that this is just another
example of the media promoting 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 u201Ctrump cardu201D of global warming u201Chas been the melting glaciers.u201D
BUT MEDIA COULD NOT DECIDE BETWEEN WARMING
OR COOLING SCARES
There are many more examples of the media and
scientists flip-flopping between warming and cooling scares.
Here is a quote from the New York Times
reporting on fears of an approaching ice age.
u201CGeologists Think the World May be Frozen Up
That sentence appeared over 100 years ago in
the February 24, 1895 edition of the New York Times.
Let me repeat. 1895, not 1995.
A front-page article in the October 7, 1912
New York Times, just a few months after the Titanic struck
an iceberg and sank, declared that a prominent professor u201CWarns
Us of an Encroaching Ice Age.u201D
The very same day in 1912, the Los Angeles
Times ran an article warning that the u201CHuman race will have
to fight for its existence against cold.u201D An August 10, 1923 Washington
Post article declared: u201CIce Age Coming Here.u201D
By the 1930's, the media took a break from
reporting on the coming ice age and instead switched gears to promoting
u201CAmerica in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776;
Temperature Line Records a 25-year Riseu201D stated an article in the
New York Times on March 27, 1933. The media of yesteryear
was also not above injecting large amounts of fear and alarmism
into their climate articles.
An August 9, 1923 front page article in the
Chicago Tribune declared:
u201CScientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada.u201D
The article quoted a Yale University professor who predicted that
large parts of Europe and Asia would be u201Cwiped outu201D and Switzerland
would be u201Centirely obliterated.u201D
A December 29, 1974 New York Times article
on global cooling reported that climatologists believed u201Cthe facts
of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic
experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade.u201D
The article also warned that unless government
officials reacted to the coming catastrophe, u201Cmass deaths by starvation
and probably in anarchy and violenceu201D would result. In 1975, the
New York Times reported that u201CA major cooling [was] widely
considered to be inevitable.u201D These past predictions of doom have
a familiar ring, don't they? They sound strikingly similar to our
modern media promotion of former Vice president's brand of climate
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.
Much of the 100-year media history on climate
change that I have documented here today can be found in a publication
and Iceu201D from the Business and Media Institute.
MEDIA COVERAGE IN 2006
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 this year, CBS
News's u201C60 Minutesu201D 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.
u201C60 Minutesu201D 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
On March 19th of this year u201C60
Minutesu201D profiled NASA scientist and alarmist James Hansen,
who was once again making allegations of being censored by the Bush
In this segment, objectivity and balance were
again tossed aside in favor of a one-sided glowing profile of Hansen.
The u201C60 Minutesu201D 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.
The foundation's money originated from the
Heinz family ketchup fortune. So it appears that the media makes
a distinction between oil money and ketchup money.
u201C60 Minutesu201D also did not inform viewers that
Hansen appeared to concede in a 2003 issue of Natural Science that
the use of u201Cextreme scenarios” to dramatize climate change u201Cmay
have been appropriate at one timeu201D to drive the public’s attention
to the issue.
Why would u201C60 Minutesu201D 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 u201CHolocaust deniers.u201D
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 u201Ceasier
to sail to than stand onu201D 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
TIME MAGAZINE HYPES ALARMISM
In April of this year, Time Magazine
devoted an issue to global warming alarmism titled u201CBe
Worried, Be Very Worried.u201D
This is the same Time Magazine which
first warned of a coming ice age in 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.
u201CMore and More Land is Being Devastated by
u201CEarth at the Tipping Pointu201D
u201CThe Climate is Crashing,u201D
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.
To his credit, New York Times reporter
Revkin saw fit to criticize Time Magazine for its embarrassing coverage
of climate science. http://orient.bowdoin.edu/orient/article.php?date=2006-04-28ion=1&id=7
So in the end, Time's cover story title
of u201CBe Worried, Be Very Worried,u201D appears to have been apt. The
American people should be worried – very worried – of
such shoddy journalism.
AL GORE INCONVIENIENT TRUTH
In May, our nation was exposed to perhaps one
of the slickest science propaganda films of all time: former Vice
President Gore's u201CAn Inconvenient Truth.u201D 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.
On June 27, the Associated Press ran an
article by Seth Borenstein that boldly declared u201CScientists
give two thumbs up to Gore’s movie.u201D The article quoted only five
scientists praising Gore's science, despite AP's having contacted
over 100 scientists.
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 has written
about u201CAn Inconvenient Truth.u201D u201CA general characteristic of Mr.
Gore’s approach is to assiduously 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.u201D
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 u201Chockey sticku201D
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 sciences believe does not
- 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 is disappearing due to global warming, even
while the region cools and researchers blame the ice loss on local
- He made assertions of massive future sea
level rise that is way out side of any supposed scientific u201Cconsensusu201D
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 u201CAn Inconvenient Truth.u201D 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.
Following the promotion of u201CAn Inconvenient
Truth,u201D the press did not miss a beat in their role as advocates
for global warming fears.
News put forth its best effort to secure its standing as an
advocate for climate alarmism when the network put out a call for
people to submit their anecdotal global warming horror stories in
June for use in a future news segment.
In July, the Discovery
Channel presented a documentary on global warming narrated by former
NBC anchor Tom Brokaw. The program presented only those views
of scientists promoting the idea that humans are destroying the
You don't have to take my word for the program's
overwhelming bias; a Bloomberg News TV review noted u201CYou’ll find
more dissent at a North Korean political rally than in this programu201D
because of its lack of scientific objectivity.
Brokaw also presented climate alarmist James
Hansen to viewers as unbiased, failing to note his quarter million
dollar grant from the partisan Heinz Foundation or his endorsement
of Democrat Presidential nominee John Kerry in 2004 and his role
promoting former Vice President Gore's Hollywood movie.
Brokaw, however, did find time to impugn the
motives of scientists skeptical of climate alarmism when he featured
paid environmental partisan Michael Oppenhimer of the group Environmental
Defense accusing skeptics of being bought out by the fossil fuel
The fact remains that political campaign funding
by environmental groups to promote climate and environmental alarmism
dwarfs spending by the fossil fuel industry by a three-to-one ratio.
Environmental special interests, through their 527s, spent over
$19 million compared to the $7 million that Oil and Gas spent through
PACs in the 2004 election cycle.
I am reminded of a question the media often
asks me about how much I have received in campaign contributions
from the fossil fuel industry. My unapologetic answer is "Not
Enough," – especially when you consider the millions partisan
environmental groups pour into political campaigns.
Continuing with our media analysis: On July
24, 2006 the Los Angeles Times featured an op-ed by Naomi
Oreskes, a social scientist at the University of California San
Diego and the author of a 2004 Science Magazine study. Oreskes
insisted that a review of 928 scientific papers showed there was
100% consensus that global warming was not caused by natural climate
This study was also featured in former Vice President Gore's u201CAn
However, the analysis in Science Magazine excluded
nearly 11,000 studies or more than 90 percent of the papers dealing
with global warming, according to a critique by British social scientist
Peiser also pointed out that less than two
percent of the climate studies in the survey actually endorsed the
so-called u201Cconsensus viewu201D that human activity is driving global
warming and some of the studies actually opposed that view.
But despite this manufactured u201Cconsensus,u201D
the media continued to ignore any attempt to question the orthodoxy
of climate alarmism.
As the dog days of August rolled in, the American
people were once again hit with more hot hype regarding global warming,
this time from the New York Times op-ed pages. A columnist
penned an August 3rd column filled with so many inaccuracies it
is a wonder the editor of the Times saw fit to publish it.
For instance, Bob
Herbert's column made dubious claims about polar bears, the
snows of Kilimanjaro and he attempted to link this past summer's
heat wave in the U.S. to global warming — something even alarmist
James Hansen does not support.
POLAR BEARS LOOK TIRED?
Finally, a September 15, 2006 Reuters News
article claimed that polar bears in the Arctic are threatened with
extinction by global warming. The article by correspondent Alister
Doyle, quoted a visitor to the Arctic who claims he saw two distressed
polar bears. According to the Reuters article, the man noted that
u201Cone of [the polar bears] looked to be dead and the other one looked
to be exhausted.” The article did not state the bears were actually
dead or exhausted, rather that they u201Clookedu201D that way.
Have we really arrived at the point where major
news outlets in the U.S. are reduced to analyzing whether or not
polar bears in the Arctic appear restful? How does reporting like
this get approved for publication by the editors at Reuters? What
happened to covering the hard science of this issue?
What was missing from this Reuters news article
was the fact that according to biologists who study the animals,
polar bears are doing quite well. Biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor
from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, refuted
these claims in May when he
u201COf the 13 populations of polar bears in
Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going
extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.u201D
Sadly, it appears that reporting anecdotes
and hearsay as fact, has now replaced the basic tenets of journalism
for many media outlets.
ALARMISM HAS LED TO SKEPTICISM
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
u201Cclimate pornu201D 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
u201CEach such alarmist article is larded with
words such as u2018if', u2018might', u2018could', u2018probably', u2018perhaps', u2018expected',
u2018projected' or u2018modeled' – and many involve such deep dreaming,
or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin
to nonsense,u201D 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
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
u201Cclimate pornu201D 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.
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
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. We have a right to expect
accuracy and objectivity on climate change coverage. We have a right
to expect balance in sourcing and fair analysis from reporters who
cover the issue.
Above all, the media must roll back this mantra
that there is scientific u201Cconsensusu201D of impending climatic doom
as an excuse to ignore recent science. After all, there was a so-called
scientific u201Cconsensusu201D that there were nine planets in our solar
system until Pluto was recently demoted.
Breaking the cycles of media hysteria will
not be easy since hysteria sells – it's very profitable. But
I want to challenge the news media to reverse course and report
on the objective science of climate change, to stop ignoring legitimate
voices this scientific debate and to stop acting as a vehicle for
Inhofe is a US senator from Oklahoma.