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Battle of the Movies
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MEDIA 1

The following is an excerpt from a speech made by U.S. Senator James Inhofe on September 25th 2006.  Senator Inhofe is chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.  The frightening thing is that the media Senator Inhofe talks about here are the mainstream media - the media we are inclined to trust.

MEDIA COVERAGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

Many in the media, as I noted earlier, have taken it upon themselves to drop all pretence 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 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.”

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. “Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.” 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 “Warns Us of an Encroaching Ice Age.”

The very same day in 1912, the Los Angeles Times ran an article warning that the “Human race will have to fight for its existence against cold.” An August 10, 1923 Washington Post article declared: “Ice Age Coming Here.”

By the 1930’s, the media took a break from reporting on the coming ice age and instead switched gears to promoting global warming: “America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-year Rise” 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: “Scientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada.” The article quoted a Yale University professor who predicted that large parts of Europe and Asia would be “wiped out” and Switzerland would be “entirely obliterated.”

A December 29, 1974 New York Times article on global cooling reported that climatologists believed “the facts of the present climate change are such that the most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a decade.” The article also warned that unless government officials reacted to the coming catastrophe, “mass deaths by starvation and probably anarchy and violence” would result.

In 1975, the New York Times reported that “A major cooling [was] widely considered to be inevitable.” 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 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.

Much of the 100-year media history on climate change that I have documented here today can be found in a publication titled “Fire and Ice” 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 sceptical of today’s sensational promoters of global warming? You be the judge. On February 19th of this year, 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 scientist and alarmist James Hansen, who was once again making allegations of being censored by the Bush administration.

In this segment, objectivity and balance were again tossed aside in favour 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. Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference

Many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate sceptics, 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. “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 issue."

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 sceptical of global warming alarmism from his segments because he considers sceptics 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.

TIME MAGAZINE HYPES ALARMISM.
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 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. Headlines blared: “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 sceptical 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.

So in the end, Time’s cover story title of “Be Worried, Be Very Worried,” appears to have been apt. The American people should be worried --- very worried -- of such shoddy journalism.


Also see below a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works hearing on the media's treatment of global warming from YouTube.  Particularly note Dr. Carter's comments on  how the  anthropogenic contribution to climate change is unknown and ultimately unquantifiable.


MEDIA 2

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