Climate Depot Editorial – Serving as the Media’s Ombudsman
It has finally happened. We have reached the “tipping point.”
2009 can now be officially declared the year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears.
Significant organs of the mainstream media are now officially abandoning one-sided man-made global warming fear promotion and alleged claims that the “debate is over.”
The stunning media reversal has accelerated in recent weeks as top UN scientists have raised the specter of continued global cooling. See: UN Fears (More) Global Cooling Commeth! IPCC Scientist Warns UN: We may be about to enter ‘one or even 2 decades during which temps cool’ – Sept. 5, 2009
It appears at long last that media’s faith is waning. Appeals to authority about the alleged global warming “consensus” are now being met with a healthy dose of skepticism by increasing large portions of the mainstream media. Statements like UN IPCC lead author Kevin Trenberth that the UN IPCC “has spoken” no longer have the comforting effect on many key members of the journalistic flock. [Disclaimer: This declaration does not mean the battle to improve the media’s coverage of global warming is over. But it does mean that there have been significant developments in 2009 with the media’s coverage of climate change. Promoters of man-made climate fears will now need a major reformation to win back the faith of key members of the media.]
A steady stream of peer-reviewed studies, a continued lack of global warming, real world data and scientists continuing to dissent, have finally moved major establishment media outlets to report that the debate not only is “not over” but that skeptics may have been correct all along. [Note: Journalists are now sensing what Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden, formerly of the Space Research and Coordination Center in Pittsburgh, warned about in 2008. “Many [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out quietly (from promoting warming fears), without having their professional careers ruined,” Peden said.]
Close followers of climate science development foresaw this collapse of the science is “settled” reporting way back in 2006. Here is a breakdown of how the science of man-made global warming and the alleged “consensus” has fared since 2006.
2) 2007 – GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM REACHES A TIPPING POINT – October 26, 2007 (Editor’s Note: 2007 is also known as the year ‘Anthropogenic global warming bites the dust’ as ‘New Peer-Reviewed Scientific Studies Chill Global Warming Fears’ – August 20, 2007
2009 can now be officially declared the year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears. [Note: The collapse of man-made climate fears has even prompted Al Gore’s producer, environmental activist Laurie David, to already tout the next eco-scare. See: AGW RIP? Is It Time for Next Eco-Scare Already? Gore’s producer Laure David touts plastic crisis: ‘Plastic waste is in some ways more alarming for us humans than global warming’ – July 31, 2009 & UK Green Party: ‘There exists a more serious crisis than the ‘CO2 crisis’: the oxygen levels are dropping and the human activity has decreased them by 1/3 or ½’]
In addition to the media, even climate and environmental activists are now questioning global warming. See: Climate Activists Shock Admission: ‘Climate change campaigners should not have fixated on carbon dioxide’ – Sept. 18, 2009 & See: Even activists at green festivals are now expressing doubts over man-made climate fears: ‘I’m not sure climate change is real’ – August 8, 2009.
The public has grown increasingly skeptical as the promoters of man-made climate fears have grown more dire. See: Climate Depot Factsheet on Public Opinion About Global Warming: Americans Growing Increasingly Skeptical – Sept. 22, 2009 & See: Climate Depot Factsheet on “climate astrology.”
Houston Chronicle Reporter: ‘I am confused’
Perhaps the most dramatic public announcement came in September from Houston Chronicle science reporter Eric Berger. See: Sept. 2009: Houston Chronicle Reporter Reconsiders Science is ‘Settled’ Claims! ‘I am confused. Four years ago this all seemed like a fait accompli’ – “Earth seems to have, at least temporarily, stopped warming,” Berger wrote on September 6, 2009. “If we can’t have confidence in short-term prognosis for climate change, how can we have full confidence in long-term?” Berger asked.
Other high profile climate reporters like Andrew Revkin of the New York Times are now writing articles about how the UN is failing to achieve scientific and political dominance. See: NYT’s Moment of Clarity: UN faces challenge achieving climate treaty ‘when global temps have been stable for a decade and may even drop in next few years’ – Sept. 23, 2009
‘What happened to global warming’
The BBC stunned the journalism community with its October 8, 2009 article by their climate correspondent Paul Hudson. The BBC headline reverberated across the globe: “What happened to global warming.” The BBC article went on to explain in detail about the lack of global warming and the fact that many scientists are predicting a coming global cooling. See: Shock: BBC’s Moment of Clarity: ‘What happened to global warming?’ — ‘Debate about what is causing it is far from over’ – By BBC Climate Correspondent Paul Hudson – October 8, 2009
The scientific, cultural and political impact of the BBC’s new perspective on man-made global warming was astounding. Headlines blared:
The BBC began exhibiting this new found climate skepticism in July 2009. See:
Moment of Clarity: BBC Wakes Up To Benefits Of Warming — And To Climate Skepticism! – July 30, 2009
BBC journalist Richard Black also appeared to shift his climate views in 2009. See: BBC’s Richard Black Sees The Light — Asks ‘Does climate cloud the bigger picture?’- July 5, 2009 & BBC’s Richard Black is asking the right questions! ‘Has climate change hijacked the wider environmental agenda?’ – August 27, 2009
Media Now Engaging in Frenzy of Skeptical Coverage
Not to be left out of the fresh air of journalistic balance and the new recognition of climate reality, the UK Times, UK Mail and the Christian Science Monitor jumped out of the gates with their own new found skeptical take on man-made climate fears in recent days.
2) UK Mail: ‘Whatever happened to global warming? How freezing temperatures are starting to shatter climate change theory’ – October 14, 2009 (Note: Article mistakenly cites U.S. NASA temperature data as global)
4) Update: Germany’s Der Spiegel: More Media Gets it! Stagnating Temps: Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out — ‘Ironically, it appears to have stalled in run-up to UN climate meeting’ (DER SPIEGEL) – Nov. 19, 2009 – Scientists ‘puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years’
Even the Washington Post is finally coming around to balance objectivity in their climate reporting. See: Wash. Post reporting makes progress! Article concedes sea level computer model ‘predictions could be flawed or flat wrong’ – June 9, 2009
Sadly, not every reporter at the Post has kept up with the latest climate developments as the paper continued to churn out shoddy reporting from Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin. See: Wash. Post’s Juliet Eilperin Rejects Journalistic Balance — Touts ‘Political’ UN Climate Scare Report – September 25, 2009
On a more humorous note, Washington Post’s Andrew Freedman has been reduced to blaming President Obama and Climate Depot for the failure of man-made climate fears to persuade the public. See: Wash. Post Blames Obama For Failure of Global Warming Movement! President’s ‘mistakes may cost the planet dearly’ – Sept. 1, 2009
CNN’s Lou Dobbs, also moved solidly into the skeptical camp in 2009. See: CNN’s Lou Dobbs Becomes More Skeptical – Reconsiders Climate Views
Joining Dobbs in having an apparent conversion to skepticism was CBS newsman Charles Osgood. See: CBS Newsman Charles Osgood A Climate Skeptic? Questions Whether Quiet Sun May ‘Counteract’ Global Warming – April 21, 2009
National Geographic also wrote some very good articles presenting the potential benefits of any future global warming. See: National Geographic’s Moment of Clarity: ‘Emerging evidence’ reveals ‘rising temps could benefit millions of Africans in the driest parts of the continent’ – July 31, 2009
Not to be left out, McClatchy Newspapers published an article titled “Has Earth’s fever broken?” on August 19, 2009. “Official government measurements show that the world’s temperature has cooled a bit since reaching its most recent peak in 1998. That’s given global warming skeptics new ammunition to attack the prevailing theory of climate change,” the McClatchy article stated.
There are still many members of the mainstream media who are likely beyond hope in terms of shifting their woeful climate change reporting to reflect the new scientific realities. Among these lost souls are Bill Blakemore of ABC News and Scott Pelley of CBS News. No amount of deprogramming is likely to impact their orthodox climate beliefs. [See: ABC’s Bill Blakemore’s new reporting low: ‘Rising temps are helping both heroin traffickers and their Taliban and al Qaeda supporters’ – October 10, 2009 and see: “I don’t like the word ‘Balance”- Says ABC News Global Warming Reporter – October 30, 2006 – Also see: Scott Pelley of CBS News publicly compared scientists skeptical of global warming fears to Holocaust deniers: ‘If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?’ Pelley said in a March 23, 2006 interview with CBS News.]
The verdict is still out on the Associated Press climate reporter Seth Borenstein. Borenstein has shown the ability to do balanced global warming reporting, but more often than not, descends into lazy one-sided reporting. See: ‘Long sad history of AP reporter Seth Borenstein’s woeful global warming reporting’ – August 21, 2009
CNN’s Climate Coverage Improves
CNN’s coverage of global warming radically improved in 2009, since the news network let go its climate fear promoting science reporter Miles O’Brien and his CNN producer Peter Dykstra. The same goes for The Weather Channel. The network’s coverage of climate issues has improved dramatically since the woeful Heidi Cullen was let go. These are two ironclad instances where budget cutbacks and staff reductions noticeably improved climate news coverage.
Another key issue in 2009, was the intensification of threats and intimidation directed towards climate skeptics by the global warming faithful. See: ‘Execute’ Skeptics! Shock Call To Action: ‘At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers’ — ‘Shouldn’t we start punishing them now?’ – June 3, 2009
Expect More Climate Debates
One final key development in 2009, was a growing and surprising willingness by some man-made climate fear promoters to actually agree to engage in debates. See here for some examples. Expect to see a big increase in global warming debates as the warming faithful realize their “debate is over” tactics and refusal to debate has hurt their case immensely.
Sampling of Media’s Loss of Faith In Global Warming (includes some political leaders as well):
Shock: BBC’s Moment of Clarity: ‘What happened to global warming?’ — ‘Debate about what is causing it is far from over’ – ‘Cooling worldwide temperatures could last another 10-20 years’ — ‘Warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998’ – October 9, 2009
Excerpt: Excerpt: This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998. But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise. So what on Earth is going on? Climate change sceptics, who passionately and consistently argue that man’s influence on our climate is overstated, say they saw it coming. They argue that there are natural cycles, over which we have no control, that dictate how warm the planet is. […] Skeptics insist it is unlikely that temperatures will reach the dizzy heights of 1998 until 2030 at the earliest. It is possible, they say, that because of ocean and solar cycles a period of global cooling is more likely. One thing is for sure. It seems the debate about what is causing global warming is far from over. Indeed some would say its hotting up.
Wash. Post’s Moment of Clarity: ‘Carbon emissions will not be reduced by international bureaucrats sitting in a room and signing a piece of paper’ – July 14, 2009 – Excerpt: ‘They will not be reduced by public relations campaigns or by Oscar-winning documentaries…or by a complex treaty that neither the UN nor anyone else can possibly supervise’
Wash. Post’s Moment of Clarity: In Poorer Nations, Energy Needs Trump Climate Issues — ‘Dearth of power hinders prosperity’ – September 9, 2009 – Excerpt: ‘Millions of people are eager to buy their first washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners’