Disgraceful Global Warming Hysteria at NBC: ‘Meltdown in Greenland’

The media's global warming hysteria is clearly becoming unhinged.

First, ABC News published a photo essay at its website Friday prominently displaying computer generated images of U.S. cities drowned by climate change raised seas.

Then, on Monday's "Nightly News," NBC's environmental correspondent Anne Thompson, reporting from Greenland, cautioned viewers that the "summer thaw, picking up dangerous speed 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle...could ignite worldwide disaster."

How pleasant, wouldn't you agree? I sincerely hope few Americans were watching this abomination while they were eating dinner. After all, Thompson ominously began her report (video available here, h/t Marc Morano):

Before you can see it on Greenland's massive ice sheet, you can hear it. The summer thaw, picking up dangerous speed 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Accessible only by helicopter, there are no trees, birds or wildlife here, just the ice. And that's leaving, too.

Thompson was touring Greenland with Konrad Steffen, who told her:

We have seen that the temperatures increased over the last 15 years by about five centigrades... About 10 Fahrenheit... So this is a large temperature increase.

Thompson responded: "Happening so fast, instead of taking decades or centuries to react, the University of Colorado at Boulder scientist says the ice is now changing on a yearly basis."

Hmmm. So, Steffen has only been measuring Greenland's temperature and ice levels for eighteen years. Yet, Thompson opted not to interview anybody to discuss what conditions were in this part of the world prior to 1989, or to present any information whatsoever about the area before Steffen was there.

Is that good journalism? Why might Thompson have completely ignored the history of the area?

Could it be that multiple studies concerning Greenland suggest that the ice sheets there have been melting since 1880? Or that the average yearly temperature in Greenland since 1955 is actually cooler than those seen between 1881 and 1955?

I guess such historical facts are unimportant when they go counter to your agenda.

As a result, what Thompson did was similar to what most press representatives are doing concerning this issue, namely, only presenting recent data which appear catastrophic without giving any historical reference that demonstrates how common current conditions might be, or how they compare to the past.

Alas, the really disgraceful hysteria was yet to come:

THOMPSON: The scientists are trying to figure out how much water goes down through those moulins, because the theory is that that water gets between the bottom of the ice sheet and the bedrock, causing the ice sheet to move. That movement could ignite worldwide disaster.

Mr. STEFFEN: If you take Greenland alone and put it into the ocean, melt it or break it off, sea level will rise about seven meters, 21 feet.

THOMPSON: Here's what would happen. Water would swamp much of the Netherlands, nearly wipe Bangladesh from the map and sink the southern third of Florida.

How unbelievably irresponsible. After all, even the most recent Assessment Report from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicted a maximum sea level rise in the next 100 years of only 23 inches.

Yes. 23 inches. Less than two feet over the next century.

Yet, the "NBC Nightly News" felt comfortable reporting to the citizenry a 21-foot rise in ocean levels that "would swamp much of the Netherlands, nearly wipe Bangladesh from the map and sink the southern third of Florida."

Honestly, this is getting absurd. When are news producers and editors going to end this nonsensical hysteria?

After all, this isn't journalism. Not even close.

This is activist alarmism specifically designed to produce enough anxiety in the population to engender support for governmental solutions to a crisis that hasn't be proven actually exists.

For more information refuting Thompson's claims, please see Marc Morano's July 30 posting at the Senate's EPW blog entitled "Latest Scientific Studies Refute Fears of Greenland Melt."

That said, what follows is a full transcript of this segment.

ANNE THOMPSON, NBC's ENVIRONMENTAL CORRESPONDENT: Before you can see it on Greenland's massive ice sheet, you can hear it. The summer thaw, picking up dangerous speed 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Accessible only by helicopter, there are no trees, birds or wildlife here, just the ice. And that's leaving, too.

Mr. KONRAD STEFFEN: We actually see an increase in melt and thaw, and that we relate to the increase in temperatures.

THOMPSON: This is Konrad Steffen's 18th year on the ice sheet. He came to study how the weather interacts with the ice and found climate change.

Mr. STEFFEN: We have seen that the temperatures increased over the last 15 years by about five centigrades.

THOMPSON: Which is, what? Ten...

Mr. STEFFEN: About 10 Fahrenheit.

THOMPSON: Farenheit.

Mr. STEFFEN: So this is a large temperature increase.

THOMPSON: Happening so fast, instead of taking decades or centuries to react, the University of Colorado at Boulder scientist says the ice is now changing on a yearly basis. This ice is not smooth. It's crunchy, pockmarked by melt holes, divided by streams and rivers of melt water running into moulins, which are giant, vertical caves. This one, some 330 feet deep...

Unidentified Man: Yeah. You're fine.

THOMPSON: ...you can only see into by harassing yourself to a lifeline and crawling on your hand and knees to its fragile edge.

Wow!

Steffen measures the moulins with what looks like a blender. Inside are a tiny computer, lasers and cameras.

Mr. STEFFEN: I want to know the volume of this big cavity because we're trying to calculate how much energy goes into the ice.

THOMPSON: Energy in the form of water.

The scientists are trying to figure out how much water goes down through those moulins, because the theory is that that water gets between the bottom of the ice sheet and the bedrock, causing the ice sheet to move. That movement could ignite worldwide disaster.

Mr. STEFFEN: If you take Greenland alone and put it into the ocean, melt it or break it off, sea level will rise about seven meters, 21 feet.

THOMPSON: Here's what would happen. Water would swamp much of the Netherlands, nearly wipe Bangladesh from the map and sink the southern third of Florida.

Currently, Steffen says, the ice Greenland loses every year is twice as much as all the ice in the Alps. That breaking off, or calving, is most dramatic at the Jakobshavn glacier, flowing three times faster than just a decade ago, sending icebergs into the fjord every day with enough water to meet New York City's needs for a year.

Mr. STEFFEN: It is not just a temperature increase.

THOMPSON: The Swiss-born Steffen advises both the Bush administration and Al Gore, and fields calls from the not-so-famous.

Mr. STEFFEN: From people who are going to retire and to say, `I have bought beach property in--either in Florida or in Central America. Is it worse to move West, or how high should I build my house?'

THOMPSON: The world asking him to see the future in this sheet of ice. Anne Thompson, NBC News on the Greenland ice sheet.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.