WeatherBell.com's Joe Bastardi Differs With Mainstream Media: Beware of a Mini Ice Age

For years America's media have been enthralled by anything that supports the theory that carbon dioxide is warming the planet leading to an imminent cataclysm if governments don't regulate this partially man-made gas.

By contrast, reports that might undermine CO2's importance in global warming, like the following released Tuesday by the AAS Solar Physics Division in Las Cruces, New Mexico, predicting a sharp decrease in solar activity in coming years, typically get either little attention or are downplayed:

A missing jet stream, fading spots, and slower activity near the poles say that our Sun is heading for a rest period even as it is acting up for the first time in years, according to scientists at the National Solar Observatory (NSO) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

As the current sunspot cycle, Cycle 24, begins to ramp up toward maximum, independent studies of the solar interior, visible surface, and the corona indicate that the next 11-year solar sunspot cycle, Cycle 25, will be greatly reduced or may not happen at all.

The results were announced at the annual meeting of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society, which is being held this week at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces: http://astronomy.nmsu.edu/SPD2011/

“This is highly unusual and unexpected,” Dr. Frank Hill, associate director of the NSO’s Solar Synoptic Network, said of the results. “But the fact that three completely different views of the Sun point in the same direction is a powerful indicator that the sunspot cycle may be going into hibernation.”

Sounds pretty serious, right?

Not according to America's global warming-loving media as LexisNexis identified that with the exception of the Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, only CBS News bothered reporting this, albeit during its "Morning News" program broadcast at 4AM Wednesday when most of the country was fast asleep:

BETTY NGUYEN: Now a bit farther away, ninety-three million miles farther exactly, the scientists say giant flares like this one will be a lot less common in coming years. They say the sun is headed into an extended hibernation period with fewer flares and sun spots.

And that, as they say, was that.

Apart from FNC and FBN, a total of two sentences were given to this solar activity report on American television. LexisNexis identified nothing from ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, or PBS.

Nada, zilch, zippo!

By contrast, FBN offered the following for its viewers Thursday with detailed commentary by Weatherbell.com's Joe Bastardi:

Nice report. You can understand why the global warming-loving television media wouldn't want their viewers to see that. Neither did most major newspapers, as I could identify nothing concerning this matter in the print editions of the New York Times, USA Today, or the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press's Al Gore-loving Seth Borenstein did report the news, but downplayed its significance:

The sun is heading into an unusual and extended hibernation, scientists predict. Around 2020, sunspots may disappear for years, maybe decades.

But scientists say it is nothing to worry about. Solar storm activity has little to do with life-giving light and warmth from the sun. The effects from a calmer sun are mostly good. There'd be fewer disruptions of satellites and power systems. And it might mean a little less increase in global warming.

The effects from a calmer sun are mostly good? Yeah, he really said that.

Quite a departure from Bastardi's view that we could be heading back to the cool temperatures we saw in the '70s when press outlets like Time magazine were fretting about a new ice age:

If this were to reoccur, Americans would be spending far more on energy to heat their homes, which at today's rates would have a substantially more deleterious impact on the economy than rising temperatures.

As Bastardi noted, it's easier to grow vegetables and grains when it's warm. With food costs on the rise, a cooling planet could further exacerbate the problem.

But don't worry. Most of the media think this is either unimportant or nothing to get excited about.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

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