Senate Global Warming Hearing Exposes Alarmist Media

As NewsBuster Matt Sheffield reported Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works held a hearing Wednesday to discuss the media’s role in causing global warming hysteria in the country. The committee’s website encapsulated the proceedings (emphasis mine throughout):

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, said today’s hearing about the media and climate change revealed that “Scare tactics should not drive public policy.” The hearing’s purpose was to examine the media’s presentation of climate science and featured scientists and media experts.

 “As the Democrats rush to pass costly carbon cap legislation in the next Congress, today’s hearing showed that the so-called ‘scientific consensus’ does not exist. Leading scientists from the U.S. and Australia denounced much of the media for becoming advocates for alarmism rather than objectivity.” Senator James Inhofe said.

The press release continued:

“I was particularly interested in testimony by Dr. Daniel Schrag of Harvard University, who believes that manmade emissions are driving global warming. Dr. Schrag said the Kyoto Protocol is not the right approach to take and agreed it would have almost no impact on the climate even if all the nations fully complied,” Inhofe added. Currently 13 of the 15 EU nations are failing to meet the requirements of Kyoto.

During his opening remarks, Senator Inhofe stated, “Rather than focus on the hard science of global warming, the media has instead become advocates for hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism.” Senator Inhofe cited criticism from believers in manmade global warming who have slammed the media for presenting “a quasi-religious register of doom, death [and] judgment” and compared the media’s coverage to the “unreality of Hollywood films.”

Many scientists were brought to the meeting to share their wisdom:

Scientists testifying at the hearing described how much of the media has over-hyped the coverage of global warming and used scare tactics to garner public attention. Paleoclimate researcher Bob Carter of Australia’s James Cook University, who has had over 100 papers published refereed scientific journals, noted that “there is huge uncertainly in every aspect of climate change.”

“If you look at the ice core records, you will discover that yes, changes in carbon dioxide are accompanied by changes in temperature, but you will also discover that the change in temperature precedes the change in carbon dioxide by several hundred years to a thousand or so years. Reflect on that. And reflect on when you last heard somebody say that they thought lung cancer caused smoking. Because that is what you are arguing if you argue on the glacial time scale that changes in carbon dioxide cause temperature changes. It is the other way around,” Carter testified.

Carter elaborated:

Carter also noted that the media promotes “Couldism, mightism and perhapsism, fueled by computer modeling.”

Carter explained, “If, could, may, might, probably, perhaps, likely, expected, projected ...Wonderful words. So wonderful, in fact, that environmental writers scatter them through their articles on climate change like confetti. The reason is that – in the absence of empirical evidence for damaging human-caused climate change – public attention is best captured by making assertions about “possible” change. And, of course, using the output of computer models in support, virtually any type of climatic hazard can be asserted as a possible future change.”

There were other speakers asked to give evidence, including someone from the Media Research Center:

David Deming, a geophysicist from the University of Oklahoma, testified that “Every natural disaster that occurs is now linked [by the media] with global warming, no matter how tenuous or impossible the connection. As a result, the public has become vastly misinformed on this and other environmental issues.”

Dan Gainor of the Business & Media Institute noted that reporters are violating their own code of ethics with their one-sided climate coverage. “It also violates the ethical code of the Society of Professional Journalists which urges the media to ‘Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.’ That code calls for reporters to “distinguish between advocacy and news reporting.’” Gainor added.

Touché, Dan.

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