As Temps Go Below Freezing & Snow Falls in April, Net Hype 'Dire' Global Warming

The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts on Friday all hyped the “dire” warning on global warming from the UN's “prestigious” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with the CBS Evening News leading with two full stories. But ABC's Charles Gibson acknowledged “a bit of irony on the day global warming report was released,” given “parts of the Northeast are digging out from April snow” as “temperatures could be 20 to 40 degrees below normal,” making it “colder on Easter day than on Christmas day." NBC anchor Brian Williams followed up his newscast's global warming story with how “the problem isn't warming but what could be a record cold Easter weekend in parts of this country.” CBS anchor Russ Mitchell didn't point out any contradiction with the hyperbolic stories on global warming as he described the current weather simply as “strange” since “a Spring freeze is on” in the Northeast.

Mitchell teased his top story of the day: “Tonight, dire new predictions about disappearing species, melting glaciers, shrinking continents and more. Scientists say all the results of global warming.” Over on ABC, Gibson echoed: “Dire warning. The world's top scientists issue a stark forecast of drought, crop failure and floods because of climate change.” NBC's Williams hailed the “new report on global warming from a prestigious panel of scientists” who issued “blunt” findings: “Climate change is happening, it will lead to tremendous changes around the world that could have a very negative impact on the well-being of people, animals and entire ecosystems.”

The intros, and post-notes about the current weather, of the global warming stories on the April 6 evening newscasts:

ABC's World News. Charles Gibson, after leading with the return home by the Brits held in Iran:
“And the other major story today, a highly-anticipated report from the world's top scientists on the global warming. It is the clearest, most comprehensive statement yet on how industrial and motor vehicle emission are affecting the planet. It is a gloomy picture. And the report says in the immediate future, the effects of global warming can't be changed. Man just has to adapt. Which won't be easy.”
Gibson, after the story from Bill Blakemore:
“A bit of irony on the day global warming report was released. Parts of the Northeast are digging out from April snow. Much of the East is in for a very cold Easter weekend. Temperatures could be 20 to 40 degrees below normal. Colder on Easter day than on Christmas day.”

CBS Evening News. Fill-in anchor Russ Mitchell led:
“Good evening, Katie is off tonight. We are beginning this evening with that dramatic changes that are coming to our world, at least according to scientists out tonight with their latest predictions. They say heat waves will cut food production and increase wildfires. By 2020 as many as 250 million more people could go thirsty and if average temperatures increase just two degrees, it could put 30 percent of the world's species at a greater risk of extinction.”
Mitchell, after reports from Mark Phillips and Jerry Bowen:
“Strange weather is certainly on a lot of minds in the Northeast tonight where a Spring freeze is on. Up to a foot and a half of snow fell this week in parts of Maine and New Hampshire, bringing down trees and power lines. Utility crews are still working tonight to get power back. At one point, 180,000 homes and businesses were in the dark. And it was cold, relatively speaking, in paradise. The temperature in Hawaii yesterday got as low as 57 degrees. It was a record for that date.

NBC Nightly News. Brian Williams:
“Now to a new report on global warming from a prestigious panel of scientists convened by the UN. The findings are blunt: Climate change is happening, it will lead to tremendous changes around the world that could have a very negative impact on the well-being of people, animals and entire ecosystems.”
Williams, after Anne Thompson's piece:
“Now we should add for the near future, this weekend, the problem isn't warming but what could be a record cold Easter weekend in parts of this country, especially the South. Much of the nation feeling the grip of a cold weather system that has already led to the cancellation of two major league ball games and a snow delay for the Mariners-Indians game this afternoon. And, by the way, it's predicted to be freezing, 32 degrees at tee-off time at the Masters final round on Sunday in Augusta, Georgia.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center