'World News Tonight' Kicks off Global Warming Series After Report on Record Cold Snap

This is really hysterical, and requires all sharp objects, food and drinking vessels to be properly stowed before proceeding.

On Saturday evening, ABC’s “World News Tonight” kicked off its new series “Going Green” with “fresh ideas for coping with the warming planet.”

Quite comically, this was just minutes after anchor David Muir led the program with a report captioned "Arctic Easter" detailing the “brutally cold temperatures across much of the Eastern half of the country…where there could be record lows overnight” (video available here).

Despite this historic cold snap, Muir -- with a straight face, no less! -- astoundingly began a seemingly contradictory segment just minutes later (video available here):

Tonight we kick off our new series "Going Green" -- fresh ideas for coping with the warming planet. Just yesterday, a panel of scientists released the most detailed report yet of what is to come. They say droughts and floods are inevitable and they say worse will follow if greenhouse gases are not reduced. The good news, some of this country's best brains are now working on the problem. ABC’s Brian Rooney is in Silicon Valley where high-tech wizards are "going green."

Timing is everything, isn’t it? After all, "fresh ideas for coping with the warming planet" seems a little absurd as folks are digging out their driveways during Passover and Easter.

Now, in fairness, there was nothing wrong with the alternative energy ideas presented by Rooney. I myself installed solar panels some years ago to heat my pool, and am a strong advocate for all Americans to do much more in this regard.

However, there is truly a delicious irony concerning the timing of: the release of the IPCC report; a major television network beginning a series on coping with global warming, and; record-breaking cold temperatures over most of the country.

Unfortunately, some NewsBusters members seemed to miss this marvelous dichotomy yesterday in the comments section of an article on this subject.

To be sure, extreme cold events like what we are experiencing do not disprove the existence of global warming, and nobody here is making that point. Instead, what is being addressed is the delicious irony of such occurring as the nation and the world is being warned of imminent doom at the hand of anthropogenic global warming.

Moreover, there is a distinct and disparate difference in how the recent cold snap is being reported as compared to the above-normal temperatures the same region experienced in early January.

At that time, the mainstream news outlets used those warm temperatures to support the premise of anthropogenic global warming as reported by NewsBusters here, here, and here. However, when extreme cold is experienced in virtually the same areas only three months later breaking records going back to the 1800s, there is absolutely no discussion about how this might impact climate change thinking.

Let’s understand that this cold snap that we are experiencing is every bit as extreme – maybe even more so – than the warm patch we had in January. Here are some examples in the South as reported by AccuWeather:

Some cities that have already broken records this morning include:

  • Atlanta, Ga. - old record of 32 in 1886
  • Charlotte, N.C. - old record of 30 in 1961
  • Augusta, Ga. - old record of 32 in 1971
  • Savannah, Ga. - old record of 35 in 1950
  • Jacksonville, Fla. - old record of 37 in 1971
  • Nashville, Tenn. - old record of 27 in 1990
  • Little Rock, Ark. - old record of 32 in 1971

Many locations also set record-low temperatures Saturday morning as well. Some of these cities and the new record-low temperatures include:

  • Shreveport, La. - 50
  • Abbeville, S.C. - 38
  • Monroe, La. - 51
  • Savannah, Ga. - 56
  • Charlotte, N.C. - 25
  • Decatur, Ala. - 27
  • Gadsden, Ala. - 28
  • Montgomery, Ala. - 36
  • Atlanta, Ga. - 28
  • Greenville, S.C. - 28
  • Columbus, Miss. - 27
  • Greenville, Miss. - 32
  • Memphis, Tenn. - 30
  • Jackson, Tenn. - 25
  • Knoxville, Tenn. - 26
  • Huntsville, Ala. -25

Now, once again, these lows are not evidence that global warming isn’t occurring. However, neither are the extreme highs that happen from time to time evidence that it is. And, an unbiased media would do a better job of making this clear rather than jumping on every hot spell to advance their agenda while pretending that the cold spells are irrelevant.

What follows is a full transcript of ABC’s “Going Green” report.

DAVID MUIR, ANCHOR ABC’S “WORLD NEWS SATURDAY”: Tonight we kick off our new series "Going Green" fresh ideas for coping with the warming planet. Just yesterday, a panel of scientists released the most detailed report yet of what is to come. They say droughts and floods are inevitable and they say worse will follow if greenhouse gases are not reduced. The good news, some of this country's best brains are now working on the problem. ABC’s Brian Rooney is in Silicon Valley where high-tech wizards are "going green."

BRIAN ROONEY, ABC CORRESPONDENT: These trucks from a company called Solar City are on their way to deliver the promise of affordable solar electricity for home owners.

UNKNOWN INDIVIDUAL: Looking at the world's biggest problems, software is not going to address it.

ROONEY: He used to be in the software business. But his new company is trying to flood California neighborhoods with solar power. Still smarting from the Internet bubble burst, some of the technical brain trust of Silicon Valley is turning to what may be the next big thing, alternative energy and solar power. An example, this new factory is rolling out what the company hopes will be mass-produced and affordable solar panels millions of Americans can install on their roof.

UNKNOWN INDIVIDUAL: Well, I'm somewhat of a serial entrepreneur. This is my sixth venture-backed company. And this is the most exciting market opportunity I've ever been in.

ROONEY: Investors are beginning to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into companies like these, hoping to catch the next wave at a time when cost, technology and the need for new energy are all coming together.

UNKNOWN INDIVIDUAL: It's a moment in time when the next great possibility is launched.

ROONEY: They're also working on fuel cells, more dependable electric cars and biomass, fuel made of plants like algae. But solar power is most promising right now. Silicon Valley has re-invented itself with every wave of technology, from the computer chip to the Internet. And now, on the brink of an energy revolution, one analyst says Silicon Valley could become solar valley.

Silicon Valley companies were involved in building this 11 megawatt solar electricity plant in Portugal, not huge, but proof that solar power is not off in some Buck Rogers' future.

UNKNOWN INDIVIDUAL: Today is kind of our 1983 for the chip industry, if you will.

ROONEY: You're on the cusp of becoming every day household technology.

UNKNOWN INDIVIDUAL: Yes, absolutely.

ROONEY: Hard to believe, but keep in mind, these are the people who changed the world before. Brian Rooney, ABC News, San Jose, California.

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