GMA Provides Hyperbolic Report on ‘Moderate’ Global Warming Estimate

On Saturday’s "Good Morning America," correspondent Christianne Klein hyped this past weekend’s global warming rallies by reporting hyperbolic and misleading information on the subject of rising sea levels. Reporting from lower Manhattan before a gaggle of environmental activists, she said of the protesters, "Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards."

A 10 feet increase is a moderate estimate? Not quite. As the CATO Institute's Patrick Michaels noted, the much hyped U.N. report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggested a rise of inches, not feet, is likely:

Under the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's medium-range emission scenario for greenhouse gases, a rise in sea level of between 8 and 17 inches is predicted by 2100....Even 17 inches is likely to be high, because it assumes that the concentration of methane, an important greenhouse gas, is growing rapidly.

On the subject of global warming, "Good Morning America" has quickly morphed into the most activist network morning show. On Friday, April 20, GMA will take part in an all day event that a recent ABC advertisement described as "a call to action." Additionally, it asserted that "mother nature is sending us a message." The ABC program has also hyped a global warming college tour and the phenomenon of "green weddings."

So, perhaps it’s not surprising that "Good Morning America" has a somewhat skewed impression of what a "moderate estimate" is.

A transcript of the brief segment, which aired at 7:32am on April 14, follows:

RON CLAIBORNE: "And across the country today, hundreds of rallies are planned to try to spark action on the problem of global warming. ABC's Christianne Klein joins us now from downtown New York with more. Christianne?"

CHRISTIANNE KLEIN: "Well, Ron, in just a few hours, this place will be packed with people all wearing blue. Now, where they will stand represents where the Manhattan coastline could be if the sea level rises just 10 feet, actually, a moderate estimate for global warming standards. This is just one of 1300 events happening across the country today. The campaign is actually called Step It Up. It was kicked off last night in New Orleans. And the goal is to push Congress to cut global warming pollution by 80 percent by 2050. And just last week, an international group of scientists warned that the Earth is heating up, mostly due to greenhouse gases. They warn 30 percent of species could face extinction. There could be more heat waves, wildfire danger and more intense storms. Now, as individuals, there are many ways to cut down on carbon emissions. By reducing your garbage by just 10 percent, you can actually save more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Ron?"

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org