If Congress Finds NOAA Scandal, Media Will Likely Ignore It Like Climategate

November 5th, 2015 4:05 PM

House Republicans concerned about the politicization of climate science recently subpoenaed emails from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, Chairman of the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, sought emails related to a May 2015 study revised temperatures and eliminated a roughly 15 year “pause” in warming. The study adjusted temperature readings from ocean buoys upward, to match shipboard measurements and conveniently remove the 15 year pause of global temperature increases.

“While I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on,”  Georgia Tech climate science professor Judith Curry wrote about the adjustments. Curry told FoxNews.com that NOAA’s revised data contradicts other temperature records including a UK dataset, ARGO bouys and satellite data.

The liberal media simply accepted the NOAA claims that there had been no global warming hiatus after all, and some even acted as if they’d never admitted there was a “pause.”

Journal columnist Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. wrote, “gut instinct has always indicated that, if there’s a major global warming scandal to be discovered anywhere, it will be found in the temperature record simply because the records are subject to so much opaque statistical manipulation. But even if no scandal is found, it’s past time for politicians and the public to understand the nature of these records and the conditions under which they are manufactured.”

If they find a NOAA scandal, the media is unlikely to cover it well. In 2009, the liberal news media largely ignored the email scandal and document dump that came to be known as “ClimateGate.”  The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit where a major temperature dataset was kept was hacked and damaging emails and documents like the HARRY_READ_ME file became public. With phrasing like “hide the decline,” and CRU’s admission that they do not have the raw data for their temperature record, their credibility should have been tarnished.

ClimateGate was ignored by the broadcast networks for a full two weeks after the scandal broke. During this time, Fox News was largely alone in its coverage, and when CNN reported, it dismissed the scandal’s importance Rather than report on an inconvenient climate scandal, ABC, NBC and CBS covered stories like the menu at a state dinner, sea lions and a moose named Pete.

NBC was the first network to mention ClimateGate, but it was not concerned that scientists may have misled the public. Instead, NBC was concerned that it could give “politicians from coal and oil-producing states another reason to delay taking action to reduce emissions.” When CBS finally reported the story, they did so on a program that would only run on the West Coast because of the SEC Championship game. Both ABC and NBC focused their coverage of the scandal on the idea that the science behind climate change was sound.