Senator James Inhofe slammed the mainstream media on the floor of the Senate Monday. He says—and he's right—that they've jumped whole heartedly onto the global warming alarmist bandwagon, and left objectivity deliberately behind.
It is an inconvenient truth that so far, 2006 has been a year in which major segments of the media have given up on any quest for journalistic balance, fairness and objectivity when it comes to climate change. The global warming alarmists and their friends in the media have attempted to smear scientists who dare question the premise of man-made catastrophic global warming, and as a result some scientists have seen their reputations and research funding dry up.
The media has so relentlessly promoted global warming fears that a British group called the Institute for Public Policy Research – and this from a left leaning group – issued a report in 2006 accusing media outlets of engaging in what they termed “climate porn” in order to attract the public’s attention.
Bob Carter, a Paleoclimate geologist from James Cook University in Australia has described how the media promotes climate fear:
“Each such alarmist article is larded with words such as ‘if’, ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘probably’, ‘perhaps’, ‘expected’, ‘projected’ or ‘modeled’ - and many involve such deep dreaming, or ignorance of scientific facts and principles, that they are akin to nonsense,” professor Carter concluded in an op-ed in April of this year. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2006/04/09/do0907.xml&sSheet=/news/2006/04/09/ixworld.html
Another example of this relentless hype is the reporting on the seemingly endless number of global warming impact studies which do not even address whether global warming is going to happen. They merely project the impact of potential temperature increases.
The media endlessly hypes studies that purportedly show that global warming could increase mosquito populations, malaria, West Nile Virus, heat waves and hurricanes, threaten the oceans, damage coral reefs, boost poison ivy growth, damage vineyards, and global food crops, to name just a few of the global warming linked calamities. Oddly, according to the media reports, warmer temperatures almost never seem to have any positive effects on plant or animal life or food production. Fortunately, the media’s addiction to so-called ‘climate porn’ has failed to seduce many Americans.
According to a July Pew Research Center Poll, the American public is split about evenly between those who say global warming is due to human activity versus those who believe it’s from natural factors or not happening at all.
In addition, an August Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe global warming is naturally occurring is on the rise.
Yes -- it appears that alarmism has led to skepticism.
The American people know when their intelligence is being insulted. They know when they are being used and when they are being duped by the hysterical left.
The American people deserve better -- much better -- from our fourth estate. We have a right to expect accuracy and objectivity on climate change coverage. We have a right to expect balance in sourcing and fair analysis from reporters who cover the issue.
Above all, the media must roll back this mantra that there is scientific “consensus” of impending climatic doom as an excuse to ignore recent science. After all, there was a so-called scientific “consensus” that there were nine planets in our solar system until Pluto was recently demoted.
Breaking the cycles of media hysteria will not be easy since hysteria sells -- it’s very profitable. But I want to challenge the news media to reverse course and report on the objective science of climate change, to stop ignoring legitimate voices this scientific debate and to stop acting as a vehicle for unsubstantiated hype.
Senator Inhofe, with simple, direct style, destroys all of the most popular "arguments" that the climate change alarmists use to try to convince the public that their pet scare really exists. It's a great speech, read the whole thing.