Planet Gore

Climaquiddick: No Consensus

Detroit – Environmental coverage went from bias to farce last week as mainstream media outlets strained to ignore the blockbuster story about the Climate Research Unit leak, while flogging the dead horse of climate crisis.

Here in Michigan — an industrial state in the cross-hairs of cap-and-trade legislation, even as predictions of scorching temps and shriveling Great Levels water levels haven’t occurred — news reports have been mum on Climaquiddick. The Detroit Free Press, for example, blacked out all news of the e-mails while headlining an AP story “Climate change tracks at record pace.”

The story, by John Heilprin, used a lead quote from Stanford climatologist/activist Stephen Schneider — who championed global-cooling Armageddon in the 1970s and once notoriously told Discover that scientists “have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have” in order to advance green legislation. Heilprin’s story, naturally, described Schneider only as a “leading atmospheric scientist” who says CO2 levels offer“coin-flip odds for serious outcomes for our planet.”  

But even the cursory coverage given by the New York Times and the Washington Post reveals the false presumptions at the core of global-warming reporting. Both reports were quick to marginalize the e-mails’ scientific significance, alleging a consensus that man-made emissions have put the climate in peril.

“The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded the evidence was unequivocal,” writes the Post’s Julie Eilperin.

But as an authoritative review by the Heartland Institute of two international-scientist surveys shows, there is no consensus:

The question most people are most keen to ask climate scientists is probably ‘do you agree or disagree that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic (manmade) causes?’” writes Heartland, summarizing the 2003 survey. “Slightly more than half (55.8 percent) of climate scientists surveyed agreed, 14.2 percent were unsure, and 30 percent disagreed. Interestingly, more scientists ‘strongly disagree’ than ‘strongly agree’ that climate change is mostly the result of anthropogenic causes. The survey clearly shows that the debate over why the climate is changing is still underway, with nearly half of climate scientists disagreeing with what is often claimed to be the ‘consensus’ view.

Climaquiddick is not just a scientific scandal. It is also a media scandal.

Henry Payne — Henry Payne is the auto critic for the Detroit News.

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