ABC Reheats Leftover Bias on Global Warming, Showcases Hansen

     A day after a CNBC special unilaterally declared James Hansen the “world’s leading climate scientist,” ABC’s Bill Blakemore promoted Hansen’s latest research on global warming – letting him take a swipe at the Bush administration in the process, but excluding any global warming critics.


     Anchor Charles Gibson introduced the September 25 story heralding “a grim prediction today from top scientists” who say “there’s no way to stop Earth’s average temperature from rising” and that by 2050 the Earth will be “hotter than at any time in a million years.”


     Blakemore not only picked up on lead author Hansen’s study, but his call to “start reducing emissions now.”


     Far from being a politically disinterested scientist, Hansen endorsed Sen. John F. Kerry in a 2004 speech. What’s more, in a February 2006 “Statement of Political Inclinations” available at his Web page, the scientist expressed “great respect for Vice President Gore and his dedication to communicating the importance of global warming.”


     Hansen insisted he was “moderately conservative,” even though to “the best of my recollection, I have twice contributed” to Democratic campaigns: the 1992 Clinton/Gore campaign and “either to Gore/Lieberman or Kerry/Edwards.”


     In the September 25 story, the ABC reporter didn’t include any scientists who disagreed with Hansen’s findings or his call for government regulation to address so-called greenhouse gases. Instead, Blakemore cued up Hansen to take a swipe at President Bush for meeting with global warming skeptic and science fiction author Michael Crichton, but for not having “serious meetings” with scientists like him “who were doing serious work on this subject.”


     Yet not all “serious scientists” are global warming alarmists. What’s more, Hansen has come under fire for years for faulty claims that have not panned out against reality.


    “[O]n June 23, 1988, NASA scientist James Hansen testified before the House of Representatives that there was a strong ‘cause and effect relationship’ between observed temperatures and human emissions into the atmosphere,” the University of Virginia’s Pat Michaels testified in a 1998 congressional hearing.


     “At that time,” Michaels noted, “Hansen also produced a model of the future behavior of the globe’s temperature,” a model “that global temperature between 1988 and 1997 would rise by 0.45°C.” Michaels then produced data showing “lower atmosphere temperatures” – a decline of 0.36 and 0.24 degrees Celsius when measured by weather balloon and satellite respectively.


     In short, Michaels concluded, “The forecast made in 1988 was an astounding failure” and a 1990 United Nations climate change panel’s “statement about the realistic nature of these projections was simply wrong.”


     More recently, Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, assailed Hansen’s ocean temperature models, citing research from a federal government scientist.


    “In the next few weeks, John Lyman of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will publish a paper in the refereed journal Geophysical Research Letters showing that, globally, the top 2,500 feet of the ocean lost a tremendous amount of heat between 2003 and 2005 – in fact, about 20% of all the heat gained in the last half-century,” wrote Michaels in an August 29 article.


     Recently, the Business & Media Institute documented how Hansen was part of a stacked panel on climate change on CNBC’s September 24 program, “Global Players,” where he was labeled onscreen as the “world’s leading climate scientist.”


     Hansen has been a media staple on climate change science at least since late January, when The New York Times asserted that Hansen, “The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out.”


     But as the Times reported, NASA officials denied trying to silence his scientific analysis while admitting they prefer scientists to stop short of making public policy statements, such as Hansen’s call for regulation to curb “greenhouse gases.”


     What’s more according to that Times story, Hansen had little or no documentary evidence of a politically coordinated campaign to stifle his viewpoints.