Defying the tenets of ethical journalism has become the norm for some media outlets when it the issue is global warming.
“NBC Nightly News” was no exception. On January 14, “Nightly News” aired a biased alarmist report of changes in the ice shelf in Antarctica during its “Our Planet” segment, blaming “manmade carbon dioxide” for the shift and ignoring any other possibilities.
“In 2006, the Antarctic peninsula near South America lost 60 billion metric tons of ice; 132 billion tons disappeared in West Antarctica,” said Anne Thompson, NBC News chief environmental affairs correspondent. “Big numbers that could have a big impact.”
Thompson labeled mankind the “prime suspect” for the changes.
“Like the warming scientists are seeing in Greenland and the North Pole, the prime suspect behind the melting at the South Pole is global warming,” Thompson said. “Manmade carbon dioxide and other gases trapping heat that may well be warming the waters in the coldest police on earth.”
But it isn’t a unanimous “consensus” the ice in Antarctica is melting or that man is contributing to any of the changes on the continent. Thompson ignored other credible scientists who have contrary views.
Geologist Dr. Cliff Ollier, a research fellow at the University of Western Australia, explained in an Oct. 21, 2007, report entitled “The Greenland-Antarctica Melting Problem Does Not Exist” that the flow of ice in the Arctic and Antarctica is much more complicated. It is too simplistic to blame contributions from man “over a few decades” for changes in the ice shelf in Antarctica, he said.
“It is not enough to think that present climate over a few decades can affect the flow of ice sheets,” Ollier wrote. “Ice sheets do not simply grow and melt in response to average global temperature. Anyone with this naïve view would have difficulty in explaining why glaciation has been present in the southern hemisphere for about 30 million years, and in the northern hemisphere for only 3 million years.”
Physicist Wm. Robert Johnston also scoffed at the notion that man could be responsible for ice melting in Antarctica in a Dec. 29, 2005, report entitled “What If All the Ice Melts? – Myths and Realities.”
“To melt the ice of Greenland and Antarctica would take thousands of years under any realistic change in climate,” Johnston wrote. “In the case of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, which accounts for 80% of the Earth's current ice, [Scientist D.E.] Sudgen argues that it existed for 14,000,000 years, through wide ranges in global climate. It is sad that some youngsters think that burning of hydrocarbons could cause the ice caps to melt and drown cities; it is criminal when teachers don't correct this nonsense.”