Climate change science is complex and chock-full of heated disputes between dissenting scientists, but CNN’s “American Morning” portrayed Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe (R) as striving against the winds of scientific unanimity on global warming.
“The evidence of global warming seems overwhelming, but there’s one U.S. senator who says it’s all a hoax. We’ll take a look at his lonely battle this morning,” teased co-anchor Soledad O’Brien. The graphic onscreen read “Warming ‘Hoax.’”
Co-anchor Miles O’Brien narrated a slanted story that pitted Inhofe against a “shifting center” on climate change, including within Inhofe’s own Republican Party. Of course, O’Brien didn’t mention that the two Republicans he cited as active on global warming are liberal-leaning moderates like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Rep. Christopher Shays (Conn.).
While O’Brien closed his story telling viewers that Inhofe has received money from oil company executives, he left out Shays’ ties to environmental groups like the League of Conservation Voters. The League is a liberal environmentalist lobby that opposes nuclear energy production, despite the fact that nuclear energy is a “greenhouse gas”-free alternative to the coal-fired power plants that produce much of America’s electricity.
What’s more, far from being a lone crusader on a quixotic quest, Inhofe’s skepticism is shared by respected climate experts, such as Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane expert William Gray and climate professor emeritus Roger Pielke, Sr.
“Simplicity is hard to come by because Earth is a giant, complex heat-moving machine,” Jaffe added in his September 24 article.
Canadian mathematician Christopher Essex told Jaffe the computer climate models global warming proponents rely on are complex. With “only one atmosphere” one “can’t hold everything steady and change just one variable to see what happens,” Essex noted, pointing to the difficulty, even near impossibility, of running controlled experiments to test climatic hypotheses.
Indeed, CSU’s Gray generally eschews models and “looks at the history and patterns of weather to find trends.”
Perhaps with good reason.
As the Business & Media Institute (BMI) reported earlier this week, scientists like Dr. Patrick Michaels of the University of Virginia have noted that warming models don’t always live up to forecasts. For example, in 1988 NASA’s Dr. James Hansen predicted a 0.45-degree Celsius average global temperature spike between 1988 and 1997. Actual results from measurements over that nine-year period showed only a 0.24-degree increase as measured by satellite and 0.36 as measured by weather balloon.
CNN’s O’Brien also neglected to note the heart of Inhofe’s Senate floor speech: the 100-plus-year history of the media’s falling for the climate change fad du jour.
In fact, in his September 25 floor speech, Inhofe quoted numerous times from a comprehensive BMI study, “Fire & Ice,” which delved into the media’s history of glomming onto global cooling and global warming scares alternately since 1895. The May 2006 study showed among other things that the first Earth Day, April 22, 1970, was marked “amidst hysteria about the dangers of a new ice age” and that only three months earlier, “on January 11, The Washington Post told readers to ‘get a good grip on your long johns, cold weather haters – the worst may be yet to come.’”