Clouds of conspiracy

(February 5, 2014) Economist Raymond J. Keating finds that media bias is real, based on news coverage of global warming as not “a theory at all” but “demonstrable as gravity,” without permitting there might be “some who disagree with such certainty.” Keating cites Lawrence Solomon as a “unique” exception to global warming bias in the media.

by Raymond J. Keating, published by Salvo Magazine


Just in case you were wondering, it is not at all difficult to find climate scientists and experts who disagree with the absolutist position on man-made global warming. Over 17,000 scientists have signed the Global Warming Petition Project from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Here’s what the petition states:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

Despite such findings, however, media outlets such as The New York Times continue to proceed as if the global warming threat isn’t a theory at all, but rather as demonstrable as gravity. Not only that, but when they are forced to admit that there are some who do disagree with such certainty, they often portray these individuals as idiots—or worse.

Take Brian Montopoli’s recent interaction with CBS News correspondent Scott Pelley. On CBS’s “Public Eye” blog, Montopoli describes their conversation:

Pelley’s most recent report, like his first, did not pause to acknowledge global warming skeptics, instead treating the existence of global warming as an established fact. I again asked him why. “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel,” he asks, “am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?” He says his team tried hard to find a respected scientist who contradicted the prevailing opinion in the scientific community, but there was no one out there who fit that description. “This isn’t about politics or pseudo-science or conspiracy theory blogs,” he says. “This is about sound science.”

Global warming skeptics equivalent to Holocaust deniers? No respected scientist disputes the manmade global warming theory? Pelley is a classic example of a biased reporter who cannot fathom that he might possibly be biased. Somewhat ironically, this ostensibly “open-minded” liberal won’t even consider that an alternative viewpoint is possible.

Similarly, the Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen suggested that if any meteorologists do not agree with the manmade global warming theory, then perhaps the American Meteorological Society should give those individuals the boot. On her Weather Channel blog last December, she wrote: “If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.”

Are there exceptions to global warming bias in the media? Of course; but they seem to be a small minority. Lawrence Solomon, a columnist for Canada’s Financial Post, started a series in late 2006 on global warming dissenters and deniers. In a 2007 news column, Solomon explained that when starting out, he accepted “the prevailing view that scientists overwhelmingly believe that climate change threatens the planet” and was only looking to do a few profiles on the dissenters to allow them “to have their views heard.” He was not prepared for the information that he encountered. What did he learn?

Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing that a scientific consensus exists on climate change. Certainly there is no consensus at the very top echelons of scientists—the ranks from which I have been drawing my subjects—and certainly there is no consensus among astrophysicists and other solar scientists, several of whom I have profiled.

Solomon admits that many scientists do agree with global warming theory, but he wanted the world to know that there were also some who do not; he came to that conclusion after interviewing top scientists. How unbiased. How unique.

Read the full article at the publisher’s website here.

This entry was posted in Climate Change, The Deniers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Clouds of conspiracy

  1. Dr Derek Oppen says:

    I thought 30000 had signed the petition.

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