Networks Hype Global Warming Study Based on 'Proxy' Evidence

     “The Earth is running its highest fever in years,” teased NBC’s Brian Williams as he introduced the June 22 “Nightly News.”

     CBS’s Bob Schieffer one-upped his younger rival with an even more alarming tease opening the “Evening News.” “The Earth’s temperature is going up. In fact the last time it was this hot, Rome was the world’s only superpower, and that’s not good,” said the outgoing anchor.

     On the first full day of summer, network news anchors hyped a new global warming study by the National Research Council. CBS and NBC led their programs with the study while ABC and CBS followed those segments with stories on wildfires in the West, as if to dramatically underscore the study’s results.

     All the networks skipped over how a 350-year long “Little Ice Age” factored into the results, not to mention the fact that precise catalogs of temperature data are not available past a few hundred years ago.


     The Associated Press reported on June 22 that “relatively warm conditions persisted around the year 1000, followed by a ‘Little Ice Age’ from about 1500 to 1850.”

     Barring first-hand knowledge, Schieffer’s suggestion that Caesar Augustus wore a summer tunic was also misleading. The AP cautioned that National Research Council scientists “said they had less confidence in the evidence of temperatures before 1600.”

     There should be little wonder why. “For all but the most recent 150 years” the study scientists relied on “‘proxy’ evidence from tree rings, corals, glaciers” and highly sophisticated scientific instruments like “paintings of glaciers in the Alps,” noted the AP.

     Skeptics at raised an objection none of the newscasts touched on: the role the sun plays in heating the Earth, which fluctuates over time.

     “More than three-fourths” of the temperature increase in the past 100 years can “be attributed to the sun … leaving us something under 0.15 °C attributable to enhanced greenhouse forcing over the 20th Century.”

     The media’s summertime obsession with global warming has been documented at the Business & Media Institute.