CBS Evening News has featured a string of reports recently on the “facts” of global warming. The first report, as paraphrased by “America’s Media Watchdog” (aka anti-anything “inconvenient”):
Scott Pelley trumpeted how “on the eve of a major new report on climate change…a surprising discovery.” Mark Phillips hyped that “another inconvenient truth has emerged on the way to the apocalypse….the global atmosphere hasn’t been warming lately.”
The correspondent spotlighted how “since 1998, while the amount of greenhouse gases continued to rise, the air temperature hasn’t.” He also pointed out that this development “makes the task for the world’s majority of climate scientists…more difficult. For the skeptics, it’s ammunition.”
Anchor Scott Pelley teased Phillips’ report with his “surprising discovery” phrase, and introduced the segment with similar language: “Scientists working with the United Nations have been poring over data on climate and greenhouse gases. Their report is due out tomorrow. But anyone expecting it to show steadily-rising air temperatures could be in for a surprise.”
What happened to the media checking their facts? The ignorant smugness embarrassingly apparent in this report made me want to tear my hair out in frustration! I know that most news reporters are essentially talking heads that don’t have to have one iota of intelligent understanding about what they’re talking about, but don’t act like you’ve uncovered some sort of Emmy-award-winning smoking gun when all you’ve done is make it painfully obvious that you don’t have a clue how global warming actually works! And then to pass that ignorance on to the average viewer who may naively rely on only one news source for all their information….for shame!
They did get something right – it IS more ammunition for skeptics. That’s the beauty of being a skeptic: While those who recognize the reality of climate change have to constantly uncover more and more scientific evidence (nevermind the natural disaster shit-show going on right outside our front doors), all the skeptics have to do is say is “Noooope…it’s not true! It’s a natural cycle! Climate change is the just part of the liberal agenda!” Oh, you’re onto us, you crafty watchdogs…us liberals have an evil “agenda” of wanting to save the planet so our great-grandchildren are able to simply exist on it!
It’s hard to argue with right-wing self-righteousness, especially when they’re not actually interested in hearing any facts that will interfere with certain industries. To quote a recent press release from the well-respected Suzuki Foundation: “Overall, the attacks on legitimate climate science are coming from people whose arguments have been debunked many times and who often have ties to the fossil fuel industry.”
As discouraging as the opposition insists on making things, it is important to continue to spread the truth, especially since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) just confirmed that scientists are now 95% certain that climate change is mostly man-made. If you’re stumped as to how to answer when a climate change denier comes a’ calling, utilize out these fact-based counterarguments from Outdoor Nation. And always do your best to read a variety of news sources (including ones with different views than your own)!
- Study: Conservative Media Causes Viewers to Distrust Scientists and Therefore Creates Global Warming Skeptics (theblaze.com)
- Global warming now ‘unequivocal’ (bbc.co.uk)
- Global warming hasn’t stopped (theage.com.au)