Be Cool, Say Global Warming is False Because Reporters will Not :  Published March 2007 All Rights Reserved


Be Cool, Say Global Warming is False

By Think & Ask's publisher - Jeffrey Allen Miller:   There are plenty of reasons not to believe in global warming. Those employed by mainstream media in the United States --all of which earn their living from corporate advertising revenue-- would not agree with you. FOX, ABC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and thousands of other broadcast channels and newspapers in this country do not employ meteorologists as journalists to cover climate change.

How can a reporter --who is not trained in climate study-- know what to ask of scientists they interview?

Hold that thought.

I am both: Meteorologist and journalist. Despite the growing number of headlines about climate change and the interest of readers and viewers on the topic, not one media outlet in the United States has sought to employ a meteorologist to cover climate change (aka global warming.) The topic is assigned as a beat by an editor...just as real estate, stocks, religion, celebrity gossip, and sports.

Do not expect the media to change anytime soon either:

1) Media continues to downsize and reduce its pay scale (far below that of a meteorologist's salary,) and
2) A meteorologist would seek a balanced story and not agree to a sensational headline written by an activist editor.

Our climate does change -- always has and always will, but we little humans in westernized cultures only live on average of 75 years and not all of that time is dedicated to observing and disseminating data.

So, the best solution for now is to question those who believe in the theory of global warming, beginning with your hometown newsroom. 

There is no better example of inept reporting than a recent article by LiveScience on the encroaching tree line across Canada's arctic tundra.

The story's lead, written  by Andrea Thompson read: "Rising temperatures fueled by global warming are causing forests of spruce trees to invade arctic tundra faster than scientists originally thought..."

But the reader should ask why Thompson concluded global warming was the cause, when the tree line advanced long before theorists used the term global warming. 

Thompson should have asked, "Could there have been an herbivore that kept these trees out before year 1925?"

"What are the other possible reasons for tree growth?" This was not asked. Thompson did not explain the permafrost cycle, nor did she ask about required depth for the root system of these trees.

In the picture attached to the story, a photo caption read that trees began prospering in this region in the 1920s, which could mean cones were distributed across the region some decade earlier - or about 100 years ago.

A meteorologist journalist would have asked -- why?

What was occurring in the early 1900s that permitted trees to sprout in arctic tundra long before so called greenhouse gases were thought to create global warming?

Similar stories have appeared in The New York Times, where Andrew Revkin discussed how the arctic was at one time covered by forest. His story did not address continental shift, although he told Think & Ask through a blocked e-mail address that his book (and personal website) on the subject delved into the topic more thoroughly. It is an important issue, for as the earth evolves in its own time it is predicted that in two million years what is today Los Angeles, CA, and Anchorage, AK, would merge --plate tectonics having moved Los Angeles north-- into one landmass. Revkin's story was based upon findings from  core samples estimated to be 55 million years ago.

Revkin, by the way, is not a meteorologist -- he is a musician who writes on climate change for The New York Times.

Revkin's homepage at The New York Times in March 2007 reads: "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report on February 2, which provided a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet."

The author of this story read the report too -- and he did not come to the same "grim" and "powerful" assessment of the future. This author noted that updates from the panel clearly understood more information is required.

Global Warming and Politics

Not one elected politician in Washington DC is a meteorologist. Former vice president Al Gore is not a meteorologist, and yet he wins accolades by the media for his coverage (in film) of global warming.

While the media fails across the board to educate viewers and readers alike on true climate change, those who defy the global warming theory have their own agenda too. 

Both sides of this debate have drawn support to battle a theoretical topic only few (through education and research) can actually speak with any authority.

Corporations responsible for what has been called greenhouse gass lobby politicians to keep the status quo and pay activist lawyers to represent their business interests in Washington DC. Every one of those corporations also keep media giants rich through advertising dollars... even though editors, producers, anchors, and writers, have taken up the global warming cause without personal doubt.

Think & Ask does not support global warming theory, nor does it deny such a theory is valid.  That is the point -- and it should be the same for all media organizations in the United States. 

There is far more to the story of climate change, and as ongoing data collection continues theories will change, predictions will change, and our climate will change despite what we humans think, say, or do. Those changes on a global scale are easier to observe, but where science as a whole fails to address the ongoing change is at the microclimate level -- the only level that affects our daily lives in a specific location. These trends are valid to our daily lives now no matter the cause.
Statistically speaking, evidence proves that both sides of the global warming theory are correct. (Personal opinions are not fact.)  It would seem logical to combine efforts, follow trends, employ research, and release regular reports on that research into the public domain quarterly. Your question, dear reader, to these powerful talking heads who help editors write sensational headlines, and who are employed by governments and special interest groups on both sides should be: "Why wouldn't there be cooperation, after all what do you have to lose?"

Hint: A true scientist has nothing to lose. A director of a special interest group seeking funds --and your donations--  could however lose his job if he did not reflect the group's mission in his statements.

When you read someone's blog, or a website on climate change be sure to note the writer's background and experience. If such information is not available - move on. If s/he does not have a science background, assume the reporter missed asking the right questions.

If the writer's background is in climate related study, pay attention to the data while recognizing the difference between fact and his opinion. Until the media addresses the issue responsibly --  you  are on your own to find the facts.


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