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CyberAlert -- 06/04/2002 -- Nets Cheered How Bush "Acknowledged" & "Conceded" Global Warming Caused by Man

Nets Cheered How Bush "Acknowledged" & "Conceded" Global Warming Caused by Man; Many Scientists Don't Buy the Media Line; Clift Claimed Hillary Is a "Centrist"

1) Without bothering to cite any contrary scientific voices, on Monday night the broadcast networks cheered how the Bush administration had "acknowledged" and "conceded" that global warming is real and is being fueled by industry. CBS failed to address its own contradiction of accepting as fact dire prospects from global warming just five weeks after the network warned of impending global "cooling."

2) Scientists aren't as uniformly in line with global warming scare-mongers as the media suggest. In mid-May CNSNews.com reported that "a team of international scientists...said climate models showing global warming are based on a 'fairy tale' of computer projections." And, 17,000 scientists have signed a petition which counters the belief that mankind will or has caused "catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere."

3) Hillary Clinton a "centrist"? Eleanor Clift maintained in the May 31 edition of her MSNBC column that Senator Clinton "has never been the wild-eyed liberal her critics imagine." Clift claimed Clinton had undergone a "makeover as a political centrist" and is now preparing for a presidential bid in 2008 by "establishing her bona fides as a centrist." But if Clinton's a "centrist," so are Senators Boxer, Dodd and Mikulski.


1

So much for the claim by liberal bias deniers that the TV networks' mantra against Bush's conservative environmental tilt last year simply reflected an adversarial tone they would take against any President. After having ignored scientists who do not believe global warming is caused by human activity as they painted a world in which everyone but Bush supported the Kyoto Protocols, on Monday night the broadcast networks cheered how the Bush administration had "acknowledged" and "conceded" that global warming is real and is being fueled by industry.

If the network reporters were truly consistently adversarial they would have featured, or at lest cited, scientists who think the new Bush position espoused in an EPA document is baseless. But they didn't do that and didn't even point out how a leading conservative environmental group had documented the flaws in the National Assessment of Climate Change on which the new document was based.

ABC's Terry Moran cited no contrarian voices while CBS's Bill Plante only got to a skeptic deep in his report. NBC's Robert Hager didn't mention any doubts about the science but did note how "conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh called it 'doom and gloom,' chided the President."

Only CBS's Plante considered the possibility the administration sold out skeptical scientists in order to shore up suburban support, as he touched briefly on a political motivation: "So is the reversal politically motivated? Administration officials deny it."

ABC's Moran warned of dire consequences, "from the diminishing snow packs in Western mountain ranges which could cause real water problems in California and elsewhere, to the disappearance of barrier islands on the Atlantic seaboard."

CBS's Bill Plante asserted: "With no fanfare the Bush administration has flipped from severe skepticism of global warming to embracing scientific predictions which warn of potentially severe environmental disruptions."

But CBS failed to address its own contradiction of accepting as fact dire prospects from global warming just five weeks after warning of global cooling. As recounted in the April 29 CyberAlert, on the April 28 CBS Evening News reporter Randal Pinkston, showcasing the belief of one man, cautioned that "he and other researchers are increasingly sounding a new alarm, a paradox, that global warming could produce an abrupt climate change and cooler temperatures, very soon." For details: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2002/cyb20020429.asp#2

On the NBC Nightly News Tom Brokaw trumpeted "a sharp turnaround for the Bush administration on global warming. In a new report that for the first time this White House acknowledges human activity is responsible for Greenhouse gases, and the problem poses some threats to this country's future. But this report also claims there is an upside."

Indeed, after listing some of those "threats," Robert Hager uniquely looked at the up side: "Growing seasons in northern areas could last longer. Crops and timber become more plentiful, therefore cheaper. Fuel bills could be lower, and there could be more warm weather for construction or recreation."

The EPA report posted on Friday, "The United States of America's Third National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," is posted online at: http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/publications/car/

From that page you can access Adobe PDFs of each chapter of the report which totals several hundred pages.

More details about the ABC, CBS and NBC stories from Monday, June 3, followed by information about the science the networks ignored and some examples of the media's biased coverage last year. (FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume did not mention the new EPA document and I did not see it raised during the first half of CNN's NewsNight, nor did any plug mention it.)

-- ABC's World News Tonight. Peter Jennings asserted: "The White House today made its clearest statement yet that global warming exists, is a problem largely man's fault. The Bush administration sent its annual report on global warming to the United Nations. This one outlines in very stark terms what will happen to every region of the country because of rising temperatures."
Jennings asked Terry Moran at the White House: "Terry, this is not the first time that the Bush administration has recognized man's contribution to global warming is it?"
Moran confirmed Jennings' recollection, though both CBS and NBC assumed Bush had made a policy change: "It's not Peter. The first time was last June after the National Academy of Sciences announced its findings. But today's report, as you note, paints the starkest picture yet of what these scientists say could be the impacts within the United States of global warming, from the diminishing snow packs in Western mountain ranges which could cause real water problems in California and elsewhere, to the disappearance of barrier islands on the Atlantic seaboard. The scientists note that these kinds of projections are iffy, but the basic science, as you say, they are certain of and that is that global warming exists and humans help make it."

Jennings followed up: "So if the Bush administration acknowledges that man is largely at fault, what does the administration think man should do?"
Moran: "Well that's interesting. There are two different tacks taken. One, get used to it. This report says that since global warming has happened throughout the 20th century and is not necessarily going to slow down that much there are going to have to be adaptations. Second, the President has proposed some tax incentives and other things to reduce the intensity of global emissions, but that's not enough say environmentalists."

-- CBS Evening News. Dan Rather intoned, as transcribed by MRC analyst Brad Wilmouth: "There's been a big change in President Bush's position about global warming. The President now says it is real and that industrial pollution is a factor, but as CBS's Bill Plante reports, there's hot debate now over what the President is and is not doing about it."

Plante began: "With no fanfare the Bush administration has flipped from severe skepticism of global warming to embracing scientific predictions which warn of potentially severe environmental disruptions for many sections of the nation. But it offers no new solutions. Now, in a report to the United Nations, the U.S. concedes that even if all the emissions could be stopped cold, climate change would continue for more than a century. The report says a warming climate will likely mean heat waves, widespread drought, rising sea levels, and coastal erosion. Until now, the President has suggested that science offered no firm conclusions."
George W. Bush, June 11, 2001: "We do not know how much effect natural fluctuations in climate may have had on warming."
Plante: "Now environmentalists say the administration has finally gotten it half right."
Mark van Putten, National Wildlife Federation President: "This report represents a significant admission it's a real problem, and the activities of human beings are causing it. Now we need to get on and implement solutions."
Plante lamented: "But the report offers no new ideas beyond the President's existing plan to reduce Greenhouse gases over the next decade through market incentives. Instead it calls for adapting to the changing climate. And even though the report makes plain there is some uncertainty in its predictions, critics from the energy industry are blaming the administration for producing a report they say is based on faulty science."
Bill O'Keefe, former oil industry executive: "It's not wise public policy to go to the most extreme outcome and say that's reality."
Plante concluded: "So is the reversal politically motivated? Administration officials deny it. They even deny that it's a reversal. But they continue to insist that new cuts in emissions would harm the economy without curing global warming."

-- NBC Nightly News. Tom Brokaw announced: "NBC News In Depth tonight, a sharp turnaround for the Bush administration on global warming. In a new report that for the first time this White House acknowledges human activity is responsible for Greenhouse gases, and the problem poses some threats to this country's future. But this report also claims there is an upside. Still, what to do about it? An open question. In Depth, here's NBC's Robert Hager."

Hager began: "In Boston where summers are short, Margaret Pecorney (sp?) in her garden today has mixed feelings about global warming and the rise in sea level that could go with it."
Margaret Pecorney: "It's been a glorious spring. We didn't have to shovel snow. But it, in the long term, I'm not looking forward to this being waterfront property."
Hager elaborated: "In Washington President Bush used to say it's too early to tell if the globe's really warming. But now in a new report, a dramatic shift, the Bush administration concedes it is mostly a manmade problem from pollution and also admits for the first time the changes it causes could be huge. But the report does not recommend cracking down on pollution, instead saying we can learn to live with warming. It's the admission of consequences surprised many. That higher temperatures could cause sweltering heat waves, dry up water supplies in some areas, cause flooding in others, and the loss of goods and services impossible to replace."
Eileen Claussen, Pew Center on Climate Change: "But he has never gone so far as to say, 'And it's going to effect he life of Americans, and it's going to effect American cities and American coasts, American ecosystems,' and he's never said that before."
Hager: "Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh called it 'doom and gloom,' chided the President."
Rush Limbaugh, in audio from his radio show: "George W. Al Gore anyone?"
Hager uniquely cited the potential good news: "But the report also suggests an upside. Growing seasons in northern areas could last longer. Crops and timber become more plentiful, therefore cheaper. Fuel bills could be lower, and there could be more warm weather for construction or recreation. So, for now, the administration still backs away from forcing the auto industry or power plants to make drastic reductions in pollution. Harvard's Michael McElroy:"
Michael McElroy, Harvard University, but otherwise not identified by NBC: "I sort of think of it, it's like being an alcoholic. So now you finally have found out that you have a drinking problem, but you're not prepared to give up the booze. You simply would like other people to do it for you."
Hager concluded: "What the administration suggests is that we adapt to warming. Like Margaret Pecorney in her garden, make the best of it."

The network refusal to acknowledge the large body of skeptics is nothing new.

In May of 2001 the MRC documented the media's slant and reported our findings in a special report, "Clamoring for Kyoto: The Networks' One-Sided Coverage of Global Warming." The MRC's Rich Noyes reviewed the 51 global warming stories that aired on five early evening cable and broadcast news programs -- ABC's World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, CNN's Inside Politics, the Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, and NBC Nightly News -- from January 20 (Inauguration Day) through April 22 (Earth Day)." The major findings:

"-- The view that human-induced global warming is leading to catastrophic climate change received six times as much attention as the views of scientific skeptics who argue that such gloom-and-doom scenarios are either exaggerated or wrong.

"-- There were only seven references to the existence of global warming skeptics. Six of those were on the Fox News Channel, while the other was a single reference by a CNN correspondent to a statement by President Bush about "the incomplete state of scientific knowledge."

"-- The three broadcast networks, ABC, CBS and NBC, totally excluded the views of global warming skeptics from their coverage."

For the entire report: http://www.mrc.org/specialreports/2001/sum/kyoto01.asp

On Monday, Competitive Enterprise Institute President Fred Smith released a letter to President Bush in which he complained about how the administration had broken a promise to not use misleading data about warming based on faulty computer models. An excerpt:

....[Y]our Office of Science and Technology Policy assured us that the "National Assessment on Climate Change" (NACC) would "not [represent] policy positions or official statements of the U.S. government."

That September 6, 2001 correspondence asserted to Plaintiffs' satisfaction that the unlawfully produced and deeply flawed document did not and would not serve as or as the basis for any policies or positions of the Federal Government of the United States, but would instead be treated as no more than another among various third-party submissions.

Further contributing to this settlement was an August 31, 2001 submission by the United States Department of State, to the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ("IPCC"). This document, "Comments" from the "Final Government Review" of the "IPCC Third Assessment Report, Synthesis Report," reinforced our belief in your offer to assert that the National Assessment indeed did not -- and would not -- serve as the position of the Federal Government of the United States as to the science of the theory of climate change or global warming, or the basis for any such position or any policy....

Now, it is cited as authoritative throughout CAR Chapter 6, as the U.S. position....

END of Excerpt of letter

For Fred Smith's letter in full: http://cei.org/gencon/027,03031.cfm

In a February column, Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute, a research professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a former President of the American Association of State Climatologists, outlined the faulty science behind the new EPA report.

Michaels, who appeared Monday night on FNC's Hannity & Colmes, explained in his column how the "U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change" (USNA) used computer model which predicts "a ridiculous rise of 8.1 F in projected U.S. temperatures this century." Michaels asked, how does "even the rankest climate amateur know" the model "is a joke when applied to the United States?" Michaels answered: "Because it 'predicts' that U.S. temperatures should have changed 300 percent more than they did in the last 100 years."

For the entirety of the column: http://www.cato.org/dailys/02-25-02.html

See item #2 below for how "a team of international scientists...said climate models showing global warming are based on a 'fairy tale' of computer projections" and how 17,000 scientists have signed a petition arguing man is not causing catastrophic global warming.

But first, some links to highlights of ominous and one-sided network coverage last year:

-- Dan Rather led the February 19, 2001 CBS Evening News with "the forecast from Hell," a UN report which offered "dire predictions...about the future of our planet." ABC's Peter Jennings also highlighted the fear "there will be potentially enormous loss of life, greater risk of disease and the extinction of entire species." For more: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010220.asp#1

-- On Kyoto, "President Bush is ordering another rollback, another reversal in U.S. environmental policy," intoned CBS's Dan Rather. John Roberts put it in apoplectic terms, implying Bush alone is risking the survival of humans: "Global temperatures on the rise, glaciers retreating, storms more frequent and severe, a looming crisis, say many scientists, of the Greenhouse effect..." For more: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010329.asp#1

-- CBS hyped a report on how industrial pollution is causing warming. "The findings may put a harsh light on Mr. Bush's global warming policy," Rather intoned on the June 6, 2001 Evening News. Roberts warned that "a team from the National Academy of Sciences found compelling evidence that the Earth is getting hotter as a result of human activity" and noted how "environmentalists, who met with the Vice President yesterday, today declared it is time to wage all out war on global warming." For more: http://www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/2001/cyb20010607.asp#1

2

The scientific community isn't as uniformly behind the global warming scare-mongering as the networks would have you believe. In addition to the CEI letter and Patrick Michaels column cited in item #1 above, Marc Morano of the MRC's CNSNews.com reported in mid-May that "a team of international scientists... said climate models showing global warming are based on a 'fairy tale' of computer projections." And, 17,000 scientists have signed a petition which states that it is inaccurate to assume human activity "is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

-- An excerpt from a May 14 CNSNews.com story, "Global Warming Models Labeled 'Fairy Tale' By Team of Scientists," by Marc Morano:

A team of international scientists Monday said climate models showing global warming are based on a "fairy tale" of computer projections. The scientists met on Capitol Hill to expose what they see as a dearth of scientific evidence about global warming.

Hartwig Volz, a geophysicist with the RWE Research Lab in Germany questioned the merit of the climate projections coming from the United Nations sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC.) The IPCC climate projections have fueled worldwide support for the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to restrict the greenhouse gases thought to cause global warming.

Volz noted that the IPCC does not even call the climate models "predictions" and instead refers to them as "projections" or "story lines." Volz said the projections might be more aptly termed "fairy tales."

Monday's luncheon was sponsored by the Frontiers of Freedom Institute and titled "Whatever Happened to Global Warming? Climate Science Does Not Support the Kyoto Protocol."

S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist with the University of Virginia and the Environmental Policy Project, called the IPCC's global warming projections "completely unrealistic."...

Dr. Ulrich Berner, a geologist with the Federal Institute for Geosciences in Germany, said global temperatures have varied greatly in the earth's history and are unrelated to human activity.

"The climate of the past has varied under natural conditions without the influence of humans," Berner said....

Singer agreed, stating, "The balance of evidence suggests that there has been no appreciable warming since 1940. This would indicate that the human effects on climate must be quite small."....

END of Excerpt

For the story in full: http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?
Page=\Nation\archive\200205\NAT20020514b.html

-- 17,000 scientists have signed a petition which 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."

For more on the petition posted by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine: http://www.oism.org/pproject/s33p37.htm

3

Hillary Clinton a "centrist"? Indeed, that is what Eleanor Clift maintained in the May 31 edition of her online column for MSNBC.com. In previewing potential future presidential candidates, the veteran Newsweek reporter argued that Senator Clinton "has never been the wild-eyed liberal her critics imagine."

Clift suggested that "the former First Lady's makeover as a political centrist dates back to the shellacking she took as the architect of the health-care plan that almost sank the Clinton presidency" and so she is now preparing for a presidential bid in 2008 by "establishing her bona fides as a centrist."

But a quick check by the MRC's Rich Noyes of Senator Clinton's 2001 rating assessed by the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) confirmed she's hardly moved right since the health care fiasco. Her rating for her first year as a Senator: 95 percent.

If that makes a Senator a "centrist," then these Senators with identical 95 percent ADA ratings for 2001 are also centrists: California's Barbara Boxer, Connecticut's Chris Dodd, Barbara Mikulski and Paul Sarbanes of Maryland, John Kerry of Massachusetts, Oregon's Ron Wyden and Clinton's New York colleague, Charles Schumer.

For the ADA's ratings of Senators: http://adaction.org/Senate2001fullVR.pdf

To earn her 95 percent ADA rating, the "centrist" Clinton had to reject Ashcroft for Attorney General, favor imposing further ergonomics rules on businesses, protect McCain-Feingold, oppose Bush's tax cut, reduce the tax cut to spend more on government environmental programs, vote against eliminating the "marriage penalty" tax, back massive additional federal spending on local school construction, oppose eliminating the estate tax, vote against even a demonstration project for school vouchers, and favor the most liberal version of a patients' bill of rights.

Clinton's only bad vote by the ADA's logic: She opposed a military base closing bill, probably only because it included a facility in New York. For the ADA vote rundown: http://adaction.org/senatevotedescrips2001.html

An excerpt from Clift's May 31 piece, "Whither Hillary?" The subhead: "The former First Lady is positioning herself as a showy centrist for Campaign 2008. But the Republicans also have their favorites waiting in the wings." The excerpt:

....Hillary remains resolutely opaque on the subject of her future ambition. Neutral observers give her high marks for the way she has blended into the Senate's clubby culture, even joining conservative Republicans in a weekly prayer group. The junior senator for New York has never been the wild-eyed liberal her critics imagine, but she must have squirmed just a bit when protesters showed up outside her Washington home in late May objecting to her support for a Republican-backed welfare bill.

The former First Lady's makeover as a political centrist dates back to the shellacking she took as the architect of the health-care plan that almost sank the Clinton presidency. Her acquiescence to punitive welfare rules on poor women is analogous to her husband's capitulation to his political advisors in 1996, when he signed the original welfare-reform bill that the Republican-controlled House has now voted five years later to toughen. Senator Clinton claimed in a letter to the editor of The New York Times earlier this month that she backs the bill because her intention is to try to improve some of its provisions, like making more money available for child care for mothers required to work more hours.

Suspend excerpt

So, she wants to "improve" it by making it more liberal.

Resume excerpt:

But the political calculation is transparent, and it may pay off. Hillary is establishing her bona fides as a centrist, which is where elections are won when the country is as divided between the two main parties as we are today. She rebuffs all talk about a presidential run for now and is focused on New York. But watch what she does, not what she says. This is a woman who knows how to keep her options open, and she's doing it very well....

END of Excerpt

For the entirety of Clift's piece: http://www.msnbc.com/news/760135.asp

With this column, Clift has put herself well to the left of most of the Washington press corps, few of whom I can believe really think Clinton is anything but a liberal ideologue. -- Brent Baker


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