Jumping the Shark on Global Warming

On Wednesday August 7, 2013, the PBS NewsHour had a discussion segment titled "Tempers May Flare and Conflicts Rise as Climate Change Heats Up," Study Finds. Apparently, someone at the NewsHour never got the memo about the logical fallacy of "correlation does not imply causation", best illustrated by graphs showing how the rise in postage stamp prices closely matches the rise in global temperatures.

Entertaining as it might be to speculate if the NewsHour has finally jumped the climate change shark with this report, it also serves as a more serious example of journalistic malfeasance on the issue.

The NewsHour made no mention of the skeptic side of the issue in this segment, and it is not the first time they've skipped mentioning alternative global warming science viewpoints. They have missed this opportunity approximately 355 or more times, going back to 1996 in their history of segments containing a significant mention of the issue.

This figure is not just pulled out of thin air. Tedious as it is, anyone can go through the various NewsHour broadcast topic archives -- "Environment", for example -- looking for instances where opposition to the idea of man-caused global warming was offered.

I did exactly that a couple of years ago, taking a three day period to go through all the online transcripts, copying and pasting the page links and keyword sentences to a simple computer text file. I wrote about my 'simpleminded quest' to find out why skeptic scientists did not appear on the NewsHour here at American Thinker, noting that I found 212 global warming-centered program segments, including some online background info pages. Only three on-air segments had any semblance of elemental skeptic science viewpoints, and none featured an actual scientist.

My tally of the NewsHour mentioning global warming and other 'climate change' variations continues to grow. I'm probably short in the count, as the NewsHour has expanded its online-only material significantly in the last year or two, and I've probably missed some of their blog content. Of that 350+ count, it can only safely be said that one more skeptic can be included in the overall total, meteorologist Anthony Watts in his September 17, 2012 appearance alongside 'former skeptic' Richard Muller, which drew howls of "PBS Channels Fox News" protest about giving "false balance" to global warming skeptics. Of course, they should have heaped praise on the program for keeping skeptics out of it for years on end.

So the NewsHour paints itself ever deeper into a corner by telling us about a 'rising temps lead to rising tempers' crisis. If they were mention that plausible skeptic opinion points out that global temperatures have leveled off for the last sixteen years, it would singlehandedly nullify the point their guest's paper was all about, and potentially place the entire so-called global warming crisis under suspicion, along with their own history of excluding skeptic from their program.

At what point will the public see such biased reporting as nothing more than a desperate partisan attempt to keep the issue alive? Did we witness it just recently at the NewsHour? Or will they cross that line by reporting how 'the smell of the ocean is endangered by climate change'?

Read more of Russell Cook's work concerning the smear of skeptic climate scientists at GelbspanFiles.com, and follow him on Twitter at either @GelbspanFiles or @questionAGW and his related QuestionAGW Facebook page