In articles on the House's passage of a bill that would allow oil exploration in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Associated Press overstated the amount of oil that could be produced if the bill becomes law.
In a May 24 Slate.com article, Gregg Easterbrook baselessly criticized Al Gore's new film on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, as factually imprecise and morally careless, but his criticism ignored his history of using distorted scientific research to downplay the threat of global warming.
CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck appeared to question studies showing that global temperatures have increased by 0.6 degrees Celsius by falsely claiming that annual temperatures in the United States have remained "pretty much flat." In fact, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies has documented a rise in temperatures in the United States comparable to the global increase. Beck's apparent doubt about whether human beings are responsible for global climate change is contradicted by the scientific consensus on the subject.
On Fox News Live, anchor Bill Hemmer interviewed Wall Street Journal columnist and former Gov. Pete Du Pont (R-DE) about An Inconvenient Truth, a new documentary on former Vice President Al Gore's campaign to raise awareness of global warming. During the interview, Hemmer repeatedly characterized as "convincing" Du Pont's Journal column, which presented a series of assertions on global warming that misrepresent the underlying scientific research and relied on a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to claim that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think."
In a segment on Al Gore's global warming campaign, PBS' Gwen Ifill noted that "critics have called Gore 'alarmist,' " before airing a clip of an ad produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which she identified only as a "Washington think tank." But Ifill did not mention that CEI is a conservative institution largely funded by the energy industry, which has a financial stake in opposing policies that seek to combat climate change.
During a discussion on Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume about the global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes claimed, "It's not known for certain or anywhere near certain whether the small increase in temperature over the last hundred years is caused by man or not." However, there is little debate within the scientific community about whether human activity is responsible for the increase in global surface and water temperatures, save for a small group of skeptics, many of whom are tied to organizations with a financial stake in combating global-warming theory.
On Fox News' Dayside, Sterling Burnett, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, called An Inconvenient Truth -- a new documentary on former Vice President Al Gore's campaign to raise worldwide awareness of global warming -- "propaganda" and added: "You don't go see Joseph Goebbels' films to see the truth about Nazi Germany. You don't want to go see Al Gore's film to see the truth about global warming."
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Wall Street Journal columnist Pete Du Pont claimed that carbon dioxide is "not a pollutant" and repeatedly cited a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to prove that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think." Similarly, Rush Limbaugh noted that the "Antarctica ice sheeting is actually increasing" as evidence that global warming theory is "unsupportable by facts."
In his introduction for the May 21 Fox News special on global warming, host David Asman left viewers with the impression that there is a significant divide among scientists regarding the cause of global warming. "Today, almost all scientists agree that there is global warming," he said, "but there is no scientific consensus about what causes global warming or how it will affect our lives." But, while Asman went on to interview numerous experts skeptical of the threat posed by global warming or whether human activity causes it, he never informed viewers that those skeptics represent a small minority within the scientific community.
On May 21, Fox News will air a one-hour special, Global Warming: The Debate Continues, in which host David Asman will "speak with scientists who are skeptical of what they view as alarmist fears about climate change." Among the roster of contributors are several global warming skeptics with ties to the energy industry and records of misinformation on the issue.
On May 17, Pat Robertson once again warned 700 Club viewers of "vicious hurricanes" and a possible tsunami after saying on May 8: "I go away at the end of each year to pray, and if I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms."
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On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Cato Institute senior fellow Patrick J. Michaels distorted comments made by former Vice President Al Gore to falsely suggest Gore endorsed exaggerating the threat of global warming.
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Rob Pollock falsely claimed that "most" of the global warming that has occurred "over the past century ... happened before 1940." In fact, according to data presented by the Climatic Research Unit, the last three decades have seen a sharper rise in global air temperature than any other period since at least 1860, including the years preceding 1940.
On Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, ABC News 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel trivialized global temperature increases, stating "[t]he globe is warming, but it's one degree." In fact, scientists have determined that the approximately 1 degree Fahrenheit * increase in global temperature during the 20th century has adversely affected several ecosystems and that a continuation of warming trends could be detrimental to humankind.
On the CBS Evening News, CBS Washington correspondent Bob Orr reported that President Bush "asked Congress to give him the authority to raise the mileage requirement for cars." This is at least the second time CBS neglected to mention that support of higher mileage standards is a significant shift by a White House that, as recently as February, opposed increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.