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.
On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos failed to correct a series of misleading statements by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) concerning the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and potential sources of oil off the coastal United States.
A Washington Times editorial that advocated drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge exaggerated estimates of the refuge's oil reserves and the amount of daily oil production that could be achieved through exploration there.
In his Time magazine column, Joe Klein advocated drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) as a means of lowering gasoline prices. Contrary to Klein's suggestion, however, a U.S. Department of Energy study found that oil production in ANWR would have a relatively insignificant impact upon crude oil prices.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto hyped the Bolivian government's recent decision to nationalize its energy industry as a "socialist threat" to the United States. Cavuto asked Fox military analyst Col. David Hunt: "Colonel, I'm wondering whether this is a military threat -- leave aside the energy concerns -- but a military threat to our country now?" Hunt replied: "Yeah. There is no question," adding that "oil is a weapon ... and why wouldn't ... states getting close to being a terrorist state ... like Bolivia ... consider it?"
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that "in the outer continental shelf," the United States has "more oil available than Saudi Arabia." Similarly, the New York Post claimed in an editorial that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) "could eventually produce close to what America now imports from Saudi Arabia" -- a claim also contradicted by U.S. Department of Energy estimates.