On Special Report, Baier promoted unnamed global "cooling" studies

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

On Special Report, Bret Baier promoted unnamed studies "showing" that "the Earth is actually cooling." However, climate experts reject the idea that relatively cooler global temperatures during the past 10 years are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist.

On the May 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier claimed that "with a number of studies now showing there has been no global warming over at least the last 10 years, and that the Earth is actually cooling now, environmentalists are looking to rebrand their message." Baier then cited a New York Times article that reported that environmental group ecoAmerica is trying to "find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives" but did not assert or in any way suggest that such efforts were in response to "global cooling" studies. Indeed, Baier did not cite any specific studies showing that the Earth is "cooling," and climate experts reject the idea that the relatively cooler global average temperatures in several of the past 10 years are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist.

As Media Matters for America has repeatedly shown, global warming deniers in the media often misleadingly cite the fact that the average global temperature in 2007 and 2008 was cooler than it was in 1998. However, scientists have identified a long-term warming trend spanning several decades and attribute recent relatively cooler temperatures to normal climate variability -- including short-term variations in climate because of events like El Niño and La Niña. According to the U.K. Met Office Hadley Centre website, in order to identify long-term climate trends, the World Meteorological Organisation "requires the calculation of averages for consecutive periods of 30 years," chosen "as a period long enough to eliminate year-to-year variations."

In a February 11 op-ed in London's Guardian, Vicky Pope, the head of climate change advice at the Met Office, explained that claims about the pace of global warming require more than 10 years of data, "since natural variations always occur on this timescale." She continued, "1998 was a record-breaking warm year as long-term man-made warming combined with a naturally occurring strong El Niño. In contrast, 2008 was slightly cooler than previous years partly because of a La Niña. Despite this, it was still the 10th warmest on record."

Media outlets -- and Fox News in particular -- have frequently repeated the myth that the globe is cooling.

From the May 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: And with a number of studies now showing there has been no global warming over at least the last 10 years, and that the Earth is actually cooling now, environmentalists are looking to rebrand their message.

The New York Times reports the group ecoAmerica thinks a change in the language should do the trick. The group's findings were leaked to the media, and that group was not too happy about it.

The Denver Examiner reports "global warming" was found to be too political and polarizing, so "climate crisis" is recommended. The group urges the use of "pollution" instead of "carbon," "new energy jobs" instead of "green jobs." And activists are advised to speak in patriotic terms like "American ingenuity" and "power of America" to sell their ideas, because, according the group, quote, "patriotism works."

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bret Baier
Show/Publication
Special Report with Bret Baier
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