On February 14, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly and Brit Hume all reported on the cancellation of a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on climate change due to severe winter weather conditions in Washington, D.C., with both Blitzer and Kelly deeming the turn of events “ironic,” suggesting that cold weather and snow in February cast doubt on the existence of global warming.
On the February 14 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, host Blitzer said: “And, of course, all the severe winter weather is coming amid growing concern about global warming. In fact, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee was scheduled to hold a hearing on all things global warming this morning. Ironically -- get this -- it was canceled because of the winter weather conditions here in the nation's capital. It's cold out there.”
On the February 14 edition of Fox News Channel's America's Newsroom, anchor Kelly said, “And how's this for irony? The House Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality had to cancel its 10 a.m. hearing today. Lawmakers there were going to talk about global warming. Instead, dealing with a national freeze.”
On the February 14 edition Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, anchor Hume said, “A House subcommittee hearing on climate change and the warming of the planet was called off today because of the snow and ice storm that hit Washington. And in St. Louis, a scheduled showing of Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth movie on global warming was canceled by Maryville University because of the harsh winter weather.”
News of cancellation of the climate change hearing and, as Hume reported, a showing of An Inconvenient Truth, the former vice president's documentary on global warming, both due to cold weather conditions, also appeared on the Drudge Report, the website of Internet gossip Matt Drudge. The weblog Think Progress noted that some right-wing bloggers cited the Drudge story as evidence that global warming does not exist.
On February 15, The Washington Times also reported the cancellation of the climate change hearing, and noted that "[t]he news was pointed out by climate-change skeptics and was a lead headline on the Drudge Report."
As Media Matters for America has previously documented, weather in a given portion of the United States at any one time is not indicative of whether the Earth is warming. As the National Climatic Data Center noted in its preliminary 2006 report, "[f]ollowing the warmest year on record for the globe in 2005, the annual global temperature for 2006 is expected to be sixth warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880." That report also noted that “the 2006 annual average temperature for the contiguous United States (based on preliminary data) will likely be 2°F (1.1°C) above the 20th Century mean, which would make 2006 the third warmest year on record.”