A Politico article asserted that "even the most ambitious [energy] plans presented by the Democratic presidential candidates are setting goals so distant that they won't be met until most of these contenders might be dead." In fact, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards, and Sen. Barack Obama have called for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, the candidates have also established specific goals to be reached within the next two to 23 years.
Glenn Beck declared that "the globe was the hottest" in 1934; in fact, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the hottest year on Earth was actually 2005, and 1934 -- now designated the hottest year on record in the U.S. after a revision in climate data -- does not even rank among the globe's five warmest years. Beck also suggested that the statistic "was, I believe, intentionally distorted by the guy the left holds up as the scientist on global warming," an apparent reference to GISS director James Hansen. In August, the GISS revised historical climate data because "the monthly more-or-less-automatic updates of our global temperature analysis had a flaw in the U.S. data."
On CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute claimed that "[t]he warming that the alarmists are talking about is 1 degree Fahrenheit over the past 150 years, most of which occurred before World War II. None of which occurred in the last decade." In fact, NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies stated in 2006: "Global warming is now 0.6° C [1.08° F] in the past three decades and 0.8° C [1.44° F] in the past century. It is no longer correct to say that 'most global warming occurred before 1940.' "
On This Week, George F. Will suggested that developing countries are "not interested" in climate change. In fact, during the recent United Nations General Assembly, numerous leaders from so-called developing nations said that their countries are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and requested international cooperation to help mitigate its impact.
MSNBC Live hosts Mika Brzezinski and Contessa Brewer each described as a "top meteorologist" William M. Gray, who has stated that global warming "is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people." Both also noted Gray's claim that rising temperatures "are simply part of a natural cycle," but neither noted that the overwhelming majority of scientists disagree with that assertion and have concluded that global climate change is caused by human activity.
During an interview with the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis, CNN's Heidi Collins did not challenge Lewis' assertion that, in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claimed that global warming would cause sea levels to rise "20 feet ... in this century." Lewis added: "That is science fiction, but Gore presented it as fact. It's scaremongering." In fact, Gore was addressing what could happen if the West Antarctic ice shelf or the Greenland ice dome "broke up and slipped into the sea" at an indefinite point in the future, not "in this century."
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named Fox News host Sean Hannity the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for defending musician and right-wing activist Ted Nugent after airing video footage of Nugent's smears of Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Olbermann also named Fox News' Brit Hume the "runner-up" for distorting recently published research on global warming.
Fox News' Brit Hume cited "new research by University of Washington mathematicians [that] shows a correlation between high solar activity and periods of global warming" as evidence to support his claim that "[global warming] skeptics are increasingly certain that the scare is vastly overblown." But an August 9 New Scientist article on the mathematicians' research warned that "[c]limate-change skeptics may seize on the findings as evidence that the sun's variability can explain global warming -- but [the report's co-author] mathematician Ka-Kit Tung says quite the contrary is true." The New Scientist reported that Tung says his finding, in the New Scientist's words, "adds to the evidence that mainstream climate models are right about the likely extent of future human-generated warming."
On Special Report, Jim Angle reported that NASA was forced "to admit it was wrong when it said that 1998 was the hottest year on record" and that NASA "now says 1934 was the hottest year, followed by 1998, then 1921." But Angle did not inform viewers that NASA's revision affected annual temperature rankings for the United States only; it had no effect on the annual global temperature rankings.