A post on Andrew Breitbart's new website, BigJournalism.com, listed global warming as the top "faux media scares of the past decade," asserting that the threat of global warming "works, except the planet is actually cooling." In fact, while conservatives ceaselessly promote this myth, scientists overwhelmingly reject the charge that the Earth is cooling.
BigJournalism.com debuts with big myth: "[T]he planet is actually cooling"
From a January 7 BigJournalism.com post by radio host Ron Futrell titled, "The Top Twelve Faux Media Scares of the Past Decade":
1. Global Warming!
Began sometime after the global cooling threat stopped. This is the granddaddy of all faux threats. This threat works, except the planet is actually cooling. This threat also makes brilliant scientific minds like Bill Clinton say things like, "global warming could make some places colder."
Media conservatives relentlessly forward myth that Earth is cooling
Led by George Will and Fox News hosts, conservative media often claim the planet is cooling. Washington Post columnist George Will has repeatedly claimed that the Earth has been cooling or has not warmed since 1998. Numerous Fox News and other media personalities have made similar claims.
Scientists overwhelmingly reject global cooling claim. As Media Matters for America has documented, numerous scientists, including from the U.K. Met Office Hadley Center, the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, have debunked claims that temperature variation since 1998 proves global warming has stopped or reversed.
AP: "Statisticians reject global cooling." In an October 26, 2009, article headlined, "AP IMPACT: Statisticians reject global cooling," the Associated Press reported: "In a blind test, the AP gave temperature data to four independent statisticians and asked them to look for trends, without telling them what the numbers represented. The experts found no true temperature declines over time." The article later added:
The AP sent expert statisticians NOAA's year-to-year ground temperature changes over 130 years and the 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures preferred by skeptics and gathered by scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.
Saying there's a downward trend since 1998 is not scientifically legitimate, said David Peterson, a retired Duke University statistics professor and one of those analyzing the numbers.
Identifying a downward trend is a case of "people coming at the data with preconceived notions," said Peterson, author of the book "Why Did They Do That? An Introduction to Forensic Decision Analysis."