During a broadcast of his Newsradio 850 KOA show, host Mike Rosen repeated numerous falsehoods in questioning whether human activity has contributed to global warming. Also, in reading from a newspaper article, Rosen ignored its assertion that most climate scientists believe human activity has played a major role in climate change.
After making the unsubstantiated assertion that there are an "increasing number of scientists who are falling into the camp" of global warming "skeptics," Newsradio 850 KOA host Mike Rosen repeated a number of global warming falsehoods during the January 23 broadcast of his show. Rosen also read selectively from a Houston Chronicle article to further his point, but omitted the article's observation that "[n]early all climate scientists believe the Earth is warming and that human activity ... has contributed significantly to the warming."
Rosen first read from an article published in the January 19 edition of The Independent of London, which reported that Weather Channel host Heidi Cullen "has caused a squall in the industry arguing that any weather forecaster who dares publicly to question the notion that global warming is a manmade phenomenon should be stripped of their professional certification." The article also reported that Cullen's stance "coincides with a stretch of severely off-kilter weather across the US this winter and moves by Democrats to draft strict new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions."
After reading from the article, Rosen said, "When we talk about severely off-kilter weather, I gather they're talking about the warm weather in the Northeast. What about what's happening here in Colorado -- this doesn't count? The global warming alarmists only talk about situations where temperatures are high. Apparently they ignore situations like the one we are having in Colorado."
Rosen's comments echoed those of other media personalities who have pointed to Colorado's December 2006 blizzards to dismiss the topic of global warming, as Colorado Media Matters has documented (here and here). However, as Media Matters for America noted when conservative radio host William Bennett mockingly claimed that "half the people in the country" will "have to fight through snowstorms to watch" screenings of the global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, weather in a portion of the United States is not indicative of whether the Earth is warming.
According to the most recent report from the National Climatic Data Center, "The 2006 average annual temperature for the contiguous U.S. was the warmest on record and nearly identical to the record set in 1998." The report also found that "[s]even months in 2006 were much warmer than average, including December, which ended as the fourth warmest December since records began in 1895."
Rosen then read from a January 22 Houston Chronicle article that detailed the differences of opinion among climate scientists regarding climate change. The article asked, "[H]ave climate scientists oversold global warming? It's probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far." Rosen read a portion of the article quoting Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado, who, according to the Chronicle, "detected 'tension' among scientists [at a recent American Geophysical Union meeting], notably because projections of the future climate carry uncertainties -- a point that hasn't been fully communicated to the public."
Rosen, however, omitted significant portions of the article, particularly passages affirming the majority view among climate scientists that greenhouse gases -- particularly carbon dioxide -- resulting from human activity are playing a major role in causing global temperature increases. Specifically, Rosen ignored this sentence in the Chronicle article:
Nearly all climate scientists believe the Earth is warming and that human activity, by increasing the level of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, has contributed significantly to the warming.
Responding to a caller who challenged "the left" for asserting that global warming is a result of "the cars and the fumes and ... things" later in the program, Rosen proceeded to recite a number of common -- yet widely discredited -- falsehoods regarding climate change.
For example, Rosen claimed that "when you look at temperature trends, you'll notice that temperatures went up more in the first half of the 20th century than in the second half of the 20th century."
But as Media Matters has noted, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) latest Third Assessment Report found that, whereas the Earth's surface temperature has indeed risen by between 0.4 and 0.8 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years, roughly half of that increase occurred from 1900 to 1940, at which point there was a slight cooling. The second half of the increase occurred from 1980 to 2000, half the time it took for the initial rise.
Moreover, a June 2006 report from the National Academy of Sciences concluded: "It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies."
Rosen also stated, "Human activity seems to be minuscule in the impact. Solar activity has so much more to do with it." In examining whether changes in solar activity might be responsible for recent warming, the IPCC found a substantial "rise in solar forcing during the early decades of the 20th century," but not in later decades. According to the IPCC, "Such a forcing history is unlikely to explain the recent acceleration in surface warming, even if amplified by some unknown feedback mechanism."
As Media Matters also noted, a 2004 study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research similarly concluded that solar activity contributed little to the dramatic warming over the last few decades. As a press release explained, the study concluded that "the Sun can be responsible for, at most, only a small part of the warming over the last 20-30 years" and "the Earth's temperature has risen dramatically in the last 30 years while the solar brightness has not appreciably increased in this time."
From the January 23 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Mike Rosen Show:
ROSEN: ... You'll find more people who have jumped on the global warming bandwagon than people who are dissenters. But there are dissenters out there and there's some very impressive individuals with impeccable credentials who are dissenters. I'm not a scientist, so all I can do is read the literature and decide who I choose to believe on this. And I fall into the camp of dissenters. I think the impact of human activity is minimal. I think climate change is something we've had throughout the history of the planet -- long before there were humans on this planet. I think that while there are things called greenhouse gases, their effect has been grossly overstated.
So, the IPCC will make its claims. And there are people who already agree with the global warming hysteria who will cite that as evidence, and the dissidents will continue to disagree. There really isn't anything new that's been presented. Earlier information and projections about the future are being offered and shouted with a little more volume, but that's, that's about it. There's no tangible breakthrough in this area. And it seems to me there are an increasing number of scientists who are falling into the camp of skeptics. And again, time will tell.
ROSEN: Now, here's a story that ran in The Independent -- this is a newspaper in Great Britain -- headline: "American weather forecasters do battle over mankind's role in global warming." This is by their correspondent David Usborne in New York:
"A leading climatologist on the Weather Channel in the United States has caused a squall in the industry by arguing that any weather forecaster who dares publicly to question the notion that global warming is a manmade phenomenon should be stripped of their professional certification.
"The call was made by Heidi Cullen, host of a weekly global warming programme on the cable network called The Climate Code, and coincides with a stretch of severely off-kilter weather across the U.S. this winter and moves by Democrats to draft strict new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions."
When we talk about severely off-kilter weather, I gather they're talking about the warm weather in the Northeast. [Laughing] What about what's happening here in Colorado -- this doesn't count? The global warming alarmists only talk about situations where temperatures are high. Apparently they ignore situations like the one we are having in Colorado, where we're having the kind of winter like we used to have 30 years ago.
ROSEN: I've got a story here from the Houston Chronicle. It says in part:
The "problem is global warming may not have caused Hurricane Katrina, and last summer's heat waves were equaled and, in many cases, surpassed by heat in the 1930s. In their efforts to capture the public's attention, then, have climate scientists oversold global warming? It's probably not a majority view, but a few climate scientists are beginning to question whether some dire predictions push the science too far." Says Kevin Vranes, a climate scientist at the University of Colorado, " 'Some of us are wondering if we have created a monster.'
"Vranes, who is not considered a global warming skeptic by his peers, came to this conclusion after attending an American Geophysical Union meeting last month. Vranes says he detected 'tension' among scientists, notably because projections of the future climate carry uncertainties -- a point that hasn't been fully communicated to the public.
"The science of climate change often is expressed publicly in unambiguous terms. For example, last summer, Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, told a U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce" that " 'I think we understand the mechanisms of CO2 and climate better than we do of what causes lung cancer. ... In fact, it is fair to say that global warming may be the most carefully and fully studied scientific topic in human history.' "
Says Kevin Vranes of the University of Colorado, " 'When I hear things like that, I go crazy,' " Vranes says. And he's not even listed among the ranks of global warming skeptics or dissidents. But clearly he thinks that Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, has overstated the case and gone beyond the science.
CALLER: I've just got a comment to make. This last summer, my wife and I, we went to Alaska and went on several different glacier and iceberg tours and things like that. And three of our tour guides said the exact same thing on three different tours -- they said that since they've been keeping track of these glaciers, since the early 1700s, they've been receding anyways, way before all this -- you know, the cars and the fumes and the things that the left is saying that's causing this global warming.
ROSEN: Yeah, well we went through what was called the Little Ice Age that ended about 300 years ago, and temperatures have been trending up since then. It's a natural phenomenon. And when you look at temperature trends, you'll notice that temperatures went up more in the first half of the 20th century than in the second half of the 20th century, and obviously there were more greenhouse gases in the second half of the 20th century than in the first half.
ROSEN: Yeah. So that's one of the reasons I'm a skeptic.
CALLER: And here in Colorado, look at all this cold weather we've been experiencing lately. But like you said earlier, over in the East, kind of opposite. But what about for here?
ROSEN: Yeah, and that's always the way it is -- Northern Hemisphere, Southern Hemisphere, El Niño -- there's so many other variables involved. Human activity seems to be minuscule in the impact. Solar activity has so much more to do with it, it overwhelms it.