Fox Escalates War On Climate Science As House GOP Readies Attack On EPA
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In recent weeks Fox has repeatedly promoted skeptics' view that "there is no global warming," dismissing the extensive body of evidence supporting the scientific consensus on climate change. Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are drafting legislation to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.
GOP Bills Will Prevent EPA From Addressing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
AP: House Bill "Would Nullify All Of The Steps The EPA Has Taken To Date On The Issue." In a February 2 article, the Associated Press reported that "House Republicans intend to unveil legislation Wednesday to ban the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and expect to advance the bill quickly, officials disclosed Tuesday night. The officials said the bill would nullify all of the steps the EPA has taken to date on the issue, including a threshold finding that greenhouse gases constitute a danger to the public health and welfare." The article further reported: "In addition, it seeks to strip the agency of its authority to use the law in any future attempts to crack down on the emissions from factories, utilities and other stationary sources." [The Associated Press, 2/2/11]
AP: Senate Republicans "Have Introduced Bills Of Their Own To Delay Regulations Aimed At Abating Climate Change." The AP also reported that Senate Republicans have proposed similar bills that would "delay regulations aimed at abating climate change, or ... bar the government from using any environmental law to fight global warming pollution." The article also reported: "The political situation is more complicated in the Senate. Sen. John Barrasso has introduced a more sweeping measure than the one House Republicans are drafting. At the same time, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller has proposed a two-year moratorium on EPA attempts to regulate greenhouse gases, a plan that already has attracted a handful of Democratic supporters." [The Associated Press, 2/2/11]
Issa Promised Investigation Into Climate Data. A September 23 report from ClimateWire stated: "The House's top Republican watchdog is planning to launch an investigation into international climate data if he takes the helm of the chamber's oversight panel next year. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said a probe of the 'Climategate' scandal will top his environmental agenda if the Republicans take over the House next year and he gets the chairmanship." [ClimateWire, 9/23/10]
Fox Ramped Up Climate Change Denial In Past Week
Asman And GOP Strategist McGlowan Mock Global Warming: "Let It Go, Al Gore. Let It Go." On his Fox Business show, David Asman referred to the "low temperatures, killer snowfalls, cities covered in ice" to mock global warming. His guest, Republican strategist Angela McGlowan, added: "In the 1970s, it was global cooling. Scientists said that we were gonna have a new ice age. So the bottom line is this: There's no proof. Let it go, Al Gore. Let it go." [Fox Business Network, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 2/3/11]
Fox Hosted Climate Skeptic Bastardi To Cast Doubt On Global Warming. Fox & Friends hosted meteorologist and climate change skeptic Joe Bastardi to cast doubt on global warming by making several unsupported claims, including that El Niño is responsible for warming during the past 30 years. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/2/11]
Doocy Jokes About Snowstorm: "Is This All Natural? Or Is It Global Warming?" On Fox & Friends, co-host Steve Doocy stated: "Three-fourths of the country being pelted by massive storms over the last 24 hours and the next 24. You're looking live at Chicago where it's hard to even walk outside. Now, is this all natural? Or is it global warming?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/2/11]
Sussman: "Hottest Decade In History Was The 1930s." Asserting that "there is no global warming," Brian Sussman, radio host and author of Climategate: A Veteran Meteorologist Exposes The Global Warming Scam, claimed on Fox Business' Follow the Money that the "hottest decade in history was the 1930s":
ERIC BOLLING (host): Even if we were to agree, which I'm not sure we are going to agree on it. But, what is it? Somewhere around a half a degree over the last 30 years the globe has warmed. Is that enough to effect that much change and really need that much regulation?
SUSSMAN: Yeah so, Alan's cute with these "Oh you're a flat earther" -- Listen, I've got 300 footnotes in my book. I'm using government data to prove my point. And you're absolutely right, since the little ice age, plane, train, automobile, leaf blower, lawn mower, all invented, population of the earth grown exponentially. The temperatures warm .7 degrees Celsius and most of that occurred before 1940 and the hottest decade in history was the 1930s not these last 10 years, so there is no global warming. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 1/31/11]
O'Reilly Has "A Call-In To Al Gore" To Explain Winter Snow. On his Fox News show, O'Reilly complained about Long Island "turn[ing] into Manitoba" and being "wacked again with another snowstorm" on January 26. He went on to say: "The central question tonight is: Why has Southern New York turned into the Tundra? I have a call-in to Al Gore." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/27/11]
Asman: "Global Warming Is Pretty Hard To Find Right Now." On Fox Business' America's Nightly Scoreboard, Asman pointed to the "horrible winter we're having" to cast doubt on climate change, saying:
ASMAN: But the biggest problem with the media's praise for President Obama always comes around when Obama's vision collides with reality. And global warming is a perfect example of that. What's clear from this horrible winter we're having is that Mother Nature is not doing what President Obama and the global warming alarmists said it would do. Global warming is pretty hard to find right now, so the media scrambles in vain to find ways to justify the president's renewed calls for billions more in spending on green projects. But there are none. And with a winter like the one we're having, even his loving media have been growing skeptical.
Now, we can't say what Ronald Reagan would have said about the global warming hysteria, but we are sure he would have opposed massive federal subsidies for green projects. As always, he would have left that up to the private sector. [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 1/27/11, via Nexis]
Fox Guest: "The Warmest Year In History Was 1998 ... We've Been Going Downhill Since Then." On January 27, Fox Business hosted T.J. Rodgers, CEO of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, who claimed:
RODGERS: The other thing, you know, save the polar bear -- just FYI, the number of polar bears on the Earth has gone up by a factor of five. From 1960 to now, there are five times more polar bears than there used to be. They're not dying from melting ice. The warmest year in history was 1998. That's United Nation's data. It's not my contrarian data. We've been going downhill since then. So the idea we should do something because of global warming is classic government -- I have a religion. It's called green and global warming. You will follow my religion. It's not what free markets are about.
Selling solar panels to people who want it, that's a reasonable free market. And it's environmental. It's a good thing for the environment. But doing what the government wants, because the clique that happens to occupy Washington right now declares it to be the right thing to do, is going in the wrong way and wasting money for us. [Fox Business, America's Nightly Scoreboard, 1/27/11, via Nexis]
Sussman Misrepresents Arctic Sea Ice Data To Cast Doubt On Global Warming. During a January 27 Fox News appearance, Sussman stated that global warming "is a shakedown operation being conducted by political activists with Ph.Ds who at the end of the day want to see cap and trade imposed upon the United States." Sussman went on to cite Arctic sea ice data and temperatures to purportedly explain "really what's happening." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/27/11]
Doocy Asks: "I Wonder Where Al Gore Is This Morning?" On the January 27 broadcast of Fox & Friends, Doocy reported from outside of Fox News' studios to show viewers how much snow fell in New York City during the previous evening's storm. During the segment, he asked, "I wonder where Al Gore is this morning?" He then added: "That global warming is really taking its toll. Isn't it?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/27/11]
Fox Chyron: "What Global Warming?" During a segment on the recent snowstorm in the Northeast, Fox & Friends aired an on-screen graphic that read, "What Global Warming?" [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/27/11]
Doocy Mocks Gore In Front Of Dancing Polar Bear. During another segment on the heavy snowfall, Fox & Friends mocked global warming by having a man in a polar bear costume appear on the sidewalk behind Doocy, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and lei. Laughing, Doocy remarked: "Somewhere, Al Gore's got to be giggling right now." In response, co-host Brian Kilmeade added, "At least there's one polar bear left." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/27/11]
Fox Nation: "Hey Gore...Obama Motorcade Caught In Snowstorm." On January 27, Fox Nation linked to an AP article titled, "Obama caught in Washington's wintry weather" with the headline, "Hey Gore...Obama Motorcade Caught In Snowstorm." [The Fox Nation, 1/27/11; The Associated Press, 1/26/10]
Fox Business' Imus Promotes Sen. Hatch's Skepticism Over Global Warming. During an appearance on Fox Business' Imus in the Morning, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch (UT) pointed to the "frozen" landscape to dispute global warming, asking, "Where is this global warming that's going to save us?" From the January 5 edition of Fox Business' Imus in the Morning:
HATCH: We've got to live within our means. We've got to get ourselves back to where we're pushing for a balanced budget in this country, even if we can't quite make it.
We've got to get spending under control. We've got to get a tax system that makes sense, rather than is destructive of business. And we've got to quit overregulating everything.
And by the way, you know, with all of the criticisms of the Anglia people and so forth, you can see where global warming -- the people who are living right now throughout the country are wondering -- and as I flew all over yesterday to get back here to Washington, everything looked frozen right to the -- right to the depths of the ground. And it just makes you wonder, where is this global warming that's going to save us? [Fox Business, Imus in the Morning, 1/5/11, via Nexis]
Beck: "Do I Believe Scientists? No. They've Lied To Us About Global Warming." On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck blamed the government for rising energy prices, demanding to know why the media haven't asked any questions. He then said:
BECK: What are we doing? Yet, the newspapers are sitting around asking themselves: Why are we going out of business? What's happening to us? We need some federal bailout, it's coming. You know why? You know why they're going out of business? You know why nobody reads this crap anymore? Because they're no longer the fourth branch of government. There are no watchdogs en masse anymore.
So, here's the solution -- I don't believe that the government is out there killing birds and fish with invisible Wonder Woman spy planes. I don't know what's happening. I personally believe it's a normal occurrence. But can I look at you and say, "Yep, that's what's happening"? No. When the University of Madison-Wisconsin comes out with their definitive study, do I believe that? No.
Do I believe scientists? No. They've lied to us about global warming.
Who do you believe? [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/6/11]
Bolling: Global Warming "Is Just A Big Scam." On Fox Business' Follow the Money, host Eric Bolling called into the question the science behind climate change, saying that the "basis for the argument on global warming or climate change" is "up for debate." Bolling added: "This is just a big scam." From the show:
BOLLING: Garland, where do you stand? I mean...
GARLAND NIXON (radio talk host): Well, there are three things that are not in dispute amongst -- throughout the scientific community, No. 1, the surface temperature of the earth is rising.
NIXON: OK, No, 2, that it is caused by the CO2 gases...
BOLLING: Also disputed.
NIXON: And No. 3, that the CO2 gasses are primarily caused by -- the rise in CO2 gasses are primarily caused by burning fossil fuels. It may be disputed, but if 99 people say something and one person disputes it...
BOLLING: ...are disputed and all three of them happen to be, you know, the basis for the argument on global warming or climate change and all three of them are up for debate.
NIXON: I said within the scientific community.
BOLLING: I will tell you unequivocally, I remember this, "Newsweek," the cover of "Newsweek" magazine saying, the impending, the coming ice age, because temperatures were going down. What about it? This is just a big scam. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 1/10/11, via Nexis]
Fox Nation Falsely Suggests January Snow Disproves Global Warming. On January 11, Fox Nation linked to a story about the high amounts of snow in the United States with the headline, "Someone Tell Gore it's Snowing in 49 States Today, Including Hawaii." [The Fox Nation, 1/11/11]
Bolling: "The Globe Gets Warmer And It Gets Cooler." On his Fox Business show, Bolling repeatedly cited a Newsweek article from 1975 to cast doubt on global warming, saying that the article is proof that "the globe gets warmer and it gets cooler and it's not a matter of one direction or the other." Bolling also referred to the manufactured "Climategate" scandal, saying that "a climate center in England basically said, hey, let's hide some of the science in these e-mails, let's make sure we don't expose all, you know, the science." From the show:
BOLLING: From 19, say 40 or so, 1945 to 1970, 25, almost 30 years, the climate, the temperature was cooling, not heating. And here's the important part, guys, give me the next screen, that's from "Newsweek," that's April 28, 1975. So, the name of that editorial article was called "The Cooling World," Doctor. My point is the globe gets warmer and it gets cooler and it's not a matter of one direction or the other.
GLEICK: You know, I appreciate that, but the truth is that if you look at the entire temperature record, not just pieces of it, but the entire temperature record for the globe as a whole, the earth is warming up, it's warming up faster than it's ever warmed up because of human activities and it goes up and it goes down, but the long-term trend is up, up, up, 2010 is going to turn out to be warmest year...
BOLLING: It went up through from 1880 all the way up to about 1945 and then in a very rapid, that's 65, what is that, 65 years, in the next 15 to 20 years it dropped almost to the point where it started, so it cooled rapidly, as well.
GLEICK: Eric, you have to look at the entire record -- 2010 is going to turn out to be the warmest year or the second warmest year for the planet, as a whole, on that entire record and the warmest decade on record.
BOLLING: Fair enough, let's take it one step further...
GLEICK: Cold weather...
BOLLING: Let's take it one step further. You and I can disagree on whether the planet warms or cools in one direction or not, but is it not important that, if we're going to try and pass legislation that could cost literally trillions of dollars to the American people, to American businesses, we better be pretty sure about which one is really happening?
GLEICK: You know, that's a great point. There's the science of climate change, which is incredibly strong, and then there's the much more difficult question about what do we do about it. I think that's a really tough question. We have serious choices facing us about how we're going to control greenhouse gas emissions or if we don't, how we're going to pay for the consequence of climate change, and I'm a scientist and those are difficult policy questions to address.
BOLLING: Doc, we appreciate that, but I have to point out, in that same "Newsweek" article, they blamed carbon dioxide, emissions from cars on the cooling factor, you said, they said, what it did was it blocked the sun, created the globe, the cooling factor on the globe.
BOLLING: But this, it has this, also, a based on the National Atmospheric Research, National Atmospheric Research showing some temperatures actually was cooing, sir. It's not a group of professors in a lab saying I think it's getting cooler. This is America's best, best judge of what the temperature was in this from 1880 to at the time.
GLEICK: Through 2010, if you ask the best climate scientist in the world, and in the country, at ENCAR (ph), they will all tell you that the earth is warming because of human activities.
BOLLING: When we base legislation on some, you know, a climate center in England that basically said, hey, let's hide some of the science in these e-mails, let's make sure we don't expose all, you know, the science or we risk losing this climate change bill, that scares me, Pap, and I think it should scare every viewer, too. [Fox Business, Follow the Money, 1/11/11, via Nexis]
FoxNews.com Tries To Debunk Global Warming. In an article titled, "Five Reasons the Planet May Not Be Its Hottest Ever," FoxNews.com ignored climate science and botched basic facts in seeking to debunk the fact that Earth has warmed over the past 30 years and the notion that human activity has contributed to the warming. [FoxNews.com, 1/24/11]