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You Don’t Need A Weatherman To Know Which Way The Fox Wind Blows

Reported by Ellen - March 3, 2008 -

GUEST BLOGGED BY PRISCILLA

In between the fluff on Fox & Friends you can always count on some right wing talking points. Friday’s (February 29th) edition was typical; as in between Prince Harry, the soldier who hit big in the lottery, and a variety of car crashes, there was a short piece on global warming debunking.

“Weatherman” (not a climatologist) Steve Doocy interviewed Steve Forbes (not a scientist) about global warming. There was no representative from the scientific community to provide a “fair and balanced” rebuttal. While Doocy reported that the National Climatic Data Center says the snow cap over North America and China is greater than at any time since 1966, the chyron read “new data points to global cooling.” What Doocy didn’t add was that the Data Center also claimed that “last year was the warmest in the continental United States in the past 112 years -- capping a nine-year warming streak "unprecedented in the historical record" that was driven in part by the burning of fossil fuels.” Doocy didn’t quote a spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, Jay Lawrimore who said "people should be concerned about what we are doing to the climate. Burning of fossil fuels is causing an increase in greenhouse gases, and there's a broad scientific consensus that it is producing climate change." Never mind “fair and balanced,” what about “real journalism?”

Doocy, ever the comedian, asked if "Al Gore’s dire warnings about global warming were just a bunch of hot air?” In simplifying (Fox audience likes it simple) the issue, Doocy asked Forbes what he thought about Al Gore “getting a lot of people panicked over the world burning up.” Ever the expert, Doocy said that this is the roughest winter for a lot of parts of the US.” Doocy obviously doesn’t know that in the Philadelphia area “temperatures in the first half of meteorological winter have averaged 3.5 degrees above normal through yesterday, which isn't the warmest first half of winter in Philadelphia ever, but it's still somewhat toasty..” Guess he doesn’t know that despite the Chinese snow cap, “Chinese authorities say global warming is to blame for the extreme weather conditions that have afflicted the country this year…”

Forbes rambled about sun cycles and how climate is affected by 11 year sun cycles. He said that the “sun has been quiet lately. There hasn’t been enough activity and last time that happened was 300 years ago when there was a little ice age.” (Comment: How does 300 fit into the 11 year cycle? But as I said, Forbes is not a scientist.) The chyron read “global warming is hot air.” Forbes then got in the perfunctory diss of Al Gore when he said that “maybe Al Gore should put his awards in a pack of ice and ship them back.” Doocy then babbled about how scientists just don’t know “exactly” what causes global warming because the “temperatures have been going up but we don’t know if it’s man-made or if it is cycles and the new stuff suggests it’s just one of those cycles. Earth does that every once in a while.” Global warming denier Forbes responded that earth “has been doing that for a few billion years (Comment: what, the earth isn’t 6,000 years old?), no surprise that it’s doing it now. There is a closer connection between what the sun is doing than carbon dioxide.” (Comment: Don’t worry, be happy. All the pollutants being spewed by Forbes’ corporate pals won’t hurt you or the earth.) It’s worth noting that not once during the segment did Doocy identify this “new stuff” that is the basis for his non scientific observations.

Comment: According to his Fox News biography, Doocy was once host of a Fox children’s news magazine. Looks like he still uses that same style of “reporting.” Despite Doocy being a “weatherman,” he doesn’t seem to realize that there is a great deal of sound science, from scientific communities around the world, that indicate that global warming is real and man made. As a weatherman, he might want to check the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s website for detailed information on this issue. He might want to check the website for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And he might want to actually interview scientists rather than Steve Forbes whose business interests just might be in conflict with pollution control. But that is not to be; because, on Fox the scientific facts are fixed around the White House policy.