Inhofe slams press warnings on global warming as ‘unfounded’ hype
Sen.JamesM.Inhofe,inoneofhis final actions as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee,onDec.6heldahearingtoinvestigate whether press accounts have “over-hyped” predictions of global warming.
“The media often fails to distinguish between predictions and what is actually being observed on the Earthtoday,”theOklahomaRepublican said. “Rather than focus on the hard science of global warming, the mediahasinsteadbecomeadvocates for hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism.”
Mr. Inhofe will lose control of the environmental panel next month when Democrats assume the Senate majority, and Sen. Barbara Boxer of California will assume the gavel. She promisesextensivehearingsonglobal warming,andchastisedMr.Inhofefor scrutinizing global-warming coverage. “In a free society, in what is the greatestdemocracyintheworld,Ido notbelieveitispropertoputpressure on the media to please a particular Senate committee view, one way or the other,” she said.
The two are polar opposites when it comes to climate change — Mr. Inhofe has called global warming “the greatest hoax perpetrated on the American people,” while Mrs. Boxer has advocated efforts to significantly reduce greenhouse gases.
Mr. Inhofe, vilified by environmentalgroupsforhisposition,saidhe fears “poorly conceived policy decisions may result from the media’s over-hyped reporting.”
Thehearingwasanopportunityfor Mr. Inhofe to strike back at his critics, citing “overwhelmingly onesided”reportsonCBS,ABCandCNN and by Time, the Associated Press and Reuters.
He accused reporters, including former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, of failing to interview climatechange skeptics, and of omitting scientific data that contradicts global-warming theories. He also said reporters are motivated by money, quoting a French geophysicist who says alarmism “has become a very lucrative business.”
Dan Gainor, director of the Business and Media Institute, testified that 30 years ago reporters tried to convince the public “we would all freeze to death” in a predicted new ice age.
“Inmorethan100years,themajor mediahavewarnedusofatleastfour separateclimatecataclysms,”hesaid, adding there is a “media obsession” withformerVicePresidentAlGore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Australian climate-change researcher Robert M. Carter said the pressemploys“Frisbeescience”that is “invariably alarmist in nature.”
Naomi Oreskes, a professor of science studies at the University of Cal- ifornia at San Diego, told the panel that while scientists still argue over thedetails,“thereisaconsensus”the climate is changing.
David Deming, a geologist at the University of Oklahoma, disagreed.
“There is no sound scientific basis for predicting future climate change with any degree of certainty,” he said. “It would be foolish to establish national energy policy on the basis of misinformation and irrational hysteria.”
Mrs.Boxercitedcommentsfrom oil and bank executives who say globalwarmingisarealoccurrence, and promised Congress can “do what it takes to change course and protect the future for our children and grandchildren.”