Accuracy in Media


We have come to rely on The Weather Channel for reliable forecasts and information on approaching storms.

But even though the founder went to his grave questioning global warming alarmism, that website has now turned to publishing hit jobs on those who continue to try to get the science right.

One such hit job landed recently under the headline “And the Award for Climate Change Denial Goes to …” by Pam Wright.

“The decades-long campaign to frame the overwhelming scientific consensus around the issue of climate change as a matter of opinion and not fact has a strange front: awards for, more or less, successfully denying the reality of climate change,” the story begins.

She reported that the Heartland Institute, a think tank that has spent decades researching and exposing the problems with the “consensus,” has given 19 awards at its climate conferences between 2014 and 2017, and:

  • Seven went to people with no background in science.
  • Another 11 went to those with a “Bachelor’s-level degree or better in a science.”
  • One had no higher-level degree at all.
  • Only five had a Bachelor’s-level degree or better in climate science, specifically.
  • All 19 had “established ties to industry groups and/or the Heartland Institute or other climate-skeptic think tanks.”
  • Only six had published on the subject of climate change in peer-reviewed journals.

She then leaned into the consensus argument again. “In comparison, 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists – a figure calculated from nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed papers on the topic of climate change between 1991 and 2011 – agree that climate change is occurring and is caused by humans,” she wrote. “Those folks will never get an award from the Heartland Institute.”

This is incorrect. Of the award-winners she mentions, both Myron Ebell, vice-president of Energy and Environment Studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Roy Spencer, a Ph.D. professor of at the University of Alabama-Huntsville whose specialty is weather-monitoring satellites, have said they acknowledge climate is changing and that it is in part caused by humans.

Instead, she takes drive-by pot shots at these thought leaders. Spencer, she admitted, “has an advanced degree in atmospheric sciences. She also claims he is an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance, an evangelical Christian group that claims environmentalism is “one of the greatest threats to society and the church today.”

The quote comes from promotional materials related to a series the organization and applies to the environmental movement – not the notion of caring for the Earth. Specifically, it says the materials will enable people to “learn how the Bible powerfully confronts environmental fears and how – in God’s wise design – people and nature can thrive together.”

She hits Ebell because his degrees are in economics and political science, he works at CEI, “a libertarian think tank that has long ties to tobacco disinformation campaigns and climate change denial” and because “he stood by President Donald Trump’s side during the June 2017 Rose Garden announcement that the United States was pulling out of the landmark Paris Climate Accords.”

Lewis does not acknowledge that what these people are against is alarmism, that warming basically has paused for the last 20 years and may now be even cooling, that storms are not stronger nor more frequent, as warmists claim, the rate of sea level rise has slowed, and hurricanes have become less frequent and less severe.

She then makes her point by quoting a sociology professor from Oklahoma State saying, “Very few ‘legitimate scientists’ with expertise in climate change are among those affiliated with Heartland,” and those who are are “’strong outliers whose views are seen as colored by their conservative ideologies and/or religious orientations and whose research is increasingly viewed as deeply flawed.’”

Photo by NashvilleCorps




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