[*4/15/14 Author update: The bias ratio now stands at 24 to zero. See below.]
Tom Karl appeared on the NewsHour 7/11 on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to describe how “climate change, including human factors, has increased the odds of extreme weather”. But what are the odds that his appearance there was among three hundred+ other instances where the idea of man-caused global warming was met with not one word of rebuttal from any scientist holding a skeptical viewpoint?
Wednesday July 11th was Tom Karl’s first broadcast appearance on the NewsHour, but he has been quoted previously in a 6/16/09 NewsHour online page saying, “What we would want to have people take away is that climate change is happening now, and it’s actually beginning to affect our lives. … It’s not just happening in the Arctic regions, but it’s beginning to show up in our own backyards.“
Meanwhile Kevin Trenberth appeared on the NewsHour for the third time just a week earlier, his prior appearances happened on February 2, 2007 right alongside his fellow Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scientist Michael Oppenheimer, and on December 4, 1997. Trenberth was additionally quoted prominently in a January 22, 2009 online page where the NewsHour inexplicably left out a key sentence (at the end of the 8th paragraph there) from his quote in an Associated Press article where he concluded, “It is hard to make data where none exist.” (10th paragraph). Certainly, the context of his statement would have been significantly more damaging for NewsHour readers to see if that sentence wasn’t missing.
How many times has Michael Oppenheimer appeared? When I compiled the figures in a laborious search through the NewsHour’s online broadcast archives and web pages relating to specific broadcast discussions about global warming for my July 29, 2010 American Thinker article “The Left and Its Talking Points“, I tallied up eight where he was either in an on-air broadcast segment or prominently mentioned in an online page, including one on-air appearance alongside another fellow IPCC scientist Joel Smith. The late Stephen Schneider? Three times, or four if you include a sort of taped ‘pseudo-debate’ with skeptic scientist Pat Michaels over the ClimateGate email scandal, where Schneider seemed to be allowed to promote science bits for his IPCC side of global warming, while Michaels essentially got no skeptic science points in.
But if you check out the NewsHour’s archives, not one skeptic scientist ever appeared to debate with any IPCC, NOAA or other scientists who take the side of man-caused global warming, and none have been allowed to be interviewed in singular fashion like Oppenheimer, Trenberth, Karl and others were, when it comes to giving climate assessments. Not one. EVER.
Sure, Pat Michaels was on to say a few words about the ClimateGate situation…. four months after it happened. And, George Taylor was on in June 2007, but that was more to explain the politics of his dismissal as Oregon’s state climatologist. The only lengthy mention of skeptic science viewpoints I can find in the NewsHour’s online archives going back to 1996 was when Margaret Warner interviewed Western Fuels Association CEO Fred Palmer in Dec 1997. And her final question was, “… why should the American people think you all are right about the future versus them?”
My ongoing count of NewsHour broadcasts/web pages where the idea of global warming is significantly conveyed (not simply two-word mentions of it) as a worrisome unprecedented phenomenon is now over 300, with just the Fred Palmer segment and two others, CEI’s Chris Horner and Texas Representative Joe Barton, counted as ones where viewers at least got a usable impression of what a few skeptic science points are. And the Barton one is a bit of a stretch at just three sentences in length.
It’s rather long odds that the NewsHour is clueless to the existence of a wide variety of fully qualified skeptic scientists who are available to speak as rebuttal guests.
Or perhaps what we should ask is, what are the odds the NewsHour can plausibly explain that this long-term exclusion of skeptic scientists is not deliberate?
[10/2/13 Author edit: Michael Oppenheimer had his 9th appearance on the NewsHour 9/27/13). 11/13/13 Author edit: Kevin Trenberth had his 4th appearance on the NewsHour 11/12/13. 1/8/14 Author edit: I had overlooked the IPCC's Steve Running and his October 31, 2008 NewsHour appearance. 4/1/14 Author edit: Michael Oppenheimer had his 10th appearance on the NewsHour 3/31/14, and in that same segment was IPCC 'scientist' (having a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences) Patricia Lankao. 4/15/14 Author edit: Lead Author of the 2nd & 3rd IPCC Assessment Reports Robert Stavins appeared on the 4/15/14 NewsHour segment, but to say he is a 'scientist' is quite a stretch since he only holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University, an M.S. in agricultural economics from Cornell, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard. But the NewsHour did say he was tied to the IPCC when the introduced him.]