This morning, Fox and Friends trumpeted the Exxon-funded Heartland Institute’s global warming skeptics conference, taking place this week in New York City. Fox hosted Dan Gainor, the vice president of the Business and Media institute, a group run by the right-wing Media Research Center.
Fox host Steve Doocy used to segment to tout the “bitterly cold” weather and the “worst winter,” suggesting global warming is a sham:
Despite it being bitterly cold outside in the Northern plains, we hear a lot about global warming, and that we better do something to fix it or we’re doomed. But is there another side to this story? Many scientists would say yes, but most media outlets, the mainstream media, only cover Al Gore’s earth has a fever perspective. [...] In fact, last week we were reporting that this is the worst winter in some parts of America and around the world, and perhaps we should be worried now about global cooling.
Despite Doocy’s complaint that the “mainstream media” ignores the “other side” of the global warming debate, Joe Romm points out that the media regularly gives attention to global warming skeptics — such as Gainor himself.
Worse, the media has recently picked up reports of this year’s “unusually” cold winter, a favorite argument among global warming deniers. Like Doocy, many mainstream outlets are using false ideas of extreme cold weather to point to possible “global cooling.”
Yet in fact, this winter has not been “unusual” in any respect. A report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration proved that December was the 13th warmest on record since 1880. What’s more, “the contiguous U.S. temperature during January 2008 was near average.”
A chart prepared by NASA’s Goddard Institute clearly shows that the climate continues to warm, with the eight warmest years on record occurring since 1998.
This staged conference “proves” little more than that a group funded by Big Oil can easily attract sham scientists to tout the industry’s line.
UPDATE: DeSmogBlog is tracking the conference on the ground.