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What The Media Tell Americans About Free Enterprise

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October 1998


Gaping Hole in Ozone Reporting

As MediaNomics has documented in the past, the networks for years have engaged in one-sided reporting on global warming, ignoring those climate scientists who point out, for instance, that most of the earth’s warming over the past hundred years occurred prior to the 1940s, while most greenhouse gas emissions have occurred since the 1940s. Interviewing scientists from more than one side of the story isn’t deemed necessary in climate-change reporting.

Two recent reports added the thinning of the ozone layer to the regular bias in global-warming coverage. "Scientists now say that the hole in the ozone layer is developing even faster than feared and now covers more than 10 million miles," announced NBC’s Ann Curry on the September 30 Today. Correspondent Keith Miller then went on to report about the melting ice pack in the Arctic and to declare that "scientists who study climates say the world is getting warmer and they are warning that controls on greenhouse gases are necessary before any more damage is done."

On the October 6 CBS Evening News, correspondent Jerry Bowen reported on the ozone layer by showing viewers NASA satellite data: "That swirling red ring indicates higher levels of ozone, and the red area is expected to grow as the last of the ozone-depleting chemicals disappear from use. Very good news, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, where less ozone has meant higher levels of harmful UV rays from the sun and a greater risk of cancer. Still, it may be a half century before the ozone levels return to where they were in the late 1970s, and there’s still that wild card, global warming, at play."

Neither Miller nor Bowen bothered to interview a climate scientist skeptical of such ozone theories. "Every year at about the same time, there is a predictable press release issued by the World Meteorological Organization quoting its ozone scientist, Rumen Bojkov, with some alarmist pronouncement," climate scientist S. Fred Singer told the Media Research Center.

"The hole is always worse in some respect than it was on the same day in some past year. It may either be wider or deeper, or it started sooner, or whatever," he said. "The truth of the matter is that the hole, a temporary thinning of the layer, has pretty well stabilized within the last decade, and now fluctuates according to the climate, from day-to-day and from year-to-year." Dr. Singer further pointed out that "there has been no report published showing an increasing trend in solar ultraviolet radiation on the ground. And that’s the only thing that counts if we’re talking about the effects of ozone changes."

Rich Noyes




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