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Thursday, February 10, 2005

The AP's Biased Global Warming Coverage (or, Dan Rather, Call Your Office)

The Associated Press seems determined to spin global warming, even at the cost of its own reputation.

Elsewhere on this website, I have analyzed several recent AP wire stories on global warming, all of which are breathtakingly biased in favor of the theory that human beings are causing global warming -- warming that, theory advocates say, eventually will prove catastrophic.

Bias, however, is standard fare for global warming reporting. What is striking is that objective facts are missreported in the service of that bias. (Dan Rather, call your office).

For example, readers are told that "greenhouse gases" are in the atmosphere "mostly from fossil-fuel burning."

Actually, the major greenhouse gas is water vapor, but in the interest of charity, we'll put that aside and focus on carbon dioxide. "Most" of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not come from burning fossil fuels -- only about 14 percent of it does. Furthermore, carbon dioxide accounts for less than ten percent of the greenhouse effect, as carbon dioxide's ability to absorb heat is quite limited.

There's more.

A year ago, I wrote a similar piece about the AP's global warming coverage, correcting the same errors and several others. It looks like the AP couldn't be bothered with fact-checkers a year ago and it still can't.

In addition to these AP wire stories, I also criticized a different AP wire story that gave the world the impression that a panel of qualified experts had just - stop the presses! - determined that the world has only a short time left to act on global warming, as the world is "approaching the critical point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea-levels would be irreversible."

But the experts turned out to be led by politicians, not climate scientists, and the groups that assembled them turned out to be former Clinton Administration Chief-of-Staff John Podesta's Center for American Progress and two self-described liberal activist outfits located abroad.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 1:50 AM

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