Liar Liar Fox on Fire

Christos Liardakis, Opinions Editor

Big news today, “Global warming has officially ended.” Not. Unfortunately some people believe this to be the case. While everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, unfortunately when these hopes, dreams, and opinions are portrayed as fact to the public it is a crying outrage to the ethics of news and journalism all over the world.

News and media outlets have always been known to skew the facts in favor of their own beliefs and views.  While this is just part of the norm of news, the facts are always still there. To completely change these facts around is simple fallacy, and unfortunately that is exactly what Fox News has done with a recent report where Brad Blakeman said, “For every one scientist that says there is [global warming], I’ll give you 10 scientists that said it’s not man-made”. This is simply not true. As of today, 97 out of 100 climate experts (97%) agree that global warming really is man-made. From a scientific perspective, the reason the three out of 100 would not agree is because they require more evidence, and scientists, as a rule, do not make absolute proof statements because, “Nothing can be completely proven 100%” in science.

While this is a pretty egregious statement, it would be fair to say “Everyone makes mistakes once in awhile.” Unfortunately this happens way too often for Fox particularly when it posts news that “Wind Farms Cause Global Warming,” and that “Carbon Dioxide: Literally Can Not Cause Global Warming.”  Fox does not limit its naiveté to just global warming; it even goes as far as bastardizing current events by making claims like, “the President is responsible for JP Morgan’s loss because the president is the president of the banks as well,” or “Trayvon Martin’s death was caused by his hoodie,” along with many more.

Besides the fact that hoodies don’t kill and the President of the United States is not the President of the banks, there are many issues with the statements of global warming. First of all, carbon dioxide (CO2) is a chemical with a half life of five years. This is small in terms of chemistry time, however, with the amount of CO2 humans produce, five years is more than enough time to cause damage to our environment. The Ozone, O3, specializes in reflecting the harmful UV rays from the sun, but when CO2 is integrated into the atmosphere the rays that are usually reflected away from the earth are instead refracted (bent towards) and hit into the earth. This is what causes global warming, and with more CO2 in the atmosphere, the more UV rays are able to penetrate into the earth. Secondly, wind farms, no matter how much we wish it, does not cause global warming. Wind farms generate energy which produces heat, but heat and global warming are different. Increased heat is a side effect of global warming caused by increased UV rays hitting the earth.

The American Geophysical Union and other scientific bodies including the National Academy of Sciences have confirmed “Man-made climate change based on a strong and growing body of evidence.” Who are these other scientific bodies and are they credible? Here are both, their statements and who they are:

The American Meteorological Society stated, “There is adequate evidence from observations and interpretations of climate simulations to conclude that the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; that humans have significantly contributed to this change; and that further climate change will continue to have important impacts on human societies, on economies, on ecosystems, and on wildlife through the 21st century and beyond.”

The U.S. National Research Council: “[T]he preponderance of scientific evidence points to human activities — especially the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — as the most likely cause for most of the global warming that has occurred over the last several decades.”

The American Chemical Society: “Comprehensive scientific assessments of our current and potential future climates clearly indicate that climate change is real, largely attributable to emissions from human activities, and potentially a very serious problem.”

U.S. National Academy of Science: “The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action.”

And the Geological Society of America, “Concurs with assessments by the National Academies of Science (2005), the National Research Council (2006), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) that global climate has warmed and that human activities (mainly greenhouse-gas emissions) account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.”

None of these scientific bodies would make these kinds of bold statements without significant scientific backing; that is just how science works. No one makes claims or statements without significant proof to back them. We know news media outlets will always skew the truth in favor of their supporting parties, but seriously, there is a fine line between blatant lies and skewed facts. No one needs to be informed of others’ whimsical fancies as if they are the news of the day, especially when it involves important global information that the populace should be aware of.