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Gazette Premium Content EDITORIAL: Scientists on ice are media's nightmare

The Gazette editorial Updated: January 4, 2014 at 8:28 am

As a bunch of global warming scientists were stuck in ice through the holidays, we barely heard a peep about global warming and climate change. The ice, after all, is supposed to be melting and scarce because of SUVs, "Big Oil" and indulgent American lifestyles.

The mainstream national media so love the human-caused global warming hypothesis that Americans seldom get straight reports of weather events without reporters grabbing "global warming" connections from thin air. We are assured each catastrophic tornado, hurricane—even each blizzard—results from humans burning fossil fuels.

Radical environmentalists even tried to blame global warming for the devastating 2011 tsunami—a tragedy caused by a 9.0 offshore earthquake. To suggest that auto emissions cause tectonic plates to shift sounds like quite a stretch, but global warming zeal apparently has no limits.

"Past research suggests there may indeed be a link between climate change and earthquakes in some parts of the world," stated the environmental blog Mongabay.com, as the tsunami's body count rose.

The environmental website "grist.org" responded to the earthquake-caused tsunami with the headline: "Today's Tsunami: this is what climate change looks like."

The headline was later retracted.

Staffan Nilsson, president of the European Economic and Social Committee, tied the earthquake-tsunami to global warming like this:

"Some islands affected by climate change have been hit. Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity—not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming?"

Though nearly anything passes as rationale for "global warming" alerts, these leaps in logic don't go both ways. When a news event provides non-scientific, anecdotal evidence to the contrary—when details seem to counter a melting-earth philosophy—we hear nothing of global warming and climate change.

Scientists stranded on the Russian ship Akademik Shokalskiy were on a mission that issued the following statment: "Sea ice is disappearing due to climate change."

Yet, they ran into so much ice—on their mission to examine disappearing ice—that two ice giant breakers could not reach them. They were stranded for 10 days before a successful helicopter rescue concluded Thursday.

The mission's leader, Chris Turney, is a professor of climate change at the University of South Wales. His personal website explained the purpose of the trip was to "discover and communicate the environmental changes taking place in the south."

Yet, typical reports created visions of another vacation cruise gone bad. Stranded scientists were widely described by media as "tourists" and "passengers." Mainstream media mostly ignored the most interesting element of the story: an ice-melt excursion was trapped in ice. It's an irony worth noting, even if it says nothing scientific about global warming.

"Nearly 98 percent of network news reports about the stranded researchers failed to mention their mission at all," reports NewsBuster.org, a service of Brent Bozell's Media Research Center. "Forty out of 41 stories (97.5 percent) on the network morning and evening news shows since Dec. 25 failed to mention climate change had anything to do with the expedition."

That's because the story doesn't fit the global warming narrative. Scientists aren't supposed to get mired in sea ice on a mission to prove the poles are melting and facing a dearth of ice. The true dilemma did not bolster the cause, so the media looked away.

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