Climate Change: NBC 29 vs. The World

Global climate change is a fact. All research scientists agree that the temperature of the earth began rising in the early 1800s, and has spiked in the past half century.

(Bear with me here.)

Of the 928 research papers published on climate change between 1993-2003, every single one of them explicitly or implicitly endorsed that global climate change is caused by mankind. Not a single paper dissented. All major U.S. and global scientific bodies that have anything to do with the matter have issued statements chalking it up to an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Not to put to fine a point on it, there is unanimous consensus among research scientists that global warming is caused by humans.

And then there’s NBC 29, whose crack scienticians have come to the opposite conclusion. This evening, on their 11pm broadcast, they ran a story asserting that there is no such thing as global climate change — the temperature is not going up — and backed it up by interviewing a fellow from over in Farmville. Even he didn’t go as far as NBC 29, taking the still-absurd position that sure, it’s happening, but humans have nothing to do with it. Neither NBC 29 nor the interview subject cited any research, data, or new conclusions.

Who did they interview for this? One Dennis Avery, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, over in Churchville. Avery is known for his bizarre, frequent claims that organic food is actually dangerous, and that widespread consumption of it would lead to forced abortions and mass starvation. A few years ago, he wrote that “according to recent data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), people who eat organic and natural foods are eight times as likely as the rest of the population to be attacked by a deadly new strain of E. coli bacteria.” An investigation by the New York Times revealed that he’d completely made this up. When asked about his assertion, the CDC was baffled, saying that they have no such data, and that Avery’s statement was “absolutely not true.”

His employer, the Hudson Institute, is most well-known known for its founder, Herman Kahn, on whom the character of Doctor Strangelove was based for Stanley Kubrick’s movie — Kahn actually believed that a thermonuclear war could be won. The organization is funded by the biochemical industry — Dow, Monsanto, Novartis, DuPont, ConAgra, etc.

Now, I don’t just happen to know all of this. I’d never heard of the guy or this organization before tonight. But the moment the story went on the air, alarm bells started going off: Google and five minutes of reading made clear to me that the guy is a professional liar who has been caught many times making things up just to get on camera. Is NBC 29 not aware of Google?

It’s rare that I take a shot at local media outlets for crappy journalism, because a) it’s rarely a problem here and b) what do I know? But NBC 29 must be feeling the heat from their new competition, because this cringe-worthy bit of journalism is probably the lamest segment that I’ve ever seen on the air. Whoever is running their news room should be embarrassed to have broadcast this garbage.

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