Media Shows Irrational Hysteria On Global Warming

"The Public Has Been Vastly Misinformed," NCPA's Deming Tells Senate Committee


WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 6, 2006) - David Deming, an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma and an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA), testified this morning at a special hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  The hearing examined climate change and the media.  Bellow are excerpts from his prepared remarks.

"In 1995, I published a short paper in the academic journalScience.  In that study, I reviewed how borehole temperature data recorded a warming of about one degree Celsius in North America over the last 100 to 150 years.  The week the article appeared, I was contacted by a reporter for National Public Radio.  He offered to interview me, but only if I would state that the warming was due to human activity. When I refused to do so, he hung up on me.

"I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published.  I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change.  He said, "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."

"The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) was a time of unusually warm weather that began around 1000 AD and persisted until a cold period known as the "Little Ice Age" took hold in the 14th century. ... The existence of the MWP had been recognized in the scientific literature for decades.  But now it was a major embarrassment to those maintaining that the 20th century warming was truly anomalous.  It had to be "gotten rid of."

"In 1999, Michael Mann and his colleagues published a reconstruction of past temperature in which the MWP simply vanished.  This unique estimate became known as the "hockey stick," because of the shape of the temperature graph.

"Normally in science, when you have a novel result that appears to overturn previous work, you have to demonstrate why the earlier work was wrong.  But the work of Mann and his colleagues was initially accepted uncritically, even though it contradicted the results of more than 100 previous studies.  Other researchers have since reaffirmed that the Medieval Warm Period was both warm and global in its extent.

"There is an overwhelming bias today in the media regarding the issue of global warming.  In the past two years, this bias has bloomed into an irrational hysteria.  Every natural disaster that occurs is now linked with global warming, no matter how tenuous or impossible the connection.  As a result, the public has become vastly misinformed."