Fire and Ice: 110 Years of Global Warming/Cooling Bias

May 18th, 2006 10:01 AM

It's no secret that the media has a bias when it comes to "climate change" that's friendly to environmentalists who blame human activity, essentially modern economic growth, for global warming. But what may surprise you is just how long the media's fixation with global warming/cooling goes back.

The MRC's Business & Media Institute (formerly the Free Market Project) just released a study that found that The New York Times has led the way in predicting global catastrophe from climate change as early as 1895.

The BMI study "found that many publications now claiming the world is on the brink of a global warming disaster said the same about an impending ice age – just 30 years ago. Several major ones, including The New York Times, Time magazine and Newsweek, have reported on three or even four different climate shifts since 1895."

Our executive summary is available here, the full report is available here or here (in PDF format).

Among the findings of the study:

  • “Global Cooling” Was Just as Realistic: Several publications warned in the 1970s that global cooling posed a major threat to the food supply. Now, remarkably, global warming is also considered a threat to the very same food supply.
  • Glaciers Are Growing or Shrinking: The media continue to point to glaciers as a sign of climate change, but they have used them as examples of both cooling and warming.
  • Global Warming History Ignored: The media treat global warming like it’s a new idea. In fact, British amateur meteorologist G. S. Callendar argued that mankind was responsible for heating up the planet with carbon dioxide emissions – in 1938. That was decades before scientists and journalists alerted the public about the threat of a new ice age.

And of course the pièce de résistance:

  • New York Times the Worst: Longtime readers of the Times could easily recall the paper claiming “A Major Cooling Widely Considered to Be Inevitable,” along with its strong support of current global warming predictions. Older readers might well recall two other claims of a climate shift back to the 1800s – one an ice age and the other warming again. The Times has warned of four separate climate changes since 1895.