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Business & Media Institute

5/15/2006 11:53:33 PM

Updated 05/10/06

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Fight Media Bias!


Post Reports Global Warming Won’t Be As ‘Devastating’ As Predicted
After hinting that Earth could follow Venus in a warming trend, The Washington Post includes a new study that calms climate change rhetoric.

By Ken Shepherd
Business & Media Institute
April 20, 2006

Send this page to a friend! (click here)     Ten days after hinting the Earth could end up roasting at a toasty 900 degrees Fahrenheit like the planet Venus, The Washington Post reported on a new study which finds that “the more extreme estimates of global warming” that have been hyped in the media are unlikely to manifest.

     In the April 10 Post, staff writer Guy Gugliotta dramatically said the second rock from the sun is “apparently condemned to an eternal cycle of global warming,” but that “Venus may have been the gentle, tropical paradise that Earthlings once imagined” a long time ago before “a berserk greenhouse effect” boiled away the water.

     While Gugliotta’s report centered on a scientific probe of Venus, not the study of global warming on Earth, his alarmist language fits into a pattern the Business & Media Institute observed in March of the media’s coverage of climate change.

     But a new study published in the journal Science downplays the sky-is-melting alarmism of other scientists.

     In the April 20 Washington Post, staff writer Rick Weiss documented a study from a group of scientists led by Duke climatologist Gabriele Hegerl who anticipate increased global warming, but not, as Hegerl put it, “the largest and most devastating consequences” that other scientists have predicted.

     “The new work,” wrote Weiss, “extends a difficult line of research that uses historical climate data and computer models” to predict warming patterns based on carbon dioxide output. Weiss noted that the study “reaches back 700 years” and accounts for “sun-blocking volcanic eruptions” among other things.

     The bottom line, Weiss wrote: there’s only a “5 percent chance” that global average temperatures will rise more than 11 degrees Fahrenheit in the next century.


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