The last two weeks of July are normally the hottest of the year, so it’s no surprise that we’re being deluged with public-service announcements about the horrors of global warming. Radio and television stations are compelled to transmit these announcements at no charge because of a long-standing policy that they must provide “public good.” “Don’t Litter” and “Fasten Seat Belts” come to mind. Now the notion has been expanded to “Fight Global Warming.”
By defining it as something we all should fight, these announcements tell us warming must be bad — something no comprehensive treatise on the science and economics of climate change has ever demonstrated.
Ogilvy and Mather, a prestigious public-relations firm whose for-profit clients include IBM and Motorola, produced the global-warming ads for free on behalf of Environmental Defense, a major environmental nonprofit that clearly advocates certain types of global-warming legislation.
Like their ads for Motorola, Ogilvy and Mather’s global-warming announcements are clearly targeted towards sullen youth — a brilliant idea, considering the
appallingly low level of scientific knowledge our children have in comparison to their counterparts around the world. But scientific exploration requires critical skepticism, and these ads are full of unquestioned certainties.
Perhaps the most egregious is a radio ad, called “The Gift.” It mentions dying coral reefs, rising sea levels, melting ice caps, devastating floods, and hurricanes, and accuses us of leaving them all to our children.
The ads ignore facts that are widely accepted in the scientific community. Take hurricanes. The frequency of category 4 and 5 storms — the really destructive ones — has increased as the planet warmed. Good sound bite, with only one problem: It’s back to where it was in the 1940s and 1950s, long before human
beings started warming things up.
In fact, as late as the 1970s, scientists were more concerned with planetary cooling, as revealed in the 1974 CIA report, “Potential implications of trends in world population, food production, and climate,” that presented cooling-related food shortages as a major strategic threat. The report first appeared in public in the New York Times on May Day, 1976. Soon, global cooling abruptly reversed into global warming. Crop yields rose.
The public-service announcements are all similarly big on melting polar ice caps and consequent rises in sea level. The Arctic cap loses ice in the summer, but no one bothers to mention that we only began collecting data on it in 1979, at the end of the second-coldest period in the Arctic in a century. The ice had to be abnormally expanded then.
Excerpt from Public Disservice, by Patrick J. Michaels, in National Review Online. Read More...
Sphere: Related Content
♦DiggIt! ♦Add to del.icio.us ♦Add to Technorati Faves ♦ Facebook