Monday, 26 May 2014

Media Ridiculed for Hyping “Antarctic Collapse” Amid Record Ice

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For the one in five Americans who still express confidence in the establishment media, recent headlines probably suggested it was time to start building an ark to prepare for the supposed upcoming surge in sea levels — all of it allegedly brought about by the imminent “collapse” of an ice sheet in Antarctica. Back in the real world, though, sea ice levels in Antarctica are off the charts, covering more area than at any point since records began and still going higher. The mischaracterized “mainstream” media, meanwhile, only solidified its reputation in recent days as an increasingly ridiculous source of fear mongering, propaganda, and unwarranted hysteria rather than credible reporting.

Without going past the headlines, Americans might have been excused for thinking imminent doom was just around the corner. “Irreversible collapse of Antarctic glaciers has begun, studies say,” blared the ridiculous headline of the Los Angeles Times story. The Christian Science Monitor’s was even more absurd: “Catastrophic collapse of Antarctic ice sheet now underway, say scientists.” At the New York Times, the headline was only slightly less unhinged: “Scientists Warn of Rising Oceans From Polar Melt,” it cautioned, ominously. The Boston Globe, meanwhile, claimed: “Antarctic ice sheet rapidly collapsing, studies contend.”

Virtually every major U.S. newspaper ran similar deception in its headlines and on its front pages. The problem, though, is that there is no imminent collapse of any Antarctic ice sheet. Period. Even the “scientists” and the “studies” referenced in those articles sounded wildly tame compared with the alarmist headlines emitted by self-styled “news” agencies. Indeed, the two controversial papers that formed the basis of the latest round of delusional media fear-mongering predicted that some glaciers could eventually go into the sea — hundreds of years from now, maybe, or perhaps even a thousand years from now or more.

No need to build an ark just yet, it seems. Upon closer scrutiny, the entire media narrative collapses — in the widely understood sense of the word — as essentially little more than a figment of the media’s imagination; or worse, more calculated deception aimed at stoking fear to advance an agenda. The Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers in question make up a tiny fraction of the Antarctic region — less than one percent of Antarctic ice, in fact. And even if the Pine Island glacier were to “collapse,” which it will not — certainly not anytime soon, if at all — it might add about an inch to global sea levels over the next century, according to scientists.

The claim that the “collapse” — the term used in the press release parroted by “journalists” apparently unfamiliar with the meaning of the word in this specific scientific context — might be due to alleged man-made global warming is also being mocked. For starters, most of Antarctica, in defiance of predictions made by global-warming theorists and their debunked models, is actually getting colder. Sea ice across the region is also at the highest levels since records began. Some months ago, a group of warming theorists accidentally got stuck in the record levels of ice while, ironically, on an expedition to study “global warming” and melting ice.

“From all of the media hype, you would think that the West Antarctic ice sheet is presently in the process of collapsing and drastic sea level rise is imminent,” explained Dr. Don Easterbrook, geology professor emeritus at Western Washington University. “The West Antarctic ice sheet is NOT collapsing, the retreat of these small glaciers is NOT caused by global warming, and sea level is NOT going to rise 10 feet.” (Emphasis in original.)

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Separately, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP) Vice-president Dr. Thomas Sheahen, a physicist, also slammed the pseudo-journalism surrounding the press release. “This descent has been in progress for several thousand years, and is neither new nor man-caused,” he explained. “It will go on for a few thousand more, after which they’ll be gone. In the parlance of geology, those two glaciers are collapsing.” In laymen’s terms, though, collapse means something entirely different — a difference real reporters are supposed to be trained to understand and convey in articles so they do not mislead the public.

Unfortunately, Dr. Sheahen continued, the major media “overlook the distinction of meanings, and then make the further generalization from two specific glaciers to the entire [West Antarctic Ice Sheet] WAIS, and moreover to Antarctica in general.” Scientists who point out the facts, meanwhile, are “brushed aside in the rush to get a headline or a flamboyant sound bite that will keep the viewers tuned in,” continued Sheahen, who earned his PhD in physics from MIT.

Astrophysicist Dr. David Whitehouse, who serves on the Academic Advisory Committee for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, also provided some insightful analysis into the unhinged media meltdown. “The most relevant research, not mentioned in the recent media reports, that helps put the changes seen in this particular region into context is a study of the region’s glaciers over the past 8,000 years,” he explained. “The study showed that Pine Island Glacier has experienced rapid thinning in the past and that once set in motion the rapid changes can persist for centuries, and eventually reverse, without mankind’s help.”

“So this event occurs naturally and has happened before,” he added.

After the “collapse” hysteria had set in among the press, scientists, experts, and analysts began mercilessly ridiculing and criticizing the media for its astounding efforts to spread misinformation. However, at least one blogger for the New York Times — himself a firm believer in dubious warming theories — did offer a modicum of sanity amid the sea of lunacy. “To the public, collapse is a term applied to a heart attack victim on a street corner or a building stricken by an earthquake or bomb,” noted Times blogger Andrew Revkin. “To a glaciologist, it describes the transition to unavoidable loss of an ice sheet — a process that can take centuries to get into gear, and millenniums to complete.”

The fact that much of the press used the term “collapse,” presumably knowing that it would be misunderstood by readers, illustrates the agenda well, as multiple scientists have pointed out. The trend, though, is obvious in virtually all “climate” reporting by the establishment press. The media’s collapsing credibility and outrageous fear-mongering almost certainly plays a role in the fact that most Americans do not believe the much-hyped global-warming theories — and the fact that “climate” consistently ranks dead last on the public’s list of priorities.

Perhaps the most ironic element of the media’s latest hysterical fear-mongering is the undisputed fact that Antarctic ice levels are at the highest levels since records began, according to the data. The establishment press has barely found space or time to even mention the trends — likely because they directly contradict the ridiculous forecasts and discredited “climate models” used by the United Nations and the Obama administration to push their radical agenda. Sea ice levels around the world have been “significantly above average” for 16 months and counting, yet one would never know it from reading the establishment press. When a “press release” claims there could be a potential “collapse” of an ice sheet in a few hundred years at best, though, the media trumpets the claims for days without even explaining what it means.

Back in the real world, the pseudo-science exploited by power-hungry politicians, governments, international bodies, and the lapdogs in the press to justify their power grabs are quickly crumbling all around them. With no warming for almost 18 years and counting, every single one of the UN’s 73 “models” has been proven wrong by the observable evidence. The Obama administration’s latest “climate” report was debunked by respected independent scientists in less than two weeks. In fact, almost every forecast made by the alarmists that could be proven wrong has been — yet the government-funded global-warming theorists continue preaching doom and gloom as if nothing had happened.

It seems, then, that the four in five Americans who do not trust the mass media can be even more certain that their suspicion is justified. Rather than reporting facts and the truth, the press has become a pathetic shadow of its former self — mindlessly parroting hysterical press releases and White House pronouncements as fact while dutifully attacking all those who dissent from the collapsing half-baked orthodoxy. If current trends continue, what remains of the establishment media may soon find itself on the fringe; marginalized, ridiculed, and possibly bankrupt for refusing to do the job citizens and news consumers expect.

It remains to be seen whether the final collapse in what remains of the media’s credibility will come in time to stop the UN from imposing a global “climate” regime on humanity during its 2015 global-warming summit in Paris. If current trends hold, though, numerous scientists say global cooling may be on the way; at which point the press, the “climate” alarmists, and the establishment more broadly will probably face much bigger problems than mere public incredulity.

 

Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American, covering economics, education, politics, and more. He can be reached at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.

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