60 Minutes Distortion

2007-4-2 16:42:00

I'm sure some of you saw the 60 Minutes piece on Global warming and the penguins Sunday evening (April Fools Day 2007). This so distorted reality that I sent them a scathing letter. I thought I would go a step further and make a few comments on the dialog.

They start off by stating that global warming is here now because penguins are disappearing, glaciers are melting and above all Antarctica is warming up and has enough ice to drown us all if it melts.

It is interesting what they leave out here. Close to 90 percent of the African penguins and a significant portion of others disappeared between 1910 - 1950 when there was little man made CO2 in the atmosphere. Then the penguin population experienced an increase in the 1990's when the earth was warming. Now we are told that global warming is destroying them. The facts do not add up.

They say the Glaciers are melting. Glaciers have been melting for hundreds of years, since the end of the Little Ice Age and will continue to do so for some time. Even so, quite a few are still growing. Today activists conveniently blame the melting on manmade CO2. What did they blame it on in 1850?

They say Antarctica is warming up.

What they leave out is that Antarctica as a whole has cooled since 1960. The 60 Minutes crew went to the one of the few spots in Antarctica where it is actually warming and then pretended that the whole continent is melting and could flood us. In reality it takes the continent 20,000 years to fully respond to warming trends.

They quote a scientist named Gino Casassa saying "that the impacts that were projected even 10 or 20 years ago are happening right now."

What they leave out is that most of the climate projections have been wrong.

Next Casassa tells us that the melting of the O'Higgins glacier is evidence that manmade CO2 is causing global warming.

If this is so then what do the glaciers that are growing prove? This is obviously unscientific evidence and lacks logic.

"Cities around the world,"  says Casassa,  "will be starved for water (for lack of glaciers)."  And he says,  "we now are seeing the first impacts."

How many of these apocalyptic scare tactics must we endure?

Later they interview climatologist Paul Mayewski. He tells 60 minutes Scott Pelley that he has examined ice core samples from Antarctica and determined that the recent rise in CO2 is the sharpest in 850,000 years.

This indeed may be true but there is no definite evidence that this rise is causing the current warming any more than it caused the cooling between 1940-1975.

Next Pelley makes a dishonest intellectual leap and asks:  "What kind of impacts would you expect to see in the world if the temperature does go up four degrees or six degrees?"

Interviewer Pelley tries to insinuate that the rise in CO2 may increase temperatures 4-6 degrees.

What a leap this is. That is like a manager of a football team telling an interviewer that his players are drinking more water than ever before and then being asked:  "What if more people show up than we have seats?"

What does the question have to do with the drinking of water?

Similarly, what does the injection of drastic future global warming in his question have to do with CO2? Nothing significant that can be proven.

Mayewski then goes way beyond the liberal U.N. IPCC projection of sea level rising. He indicates that it could rise "several tens of feet."  That would be twenty feet or more. 60 Minutes makes it sound like that could happen in the next few years. The U.N. projection (which is usually too liberal) says the sea will rise from a couple inches to a maximum of a couple feet in the next 100 years.

Most scientists side with the couple inches, but 60 Minutes finds an extremist that projects up to 20 feet! Wow.

Next 60 Minutes asks Mayewski what it would mean if we had a drastic rise like that. This is like asking the above football coach what would happen if there was a riot over the seating space. It has nothing to do with the team drinking water.

The interview is then finished off with a scare-your-pants-off apocalyptic description that will not happen unless some act of God, not related to CO2 emissions, steps in.

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Global Warming Enlightenment:  (See above.)