Stuck in Their Own Experiment

It isn’t often that a single news story can provide cause for an entire column. But this past week there was one such occurrence. And while the story itself is enough to write about, it is the way the story was covered by the “impartial” media that really opens up this topic for discussion.

It seems that a group of scientists, led by Dr. Chris Turney of the University of New South Wales, was traveling on a data-collection expedition in the Antarctic when their ship got stuck in ice. After a few attempts, the group was rescued by a Chinese helicopter and an Australian icebreaker ship. The story was reported in Hamodia this past Friday, in an AP story entitled “Passengers Rescued Off Ship Stuck in Antarctic Ice.” Unsurprisingly, the Associated Press neglected to mention what, exactly, the scientists were out researching.

The BBC as well, when reporting this story, managed to omit this obviously “unimportant” detail from the story. And in numerous stories about this, The New York Times used terms like “research vessel,” “scientific expedition” and simply “the ship,” which is also curious. What could these scientists have been out researching in Antarctica that the mainstream media is intent on not reporting?

The answer, which evoked a widespread feeling of schadenfreude among those who don’t ascribe to the notion of “settled science,” is that Dr. Turney had set out to collect data to prove global warming. Making it even more laughable is that the scientists specifically were going to take measurements in order to prove that there was climate-induced shrinking of the ice caps.

Stop and think about it for a second.

A team of scientists undertakes a trip in order to prove what they believe is “settled science” due to the consensus of scientists believing it to be true. On their way to confirm that there is less ice than there previously was on the South Pole (as is the case in the Arctic) because of manmade climate change, they get stuck in… ice!

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition, for its part, half owned up to this bit of irony. In a statement, they said, “We’re stuck in our own experiment.” But Turney, who is a professor of climate change, insisted that “[s]ea ice is disappearing due to climate change, but here ice is building up.”

What makes this so interesting is that Turney has his facts wrong, too. When the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center measured on September 23 of last year, they found that the Antarctic sea ice reached its highest level since they started measuring in 1978, of 7.5 million square miles. And while the science is trotted out over and over by liberal politicians like the president who seek to penalize manufacturers for the carbon footprint created by their companies by making them purchase offsets, the fact is that the carbon footprint created by the rescue effort will need about 5000 trees planted to offset it.

But facts don’t matter to those who keep pushing climate change because, as Former Senator Rick Santorum said in the 2012 race for the GOP nomination, global warming “is not climate science, but political science. It has nothing to do with real cost-benefit analysis.”

The reason why it is also troubling that the media chooses not to cover this aspect of the story is because some of the well-known climate-change skeptics have argued that the entire “consensus” argument is a media creation. Chief among these is Richard Lindzen, the Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology at MIT and senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

Lindzen himself argues that he should not be called a “skeptic”; he’d prefer if the others were called “alarmists.” While he acknowledges that there is some warming, he maintains its effects are minimal and will have no impact on the general climate.

He is also not a stranger to disproving what some considered “settled science” — a term that is bandied about by the alarmists in regard to global warming. In the 70s, Lindzen disproved what was considered a generally accepted theory of how heat moves around Earth’s atmosphere.

In an interview with The Weekly Standard this year, Lindzen clearly points an accusatory finger at the media for its role in fueling the hysteria. The very beginning of the global warming argument, he said, “was immediately accompanied by an issue of Newsweek declaring all scientists agreed. And that was the beginning of a ‘consensus’ argument. Already by ’88 The New York Times had literally a global-warming beat.”

Well, if there were any doubt as to the veracity of the Lindzen argument of the role of media in shaping the climate-change debate, the reporting on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition should all but settle it. The media are not desirous of having a story run that can undermine the liberal agenda that is furthered by the climate-change canard.

So they just choose not to report it.