Bias undermines global warming

Last week was uncharacteristically hot. Seriously. Look at average high temperatures on your favorite weather Web site. Better yet, check out a historical weather book. That is, if you can locate a book’s location in the library from the call number.

You know what all this heat means, right? Yup, global warming is back on.

That’s right. We all changed our minds about climate change in February when it got really cold in most of America. When Washington, D.C., got so much snow that work on the beloved bureaucratic machine we call government was delayed, the message was clear. Mother Nature was going to do whatever she wanted, regardless of minute human activity like polluting the world’s air and water with burnt carbons that have been compressing deep in the earth for millions of years.

As Stephen Colbert pointed out on his Feb. 10 show, a week or so of cold is obviously grounds for dismissal of a few hundred years of temperature trend and related studies.

“That is simple observational research,” Colbert said. “Whatever just happened, is the only thing that is happening…Which leads me to my next terrifying weather alert…It is dark outside. Based on this latest data, we can only assume that the sun has been destroyed. The world has been plunged into total darkness.”

What’s especially enjoyable about these news clips in early February, of course mostly from the typically conservative channels, is specifically who they chose to chastise. Not only do the newscasters use shots of snow accumulation as their sole evidence to discredit a theory, but they use Al Gore as a scapegoat. Leave it to a pundit to blame bad science on a politician.

Associating Gore with peer-reviewed information that follows the scientific method is about as backward as, well, the truth in these clearly biased major news networks. Gore made an entertaining movie with a lot of interesting scenarios. Unfortunately for the naive viewer, as well as the American public that processes biased news networks’ interpretations of the film, many projections are grounded in what university professionals refer to as “junk science.”

Our parents and teachers used to emphasize that you can’t believe everything you hear or read. Looking back, that’s pretty important advice in a nation where sensationalism often trumps neutrality in mainstream news networks.

On one hand, I’d love to explain to Sean Hannity the irony in the fact that the varying seasonal temperature is actually consistent with many real scientists’ theories on climate change. However, I’m not sure I have the patience to react to the question, “Well, in what scene is that explained in “An Inconvenient Truth?”

John Andrew Willis is a junior Spanish major from Dallas.