Wind Farms Cause Global Warming, Fox News Says

Media Matters/Screen capture

How Foxian of Fox. The network got word of a new report that noted nighttime temperatures rose slightly in areas around wind farms, and then ran a series of segments about how wind farms cause global warming. So, of course, did Rush Limbaugh and many other conservative-leaning outlets and pundits.

Here's a taste of how this works. Fox Nation runs a gigantic headline, 'New Research Shows Wind Farms Cause Global Warming' over a Reuters wire piece that expressly states that the turbines affect only "local climates". But no matter: that the report shows wind farms cause 'warming' was an irony too delicious to be passed up, or to be dulled by inconvenient facts.

So the slapdash notion that wind turbines are somehow causing global warming was gleefully catapulted onto the airwaves, another grand opportunity to scoff at environmentalists and liberals.

The scientists behind the study, for their part, have spoken up against their work's misrepresentation in the media. In an email to Media Matters, the study's lead author said that the coverage is "misleading." Here's MM:

The researchers, led by Liming Zhou, said it is "[v]ery likely" that "wind turbines do not create a net warming of the air and instead only re-distribute the air's heat near the surface, which is fundamentally different from the large-scale warming effect caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases." The turbines pull down warm air, increasing land surface temperatures, which already have "a larger day-night variation" than the surface air temperatures featured in daily weather reports.
But none of that made the narrative on Fox. No, the desire to land an ideological potshot once again trumped an effort to craft anything resembling a truthfully reported story. As it so often does.

Tags: Global Climate Change | Global Warming Causes | Television