“balance is not a very good doctrine when applied to science reporting”

In 1972 Steven Schneider explained why a runaway greenhouse effect is impossible.


In 1974 Schneider warned President Nixon about global cooling.

The Genesis Strategy – The New York Times

In 1978 Schneider discussed the arrival of a new ice age.

But by 1989, Schneider had switched to global warming and said it was best for the public to not be aware of uncertainty and instead be told of consensus.

“Journalists have a tradition, quite appropriate I believe in political reporting, of providing balance in a story. This tradition stems from the need to give both sides of the political spectrum equal exposure. However, balance is not a very good doctrine when applied to science reporting. It does not help the public to understand the nature of complex technical questions to balance an extreme position of a scientist or advocate at one end of the spectrum against an extreme position of a scientist or advocate on the other end. Technical issues often have more than two sides, which means that polarized reporting can create a false dichotomy. The public, and the politicians who must ultimately make policy, need to know not only what the members of the community think, but also what the broad spectrum of responsible and knowledgeable opinion is on an issue. If only the irreconcilable debates of implacable expert enemies are reported, the typical public reaction (and probably those of politicians as well) will be, “Well, if the experts don’t know what’s going on, how can I decide?” The next reaction would probably be, “You folks go back and study some more, and when you have more certainty come and tell us so we can decide how to act.” Instead, knowledge of a consensus over how much we already know or a rough estimate of how long it will take to learn a great deal more could very well lead to public and political reactions quite different from those created by a noisy, angry, and dichotomized debate.


In 1989, Schneider said we were 15 years to late to start solving global warming.

He predicted a sharp increase in 95 degree days near Washington DC and 100 degree days near Dallas.

Popular Science – Google Books

There has been a sharp decrease in 95 degree days at the closest Virginia USHCN station to Washington DC .

Their longest stretch of 95 degree days was sixteen in 1930.

The Dallas area has seen a decline in the number of 100 degree days.

Their longest stretch of 100 degree days was fifty in 1980.

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9 Responses to “balance is not a very good doctrine when applied to science reporting”

  1. Tony Taylor says:

    Hard to believe Spock was a climate catastrophist.

  2. Disillusioned says:

    Schneider was the type of scientist Eisenhower warned us about. The date he made his about-face is telling. He died with the realization he was not a real scientist, but a face with a PhD, an actor, a backbone-less group-think and funding whore.

    • arn says:

      Schneider was that kind of scientists who would claim that pink elephants are causing global dimming if he could gain fame and money that way.

      One of those proud Weimar scientists in Germany
      who became a few years later proud Nazi Scientists and a decade later
      proud Americans(operation paperclip)

      A very opinion,dogma and value fluid species that adjusts to the current trend.
      (and isn’t it interesting that University and Science ,though flooded with huge numbers of Nazis ,became hippie shitholes)

  3. Petit_Barde says:

    In the “Popular science” article “Global warming” of august 1989, it is writen that Schneider has been warning for 16 years about greenhouse effect and global warming.
    So, according to Schneider, he has been warning about greenhouse effect and global warming since 1973.

    But in 1971 he explained that even a 10% increase in CO2 in the next 30 years would not cause more than 0.1°F of increase in global temperatures, in 1974 he warned about The Cooling, and in 1978 he continued to warn about cooling as shown in the video.

    So – according to what he wrote in 1989 – it was a despicable “if it’s tails I win, if it’s heads you lose” climate fraud since the beginning.

    • arn says:

      He obviously knew the truth about co2’s non existing powers in 1971 and that co2’s contributions to warming were irrelevant

      But then he traded money and fame for the truth (well he did so already in 1971 as global cooling was already a globalist tool/scam before they replaced it with warming as global cooling would have required a massive built up of power plants while the destruction of power plants was integral part of the agenda (the Lima agreements for the deindustrialisation of the west already started during the ice age scam)
      and destruction of power plants is only logicaly justifiable ina global warming scenario)

  4. Russell Cook says:

    I use and reuse Tony’s Youtube video clip of Dr Schneider in that old “In Search of…” any chance I get when online AGW believers try to claim that the whole global cooling craze was only ‘just one Newsweek article.’ One of these days somebody will put out a good video clip of that 1977 “Barney Miller” sitcom episode when the brainy Det. Dietrich character explains the perils of global cooling:

    “Blizzard”, Episode aired Nov 3, 1977 https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0518998/

  5. Gamecock says:

    “balance is not a very good doctrine when applied to science reporting”

    So you call your reporting “science,” and tell everyone else to STFU.

    “Balance” is a phony word in science, anyway. Science demands allowing other opinions. It does not require they be equal, for ‘balance.’

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