Date: April 24th, 2018
Agency: State, TX
Explanation: Bias and Misrepresentation
On April 24, 2018, Texas Railroad Commissioner Wayne Christian published an op-ed questioning the scientific consensus on climate change. Commissioner Christian wrote:
“The activist media . . . claim that climate change is “settled science” and that 97 percent of scientists agree that the main reason for global warming is man-made greenhouse gases.”
He then asserted the “the science of climate change is far from settled” and accused the media and academics of “only consider[ing] one side” of the debate and trying to “shame climate deniers’” into silence.
Commissioner Christian’s op-ed also misrepresented scientific research establishing that greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change. The op-ed stated:
“[W]e don’t know whether man-made greenhouse gases are impacting our climate in a harmful way.”
Commissioner Christian accused the media of overstating the risks posed by fossil fuel use, writing:
“[B]y bombarding us with sensationalist predictions of death and destruction, [the media] make it seem like using oil and gas to drive our cars and heat our homes is bad.”
He asserted “that’s not true” and emphasized the benefits of fossil fuel use.