Reporters Miss The Boat (Again) on Fargo Flood, Fail to Mention It Fits Global Warming Trends

In an interview with reporters last week, President Barack Obama correctly raised the point that global warming could lead to more severe flooding events in the future.  Although it’s impossible to link a specific event to global climate change – as Obama was careful not to do – the record-breaking flooding of the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota is consistent with the trend towards increased frequency and severity of extreme precipitation events predicted by the climate science community.

“I actually think the science around climate change is real. It is potentially devastating,” Obama told the reporters.  “If you look at the flooding that’s going on right now in North Dakota and you say to yourself, ‘If you see an increase of two degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?’ That indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously.“

But not a single reporter – in the meeting or otherwise – made that critical point in all the Fargo flood coverage over the past week.

Joe Romm writes on Climate Progress that “you’ll have to look very hard to find a single story in the mainstream media that even mentions climate change (other than the few quoting our President) — even though the record “once-in-a-hundred-year flooding” the Midwest now seems to be getting every few years or so is precisely what scientists have been expecting from the warming.”

The Heartland Institute's Skeptic Handbook - Get Out the Shovel...

Most climate denial material is all over the map so it is a pleasant change to have a nice clear target.

I am talking about the “Skeptic’s Handbook” that the notorious Heartland Institute is helpfully printing 150,000 copies of for distribution across the US including 850 journalists, 26,000 schools, “19,000 leaders and politicians”.

The mass printing of this climate propaganda piece is being funded by an “anonymous donor”. It is odd that “someone” feels strongly enough to shell out that kind of money but also wants their identity concealed. We do know that the Heartland Institute has been bankrolled to the tune of $676,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. Nuff said.

It is also interesting that this latest product of the denial machine is washing over the nation less than a month after the US government released their Climate Change Literacy brochure – cosigned by 13 federal agencies and 24 educational and scientific partners.

Membership in the supposed climate change conspiracy now includes such well known eco-freaks as the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior and the US Forest Service.

The handbook itself is hilariously illogical. It coaches “skeptics” to avoid talking about the evidence of changing climate - for obvious reasons presumably. According to them, something may be heating things up, its just not carbon dioxide. Independent thinkers are instead counseled to follow these four cookbook points:

  • The greenhouse signature is missing
  • Ice Cores do not support carbon as a driver of climate change
  • Temperatures are not rising
  • Carbon dioxide is doing almost all the warming it can do.

All of these points are either entirely wrong or grossly misleading. Lets get out the shovel and start unloading this pile of manure.

Lord Monckton and Rep. John Shimkus Declare Global Warming Emissions "Plant Food"

Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) shared a moment of sheer absurdity with Britain’s stuffiest global warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton in last week’s Energy & Commerce hearing on climate change adaptation.

Shimkus encouraged Lord Monckton - who has absolutely no background in climate science whatsoever - to talk about how Earth is a “carbon starved” planet, making it seem as though we desperately need to seek out new sources of CO2 emissions if we have any hope for survival as a species.  After all, the pair agreed, “carbon dioxide is plant food,” so why on Earth would we want to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources?

As a journalist, one might hope Lord Monckton would know better, but you wouldn’t get that impression from listening to his zany answers to Shimkus’s questions.

For example, Monckton cites the Cambrian period as evidence that plants love carbon dioxide. 

The Nation’s Must-Read Article “The Dirt on Clean Coal”

Ari Berman’s must-read article “The Dirt on Clean Coal” upholds The Nation’s proud reputation for investigative reporting which separates it from most mainstream outlets, posing relevant questions and actually attempting to find answers to them.

Berman asks the critical, overlooked question of the day, “Can the same people who told us that global warming didn’t exist–or that it was a good thing–suddenly be trusted to help solve the climate crisis?”

As you might guess, the answer is a resounding “no.”

Berman details how the coal industry - through its $40 million Astroturf campaign by the front group “American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity” - is working feverishly to fight Congressional efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, hoping to ensure that the world’s coal supplies – and the climate – continue to burn for decades to come.

Joe Barton (R-TX) Added to the Official Moron Registry

At Yesterday’s hearing on climate change adaptation before the House Energy & Commerce Committee Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) made all sorts of ridiculous claims about global warming, the most idiotic being a suggestion that us humans will deal with the issue by finding some shade.

Such a ludicrous and ill-informed claim leads me to two possible conclusions, either Barton has completely lost it, or the $2.5 million he recieved in donations over the years from the oil, gas and utility lobby is doing its magic.

I suspect it’s a bit of both.

What makes Barton look even more ridiculous is that his claims appear to be based on evidence provided to him by a gentleman named Christopher Monckton who he cites in his statement. Monckton is not a climate scientist, has never published any scientific research and is in fact a journalist by training.

The biggest thing Monckton has done in his life appears to be making a boardgame puzzle. This is the same Monckton whose answer to the AIDS epidemic was:

…. there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month … all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently.”

I wonder who Barton turns to for advice on health care policy? The local flowershop? Any responsible lawmaker uses the best available experts to inform policy decisions. If Barton was to do that he would see that the likes of the US Academy of Science or NASA (both organizations are at his disposal) are very concerned about this issue and have decades of research to justify their concern.

Here’s the video, watch it and laugh because it is nothing more than a complete joke. So much so that I have made a request that he be added to the Official Moron Registry. I think he might actually have a shot at Moron of the Year - maybe even the decade!

And I’m not the only one who thinks Barton is officially a moron: Joe Barton is dumber than you thought possible

Rep. Barton: Climate change is ‘natural,’ humans should just ‘get shade’ — invites ‘expert’ TVMOB (!) to testify


Pages

Subscribe to DeSmogBlog