The Media: Foot Soldiers in the 'Climate Change' Wars

Lest there be any doubt about the complicity of the corrupt mainstream media in the Climate Change Hoax, a survey of recent articles in major publications confirms it.  Nothing but certified lunacy is on display in everything from the Washington Post to Politico and beyond.

One of the tactics used by Climate Change Hoaxers is one used by Leftists in general.  They attempt to change objective facts and then use the revised narrative to support their otherwise untenable argument.  In the case of climate change, there is no change unless one can refer to a baseline of some kind.   There must be something to compare the change to.

David Policansky, in an obtuse article in the  Post, tries to do exactly this by utilizing a concept known as  “Shifting Baseline Syndrome” (SBS).  SBS essentially argues that because baseline periods used as standards against which changes are measured change from time to time, a false impression is thus created regarding what the baseline actually is.

Left... left... left, left, left...

Policansky claims that because the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) updates its 30-year baseline every ten years, it allegedly masks increases in global warming.  Why?  Because warming has been going on for awhile, so shifting the timeline by ten years absorbs that increase and renders it as the new normal.

However, Policansky demonstrates his rank partisanship by failing to mention that NOAA accounts for this:

We also compute “normal” in two additional ways: the Optimal Climate Normal (OCN) approach and the Hinge Fit approach. We won’t get into the heavy statistical details here, but you can think of the OCN as a “smart” average where the data values tell you how many years to average over. The Hinge Fit is a different animal altogether—in fact, it’s not even an average but a statistical fit through the data values. Generally speaking, the Hinge Fit is relatively sensitive to recent shifts upward or downward versus the 30-year normal, while the OCN reflects the effects of recent shifts more moderately.

This isn’t good enough for Policansky because it doesn’t skew the alarmist narrative enough.  So he has proposed his own baseline of 1951-1980, which he claims, “covers some cold and warm periods but also is recent enough that many current weather stations existed in their present locations then. It also is mostly before the effects of human-caused climate warming were clear.”

Convenient, isn’t it?  What if we just looked at the entire data set that goes back as far back as possible?  Seems easier and more accurate, doesn’t it?

Next, we have Politico.  A “special report” by Zack Colman warns us that the next great mortgage crisis may occur because of climate change!  He strings together a series of postulations in order to support his argument that areas that are not currently regarded as floodplains may turn into floodplains as a result of global warming.

Buyers and lenders are now able to assess the risks of climate change damage by using simple apps — a technological revolution that is placing a warning label on millions of properties from seaside New England to low-lying areas vulnerable to hurricanes across the Southeast to the arid, fire-prone hills of California. And once buyers start refusing to pay top dollar for such homes — and insurers stop underwriting policies on them — the more than trillion-dollar Fannie-Freddie portfolio could take an enormous hit, big enough to knock the economy into recession or worse.

Colman doesn’t provide any evidence that climate change is creating floods anywhere right now, or where those floods might occur in the future as a direct result.  He just leaps to the conclusion that it will happen.  In fact, these floodplains are actually called “100-year floodplains” because there is a one percent chance that in any given year, those areas may flood.  The argument is that this risk is under-assessed without any basis in fact.

What's our angle, chief?

In any case, those homes don’t require flood insurance.  Should there be a climate-change driven mass flooding catastrophe (or series thereof), then federal agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be on the hook for homes that are destroyed by said flooding.   That will trigger a second mortgage crisis, right?

Yes and no (mostly no).  The mortgage crisis of 2008-9 was caused by a systemic failure in the entire mortgage system, which has since been completely reformed.  Colman happens to single out Hialeah, Fla., as an example in which  an above-average number of home mortgages are backed by the federal agencies.

The first mortgage crisis resulted from failing mortgages all over the country.  Any flooding that might occur is already accounted for in risk management, because the likelihood is one percent in any given year per floodplain.  It would be even more highly unlikely that flooding would occur in more than one plain at the same time.  Thus, some mortgages might fail in certain specific areas – hardly a crisis.

What Colman suggests is that global warming will cause lots and lots of these floodplains to become active and thereby wipe out all the homes in them in a very short period of time.

Officials at the FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, maintain that taxpayers are protected by flood insurance requirements. Parts of Hialeah, though, don’t fall into the floodplain, a result of outdated maps that do not consider future flood scenarios arising from climate change — a problem that, policymakers maintain, is replicated in communities across the country.

But pricing climate change into mortgage terms would wreak havoc in the real estate market — a hit that, while protective of taxpayers in the long run, runs counter to the missions of the relevant agencies. Turning off the mortgage spigot in communities affected by climate change would disproportionately affect people of color, whose neighborhoods are more likely to be plagued by violent weather.

It isn’t only America that has lost its mind regarding "climate change."  Time Magazine heads to Europe, specifically Portugal, to press the case that climate change is (ready for this?) a violation of children’s human rights.

Reporter Ciara Nugent details the case of two poor kids from Lisbon, Sofia and André, who watched wildfires and heat waves “tear through Portugal.”  So they and a few other kids filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), “arguing that governments in 33 European countries have not done enough to prevent the impacts of climate change from violating their citizens’ human rights."

The summer of 2017 was hugely stressful for Sofia and André Oliveira, then aged 12 and 9. From their home in Lisbon, they watched a season of record wildfires and severe heat waves tear through Portugal, killing 120 people. For the children, it was already clear that the extreme heat –which scientists linked to climate change –would not be an isolated chapter in their lives. “We’ve always talked about climate change at home,” Sofia, now 15, says over video chat, sitting next to her brother at the family’s dining room table. “And we wanted to do something—something big.”

Dear kids, we're so sorry, love, the media.

Apparently, the ECHR has decided that human rights issues, such as protecting Christians and gays from persecution in Muslim countries, isn’t quite as important as this issue, as it moved the case to its priority list.  I wonder if the ECHR saw my article demonstrating that wildfires have nothing to do with global warming.  I’m guessing it didn’t.

Why does this matter?  The media’s dishonesty and alignment with Leftism isn’t just bad for journalism or democracy.  The media has become the public relations arm of the Democrats and of leftists.  Journalism and investigation have been replaced by activism and coordinated messaging.

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In the height of irony, a published analysis in the journal Environmental Research Communications says that the New York Times wasn’t doing a good job on educating readers about the facts – the “facts” that support climate change.  In other words, they argue the Times wasn’t skewing the truth enough! Here's the bad news:

This study quantifies the presence or absence of basic climate facts within climate news articles of a major national newspaper. In an analysis of nearly six hundred news articles in The New York Times (NYT) that cover climate change, we find that, with one exception, basic climate facts appear in those articles today with vanishingly small frequencies. The one exception is the fact that global warming is happening now, which appears in 31% of current NYT news articles.

The good news is, hoaxes sell newspapers.

Best Way to Get Sick? Just Go Green

Psst -- wanna catch a  fatal virus or a deadly bacterial infection? It's simple -- just go Green. John Tierney, a  veteran science writer for the New York Times and an editor at the Manhattan Institute's publication, City Journalhas the scoop:

The COVID-19 outbreak is giving new meaning to those “sustainable” shopping bags that politicians and environmentalists have been so eager to impose on the public. These reusable tote bags can sustain the COVID-19 and flu viruses—and spread the viruses throughout the store.

Researchers have been warning for years about the risks of these bags spreading deadly viral and bacterial diseases, but public officials have ignored their concerns, determined to eliminate single-use bags and other plastic products despite their obvious advantages in reducing the spread of pathogens. In New York State, a new law took effect this month banning single-use plastic bags in most retail businesses, and this week Democratic state legislators advanced a bill that would force coffee shops to accept consumers’ reusable cups—a practice that Starbucks and other chains have wisely suspended to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus.

The COVID-19 virus is just one of many pathogens that shoppers can spread unless they wash the bags regularly, which few people bother to do. Viruses and bacteria can survive in the tote bags up to nine days, according to one study of coronaviruses.

You're supposed to regularly launder your shopping bags, but of course hardly anybody does. As Tierney notes, a 2012 study by the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Grocery Bags and Foodborne Illness found that after the city and county of San Francisco (they are coterminous) banned single use plastic bags, admissions to the city's emergency rooms shot up by 25 percent relative to its neighboring northern California counties that had not banned throwaway bags.

We examine the pattern of emergency room admissions related to bacterial intestinal infections, especially those related to E. coli around the implementation of the San Francisco County ban in October 2007. We find that ER admissions increase by at least one fourth relative to other California counties. Subsequent bans in other California municipalities resulted in similar increases. An examination of deaths related to intestinal infections shows a comparable increase. Using standard estimates of the statistical value of life, we show that the health costs associated with the San Francisco ban swamp any budgetary savings from reduced litter. This assessment is unlikely to be reversed even if fairly liberal estimates of the other environmental benefits are included.

Tierney has also criticized the nonsensical ban on plastic straws, most recently in the Wall Street Journal:

Why do politicians want to take away our plastic bags and straws? This moral panic is intensifying even as evidence mounts that banning plastic is both a waste of money and harmful to the environment. If you want to protect dolphins and sea turtles, you should take special care to place your plastic in the trash, not the recycling bin. And if you’re worried about climate change, you’ll cherish those gossamer grocery bags once you learn the facts about plastic.

During the 1970s, environmentalists wanted to restrict the use of plastic because it was made from petroleum. When the “energy crisis” abated, they denounced plastic for not being biodegradable in landfills. They blamed it for littering the landscape, clogging sewer drains and global warming. Plastic from our “throwaway society” was killing vast numbers of sea creatures, according to a 2017 BBC documentary series. The series prompted Queen Elizabeth II to ban plastic straws and bottles from the royal estates, and it galvanized so many other leaders that greens celebrate what they call the “Blue Planet Effect,” named for the series.

Naturally, the media bears a lot of the blame for plastic's bad rap, convincing the public that the bag you threw in the trash today somehow winds up in the Pacific Ocean tomorrow.

Popular misconceptions have sustained the plastic panic. Environmentalists frequently claim that 80% of plastic in the oceans comes from land-based sources, but a team of scientists from four continents reported in 2018 that more than half the plastic in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” came from fishing boats—mostly discarded nets and other gear. Another study, published last year by Canadian and South African researchers, found that more than 80% of the plastic bottles that had washed up on the shore of Inaccessible Island, an uninhabited extinct volcano in the South Atlantic, originated in China. They must have been tossed off boats from Asia, the greatest source of what researchers call “mismanaged waste.”

Of the plastic carried into oceans by rivers, a 2017 study in Nature Communications estimated, 86% comes from Asia and virtually all the rest from Africa and South America. Some plastic in America is littered on beaches and streets, and winds up in sewer drains. But researchers have found that laws restricting plastic bags and food containers don’t reduce litter. The resources wasted on these anti-plastic campaigns would be better spent on more programs to discourage all kinds of littering.

His conclusion? "Single-use plastic bags aren’t the worst environmental choice at the supermarket—they’re the best. High-density polyethylene bags are a marvel of economic, engineering and environmental efficiency. They’re cheap, convenient, waterproof, strong enough to hold groceries but thin and light enough to make and transport using scant energy, water or other resources. Though they’re called single-use, most people reuse them, typically as trash-can liners.... Once discarded, they take up little room in landfills. That they aren’t biodegradable is a plus, because they don’t release greenhouse gases like decomposing paper and cotton bags. The plastic bags’ tiny quantity of carbon, extracted from natural gas, goes back underground, where it can be safely sequestered from the atmosphere and ocean in a modern landfill with a sturdy lining."

The Left typically views their pet peeves and causes through a Manichean lens: either you agree with them or you're in favor of destroying the planet and poisoning small children. It never seems to occur to them that their cure can be worse than the disease -- and that it might, in fact, be the disease itself.