Six of the Most Blatant Media Politicizations of Irma
Press don't wait for danger to pass, scale of destruction to emerge before pushing global warming alarmism
Like clockwork in its predictability, the Left once again capitalized on disaster and human tragedy to promote a political agenda.
As the full damage wrought by Hurricane Irma only begins to reveal itself, liberals in the media are hard at work promoting climate change alarmism.
“It is difficult to take liberals seriously when both politicians and journalists follow Rahm Emanuel’s maxim: ‘Never let a serious crisis go to waste,'” Dan Gainor, vice president of media and culture at the Media Research Center (MRC), told LifeZette.
In an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, host Jake Tapper couldn't wait to mention climate change.
"Hurricane Irma, as it hits Florida, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that many experts say that the storm is more intense because of climate change," he said.
"The Republican Party, as you know, generally speaking acts as if climate change is not real, there are exceptions ... but generally speaking, the president, the governor of Florida etc. act as if it's not real, even though the overwhelming scientific consensus is real and that it's man-made — why?" said Tapper.
MSNBC turned its coverage of the storm on Sunday nearly into a public service announcement about climate change.
"That's where the sort of equilibrium of climate change really makes a big difference, when you look at these systems that are built, for instance the drainage system in Miami-Dade, it's built based on 1930s sea levels," claimed MSNBC's Chris Hayes.
"You're already seeing architectures and engineers start to struggle with the reality of the front end of climate change of maintaining a society and the civilization in a place that is under constant assault from water, and water whose levels we are every day, through carbon pollution, increasing the levels of [sic]," Hayes continued.
On Monday morning the ladies of ABC's "The View" were eager to link Irma to man-made climate change.
"I saw Al Gore's newest movie, I think it's 'The Inconsequential Truth.' It makes the case that there is a tie between what we've been doing to our environment and these superstorms. I hope people go out and look at it because it's been his life's work and I believe him," said panelist Sunny Hostin.
Man-made climate change is "contributing to the intensity of storms like Irma," said Joy Behar. "Why this is the worst storm we've seen, etc. has to do with climate change. People who deny that, they should start naming all of these next hurricanes after [them] — Hurricane Limbaugh, Hurricane Pruitt, Hurricane Palin, you know, Hurricane Trump."
Left-leaning print and online publications were just as enthusiastic about pushing climate change alarmism — and criticizing conservatives for refusing to go along with it. "Hurricanes Irma, Harvey and Jose appearing at the same time shows climate change is real and getting worse, say experts," proclaimed The Independent. "Experts Say The Time To Talk About Climate Change Is Right Now, While The Storm Strikes," declared the Huffington Post. "End Of The Earth: Will Trump's Climate Change Denial Be Tested?" pondered the Huffington Post's U.K. edition.
This progressive choir has many members, but they all sing the same tune. Human activity is creating climate change, which is resulting in larger, more ferocious hurricanes that occur with increasing frequency — and Republicans and conservatives deny this supposed truth. But Gainor of MRC and one climate science observer agree the Left plays fast and loose with data and facts, and pushing an inherently political agenda.
"The Left has been screaming that we'd have more and more powerful hurricanes since Katrina. Then we had an incredible 12-year gap where we had no major hurricanes hitting the U.S.," said Gainor. "Somehow that wasn't the time to discuss climate change and storms. It's only when storms happen that the Left tries to prey on the misery of victims to push its big-government solutions."
Tom Richard, editor of Climate Change Dispatch, also pointed to the 12-year gap in destructive hurricanes hitting the U.S.
"I think it a bit ironic that for the last 12 years, during which time a Category 3 or higher storm never made landfall in the United States, none of these progressive outlets gave a whit," Richard told LifeZette. "I can't find a single credible climatologist that supports the 'global warming means stronger/more frequent hurricanes' narrative."
"The U.N. [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] has stated in their last assessment report there is no evidence that global warming is making hurricanes more frequent or more intense," he said. "Irma tied for number seven, and the last time we had three hurricanes at the same time was seven years ago. The actual record for time apart for concurrent hurricanes making landfall was 23 hours and set in 1933, according to climatologist and hurricane expert Dr. Philip Klotzbach."
"Climatologist Judith Curry wrote on her blog Climate Etc. that anyone blaming global warming for Harvey doesn't have a leg to stand on and said that 'Hurricane hysteria has ratcheted up to levels I haven't seen since 2006,'" Richard continued.
"And finally," he said, "The [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] said, 'It is premature to conclude that human activities — and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming — have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.'"
"According to NOAA's [Accumulative Cyclone Energy] Index, Irma meets the definition of an average full Atlantic hurricane ... The Labor Day hurricane of 1935 is still the champ for most powerful hurricane," added Richard. "While the media was spinning Irma's wind speed, most meteorologists knew Irma would fall apart quickly because of her high barometric pressure. At landfall, it was at 929 [millibars]. When they go under 910 or 900, you get strong hurricanes."
"For the people affected by the storm, it was very real and this sort of hyperventilating by liberal outlets like CNN, MSNBC, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, etc. … is about not letting a good crisis go to waste and ginning up click-bait," he said. "Most of the reporters on the ground in Florida did great reporting, but the ones safe back at home in D.C. and New York City are stirring the global warming pot in order to poke Trump in the eye over his climate stance."
Gainer said the motivation for the Left's politicization of storms is obvious: They will never go away.
"Storms are a horrific fact of life. But they have always happened," said Gainor. "The most deadly storm to hit the U.S. happened over a century ago. Both Florida and Texas have been devastated by hurricanes in the past. Liberals have hoodwinked the press and some of the public into believing that all weather events — cold, heat, storms, and lack of storms — are the result of climate change. It's the biggest self-fulfilling prophesy in history."