There is not a worse enemy of rightly understanding climate change, the causes, the threat and the cost-benefit of remediations than virtually every single media member that covers climate change.
They are part of the ongoing saga of environmental reporters who are as hardened and unobjective in their views as the Sierra Club and GreenPeace. I worked with several in newspapers over the years, and even back in the 1990s they almost universally became as activist in their reporting as the activists were in their activism. The cause was righteous and just!
It resulted in enormous misinformation and of course added to the mountain of distrust for the media that was growing skyward before social media was even on the scene. The global cooling crisis. The acid rain crisis. The nuclear energy crisis. The global deforestation crisis. The population bomb crisis. And on and on.
But nowhere has this been more disastrous than in the climate propaganda that passes itself off as news coverage. This was made crystal clear by the throng in the media center covering the Paris Climate Accord that jumped up and down cheering when it was signed in April 2016. Literally jumped up and down. As a former member of the press corps, I recoiled at this outburst. But you should totally trust that you’re getting the straight dope from them on climate change.
The level of politicized reporting on the issue is how a member of Congress can propose the most childishly absurd Green New Deal and have every major Democratic candidate and much of the Democratic caucus sign on to it. The crisis is so severe that we need to eliminate plane travel in exchange for 19th century train travel and stop eating meat, plus so many more eye-popping proposals.
Of course the actual reality, which you have to dig for and which most Americans and virtually no Democrats access thanks to the climate media, is that climate change is real but the actual impacts are wildly overstated. Wildly, wildly, wildly overstated.
Last year’s U.S. Climate Assessment points this out, but media consumers would never know it. There is a Defcon 1 worst case scenario that results in far worse problems for the future of mankind than are delineated in the global warming issues of rising oceans and greater overall heat. This scenario envisions a nearly 12-degree increase by 2090 — three times the already questionable consensus, which nobody but the extremely extremists are suggesting is likely. It just not impossible.
But even with that scenario, the estimated climate change-caused damage rolls up to $500 billion annually in the U.S. That is an obviously notable amount today, but could be managed with some pain. But the GDP by 2090 will be unimaginably larger than today, meaning that $500 billion becomes very manageable pain point. Yet draconian measures are needed right now! The reality is that given the pace of scientific advancement and innovation, the solvability of global warming related problems is high.
Why? Guess which number was reported and which number was not reported? Yup. A 12-degree global temperature increase followed by the normal sky-is-falling hysteria and demands for radical lifestyle changes. But there was not a mainstream media outfit that reported the actual cost, which granted was buried by the climate change activist scientists, because that would make obvious that there is no looming crisis of any significance requiring the back-breaking policies with which Al Gore to AOC want to crush the world.
Remember how ineffectual those measures would be. The Paris Climate Accords were essentially worthless in impacting the rapid CO2 growth in China and India, but hit the U.S. hard. However, the U.S. accounts for less than 15 percent of global emissions — and falling.
This irresponsible climate media activism is why every Democratic candidate thinks they need some mammoth plan for global warming — even though studies have shown that if the U.S. cut every last carbon emission today it would have a negligible impact on global temperatures 50 years from now.
Nonetheless, even the supposed moderate in the race, Joe Biden, has had to come out with an anti-global warming plan that includes forcing emissions reductions on countries using tariffs — because if Trump uses tariffs to get better trade deals for American workers and companies, then by gosh Biden can use them to assuage the hysteria fevers caused by the infected climate change media.
It’s all just forehead slapping.
The bottom line, unfortunately, is that as bad as the political reporting is — and most every topic is now political it seems — the absolute least reliable is the climate change coverage, even more so than immigration coverage. You simply cannot accept anything you get from mainstream media sources on climate change. It’s a shame. But it’s true. And it means the ability to have any sort of unified understanding of what should be a straightforward issue is impossible.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.