Monday, August 26, 2013

How Global Warming 'News' Gets Made

Tomorrow, there will be a teleconference organized by a Big Environment group to tell us about last year's drought and crop losses and -- undoubtedly -- try to tie them to global warming. It is appears to be an example of how Big Environment attempts to manage the news to make global warming seem worse than it actually is. I thought it would be fun to jump the gun a bit so you can see if the news coverage of this event, tomorrow evening and Wednesday, is as predictable as I suspect.

The Hastings Group ("a full-service consulting firm that specializes in issues management and lobbying") in Washington, D.C. has organized a teleconference for the National Resources Defense Council (2011 revenue: $97,060,000) tomorrow. It will include the following "experts" to tell us about crop losses and extreme climate:
This group of non-scientists is going to answer the question:

How can farmers prepare for extreme weather ahead?

That is going to be quite a trick since even the most vigorous defenders of global warming concede, as recently as last week, 

If we can't forecast climate on a regional basis, how can we help farmers prepare? Beats me. 

Are droughts getting worse? Not as far as climate science can discern. Here part of an August 21 Q&A  from Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr., as a followup to last month's Senate hearing on the subject:

2) Dr. Pielke, do you agree with comments made during the hearing that the weather here in the U.S. has fundamentally changed as is evidenced by an increase in hurricanes, droughts, floods, and tornadoes? Do you agree there is “strong evidence” that extreme weather events in the U.S. have become more frequent and intense?
PIELKE REPLY: A range of evidence summarized in my prepared testimonyindicates that, on climate time scales in the US or globally, there has not been an increase in hurricanes, droughts, floods or tornadoes. The evidence for this claim is strong and is well-supported in the peer-reviewed literature, data collected by the U.S. government’s research agencies and the recent report on extreme events by Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change.

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (which I have read) agrees and can be obtained here.

While reasonable people may dispute these findings, it appears the entire purpose of tomorrow's exercise is to deliver yet another "sky is falling" message. I suspect the usual suspects in the media will cooperate. Keep you eye on the news tomorrow evening and Wednesday and remember, you heard it here first!

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