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Reaction to Trump tweet shows media’s double standard on climate change

Updated November 29, 2018 - 10:22 pm

The media have spent the last week mocking President Donald Trump for something they do routinely.

Last week, Trump tweeted, “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS — Whatever happened to Global Warming?”

The mainstream media responded with a collective smirk, lecturing the president on the difference between weather and climate.

Newsweek wrote that Trump’s tweet was “lambasted by scientists” who called him “‘a dangerous clown.’” HuffPost called it “clueless.” First prize for condescension, however, went to CNN’s Anderson Cooper. He directed Trump to NASA’s website for children. “There are pictures,” Anderson said scornfully.

Taken in isolation, it’s a fair critique. Weather is what’s happening right now, while climate is a trend of weather events over time. A snowstorm doesn’t disprove global warming.

But the media only apply that standard to one side of the debate.

California Gov. Jerry Brown repeatedly blamed climate change for this year’s deadly fires. U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto used the Camp Fire to conclude, “Here in the West, we know climate change is real.”

Quick. Bring out the media fact-checkers to educate these imbeciles on the difference between weather and climate. Rumor is NASA has a website with age-appropriate pictures for these feeble minds.

But rather than rebuke them, the media are usually active participants in asserting that climate change caused or exacerbated the latest weather event.

The Washington Post wrote about Brown’s comments, “Here are the facts: Climate change is real, and it’s making California’s wildfires worse.”

Brown’s actions, however, show he knows something else made the fires worse — overgrown forests. In September, he signed two bills overhauling California’s fire management practices, including making it easier to conduct controlled burns.

To its credit, the Los Angeles Times published a detailed critique of Brown’s assertions. It cited University of Colorado climate change specialist Roger Pielke, who called Brown’s rhetoric “noble-cause corruption.” Pielke contends that politicians co-opt high-profile events to make the case for climate change because the science is subtle. Climate science is filled with probabilities, contradictions and wide margins of error. Translated: Scientists don’t know if the doomsday climate scenarios reported by the media as certainties will come true. They haven’t so far.

The L.A. Times article stands out because it’s so rare. News coverage of major natural disasters will often tie the weather event to climate change. A USA Today article linked global warming and the intensity of Hurricane Michael. Columbia Journalism Review, which bills itself as “The voice of journalism,” wrote, “Yes, Hurricane Michael is a climate change story.” The New York Times has tried blaming climate change for East Coast tornadoes.

Pick one. Either Trump is justified in using unusually cold weather to make fun of global warming, or liberal politicians and reporters shouldn’t use weather events to discuss climate change. You can’t have it both ways.

The mainstream media can’t even cover the weather without revealing their liberal bias.

Contact Victor Joecks at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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