Montage: Media Politicize Hurricane Harvey, Blame Global Warming, Mock GOP
Members of the major media — who apparently moonlight as climate scientists — are already politicizing Hurricane Harvey, insisting the storm proves the validity of the global warming theory, and mocking Republicans who disagree.
Even as many of the actual scientists who appear on these shows have been noticeably more circumspect in pinning blame on global warming for the flooding in Houston, the media isn't letting that skepticism rain on their parade.
CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, for one, mocked Republicans who question the global warming theory.
"Man-made climate change is a myth, the Republican Party is united on that," Toobin said. "You know, climate change is part of this story. We focus on the heroism, quite appropriately, of the people who are trying to save lives. But why disasters like this occur and their intensity is the part of the problem."
The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza said Hurricane Harvey will help Democrats make the case against President Trump's proposed budget, which calls for the construction of a border wall, and does not increase funds for global warming-related projects.
"His budget that he presented to Congress cut a lot of programs, or wanted to cut a lot of programs, that are helpful in a natural disaster like that," Lizza said. "He's also threatened to shut down the government if the border wall is not built. Well, in the wake of a natural disaster like this, the federal government is leading the effort, is Trump really going to stick a promise to shut down the government?"
"Everyone saying this is the storm of the century, the 500-year-storm; twelve years ago it was Katrina. We've had now three storms now in 12 years that were as bad as this," Lizza continued. "And a lot of Democrats will say, 'you know, climate change is actually, this is the kind of flooding you would predict based on the climate change model.'"
MSNBC's Rachel Maddow likewise pointed to there being six major storms in the Gulf since 1989 as evidence for the climage change theory.
"Since 1989," she said, "what they call a 100-year storm — a storm that’s only supposed to happen once in 100 years -- since 1989 that’s happened six times in Houston."
CNN's Ron Brownstein also joined the chorus, saying "there is no doubt" global warming is to blame.
"Scientists are reluctant to attribute any individual storm to a change in climate," he said Tuesday. "But in my cnn.com column today I quote the former head of NOAA saying this is a preview of the future. There is no doubt that climate change, particularly because of warming the ocean waters and the gulf waters, makes storms like this more common."
The BBC's Laura Trevelyan also reported matter-of-factly that global warming creates humidity, which creates hurricanes: "Of course we do have a changing climate we do have warming waters. With more warming waters, you get more moisture coming into the atmosphere and what hurricanes absolutely love is moisture because that gives them rainfall. And that’s what’s happened in this situation with Hurricane Harvey."
But some climate scientists disagree that Trevelyan, saying that humidity actually dampens the propensity for tropical storms like Harvey.
"The problem with this is that the ability of evaporation to drive tropical storms relies not only on temperature but humidity as well, and calls for drier, less humid air. Claims for starkly higher temperatures are based upon there being more humidity, not less — hardly a case for more storminess with global warming," MIT's Richard Lindzen wrote in the Wall Street Journal.