Climate Donkey

May 30, 2008

A morsel from NPR, October 3, 2004

Filed under: Media and Climate — climatedonkey @ 4:27 am

npr

From Lexis-Nexis archives: National Public Radio (NPR) October 3, 2004 Sunday

SHOW: Weekend Edition Sunday 1:00 AM EST NPR

    SHEILAH KAST, host:

These are stormy times we live in, but as NPR’s senior news analyst Daniel Schorr points out, storms either can be natural or manmade.

    DANIEL SCHORR:

You read of more than a thousand American troops killed in the war in Iraq, never mind the number of Iraqis, in Sudan, 50,000 dead and 1.6 million people uprooted, and more than 330 children and teachers slain in an assault on a school in southern Russia, and dozens of Palestinians and Israelis. And what these have in common is that they are all examples of man’s inhumanity to man.

Okay, what a way to warm up the listeners, how uplifting!

And then vying for newspaper space or time on the tube is the violence committed by forces of nature–the hurricanes sweeping through Florida and the helpless Caribbean islands like Haiti and Grenada–and you have to stop for a minute to distinguish between the violence committed by human hands and the violence committed by the raging elements beyond the control of the human hand.

Okay, this does make sense, the media is having a tough time deciding what to cover: there is so much doom and gloom to pick from. Oh, by the way, this is October 3, 2004, which is a month before the Presidential election. However, most sensible voters could care less about global warming in 2004, just as they don’t today. Look at some polls about voters’ priorities when it comes to the 2008 issues…

Or is the separation so clear anymore? I’m looking at a report in Thursday’s New York Times on an extensive computer analysis of hurricanes and global warming published by the Journal of Climate. It says that by 2080, hurricanes will grow stronger and wetter as a result of global warming. That’s because hurricanes draw their intensity from the warming of ocean waters. Dr. Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane expert at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, says of the report, `This clinches the issue.’

Whoa, hold onto your seats NPR listeners, global warming and hurricanes are now equated with the atrocities in Sudan, the War in Iraq, and the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. And then to top it off, a quote from Kerry Emanuel is dropped in.

The Bush administration has adamantly refused to sign the Kyoto Accord, a treaty aimed at diminishing the threat of global warming. Russia has now agreed to support that treaty. At the United Nations last week, leaders of small island nations pleaded for more attention to the potential for devastation from tidal surges. Dr. James Elsner, a hurricane expert at Florida State University, was among the first to predict the recent increase in Atlantic storm activity.

Kyoto was rejected by the Senate 95-0. John Kerry voted against it. The Bush administration had NO TREATY TO SIGN. This little bit of history is so readily researchable, but the journalists love to blame George Bush. This is an example of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

Now with the increase in greenhouse gases, the hurricane danger is bound to get worse and worse in the next 40 years, but like the ballooning budget deficit, that’s something for another generation to worry about. This is Daniel Schorr.

Worse and worse, just like 2005. Um, what about 2006, and 2007?

KAST: You’re listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

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