– Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, 8/27/06
The New York Times finally did a major story on the record-breaking wildfire season the country is facing. But while the story explicitly examines the causes of the remarkable wildfires we are experiencing, it never mentions global warming at all–even though the cover story of Science magazine last week was on research establishing the global warming-wildfire link, and even though the Times covered this research when it was first released over a month ago.
The Times story points out that the “devastating” Western wildfire season has seen “at least 7.1 million acres burned by late this week, more than in any comparable period in 10 years, federal figures indicate.” About half the story is devoted to various explanations, including a recent shift in Pacific Ocean water temperatures and an intense heat wave in May and June that eliminated some of the snow pack that normally moistens forests in the summer.
The reporter, however, misses the real story. He mistakenly makes it seem like this wildfire season is somehow a unique event, and the opening sentence talks about large individual fires from 1949, 1988, and 1910. You would never know from this article that the U.S. record for wildfire acreage burned was set in 2005 (8.5 million acres), breaking a record just set in 2000.
Nor would you have any idea of the recent research linking this trend toward more intense wildfire seasons to global warming.
Number of Americans who say that “most of the approximately $44 billion the federal government has spent on hurricane recovery in the last year has been wasted,” according to a new ABC poll.
Kristol: College Guys Are ‘Very Happy’ About Plan B Approval Because ‘The Burden Is Totally Off Them’
This week, after three years of delay, the Bush administration finally approved the sale of Plan B (a.k.a. “the morning after pill”) to women over 18 without a prescription.
This morning on Fox News, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol said that college men are “very happy” that Plan B will now be sold over-the-counter because they can have “a wild night” and “the burden is off them.” Watch it:
Scientific evidence does not support Kristol’s claim that Plan B increases promiscuity. A 2002 study in the British Medical Journal found “there is no evidence that access to emergency contraceptives has any discernible effect on teen sexual activity.” Dr. Vivian M. Dickerson, president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, says emergency contraception “does not increase promiscuity among teenaged women, nor does it cause women to abandon their regular birth control methods.”
Transcript: Read more
“Ernesto became the first hurricane of the Atlantic season Sunday with winds of 75 mph, and forecasters said it would strengthen as it headed toward the Gulf of Mexico, where it could menace a wide swath of coastline including New Orleans.”