Vote here for contest sponsored by Union of Concerned Scientists. My fav (click to enlarge):
MSNBC reporting on heat waves and tropical storms today, not mentioning global warming.
Washington Post columnist Joel Achenbach is terribly aggrieved by the media’s coverage of the relationship between climate change and extreme weather events, complaining, “Somewhere along the line, global warming became the explanation for everything.” Parroting Rush Limbaugh, he fulminates that if a hurricane hits the United States, “some expert will tell us that this storm might be a harbinger of global warming.” He continues:
Right-thinking people are not supposed to discuss any meteorological or geophysical event — a hurricane, a wildfire, a heat wave, a drought, a flood, a blizzard, a tornado, a lightning strike, an unfamiliar breeze, a strange tingling on the neck — without immediately invoking the climate crisis. It causes earthquakes, plagues and backyard gardening disappointments. Weird fungus on your tomato plants? Classic sign of global warming.
That is, of course, nonsense. Achenbach’s piece is a series of distortions, misrepresentations, and false attacks.
In reality, the media almost never discuss global warming in the context of extreme weather events. The cable news channels fill hours of time with “extreme weather alerts” of tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods. But the few times they discuss the influence of global warming is to either falsely attack it, as on Fox News, or to garble the science and equivocate, as on CNN. Print media and network television likewise run minimal coverage discussing weather in the context of climate change — and just as rarely discuss the global warming consequences of energy policy.
Achenbach’s sole evidence for a deluge of people “immediately invoking the climate crisis” is a single Newsweek article. Achenbach falsely claims that the author “flat-out declared that this year’s floods in the Midwest were the result of climate change,” when in fact she states “The proximate cause was the western part of the jet stream dipping toward the Gulf of Mexico, then rising toward Iowa,” and goes on to discuss global warming as “one clue” why the jet stream behaved that way. In contrast, right-wing media publish a deluge of global warming denialism and false arguments on a daily basis, from specious libertarians to polluter-funded right-wingers.
Breaking news — A real energy plan for America: Efficiency now, 10% renewables by 2012, and one million plug-in hybrids by 2015
Senator Barack Obama has fulfilled the promise of his earlier climate plan with a detailed and comprehensive “New Energy for America” plan. He will be giving a major speech on this plan at 11 a.m. EST. in Lansing, Michigan.
This is easily the best energy plan ever put forward by a nominee of either party:
- Increase Fuel Economy Standards: Obama will increase fuel economy standards 4 percent per each year while protecting the financial future of domestic automakers….
- Invest in Developing Advanced Vehicles and Put 1 Million Plugin Electric Vehicles on the Road by 2015: As a U.S. senator, Barack Obama has led efforts to jumpstart federal investment in advanced vehicles, including combined plug”in hybrid/flexible fuel vehicles, which can get over 150 miles per gallon of gas… [more details below]
- Partner with Domestic Automakers: Obama will also provide $4 billion retooling tax credits and
loan guarantees for domestic auto plants and parts manufacturers, so that the new fuel”efficient
cars can be built in the U.S. by American workers rather than overseas.
- Mandate All New Vehicles are Flexible Fuel Vehicles
- Develop the Next Generation of Sustainable Biofuels and Infrastructure
- Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard: … The standard requires fuels suppliers in 2010 to begin to reduce the carbon of their fuel by 5 percent within 5 years and 10 percent within 10 years.
This is the only way to jumpstart an end to our addiction to oil in a climate friendly way. Indeed, an accelerated transition to plug-in hybrids and electric cars — a core climate solution– must be the cornerstone of any serious effort to dramatically reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (see “Why electricity is the only alternative fuel that can lead to energy independence“). That is the crucial litmus test for any presidential candidate’s energy independence or clean transportation policy.
As for the test of a candidate’s grasp of electricity policy, energy efficiency is obviously The only cheap power left and a limitless resource and THE core climate solution. Obama understands energy efficiency in a way few other major politicians do, as his plan makes clear:
[Note: This post is slightly off-topic, but it is in response to a comment on an earlier thread. I hope it useful for my readers.]