Some claims are so far-fetched, they’ll prompt one climate science denier to publicly contradict another.
Anthony Watts, who runs a climate science denial website, blogged Monday that “Cat5 #HurricaneWilla may stop migrant caravan as it slams Mexico.” The myth was quickly picked up and amplified in the denier echo chamber.
Willa is a super-hurricane that intensified rapidly off the coast of western Mexico this weekend. The so-called caravan is a large group of migrants who just crossed the border from Guatemala to Mexico — and instantly became a target of right-wing fear-mongering myths.
Watts’ myth, however, was quickly debunked by another leading climate science denier, forecaster Joe Bastardi, who responded to the ridiculous claim on Twitter. “They just crossed the border 2 days ago. They will be traveling nowhere near this… The storm will be destroyed by 72 hours in the low levels,” Bastardi tweeted.
????? They just crossed the border 2 days ago. They will be traveling nowhere near this is, The storm will be destroyed by 72 hours in the low levels, upper energy will be pulled into major non tropical event, more likely you blame noreaster in the east this weekend on it https://t.co/Xz1o8vW2rq
— Joe Bastardi (@BigJoeBastardi) October 22, 2018
Over the years, ThinkProgress has debunked the anti-science nonsense from Watts multiple times, in addition to debunking the anti-science nonsense from Bastardi many times. Both have consistently worked to reject or cast doubt on the mainstream scientific consensus regarding human-caused climate change.
You might think that in the face of Bastardi’s debunking, Watts would take down his WattsUpWithThat blog post or at least change the headline and opening claim.
After all, the slow-moving “caravan,” is currently in the very southern part of eastern Mexico — and, if it takes the shortest route to the U.S. border, won’t get there until after the election. Fast-moving Willa, on the other hand, will rapidly lose hurricane status and exit Mexico in a couple of days.
Instead, Watts tried to change the subject and amp up the fear with more falsehoods. He put Bastardi’s tweet in his post and then followed it by posting his actual Twitter response (emphasis added):
I was thinking more about Mexico’s weak road infrastructure ahead of them that is in the storm path. You can’t cross bridges that are washed out or roads that are flooded and torn up, even if Soros is busing them there.
Setting aside the fact that Willa’s path doesn’t even cross the likeliest route the caravan would take, there is absolutely no evidence the migrants have been bused to their current location by Hungarian philanthropist George Soros, as Watts seems to imply in his update.
Soros, of course, has been a target of right-wing smears and conspiracy theories for a very long time. But the claim that Soros was somehow involved in busing the migrants has no basis in fact. Indeed, it has been thoroughly debunked by the New York Times. The fact-checkers at Snopes called the claim “baseless, fear-mongering and factually inaccurate.”
Baseless. Fear-mongering. Factually inaccurate. That would be a good epitaph for virtually all of the claims of the climate science deniers.
This post has been updated.