The anger of the hur­ri­cane me­dia

Suc­ces­sive storms prompt pun­dits to blow hard over global warm­ing

The Washington Times Daily - - OPINION - By R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is ed­i­tor in chief of The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor. He is au­thor of “The Death of Lib­er­al­ism,” pub­lished by Thomas Nel­son Inc.

Here we sit in the com­fort of Wash­ing­ton and we read of the dis­com­fort in Florida. There a mas­sive storm moved from the Caribbean north through South Florida, dis­plac­ing as many as 5 mil­lion peo­ple. It marched up the west coast, dis­plac­ing many more. The eye of the storm set­tled on Naples and Fort My­ers, but it ter­ri­fied pretty much the whole state, in­clud­ing the largest pop­u­la­tion of re­tired Amer­i­cans gath­ered any­where. It was the largest hur­ri­cane ever to threaten the United States, and it came on the heels of the death and de­struc­tion that Mother Na­ture vis­ited upon Texas, prompt­ing one cynic to say, “We’ve got to get Mother Na­ture be­fore she gets us.”

Florida’s gov­er­nor, Rick Scott, was tire­less in is­su­ing warn­ings to the ap­pre­hen­sive cit­i­zenry of his state and in mon­i­tor­ing the ac­tiv­i­ties of his state’s Na­tional Guard and first re­spon­ders. He was on the na­tion’s tele­vi­sion screens non-stop. He de­clared at one press con­fer­ence, “This is a cat­a­strophic storm our state has never seen.” He ex­pressed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments con­tin­u­ally. He also said “Pray, pray for every­body in Florida.” The cit­i­zenry re­sponded re­spon­si­bly. State and lo­cal gov­ern­ment re­sponded re­spon­si­bly, but what was the re­sponse of the na­tional me­dia, or as we say the Main­stream Me­dia? The Wash­ing­ton Post neatly summed up the Main­stream’s gen­eral re­sponse when it head­lined an ar­ti­cle “Florida Gov­er­nor Has Re­fused to Rec­og­nize Cli­mate-Change Risks, Crit­ics Say.” In the body of this pre­pos­ter­ous ar­ti­cle ap­peared this telling line: “Scott’s of­fice did not re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment for this ar­ti­cle.” Did it oc­cur to any­one at The Post that the gov­er­nor’s of­fice might be un­der­wa­ter or that the gov­er­nor might be oth­er­wise pre­oc­cu­pied?

This is how poi­sonous left-wing pol­i­tics has be­come in Amer­ica. Even at the height of a historic cri­sis, the Main­stream Me­dia has time to ad­vance a po­lit­i­cal point, a point that is, in­ci­den­tally, highly de­bat­able. Not that there is ever any time for de­bate with the left. It blabs on about how the con­sen­sus of the sci­en­tific com­mu­nity all be­lieves that global warm­ing is be­hind such events as Hur­ri­cane Irma. It quotes po­lit­i­cal crit­ics of Mr. Scott at length. It never could find a per­son who sided with him. It only quoted his op­po­nents. It never lets up on ad­vanc­ing its point of view. None­the­less, its point of view is not in the as­cen­dancy.

Now I shall star­tle you per­haps, but I think along with Gov. Scott’s crit­ics that there is a hu­man fac­tor in “global warm­ing.” It is not large, and by no means is “global warm­ing” a steady grow­ing fac­tor in global weather. We re­ally do not know what the fu­ture holds for the cli­mate. We do know that all the nos­trums ad­vanced to solve “global warm­ing” will im­pede global growth, which means en­sur­ing con­tin­ued poverty for the world’s poor. More­over, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of the world’s gov­ern­ments have shown no in­cli­na­tion to fol­low the nos­trums’ in­hibit­ing re­quire­ments, which means the nos­trums will have lit­tle or no ef­fect. The de­bate about cli­mate and how to limit global warm­ing is a farce.

The most pru­dent course is to fol­low a pol­icy that al­lows growth world­wide. By al­low­ing growth the in­dus­tries of the world will be able to ap­ply sci­ence and in­no­va­tion to the prob­lem of “our car­bon foot­print.” A wealth­ier world in time will have the re­sources to de­velop tech­nolo­gies to deal with fu­ture prob­lems, among them cli­mate. There is no proof that Hur­ri­cane Irma or Hur­ri­cane Har­vey were caused by global warm­ing or in­ten­si­fied by global warm­ing, but global warm­ing can in time be dealt with by tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ment.

As for the poi­sonous rhetoric of the left, I have no cure. Do you re­mem­ber a few years ago when the left was ac­tu­ally boast­ing of its anger? It was as if anger were a po­lit­i­cal virtue. At the time I mar­veled that the de­scen­dants of Eleanor Roo­sevelt would con­sider anger a no­ble po­lit­i­cal value. I rather thought there might be a re­bel­lion within the left’s ranks. Sud­denly a “re­form” move­ment would spread through left­ist ranks, and they would fa­vor sweet­ness and light over anger. Ob­vi­ously, I was wrong. Anger amongst the left has en­dured. In fact, it has got­ten more in­tense. Is there anything like it on the right? Ac­tu­ally there is if you go far enough on the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum. Con­sider the Ku Klux Klan — there may even be a few thou­sand of them.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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