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CURL: New ‘climate change’ tack: It’s the economy, stupid
Question of the Day
You readers who have lived in the Washington area since the 1970s will remember the frigid winters back then. They lasted for months and dumped foot after foot of snow. The biggest lakes in the area froze solid — so solid that parents let their children play hockey on them. And the C&O Canal was a speed skater's dream — a 20-mile sheet of ice from Georgetown to Violette's Lock in Potomac.
It was so cold across the world, and had been for so long, the mainstream media began writing stories about a Doomsday scenario — "global cooling."
"U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming," said a Washington Post headline in 1971. "The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts." The New York Times went one further, saying: "Climate Changes Called Ominous." But it wasn't just theory. "There is a finite probability that a serious worldwide cooling could befall the Earth within the next hundred years."
All that changed in the 1990s, when — gasp! — it got warmer. Winters were milder, summers were hotter. And the mainstream media flip-flopped. Now, "global warming" was a matter of life and death and, worse, Mankind made it happen! They lined up scientists and climatologists to say it over and over: Armageddon!
But then, just like the global cooling of the '70s, the warming stopped and was replaced by (wait for it!) more cooling. "Despite the original forecasts, major climate research centers now accept that there has been a 'pause' in global warming since 1997," the UK's Daily Telegraph reported just last September.
So what does the MSM do? Simple: Rewrite the parameters to make the "facts" fit their story line.
Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace finally got around to pointing that out Sunday. "When did 'global warming' become 'climate change'?" the talk show host asked Kimberley Strassel of The Wall Street Journal.
"It became 'climate change' when you couldn't prove that there was much global warming anymore, as the temperatures didn't change," she said. "So, suddenly we had to have this catch-all term, what was responsible [which] meant that any change in the weather somehow supported the theory."
Exactly. And the MSM is ready to move on the new version of "facts." All four networks held roundtables Sunday to discuss not global warming, but "climate change." NBC News' Chuck Todd explained the new metrics: "There are a lot of people that say 'OK, let's not debate who's right, man-made or is it just nature that's happening. The fact of the matter, it's happening.'"
But "Meet the Press" host David Gregory wanted to make sure we knew who was still to blame, despite the name change. "There is agreement about where we are, about climate change being real, that it's caused by humans. There are again pockets of skepticism, but the politics is completely gummed up on this and nothing's getting done."
So now, apparently, all climate is somehow Man's fault. And when it gets really cold outside (or really hot), that hurts the economy, hurts jobs, hurts the mom-and-pop Main Street businesses, restaurants — everything.
Why the sudden roundtable fest? The networks were simply taking their cue from President Obama, who amid a historic cold snap across the country headed to sunny California to play golf — oh, and talk about "climate change."
"We have to be clear, a changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms, floods are potentially going to be costlier and they're going to be harsher," he said before hitting the links. And like any good Democrat, he's got an answer to fix Mother Nature: Throw $1 billion at it to research and help communities deal with the effects of it getting cold outside during winter.
That seems to be the new tack for Dems and libs: "Climate change" is causing more extreme weather, which is, in turn, costing America billions. Rebecca Jarvis, an ABC News reporter, said Sunday that cities are feeling the crunch. "They're paying more to clear the snow." But it's worse: "Fifteen billion in not going to restaurants, not going to the movies. That's never going to come back," she said.
Another climatologist, Heidi Cullen, weighed in as well. "Really, when you put it into context, climate change, burning fossil fuels means that we're going to see more of these very expensive extreme weather events," she said.
And just remember — "global warming" er, "climate change" means colder winters. "You know, this winter certainly doesn't disprove global warming," Ms. Cullen said. "I think it's one of these things where every time we have a really cold winter we begin to ask ourselves all over again, 'so is global warming real or not.' Cold winter doesn't mean global warming is gone."
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times and is now editor of the Drudge Report. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @josephcurl
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