It seems the oceans are going to rise 20 feet. At least so says Covering Climate Now. And while Kip Hansen calls this claim “Wild Exaggeration and Egregious Lies” what jumps out at us is that it is the mainstream view. At least in that, as Hansen also notes, “The Covering Climate Now propaganda effort was ‘co-founded by the Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation in association with The Guardian and WNYC in 2019, CCNow’s 460-plus partners include some of the biggest names in news’.” Who instead of being skeptics who speak truth to power have appointed themselves enforcers of orthodoxy with “the stated purpose ‘to produce more informed and urgent climate stories, to make climate a part of every beat in the newsroom’.” And to peddle not lies but the sorts of wild exaggerations typical of true believers. Like that rubbish about a 20-foot rise in sea levels. Or maybe 30. This century. Including “three feet by 2050, and much more to come.”
The here-comes-the-flood article in The Nation kicks off with a blast at the settled science. But of course from you know which side: “The climate emergency is bigger than many experts, elected officials, and activists realize. Humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions have overheated Earth’s atmosphere, unleashing punishing heat waves, hurricanes, and other extreme weather—that much is widely understood. The larger problem is that the overheated atmosphere has in turn overheated the oceans, assuring a catastrophic amount of future sea level rise.”
Bigger than experts realize? Bigger than the politicians and activists calling it “existential” and saying act now or perish realize? Are we all dead already and just too dumb to notice? And if it’s bigger than the experts realize, how do you know it? (“You” being author Harold R. Wanless, “a professor of geography and regional studies at the University of Miami, was one of Politico’s 50 ‘visionaries who are transforming American politics’ in 2016”, the year Donald Trump was elected president.)
Hansen notes that the CCNow Climate Emergency Statement warns that “humanity must take action immediately. Failure to slash the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the extraordinary heat, storms, wildfires, and ice melt of 2020 routine and could ‘render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable…’. To accomplish their goals, CCNow provides its partners with republishable stories from other partners (.pdf), editorial guidance, story writing ideas, a list of talking points labelled Climate Science 101 provided by Katharine Hayhoe.”
That’s some kind of journalism. Sure beats finding the calculator on your phone or PC and working out how long it would take oceans rising one foot every eighty years (the alarmist NOAA’s estimate and itself probably too high) to go up 20 feet. Or going and looking at the gauges and delving into the scientific complexities. Or wondering if your job is to question authority rather than enforce orthodoxy.
Better just to borrow Katherine Hayhoe’s crib sheet. Easier, anyway.