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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
In the first several weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, the media alternated between providing information on the scope and possible dreadful consequences of the contagion and vilifying President Trump over his supposed failures in managing the pandemic. Conspicuously absent from the coverage was any attempt to link the pandemic to man-made climate change. This was odd because nearly every tragedy over the last twenty or thirty years has somehow been connected by the media to global warming and used as a tool to advocate for painful regulatory policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
My how that has changed. Beginning in late March the climate change cacophony resumed with comparisons between the fast-moving pandemic and similarly horrific predicted consequences of supposed man-made climate change.
Even the Pope got on board the climate train in an over-the-top interview in which he said, “I don’t know if these (pandemics) are the revenge of nature, but they are certainly nature’s responses.” And who, the Pope asked, “remembers that 18 months ago a boat could cross the North Pole because the glaciers had all melted?”
Somebody tell the pontiff that paleo-climate research says that it has likely been at least 6,000 years since the northern polar area was ice-free during the late summer months and that humanity benefited greatly from the warmth. But hey, why allow facts to get in the way of a good homily to stoke the fears of the masses?
Quite a few recent blogs and commentaries comparing climate change to COVID-19 appear to parrot talking points and advice provided in a webinar conducted April 2nd by the Society of Environmental Journalists. Included on the panel were four of the most well-known “Ayatollahs of Alarmism” (thank you, Mark Steyn for that one).
The hour-plus long webinar was titled “Covering Climate Change in Age of Coronavirus” and was a fascinating trip down the rabbit hole of climate change reporting.
A recurring theme in the discussion was the matter of “distancing” with the two issues. In other words, in the case of the pandemic, there was little concern in the public outside of China when problems first arose in Wuhan. It was only when it became clear that the coronavirus was now either at our doorstep or would soon be there, that the public became engaged and fear arose.
In the case of climate change, the panelists agreed that the majority of the population view the supposed “existential threat” of climate change to be a distant problem that may occur many decades from now but would not have major consequences any time soon. According to Kathryn Hayhoe, who appropriately is a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, “the real question is how can we reduce that psychological distance and bring the impacts here and now in time to fix this problem?”
The solution to the distancing problem for climate change, according to the panel, appears to be more reporting on the dangers of global warming. John Mecklin, Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist seemed to be advocating to make sure that editorial boards needed to get their minds right by having so-called experts “visiting editorial boards on a regular basis in order to explain these truly existential threats that could end civilization, they need to be written about regularly. On the front page, on the home page.”
The participants got pretty excited discussing how to address disasters that were sure to befall us in the coming summer months in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires — all of which can be linked by media to man’s purported influence on climate. Although nobody actually rubbed their hands together in glee over the opportunity to politicize future calamities, the panel’s excitement was evident.
According to Alice Hill, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), “We are expecting more hurricane activity, greater heat extremes, wildfire prediction is higher. So as those events occur, obviously that is an opportunity” and “there may be some additional “hooks” as we see these tragedies that will continue to befall the United States in addition to the pandemic.”
True to her roots with the globalist Rockefeller-funded CFR, she went on to state, “With these global threats, we do need global planning.”
Make no mistake, there will be a redoubled effort in the media in the coming months to tie outcomes of the coronavirus to climate change and to focus even more fear on any and all events that can be portrayed as being out of the ordinary.
Fear may be the greatest motivator for humanity. It has been wielded very effectively by some who are at least as interested in damaging our economy as in blunting the spread of COVID-19. Their efforts are a road map to promote “solutions” for the non-existent problem of man-made climate change.