Top 5 urgent Climate Change/Election Stories MSM Suppressed

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

I used the word “suppressed” in the title quite deliberately. Corporate television media in the United States is colluding in a cover-up of the threat of climate change, and they have specifically blacked out the climate change issue with regard to this election.

The guilty parties are Comcast (owner of NBC Universal, including MSNBC/ NBC.com), the Walt Disney Company (the owner of ABC), Viacom/ CBS, Time Warner (owner of CNN), and Twenty-First Century Fox (i.e. sleazy pressslord Rupert Murdoch).

These five media conglomerates run by Stephen B. Burke, Robert A. Iger, Leslie Moonves, Jeff Zucker, and, well, Rupert Murdoch are trying to drown your grandchildren. Please do drop them a line (contacts hyperlinked except Fox, which is a multi-billion-dollar trolling operation so why bother?) and let them know you aren’t happy about their plans for genocide against our future generations.

Several studies have substantiated that none of the television news operations have bothered to report on policy during this election– it has all been horse race 24/7. This is because multi-billion dollar corporations are extracting money from you and they don’t want you getting uppity about policy issues.

Since they didn’t tell you, I will. Here are 5 climate tie-ins with the election that the news channels didn’t convene panels to dissect at length. Maybe they didn’t report them at all. Maybe it was in a single sentence or in that ticker at the bottom where they sometimes put real news.

1. It is rare for China to say anything to a US presidential candidate publicly. Beijing nevertheless came out and blasted Donald Trump for saying he would renege on the Paris climate agreement. Xie Zhenhua, China’s top climate negotiator, said that “The world is moving towards balancing environmental protection and economic growth.” Of politicians like Trump, he added, “If they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected . . . I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends . . .” China is investing heavily in renewables at some social cost and won’t sit still for US backsliding.

2. While the election has been going on, something has gone seriously wrong with this year’s arctic sea ice cover. Zack Labe, a doctoral student in climate science, posted to Twitter, “Sea ice extent has set 142 new daily record lows.” and for the first time since 1970 “hadn’t reached seven million square kilometres by November.” Trust me. This is monstrously bad. The less ice on land in the arctic and antarctic, the more water in the sea. If your house is near a beach, this should concern you. A lot. Why, you might even expect it to be on the news.

NASA Goddard: ” Older Arctic Sea Ice Disappearing”

3. The Paris Climate accord became international law on Friday. Question: Is America going to be a scofflaw nation and rampage around destroying the climate for everyone on earth?

4. Americans are already being displaced from their homes by climate change.

5. Our burning of fossil fuels now seems likely to throw the Southwest into a decades-long mega-drought.

So go ahead and talk about the trivial things, about the horse race, about the petty insults back and forth and the emails (there doesn’t seem anything interesting in the emails).

Meanwhile the single biggest story of this election season is being studiedly ignored in the campaign (well, Hillary brought out Al Gore for one day and she wants lots of solar panels) and more especially on our television sets. It is like an alternate reality where we have no idea that emitting billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide every year by driving cars and heating homes and businesses etc. are causing a planetary melt-down.

At least please let your congressional representatives know you are worried about this issue. They can be pressured. And, I think we need some nice legal marches.

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15 Responses

  1. I wonder if taking the denier’s stance, if we pass national legislation to not provide help for damages due to higher than normal tides. Guaranteed, all those “rich” people living on the beaches will scream, as many in the NE get Federal insurance subsidies already.

    Relying on private property insurance for flooding will cause many privately owned properties in the southern half of Florida to be sold or just become fallow.

  2. Regarding sea ice, there is an even more dangerous element than you have presented. It is called the albedo effect. Ice reflects sunlight. Less ice, more sunlight is absorbed and the sea heats up faster, reducing ice more, etc. This sets up a feedback loop that is extremely difficult to stop and we may have already reached the point of no return, unless CO2 is removed from the environment. Additionally, the warming of the oceans will cause more acidification, more coral die off and mess up the deep sea ocean currents that greatly affect our climate and, for example, make England and the British Isles much less cold than they would otherwise be. Finally, the liberal MSNBC shows like Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow do give attention to climate change and Hayes had a series of reports about 9 months ago on how climate change is already having a serious effect. But they are about the only ones.

  3. Ever read Limits To Growth, or any of its updates?

    The last one I read was published just before Fukushima. It said that “Overshoot and Collapse,” aka, global famine, would begin NLT 2024.

    The cause? Pollution of our biosphere – the gradual accumulation of our man-made chemicals contaminating our food and water resources.

    Only one of those 90,000 chemicals has led to global warming and climate change. The rest are never mentioned. NORD is just beginning to recognize how we are being affected.

    Mass migrations, pandemics and conflicts for control of the “decreasing resources crisis” are already evident in Europe, the Muddled East, and north Africa. Zika, and other invasive species, as well as the disappearance of some sea food chains in the Pacific Ocean are all a consequence of our failure to begin development of an effective detoxification response when we had the time.

    Now we don’t time to develop, deploy and overcome the momentum of our “poisoning of the planet.” If Hair Drumpf wins how will his Luddites, SSTrumpettes and KKKonfederates improve the odds for our survival?

    The only politician to comment on this was Ban Ki-Moon in 2009’s Climate Conference in Copenhagen: “Nature does not negotiate.” Neither does God or Congress.

    • You mentioned Trump, I don’t see Hillary being much better regards climate change because she thinks incremental (something that does work with climate change) and she seems to be in the pocket of corporations. The only hope I see politically is the Green Party. She has no chance of winning this election but polls put her around the 5% required to put her on the future ballot and receive federal funding. The green party is the only party who want 100% renewable energy. For me
      Climate is and will be for the foreseeable future the main issue in any political vote. Regardless who wins this election the next 4 years look bleak, hoping for a better in 4 years.

  4. Ever read Limits To Growth, or any of its updates?

    The last one I read was published just before Fukushima. It said that “Overshoot and Collapse,” aka, global famine, would begin NLT 2024.

    The cause? Pollution of our biosphere – the gradual accumulation of our man-made chemicals contaminating our food and water resources.

    Only one of those 90,000 chemicals has led to global warming and climate change. The rest are never mentioned. NORD is just beginning to recognize how we are being affected.

    Mass migrations, pandemics and conflicts for control of the “decreasing resources crisis” are already evident in Europe, the Muddled East, and north Africa. Zika, and other invasive species, as well as the disappearance of some sea food chains in the Pacific Ocean are all a consequence of our failure to begin development of an effective detoxification response when we had the time.

    Now we don’t have time to develop, deploy and overcome the momentum of our “poisoning of the planet.” If Hair Drumpf wins how will his Luddites, SSTrumpettes and KKKonfederates improve the odds for our survival?

    The only politician to comment on this was Ban Ki-Moon during 2009’s Climate Conference in Copenhagen: “Nature does not negotiate.” Neither does God or Congress.

  5. Thanks for this post Juan – it is a disgrace how this went utterly ignored in the election. Let me add my own two cents. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Ocean acidification, algae blooms, and an oxygen-depleted ocean have caused significant stress on our crab and oyster fisheries out here. Last year due to unusually warm ocean temperatures they had to truncate the crabbing season. This resulted in losses in revenue for families who depend on these fisheries for their livelihood, loss of tax dollars for these communities (and the state), and last year the price of crab, when the season did come on, was effectively doubled – so expensive (at $36 a lb.) that the average household could not afford it. Of course, this loss of revenue and industry has a ripple effect in coastal communities, which are already poor to begin with, esp. in my home state of Oregon. I would be interested to know how much climate change is now costing fisheries in this country. My guess is it is not good.

  6. NOAA says it’s virtually certain that globally 2016 will set a record high. But there’s something not being mentioned much. Since 1950, there has been a couple of times when record highs have been set two years in a row. This time, 2016 will be the third record high in a row, after 2014 and 2015.

    Not only is global warming getting more obvious, there are an increasing number of consequences. Changing weather patterns and droughts are the most obvious. But there is one story that is being neglected: scientists are currently bewildered by how fast things are suddenly changing in the Arctic. They are seeing things no one has seen before and they are not certain what the consequences will be These are very smart people and their puzzlement should be big news. Scientists will eventually catch up but they are acutely aware that global warming has consequences and that the pace of the consequences may be picking up.

    In the meantime, TV journalists talk in a knowledgeable tone and yet basically know little (one exception is Chris Hayes of MSNBC, though his producers seem to dumb down what he presents). And the Grand Ostrich Party remains useless. Trump, of course, denies global warming.

    In the meantime, no president has done more about global warming than President Obama, but he receives little credit. And it’s not acknowledged much that Hillary takes global warming seriously. And Trump, who is basically a flamboyant demagogue, would be an historical disaster if elected.

    • What we have seen is that scientists have underestimated the pace of climate change. Things are actually worsening faster than originally predicted. Not just the Arctic, but Greenland and the Antarctic have been losing ice faster than predicted. Because this has never happened before in modern times we are conducting a planetary experiment and scientists can only make educated predictions and guesses on what will happen and how fast. I worry about melting of the arctic permafrost and the vast release of methane, something which is rarely mentioned, perhaps because the results would be so dire.

  7. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide is now 400 ppm. The previous time that was so was in the mid-Pliocene, about 3 million years ago. From the Wikipedia article on Pliocene climate we learn that the sea level was 25 meters higher than now. As the ocean circulation then was similar to today’s so was the climate system. So the sea level will continue to rise for about the next 1000 years, provided that the carbon dioxide concentration remains around 400 ppm.

    Possibly removing enough carbon dioxide could avoid some of the 25 meter rise.

  8. We Are All Ready Baked in to a 6C. Temp. Rise, even if we stopped emitting Carbon and Methane Right Now !

    Heating Up, and Burning Up, with Record Heat and Rain Year after Year !

    “Professor Chris Field is bullshitting the planet. On whether 1.5C is still feasible” Kevin Hester

    “The message is already clear, that if the world does want to strive to limit warming to 1.5C or less, we don’t have very much of the carbon budget left.” Professeor Chris Field

    “There is no carbon budget any more and 5C is baked in according to both Shell petroleum and the International Energy Authority. ” Kevin Hester

    With Record Breaking Wind, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earth Quakes, Rain, Snow and Heat !.

    That are HIGHER, Than Normal ! We are going to go Off the Charts !

    There is No Atmospheric Budget For More Carbon, Methane, or Nuclear !

    We must Stop the Koch bros, Warren Buffets, Bill Gates, and their Fossil Fuel allies from FUKUSHIMIATIZING Us !

    Greenland is Melting and Calving Now, Jonas just went over Greenland at above Freezing Temps, for the first Time in the Dead of Winter 2016

    “And for the Winter of 2016 it’s possible that the Arctic may never experience typical conditions.

    For, according to NOAA, the first half of February saw this record, Spring-like, warmth extend on through today.

    It’s as if these coldest zones in the Northern Hemisphere haven’t yet experienced Winter

    — as if the freak storm that drove Arctic temperatures to record levels during late December has, ever since, jammed the thermometer into typical April levels and left it stuck there. ” Robert Scribbler

    Greenland has 20 Feet of Sea Level Rise !

    Now is the Time for Feed in Tariff Clean Kilowatts, Home Owners and Commercial Business owners selling Renewable Energy, Wind and Solar to the Utility !

    Dump Net Metering (Second Utility) Third Party Leasing.

    Protect Our Communities with Solar Policies that keep the Money in the Wallets and Purses of Head of House Holds.

    In Order to Ready Themselves for coming, Record Breaking Rain, Wind, Snow and Temps.

    Food Shortages, Heat,, Floods, Fire, Quakes, Volcanoes, Hurricanes. and Sea Level Rising 220 Feet !

    With Ca. Residential and Commercial Feed in Tariff

    Help Protect Hard Working, Tax Paying, Voting, Citizens from our Koch Bros, Warren Buffet, Warren Gates, Fossil Fueled Energy and Water Policies !

    We Need To Decommission are Nuclear Reactors Now !

    And Relocate to above 3,000 Feet !

    Each 1C. Temp Rise, Atmospheric Moisture increases 7%

    We have increased Temp 1.7C. and Climbing

    1850 ppm Carbon 270

    1980 ppm carbon 350

    2015 ppm of Carbon 405 and Rising

    2016 ppm carbon 412 and rising !
    What will the ppm of Carbon be when Greenland All Melts ?

    Diablo Nuclear, San Onofre Fuel Rods, and All Nuclear needs to be relocated to 3000 feet above Sea Level

    Over 3 Million Years of Waxing and Waning From the Poles, with the Arctic Keeping North America Cool, Now it is Greenland Because of Fossil Fuels !

    Massive Sea Life Die Off on Pacific and Atlantic Coast !

    Pacific and Atlantic Oceans 4 – 18 degrees warmer than Normal

    Antarctica has 200 feet of Sea Level Rise

    Arctic Region Warming Twice as fast as the rest of the planet !

    Over 440 Nuclear Reactors at Sea Level Now !

    From Kevin Hester comes this message: Professor Guy McPherson will be touring New Zealand in November 2016 talking about Runaway Abrupt Climate Change. Regular updates are provided at KevinHester.Live and Facebook events will be created as the date draws near.
    ______

    Sign and Share for a Ca. Residential Feed in Tariff. Go to the youtube site, look six inches below video, click on Show More, then click on blue link to sign the petition.
    link to youtube.com

  9. There is a way to remove significant amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Len Orstein with two coauthors have a free, published paper “Irrigated Afforestation of the Sahara desert and the Australian outback …” which shows that growing all those trees will remove, per annum, about as much as burning fossil fuels adds each year. So if we soon stop burning fossil fuels the carbon dioxide concentration will lower at about the rate it has increased.

    Won’t be inexpensive. If I understand the paper, they estimate $150 billion per annum. What is the DOD budget again?

  10. Juan, you missed another climate issue in this campaign – Syria’s trouble started in 2006 with a 4 year devastating climate change drought and record heat that ruined farms and herds and sent farming families to the cities for help. Our government knew but did nothing to help. We sent sanctions and war instead of aid. Nobody’s talking about this.

  11. 300 years of scientific progress has not changed the fundamental fact of human nature expressed by Louis XV:

    Apres moi, le deluge.

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