NBC Continues Media Push Blaming Flooding in Texas, Drought in California on Climate Change

Continuing the media narrative that climate change is the cause of flooding in Texas, NBC Nightly News did its part on Thursday night in not only accomplishing that but also linking climate change to the drought in California and a “weather whiplash” that’s being seen across the country. 

Interim anchor Lester Holt began the segment by observing that “[t]he relentless rain, while enormously destructive, seemed to have helped reverse years of drought in Texas” while Californians now “are wondering” if it’s their turn “for an abrupt weather whiplash of their own from dry to deluge.”

Again touting the flooding as another example of “weather whiplash,” national correspondent Miguel Almaguer noted that the flooding in the southern plains adds to “[a] year of historic floods, fires, tornados, snow and ice” where weather shifts “from one wild extreme to another.”

Almaguer continued by showcasing the effect of the Texas flooding as “[i]n just three weeks, much of the state has gone from extreme drought to crippling flood” as “[l]akes are fuller than they have been in five years.” As opposed to expanding upon on the benefits of this news, Almaguer decided to invoke climate change: “Scientists say climate change is exacerbating the wild swings.”

Those words uttered by the NBC News national correspondent then allowed him to tee up Texas Tech University climate change researcher Kathatrine Hayhoe, who declared that: “These swings are getting wilder. Climate change is stretching out our variability.”

With that established, Almaguer trotted out the other end of the “weather whiplash” in the extreme drought taking hold in California: 

In the last 30 days, 2.6 trillion gallons of water have filled Texas reservoirs, enough water to serve California for at least a year and a half, but still only a quarter of what California needs to end its drought. The Golden State parched like never before...The governor says this is just the beginning. 

Following a soundbite from California Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, Almaguer concluded:

With the powerful el Nino suspected of bringing heavy rain to Texas, experts say it could do the same to California, now bracing for fires and mudslides later this year. The weather whiplash, promising to bring even more dangerous and wild extremes.

Earlier on Thursday, the Media Research Center’s Joseph Rossell described the numerous instances in which media sources ranging from MSNBC to the Huffington Post have raised the relevance of climate change in reporting on the Texas flooding over the past week.

The transcript of the segment from May 28's NBC Nightly News can be found below.

NBC Nightly News
May 28, 2015
7:05 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE CAPTION: Weather Whiplash]

LESTER HOLT: The relentless rain, while enormously destructive, seemed to have helped reverse years of drought in Texas. Now, the people of drought-stricken California are wondering: Are they in for an abrupt weather whiplash of their open from dry to deluge? Our national correspondent Miguel Almaguer has more on what we learned today. 

MAN IN TEXAS FLOODING VIDEO: Stop, stop, stop. 

MIGUEL ALMAGUER: They call it weather whiplash. A year of historic floods, fires, tornados, snow and ice. Now whipping from one wild extreme to another. In Wichita Falls, Texas, it felt like the drought ended overnight. In just three weeks, much of the state has gone from extreme drought to crippling flood. Lakes are fuller than they have been in five years. This was Lake Wichita just a few months ago. Here it is again today. Scientists say climate change is exacerbating the wild swings. 

TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY CLIMATE CHANGE RESEARCHER KATHARINE HAYHOE: These swings are getting wilder. Climate change is stretching out our variability. 

ALMAGUER: In the last 30 days, 2.6 trillion gallons of water have filled Texas reservoirs, enough water to serve California for at least a year and a half, but still only a quarter of what California needs to end its drought. The Golden State parched like never before. Take this reservoir, for example. Here at Oroville, the water level has dipped so low, this hill and many others like it are no longer submerged and that bridge you see behind me used to be suspended over the water line. Now, it soars 200 feet above it. The governor says this is just the beginning. 

CALIFORNIA DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR JERRY BROWN: We are in a more severe drought and it will get more severe. We can expect very severe flooding. 

ALMAGUER:: With the powerful el Nino suspected of bringing heavy rain to Texas, experts say it could do the same to California, now bracing for fires and mudslides later this year. The weather whiplash, promising to bring even more dangerous and wild extremes. Miguel Almaguer, NBC News. 

CyberAlerts Environment Global Warming Media Bias Debate NBC NBC Nightly News California Texas Video climate change Miguel Almaguer Lester Holt
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