On Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson dismissed global warming skeptics pointing to record-low temperatures across the country: "As America the frozen thaws out, some want to reignite the debate over global warming....the Mercury feels like it's been on a bungee jump. Take New York, fifty-five degrees on Monday, down to a daily record low of four degrees Tuesday, back to fifty-five this Saturday. What does that tell us about global warming? Scientists say nothing." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
A sound bite followed of Jeff Masters from the global warming activist group Weather Underground declaring: "You can't look at a single event to prove or disprove global warming. You have to look at a period of 30 years to see what the climate is doing." Thompson added: "Global warming or climate change is measured in decades, not days, and the average temperature trend is up."
NBC's hypocrisy is stunning, here is just a sampling of instances where the network seized on single events to push the climate change agenda:
Near the end of her report, Thompson lamented: "Yet skeptics persist, angering America's favorite fake news man." A clip played of liberal Daily Show host Jon Stewart mocking such skepticism: "Apparently decades of peer-reviewed scientific study can be, like a ficus plant, destroyed in one cold weekend."
On Wednesday's NBC Today, weatherman Al Roker became defensive over people criticizing media hype about the cold snap [Listen to the audio]:
Well, a lot of folks have been saying there's no such thing as a polar vortex and that it's some left-wing media conspiracy. Let me tell you something. First of all, we've never used the phrase "global warming" or "climate change" in conjunction with this. This is from my textbook from college, the Glossary of Meteorology from the American Meteorological Society, copyright 1959, okay? And here we go. Take a look right here, okay? "Polar vortex." There it is. "The large-scale cyclonic circulation in the middle and upper troposphere. Specifically two centers, one near Baffin Island, another over northeastern Siberia." Okay? So for all the doubters out there, stuff it!
Later on the show, Roker returned to the topic and ranted: "Some are saying that, A, we've created this phrase to hype it and to create hysteria and that we have made it a political issue by linking it to either climate change or global warming. I will give anybody who can prove that I have ever linked this with global warming or climate change, I will donate a thousand dollars to your charity. Alright?"
While it's true that Roker did not blame global warming for the frigid temperatures, some of his media colleagues certainly did:
Roker's pronouncements on the topic were reminiscent of his commentary from the April 3, 2013 Today, when he fumed over the percentage of Americans who don't believe in climate change: "37 percent of these people don't believe in global warming! Okay, two words: Superstorm Sandy!"
Here is a full transcript of Thompson's January 8 Nightly News report:
7:00AM ET TEASE:
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Polar opposites. The deep freeze continues to bite hard across our country, other parts of the world are seeing record heat. So where does the discussion about global warming stand right about now?
7:13AM ET TEASE:
WILLIAMS: And still ahead for us tonight, amid this record cold, a heated debate is back again in light of the weather headlines, just where do things stand about global warming?
7:15AM ET SEGMENT:
WILLIAMS: Back now as promised here tonight with a closer look at this record cold weather across our country and some other records that are falling in other parts of the world, going the opposite way. All of it has some people wondering what this says about global warming. A topic that still remains hot and politically polarizing. Our report tonight from our chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson.
ANNE THOMPSON: As America the frozen thaws out, some want to reignite the debate over global warming.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I absolutely do not believe in global warming.
THOMPSON: While it's been bitter, in some parts of the country, the Mercury feels like it's been on a bungee jump. Take New York, fifty-five degrees on Monday, down to a daily record low of four degrees Tuesday, back to fifty-five this Saturday. What does that tell us about global warming? Scientists say nothing.
JEFF MASTERS [WEATHER UNDERGROUND]: You can't look at a single event to prove or disprove global warming. You have to look at a period of 30 years to see what the climate is doing.
THOMPSON: Global warming or climate change is measured in decades, not days, and the average temperature trend is up. Plus, it's a global phenomenon. So this week, while much of the U.S. shivers, other parts of the world swelter. In Brazil, as temperatures topped 120 degrees, the animals at Rio Zoo eat popsicles to keep cool, at the zoo. Australia is also having a heat wave, with temperatures pushing 125 in the west, following 2013, the hottest year on record down under. In the northern hemisphere, Moscow, Copenhagen, and Anchorage, Alaska are all above average, and California is unusually dry.
KEVIN TRENBERTH [NATIONAL CENTER FOR ATMOSPHERIC RESEARCH]: 94% of the state is in quite strong drought. This ultimately will increase the risk of wildfires when they get the right kinds of conditions.
THOMPSON: Yet skeptics persist, angering America's favorite fake news man.
JON STEWART: Apparently decades of peer-reviewed scientific study can be, like a ficus plant, destroyed in one cold weekend.
THOMPSON: The last time we saw such temperatures was nearly two decades ago, but this is not a historic deep freeze.
MASTERS: Before the mid-1990s, we used to see this sort of cold snap every five or ten years.
THOMPSON: This is one we won't soon forget. Anne Thompson, NBC News, New York.