On Thursday’s "Early Show" on CBS, co-host Hannah Storm promoted the leftist hype about the link between global warming and hurricanes in a segment with global warming enthusiast, and author of the new book "The Ravaging Tide," Mike Tidwell. Storm acted as more of a facilitator than interviewer, asking leading questions, questions that assumed Tidwell’s comments were accurate, and allowed her guest to make some ridiculous statements that went unchallenged.
Storm’s feelings on the matter can best be summed up by her statement, "…this dependence on fossil fuels needs to be addressed. So what’s your recommendation?"
Mike Tidwell is the founder of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, which describes itself as the "first grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C." But Storm did not mention his activism, nor did she mention that nowhere in his official biography on the organization’s website, is there any mention of his scientific background; he is described as an "author and filmmaker." With the segment focused on Tidwell’s scientific conclusions, isn’t the fact that he is not a scientist relevant information for the viewer?
Yet, Storm introduced her segment, attempting to give enhanced credibility to Mr. Tidwell by noting he had predicted New Orleans would be devastated by a storm, and that he predicts global warming will cause more storms like Katrina:
"We're approaching the one-year anniversary of hurricane Katrina, and it's been three years since author Mike Tidwell predicted that a storm like Katrina would devastate New Orleans. In his new book, 'The Ravaging Tide,' he says that we'll see more catastrophic hurricanes thanks to global warming."
Did Mr. Tidwell predict when a hurricane was going to hit New Orleans? Given the fact that New Orleans is on the gulf coast, it is likely a hurricane would eventually hit the area, and it was again likely that eventually a powerful hurricane like Katrina would strike. The likelihood of a strong storm at some point in the future, combined with the fact that New Orleans sits several feet below sea level, isn’t the conclusion obvious?
Storm began the questioning by asking about the beginning of Tidwell’s book:
"You say in the first pages of the book, Katrina's arrival was as certain as tomorrow's sunrise. What made you so sure a disaster like that was on the horizon?"
At least in his response Tidwell did acknowledge that New Orleans is a city below sea level, but he blamed the disaster on man. He claimed that for the last 100 years the wetlands and barrier islands have been disappearing because of humans, and this created the conditions for hurricane Katrina to "slam into New Orleans like a plane into the World Trade Center:" This can at best be described as a terrible simile.
"Well, for the last hundred years, the wetlands and barrier islands in south Louisiana have been eroding and disappearing because of human activity, building of canals and other factors, a million acres of wetlands just disappeared in the last 100 years. And, this basically created a watery flight path for a Katrina-like storm to slam into New Orleans like a plane into the World Trade Center…"
Without missing a beat, or questioning Tidwell on this statement, Storm continued, noting that Senator Mary Landrieu had discussed coastal erosion before the storm hit, but afterwards everyone just focused on the levees. She editorialized:
"I remember talking to Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu before Katrina hit, that morning, and she was talking about coastal erosion and that being the big problem, then after Katrina hit, it was all about the levees. Everyone focused on the levees and the fact that the levees didn't hold. But, the levees weren't the only part of that picture."
Tidwell then predicted global warming will replicate Katrina all along the east coast.
"…I think the biggest lesson from Katrina a year later is that those same ingredients, you know, sort of a city below sea level, hit by a major hurricane, will be replicated by global warming all along our Atlantic and Gulf coastlines. That means, you know, lower Manhattan, for example, is right at sea level now. If we get 3 feet of sea level rise from global warming, much of lower Manhattan, much of, parts of Washington D.C., a lot of Miami, all our coastal cities will be below sea level like New Orleans. We're going to have to build levees to hold back the sea."
And so the point wasn’t lost, Hannah Storm, acting as cheerleader, chimed in:
"Outer Banks of North Carolina."
"Outer Banks of North Carolina, so you're going to have cities that are below sea level because the seas rose because of global warming. And on top of that, hurricanes are becoming more intense…"
As Tidwell predicted a gloomy fate for America, that global warming will cause sea level to rise, thus causing cities on the east coast like New York City and Washington DC to fall below sea level, making them susceptible to New Orleans type destruction, an astonished Hannah Storm wanted to know how much time we have left, neglecting to press Tidwell on his conclusions based on this years mild hurricane season thus far:
"What sort of time crunch are we in here?"
Tidwell believed there is a ten year window to turn global warming around, and kick the fossil fuel habit and switch to clean energy.
Storm jumped on the alternative fuels bandwagon and noting the need to get off of fossil fuels if for no other reason than to combat "the rising" cost of gas, which according to the August 22 Early Show, has actually fallen 11 cents a gallon in the past 2 weeks:
"Right, we've been talking about a lot of these things, even with just the rising price of gas. For a number of reasons, this dependence on fossil fuels needs to be addressed. So, what's your recommendation?"
Storm wasn’t challenging Tidwell, she was merely asking him to gaze into his crystal ball and talk about global warming.
In response, Tidwell piously volunteered that he drives a hybrid car, a Toyota Prius, and that if every American followed his lead, America would cut gasoline consumption by 50%:
"Well, I drive a hybrid car, a Toyota Prius, gets about 50 miles to the gallon. If every car in America ten years from now had the same hybrid technology that's in my driveway right now, we would cut our use of gasoline in half as a nation, and that alone would reduce our CO2 emissions by about 25%."
This caused Hannah Storm to lament that Americans just don’t take global warming seriously:
"As a nation, are we really crying out for any kind of reform? Global warming is something that just doesn't seem to resonate with people."
However, Tidwell believes that people are starting to pay attention to Al Gore’s documentary on the subject and what’s happening with the weather:
"Well, I think it's starting to. Al Gore's film really, I think, has made a difference. A lot of people who were skeptical of all political stripes saw that film and really saw that this is real. I think that we're all seeing in our daily lives extreme, strange weather, even here in New York. Thunderstorms in January in Washington D.C., where I live. A tree almost hit the White House from an extreme storm just a couple of months ago. It's happening all around us. Sea levels are rising. Hurricanes we're seeing. Three of the six most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic basin in the last 150 years happened in a 52-day time span last Summer. That would be Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. We're seeing hurricanes become more intense. We're seeing other impacts from global warming…"
Some may agree with Tidwell, and in fact former newspaper columnist Ross Gelbspan is one who does, endorsing Tidwell’s new book. But, Gelbspan himself as interest in promoting the theory of global warming, as he once wrote in 1992 that global warming would cause baseball to stop playing day games, full quote can be read here.
With differing opinions on global warming, why did CBS feel it necessary to promote the scientific theories of someone who doesn’t even claim to be a scientist and ignore real scientists -- such as Dr. Roy Spencer, principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Patrick Michaels, research professor of environmental studies at the University of Virginia, or William Gray, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University -- who could refute the claims made by Mr. Tidwell?