Throughout Friday’s Today show, NBC hosts and anchors engaged in climate change hysteria. Humans were condemned for being “greedy and lazy,” accused of making the planet “a tougher place to live.” In addition, dire warnings were issued about Alaska experiencing “an environmental disaster,” with residents being “the first climate change refugees in our country.”
Promoting a new National Geographic documentary called Hostile Planet, correspondent Keir Simmons traveled to the Masai Mara wildlife preserve in Kenya. At the top of the segment, he warned viewers that the African ecosystem was “now threatened by humans” as “weather seems to be getting more extreme.”
Talking to the Nat Geo program’s executive producer Tom Hugh-Jones, Simmons fretted: “Here on the plains, animals are struggling.” Hugh-Jones sounded the alarm: “Everywhere on the planet, it’s changing. People are encroaching on the space and the climate is changing. So it’s really tough for animals to adapt.”
Later in report, Hugh-Jones described some of the “little ways I’m trying to change” to help the environment, like “eating less meat” and working to “recycle much more.” He then denounced the rest of humanity: “I think everybody is inherently greedy and lazy.”
Simmons nodded along and added: “We are endeavoring to make the planet more comfortable for us, in fact, we’re turning it into a more hostile place.” Hugh-Jones agreed: “Yeah, what’s nice for our lives is going to make our children’s lives much more uncomfortable.”
Talking to local Sammy Munene, Simmons wondered what humans could learn from the animals living in the preserve. Munene echoed Hugh-Jones: “Animals are – most of them are opportunists. We are so greedy.”
Wrapping up the story, Simmons promoted the upcoming television special by declaring: “And as this new National Geographic documentary demonstrates, this is a hostile planet. The irony is we humans are making it a tougher place to live, not just for the wildlife, but potentially for ourselves.”
Besides the report from Simmons, Today show weatherman Al Roker was excitedly telling viewers about his upcoming trip to Alaska to cover “ground zero for where climate change is happening” with a series of reports set to air on the broadcast next week.
Using a weather report in the 7:30 a.m. ET half hour to tease his journey, Roker warned of “extreme warmth in Alaska” and proclaimed: “This is where climate change is happening....next week, we’ll be live from Alaska, bringing you the latest on what researchers say is an environmental disaster that is rolling on with no end in sight.”
Promoting the trip again in the 9:00 a.m. ET hour, Roker went so far as to predict that residents of Alaska’s northern-most city, Utqiagvik, “may become the first climate change refugees in our country because the climate is – the landscape is changing so quickly.”
NBC’s fearmongering on climate change goes back decades, but the coverage seems to always stay at peak panic.
Here are excerpts of the March 29 report from Simmons:
8:20 AM ET
CRAIG MELVIN: Meanwhile on this Friday morning, we have more of our ongoing series, Today in the Wild.
HODA KOTB: It’s all about experiencing the natural world and the amazing animals that inhabit it up close – still have your glasses on?
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Should I take them off?
KOTB: No. Today Senior International Correspondent Keir Simmons is in Africa. Hey, Keir.
KEIR SIMMONS: Hey there guys, good morning. We are high above the Masai Mara in Kenya, a last surviving wilderness now threatened by humans. And yet, this place has lessons for all of us, as you’re about to discover.
SIMMONS: The weather seems to be getting more extreme here, says Sammy Munene.
SAMMY MUNENE: It has become unpredictable.
SIMMONS: And that, he tells Nat Geo’s show runner Tom Hugh-Jones, may affect the animals’ behavior.
MUNENE: They’re not the huge size groups that we used to have.
SIMMONS: Sammy grew up here and he’s seen the changes firsthand. It’s harder for wildlife to find cover from predators.
MUNENE: We have less trees. We used to have forests.
SIMMONS: Here on the plains, animals are struggling.
TOM HUGH-JONES [“HOSTILE PLANET” EXECUTIVE PRODUCER]: Everywhere on the planet, it’s changing. People are encroaching on the space and the climate is changing. So it’s really tough for animals to adapt. We’re filming in the poles, in the jungles, in the deserts, so we’re looking at the most harsh environments and the incredible ways animals can adapt to these places where we would be dead meat.
SIMMONS: So finally tuned, he says, even small environmental changes can have a big impact. On polar bears for instance –
HUGH-JONES: Their problem is that it’s becoming too warm. And the polar bears, they hunt on the sea ice, and now there’s almost no sea ice come the summer.
SIMMONS: But some of the extreme forms of adaptation may spell out up the coming problems for the planet, says Tom.
HUGH-JONES: In my own little ways I’m trying to change.
SIMMONS: What do you do?
HUGH-JONES: I’m eating less meat. I recycle much more. I think everybody is inherently greedy and lazy.
SIMMONS: We are endeavoring to make the planet more comfortable for us, in fact, we’re turning it into a more hostile place.
HUGH-JONES: Yeah, what’s nice for our lives is going to make our children’s lives much more uncomfortable.
SIMMONS: What do you think we can learn from them?
MUNENE: Animals are – most of them are opportunists. We are so greedy.
SIMMONS: We share this planet, says Sammy. And if we can learn to share it with the animals, we may survive together for longer.
It is a Noah’s Ark of animals down there. And as this new National Geographic documentary demonstrates, this is a hostile planet. The irony is we humans are making it a tougher place to live, not just for the wildlife, but potentially for ourselves. Guys?
AL ROKER: Really amazing stuff.
Here are March 29 excerpts of Roker promoting his Alaska trip:
7:36 AM ET
AL ROKER: Well, you know, we’re getting ready to head up to the Arctic. Because that is ground zero for where climate change is happening. And so, we going to be heading up there.
And this week, it has been – in fact, this month – we’re talking about extreme warmth in Alaska. A persistent high pressure system has pushed the jet stream up to the north. So this month, parts of Alaska anywhere from five to upwards of 30 degrees above average. And it’s not going away. Utqiagvik, where we’re going to be heading, and north of there, 17 degrees above average. Bethel, 15. Anchorage, nine above. Fairbanks, 16 degrees warmer than average. In fact, Fairbanks, two consecutive days above freezing. This is the earliest on record for them.
And look at what’s gonna be happening later this week. It’s gonna get up to 31 in Utqiagvik, 52 in Fairbanks, 48. Highs this weekend will be anywhere from 20 to 40 degrees average. This is where climate change is happening. We’re going to be there. And next week, we'll be live from Alaska, bringing you the latest on what researchers say is an environmental disaster that is rolling on with no end in sight.
7:37 AM ET
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: So, wait, you’re headed to Alaska. This is exciting.
ROKER: Yeah, you know, the sea ice is melting at record rates. Alaska is warming far faster than the rest of the United States and other parts of the world. And so, there’s really – a lot of experts say this is ground zero for climate change. So we’re going up there with NASA, NOAA scientists, National Science Foundation folks, and we’re going to be with them as they do a lot of this testing. We’ll be live Monday and Tuesday from Utqiagvik.
HODA KOTB: We’ve talked a lot about this, it’s nice to see it in person.
ROKER: Yeah, we’re very excited about it.
9:00 AM ET
AL ROKER: We’re going to the arctic to talk about climate change. And when you think about it, Alaska especially is kind of ground zero, as you know, for climate change. And if you look at the map, it gives you an idea of how far we are – we’re going to be going.
DYLAN DRYER: So you’re going to the northern-most city in Alaska.
ROKER: Yes, to Utqiagvik. Yeah, it used to be known as Barrow, but this is the Inuit name.
DRYER: Oh, it changed it’s name?
CRAIG MELVIN: Why are we going there?
ROKER: Well, we’re going there because Alaska is warming twice as fast as the rest of the continental United States. It literally is ground zero for where climate change is happening. The sea ice is melting faster, everything is going on. So we are going, we’re teaming up with a group of scientists from NASA, from NOAA, from the National Science Foundation, we’re going to be all – and they’re doing testing right now and they’re doing glacier measurements and all that sort of stuff. So, you know, we’re going to be taking part in scientific experiments and also looking at how these folks – the folks there in Utqiagvik may become the first climate change refugees in our country because the climate is – the landscape is changing so quickly.
DREYER: And it’s changing a way of life. I went near the North Pole in Longyearbyen, Norway, which is the northern-most town on the planet, and back in the day, they built their structures directly into the permafrost.
DREYER: And now, structures are falling down, stairways are getting wobbly because the permafrost is melting and the base of the structure is no longer as secure as it used to be.
ROKER: So we’re going to be live Monday and Tuesday, both during the 7:00 and 8:00 hours, and the #3rdHourToday, bringing you these stories...
MELVIN: That sounds fantastic.
ROKER: ...of climate change.
DREYER: I can’t wait to see that.
MELVIN: I’m glad you’re doing it, I know it’s a cause near and dear to your heart. So I’m glad we’re going out there.
ROKER: And should be to all of ours.
MELVIN: Yes, exactly.