Sometimes the truth is much sweeter than the syrupy environmentalism of the national media.
While hyping the alleged effects on climate change, NBC’s May 6 “Nightly News” tried to localize the impact by citing a different problem in each region. The broadcast played a clip of Burr Morse, a seventh-generation maple syrup producer from Montpelier, Vermont, stating that this season’s weather had been too warm. Contrary to this clip’s implications, Morse told the MRC’s Business and Media Institute that cold weather actually did more to harm this year’s maple syrup season.
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Morse complained that NBC had selected a short sample of his full remarks to “support their point which was global warming.” Morse said he didn’t want “to be the cause of any hysteria,” emphasizing that he is confident in the future of the maple syrup industry and its ability to “circumvent the weather with technology.”
NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander told “Nightly News” that “Short winters are already harming Vermont maple syrup famer Burr Morse.” Then, NBC played a clip of Morse saying “It didn’t quite get cold enough at night.”
Anybody who spent the 2013/14 winter on the East Coast should immediately have become suspicious as the winter remained cold through March, incidentally when the maple syrup harvest typically begins.
In fact, Morse claimed that winter “hung on a month longer than it usually does.” Because of this lingering cold, Morse started tapping his maple trees in April instead of March. By April, however, the nights were slightly too warm for the ideal 20 degree temperature, hence the actual context for NBC’s excerpt.
Rather than suffering from the heat, Morse described this season’s primary hardship as cold, saying a “big part of the season was that it was too cold.”
Morse expressed distaste for the way NBC handled his remarks. He told BMI that NBC took a video of his remarks but “only selected the words to support their point which was global warming.”
Contrary to climate alarmists’ repeated assertions in publications like the Huffington Post and USA Today, Morse maintained that the maple syrup industry is not in trouble. In fact, he made sure to tell BMI that “I don’t want to be the cause of any hysteria.”
Morse admitted that “we’ve had our challenges” but maple syrup producers were experimenting with new technologies to extract sap. For example, he told BMI the details of new vacuum technology that can get sap “in weather that isn’t ideal.” Morse appeared confident in “the ability to, in some ways, circumvent the weather with technology.”