A day after NBC blamed the California wild fires on global warming, CBS on Wednesday night cited global warming, but also gave equal emphasis to how years of putting out fires has provided more fuel for them in the form of thick trees and brush. From Escondido, California, anchor Katie Couric asserted the wild fires are “more intense today than ever, and John Blackstone reports, man may be at least partly to blame for that.” Blackstone first went to global warming: “Fire ecologist Tom Swetnam has a collection of tree rings that reveals thousands of years of climate history. He told Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes that global warming means a longer fire season.”
Then, however, Blackstone considered another cause: “A whole lot more fuel to burn, a result of a hundred years of fighting fires” since “putting out almost every fire is not what nature intended, says Richard Minnich, who studies fire history.” Minnich, a professor of earth sciences at the University of California Riverside, explained: “The fire suppression management over the hundred years, in fact, generates more severe fires than what would otherwise occur.” Plus, Blackstone noted, the destructive impact of the fires has increased because “the realization it's often good to let fires burn has met a big obstacle: more houses in forest and wild lands.” Concluding his piece, Blackstone returned to warming, but didn't blame it alone: “Firefighters are trying to keep up with the megafire threat, a threat that won't go away in a warming world, and a growing West.”
See Update at Foot -- FEMA Administrator flatly debunks Garamendi
Good on Tamron Hall.
On the one hand, as I've noted here and here, Hall let her liberal leanings show more than once when serving as a "Morning Joe" panelist. But the MSNBC anchor is also the daughter of a career Army man, and clearly knows and respects the military.
When Dem John Garamendi, the California Lt. Gov., appeared on MSNBC this afternoon, Hall took the occasion to challenge him over the misleading remarks about the California National Guard that he made yesterday to Chris Matthews during an interview in which he also spoke most ungraciously, as I noted here, about Pres. Bush's impending visit to California.
Comedian George Carlin blames the victims on the Southern California wildfires. Appearing on the October 24 edition of "The View" Carlin said, because many of these home owners "overbuild" and "put nature to the test," "they get what’s coming to them."
This rant was too much even for noted left-wing co-host Joy Behar who felt his statement was "a little harsh." Carlin continued that he "can’t wait for the sea levels to rise" and "for some of these cities to disappear." Carlin added that these people who "do all this moron stuff" are selfish and "want their toys."
Carlin should note that these homeowners who "do all this moron stuff’ were let down by their government who did not properly manage their own forests.
As wildfires rage throughout Southern California, media have predictably begun to blame this awful natural disaster on President George W. Bush much as they did almost exactly two years ago when Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
On Tuesday evening, MSNBC's Dan Abrams set up an interview with California Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) thusly:
But the fire storms in California`s raising tough questions about what the National Guard is extended too much to handle emergencies at home. Back in May, before the fire started, "The San Francisco Chronicle" reported that the California National Guard was down a billion dollars worth of equipment. Two hundred and nine vehicles in Iraq, including 110 humvees and 63 military trucks. According to report the California guard should have had 39 diesel generators on hand. They say it had none. The Kansas governor raised similar concerns earlier this year when she said the deployment of National Guard troops to Iraq hurt the emergency response to a deadly tornado in her state. The question -- is this another unanticipated cost of a prolonged and expensive war effort?
On Wednesday morning, CNN's John Roberts asked a similar question of FEMA Administrator David Paulison:
Wednesday’s CBS ‘Early Show’ had a recurring theme in its coverage of the Southern California wildfires: the federal government failed to provide resources. Co-host Harry Smith opened the show by exclaiming that "...a fire chief says it's "the absolute truth," with more air resources, we would have been able to control this." In a later segment of the show, co-host Hannah Storm asked FEMA Administrator David Paulison, "Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer of California complained the ability of the state's National Guard has been compromised because too much of their equipment and personnel is in Iraq. Is that true?"
In addition to Smith’s blame-the-government show intro, he later observed in a report from the fire line that "I'll tell you, resources is a big part of this story...There are just not enough planes, there's not enough people, there's not enough equipment." Smith then sent the coverage to CBS reporter Bill Whitaker, who asked a firefighter if the wildfires could be brought under control, to which the firefighter responded "...if we get the resources..." Whitaker then remarked, " Now, considering how stretched resources are all across Southern California, that is a big "if."
Reporter Claire Shipman did her level best to get California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to say the efforts to combat the state's wild fires were going poorly. Shipman interviewed the governor on Wednesday's "Good Morning America" and wondered about "the comparison to Katrina that everybody's making in the back of their mind..." At one point, Governor Schwarzenegger cut off Shipman's pleas for negative assessments of the effort by grabbing her arm. He bluntly scolded, "Trust me when I tell you, you're looking for a mistake and you won't find it because it's all good news, as much as you maybe hate it, but it's good news."
Earlier, the ABC correspondent attempted to deflate Schwarzenegger's sunny optimism by mentioning unnamed officials in Orange County who asserted the state doesn't have enough resources, including firefighting aircraft. The former actor simply wouldn't go along with this premise of victimization. He firmly retorted, "Anyone that is complaining about the planes, just wants to complain because it's a bunch of nonsense." Schwarzenegger then proceeded to point out that the state has 90 planes and only wind has hampered their use.
The hills of Los Angeles are burning and the media keep finding reasons to blame global warming.
CNN found a way to work global warming into its reporting on a national tragedy on October 23.
During “Anderson Cooper 360: In the Line of Fire,” CNN’s Tom Foreman even looked into his crystal ball to predict the future by warning of a possible “century of fires, just like what we're seeing now” as a result of global warming.
Foreman cautioned viewers that, “greater periods of rain” that fuel “increased vegetation growth” over the next century may provide a “potential link between these fires and global warming.”
Like clockwork, much of the mainstream media quickly jumped to blame the California wildfires on global warming. As CBS’s "60 Minutes" and "NBC Nightly News" jumped on the global warming bandwagon, Headline News’ Glenn Beck offered a different take: government forest mismanagement and environmental pressure groups forbidding California homeowners from clearing flammable brush around their land.
ABC and CBS stuck Tuesday night with news stories on the impact of the roaring California wild fires, but as houses were still burning NBC Nightly News found it an opportune time to make the case that global warming caused the fires. NBC's sole expert, however, delivered a circular argument in which the lack of scientific proof did not detract at all from his media-shared presumption that anything bad which occurs in the environment can be tied to global warming. After reporter Anne Thompson cautioned scientists say you can't know “after just one season” whether warming is to blame, Princeton professor Michael Oppenheimer, a leading global warming alarmist who, NBC failed to mention, serves as a science adviser to Environmental Defense, reasoned:
The weather we've seen this fall may or may not be due to the global warming trend, but it's certainly a clear picture of what the future is going to look like if we don't act quickly to cut emissions of the greenhouse gases.
President Bush has shown that he can be empathetic, sensitive and decisive. But those qualities eluded him for days after Hurricane Katrina . . . He didn't cancel his vacation until two days after Katrina struck and didn't visit the region until four days after the storm. -- "A compassionate Bush was absent right after Katrina", USA Today, 9-9-05
USA Today's broadside is typical of the MSM criticism leveled at Pres. Bush for his failure to visit New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. So, now that President Bush has announced that he will be visiting California on Thursday while the wildfire flames are still burning, naturally the MSM and Dems will put politics aside and laud his decision, right?
With Southern California in the midst of dealing with disastrous wildfires, on Sunday’s "60 Minutes," anchor Scott Pelley used the issue to promote Global Warming ideology. He did a segment on wildfires in the American west and declared in traditional alarmist fashion: "It appears that we're living in a new age of mega-fires, forest infernos ten times bigger than the fires we're used to seeing." It did not take long for Pelley to find the culprit for this crisis as he talked to University of Arizona professor, Tom Swetnam:
Swetnam says that climate change-- global warming-- has increased temperatures in the west about one degree, and that has caused four times more fires. Swetnam and his colleagues published those findings in the journal "Science," and the world's leading researchers on climate change have endorsed their conclusions.
Earlier in the segment, Pelley talked to head of federal fire operations, Tom Boatner: