NBC has apparently abandoned any doubt about the formulation that bad or hot weather in the summer proves man-made global warming since just two years after NBC Nightly News pointed out how “three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s,” Tuesday's newscast showcased a UN report to contend “extreme weather” and an August heat wave demonstrates man-made global warming. Back on the July 25, 2005 NBC Nightly News, after a man on the street declared that “it seems like each summer is a little warmer than the one before,” reporter Carl Quintanilla countered: “Actually, that's not right.” He noted that “three of the five warmest summers on record were in the 1930s. Climate experts like Kevin Trenberth say the one-degree increase in temperature this century is no reason to break a sweat.” (MRC CyberAlert item which began with panic from CNN's Lou Dobbs: “Record heat and drought in the United States and Europe. New fears tonight that it's all the result of global warming. Is the Earth witnessing a massive environmental change?”
Two years later, on Tuesday night, fill-in NBC anchor Ann Curry segued from a summer heat wave story to how “a new report out from the UN says we are in an extreme weather year all over the globe and the question tonight: Is global warming to blame?” Citing “a worldwide path of destruction,” Anne Thompson asserted that “global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began 120 years ago, extremes scientists say are consistent with an increase in carbon dioxide, man-made global warming.” Thompson moved on to a report from the left-wing, though naturally unlabeled, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) on how heavy rains caused by global warming “churn up pollution in waterways, ruining beach plans.”
“Global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began 120 years ago.” The term “likely” hardly conveys scientific certainty.
Curry is hardly interested in challenging conventional wisdom on global warming. When she anchored NBC's coverage of Al Gore's “Live Earth” concerts (NB item with video), she pressed Gore about running for President, suggesting that “without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming.” She pleaded:
A lot of people want me to ask you tonight if you're running for President. And I know what you're answer is gonna be, believe me. I gotta ask you though. After fueling this grass roots movement, if you become convinced that without you there will not be the political will in the White House to fight global warming to the level that is required, because the clock is ticking, would you answer the call? Would you answer the call, yes or no?
Transcript of the Tuesday, August 7 NBC Nightly News story:
ANCHOR ANN CURRY: As millions of Americans hope for that break in the weather, a new report out from the UN says we are in an extreme weather year all over the globe and the question tonight: Is global warming to blame? Here's NBC's chief environmental correspondent Anne Thompson.
ANNE THOMPSON: A worldwide path of destruction: The first documented cyclone in the Arabian Sea batters Iran and Oman; snow in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the first time in 90 years; temperatures in southeastern Europe soar as high as 113 degrees. Just some of what the UN today says are this year's record-breaking weather events. Global land surface temperatures in January and April were likely the warmest since records began 120 years ago, extremes scientists say are consistent with an increase in carbon dioxide, man-made global warming.
ROBERT KAUFMAN, BOSTON U CENTER for ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES: What we've done is we've loaded the dice in a way that increases the probability that we're going get a warm day, a warm month, a warm year, year after year.
THOMPSON: Or a wetter one. June brought devastating floods in China and England, and in this country, heavy rains churn up pollution in waterways, ruining beach plans and more.
NANCY STONER, NRDC: It can make people sick.
THOMPSON: In a report out today, the Natural Resources Defense Council says more rain in 2006 led to a record number of beach closings and advisories across the country, more than 25,000. What ruins the water isn't the rain but the runoff and all the things it collects that we put on and in the ground.
STONER, NRDC: It's the muck on the streets, on parking lots, it's pet waste, it's oil and grease.
THOMPSON: In Chicago, they actively monitor the beach water.
ELLEN SARGENT, CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT: Every morning, at all 24 of our swimming beaches, we have staff taking water tests.
THOMPSON: But protection can't always prevent pollution. Nature's mess that tonight some say is man-made. Anne Thompson, NBC News, Sandy Hook, New Jersey.