Seizing on warmer than usual temperatures across the country on Wednesday's NBC Nightly News, anchor Brian Williams ominously warned viewers: "Much warmer weather can have a dark side, of course. And tonight there is a new projection that rising seas due to climate change could cause a whole lot of damage much sooner than anyone had previously thought."
Correspondent Anne Thompson used recent weather events to drive the point home: "The ferocious surge of the Atlantic powered by Hurricane Irene last August moved a lifeguard tower...broke through a sea wall, and sent water rushing into the streets of New York's Long Beach. A scene that will become more commonplace, a new study says, because of rising sea levels caused by global warming."
A sound bite followed of Benjamin Strauss from Climate Central, an global warming advocacy group whose mission statement reads:
The climate crisis isn’t just some far-off threat: it’s a clear and present danger. Galvanized by this sobering reality, Climate Central has created a unique form of public outreach, informed by our own original research, targeted to local markets, and designed to make Americans feel the power of what’s really happening to the climate. Our goal is not just to inform people, but to inspire them to support the actions needed to keep the crises from getting worse.
Thompson simply described the organization as a "non-profit group."
Reading from the Climate Central script, Thompson proclaimed: "Who's at risk? By 2030, the 5 million Americans living on coastal land less than four feet above high tide lines. By 2050, it expands to 6 million people living less than five feet above high tide levels.... Loading the dice, heat-trapping gasses from burning oil, coal and gas, melting polar caps and glaciers and warming the ocean."
Some balance was provided in the otherwise slanted report as Thompson cited "climate change skeptics" who "say you can't blame the rising oceans all on global warming." Cato Institute Senior Fellow Patrick Michaels explained: "The sea level rise caused by climate change is actually less than the sea level rise caused from land sinking, and we can't stop it."
On the January 31 Nightly News, Williams and Thompson similarly used the mild winter to push the global warming agenda, with Thompson even seeming to blame climate change for two deaths.
In contrast, back on November 1, the broadcast saw an early snowstorm as evidence of climate change, with Williams fretting: "Everybody out East said the same thing about this freak snowstorm, 'This kind of thing didn't used to happen. This never happened before.'"