NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype

By David Wojick

The folks who make their living by hyping the supposed threat of runaway global warming use a lot of scary language in the process. Here the ever creative New York Times has set what may be a new standard in scary climate change hype, by tying it to the Zika outbreak.

In our Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-induced Biases we point to the press exaggerating unproven scientific hypotheses that support government policies. Policies that depend on scaring people are especially subject to this kind of press bias. The NYT has provided a fine example of this sort of scientific distortion, one that is worth analyzing to see just how the game is played. Not surprisingly, they do this in what they call a “Science” article.

It begins with this ever so scary headline:

In Zika Epidemic, a Warning on Climate Change

Zika itself is pretty scary, so that sets the stage. They then combine this with “epidemic” and “a Warning on Climate Change.” So instead of unsubstantiated possibilities we now have warnings and threats. This is a rhetorical flourish that we have not seen before, especially warnings.

Note that most people will only read this headline, which contains no science whatsoever. They will be told, falsely, that the Zika outbreak is a warning of a supposed climate change threat.

Beyond the scary headline, the article itself is a study in rhetorical structure. It begins with innuendo and ends with standard speculation, but in between it manages to provide some solid science regarding several mosquito borne diseases. The latter is to the effect that these various disease outbreaks and increases are likely due to increased urbanization. You would never guess this from the headline or the first paragraph, which uses a question to make an accusation, a classic form of innuendo:

The global public health emergency involving deformed babies emerged in 2015, the hottest year in the historical record, with an outbreak in Brazil of a disease transmitted by heat-loving mosquitoes. Can that be a coincidence?

The answer turns out to be probably, but it takes a lot of reading to realize this. Even worse, the article simply assumes that there will be extensive future warming, all due to human emissions. None of this is known to be true, or even likely. In fact this is a standard rhetorical set piece. Assume great human-induced global warming and prophesy the worst.

Not surprisingly the key prophesying quotation comes from an activist-scientist at the National Science Foundation-funded Nation Center for Atmospheric Research. NSF is the Obama Administration’s leading proponent of the unconfirmed hypothesis that human emissions are creating dangerous global warming. NCAR has even issued a Zika forecast for 50 US cities, based as usual on an unverified computer model.

We also get a juicy quote from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which assumes that a warmer and wetter world lies ahead. What happened to those pesky droughts?

They even throw in a picture of a sick baby and a Brazilian with dengue (not Zika). In our view tying this hyperbolic “climate chnage threat” rhetoric to the real misery created by Zika and related diseases is simply despicable.

Moderation note:  As with all guest posts, please keep your comments civil and relevant.


132 responses to “NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype

  1. Pingback: NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  2. No data or analysis here at all. How about analyzing the spread of vector-borne diseases into the southern regions of the United States? Denge? Or the per capita Zika problem by latitude? Just complaing about a few links doesn’t cut it.

  3. It’s not science, but it’s important.

    • Indeed. A nice soundbite from the F-man springs to mind but I’d rather not fall foul of the Modified Godwin’s Law for Climate Skeptics by quoting it :-)

      • Good idea.

        Pay due diligence to DavidW’s “In our Framework Analysis of Federal Funding-induced Biases we point to the press exaggerating unproven scientific hypotheses that support government policies” instead.

        Brace yourselves – proven scientific hypotheses are coming to town.

      • I had in mind his saying about love.

      • willard wrote: “Brace yourselves – proven scientific hypotheses are coming to town.”

        Isn’t part of the job description of a scientist to make hypotheses?

      • David, Yep. Or at least to choose one. Which is a precondition of the next step, testing it (rather than “proving” it, per se).

      • > Isn’t part of the job description of a scientist to make hypotheses?

        The question should rather be: isn’t part of the job description of a philosopher of science to know that “proven hypothesis” is, like, redhibitory?

  4. “The mosquito does not thrive in areas with cold winters. Some research suggests that continued climatic warming could allow the mosquito to colonize more of North America in coming decades, though how much of a disease risk that would represent is anybody’s guess.”
    I am sure the skeptics have their crack teams working on verifying this as we speak, but once again they are playing catch-up instead of pre-empting.

    • Although the changes you describe may certainly occur in the future, they are not relevant to the mosquito’s present distribution, which was already well into downstate New York by the early 1990s. Nearly all of that mosquito’s present distribution was occupied more than 30 years ago. Expansion of the Zika variant within that population is largely due to natural movement of mosquitoes within their normal existing range and humans in a globalized world. Expansion of the virus is far more a response to human behavior since it is only within regions where the mosquito is endemic. The rainfall fluctuations observed in most of the regions of Zika expansion are within the range of expectations of natural climate variability (including contributions of El Niño and the normal seasonal cycle).

      • Indeed, it is not just presence, but amounts, and with warming amounts increase. The article go that point across.

    • Jim D posts a sentence in quotes without a reference. Interesting debating technique. No points. How about this …

      Although Ae. albopictus is native to tropical and subtropical regions, it is successfully adapting to cooler regions. In the warm and humid tropical regions, it is active all year long; however, in temperate regions, they hibernate over winter. Eggs from strains in the temperate zones are more tolerant to the cold than ones from warmer regions. The species can even tolerate snow and temperatures under freezing. In addition, adult tiger mosquitoes can survive throughout winter in suitable microhabitats.

      It’s not climate change, it’s mosquito change.

      • In biology I’ve heard that is called ‘adaptation’.

      • John Maurice Herron wrote, “In biology I’ve heard that is called ‘adaptation’.”

        Or evolution. Some religions don’t believe in evolution.

      • Hi back rovingbroker. Call me John (or anything you want to, it’s your comment). Mine was more of a question. David was talking about the media using words to sway popular perceptions of complex issues, while that audience may not share the same definitions of those words as the specialists have. Jim D points out the different range expansion of species and concerns over epidemiology while Paul considers the same concepts in terms habitat exploitation. My real question is: is this word ‘adaptation’ as used in the biology field or ‘adaptation’ as used in the climate field. I have an old military joke about ‘Secure that building’ if you are interested.

      • OK, John.

        I think I know the difference between adaption and evolution but before typing I thought I’d check the internet. Searching on “adaptation vs evolution” (no quotes) returns a surprising (to me) number of results more or less on point. They are not all in agreement and some utilize what can best be described as “fuzzy logic” (not in a computer science sense).

        To me, evolution is the result of natural selection of traits that arise from spontaneous changes in DNA. Adaptation is me discarding my down jacket and buying a case of sun block when I move from upstate New York to Miami Beach — no DNA change involved.

      • It is “Creation”, that stumps me.

      • Even the three variables that are needed for the model are in correct order. Time, Space, Matter.

        Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

        He knew.

      • The reference was the one referenced by the main post. The mosquito population depends probably on the length of its breeding season, and that depends on temperature and they say maturing even speeds up with temperature which is an important factor, it seems.

    • Anyone who thinks the mosquito does not flourish in areas with cold winters needs to visit Alaska, Nunavut, Labrador, Ungava, Baffin Island, Greenland, Siberia or a dozen other far northern places.

      Pure ignorance. It is the disease not the carrier.

    • “The mosquito does not thrive in areas with cold winters.

      I’m guessing you’ve never been to Alaska.

      • Yes, this demonstrates how irrationally some adhere to narratives of disaster.

        Malaria was pandemic in the US back in the 1800s – you know, back when global temperatures were lower.
        Malaria ended in the US, due of course to sanitation, in the late 1900s – you know, when global temperatures were higher.

      • You’re genuinely hilarious:

      • Missing some data, excitable one?

      • During the Guadalcanal campaign my father came down with malignant tertian malaria. A lot of Marines and sailors did not survive it. In his 80s he was interviewed by a reporter. He told the guy he came down with Malaria on Iwo Jima. Not likely; doesn’t happen that fast, and Iwo gets a winter. What he meant is he had a relapse of malaria symptoms during the battle. Many Marines did. Dad suffered from malaria symptoms well into the 1950s.


      • You’re the one with the twitchy trigger finger.

      • Good. Temperature, especially global average temperature doesn’t appear to be related to mosquito borne diseases. Instead:

        “However a paper by Humphreys from 1998 in Parassitologia v40 indicated that instead it was the social changes – such as migration out of the impoverished lowlands of the South, and improved economic developments – which caused the decline in malaria and which were more important than the attacks on mosquitoes. Also Kitchens reported that there was in fact a temporary increase in malaria around the TVA reservoirs (in Journal of Economic History 2013). “

      • Again, see above. Did anyone actually read the part where it says what types carry this disease?

    • Don’t Alaska & Siberia have cold winters?
      Rather kills off any argument about mossies & cold winters.

    • Just to keep things straight, most of the genome in most species is loaded with extra DNA whose purpose hasn’t been identified. Often it contains genes that modify the expression of other genes. That modification may include increasing the expression of the gene- more of whatever enzyme or protein it produces, changing the enzyme it produces such as making it more active at a different temperature, turning the gene off, turning on another gene that works with the first gene, and many other possibilities. The changes may or may not be inheritable. The ‘dark’ DNA has only been looked at recently and the ultimate results are far from in.

  5. The NYT has been exquisitely susceptible to Poe-faced mashups recently.

  6. We know that Zika is endemic mainly to planets with a non-constant climate, so could this [insert headshot of Zika victim] be the face of climate change? As ever, the Times is Just Askin’.

  7. David Wojick wrote:
    “The folks who make their living by hyping the supposed threat of runaway global warming….”

    Which folks do this?

    I’m aware Hansen has speculated on the possibility of runaway global warming on Earth. Does he still hold that view? Is it impossible? Does anyone agree with him?

    Facts, not opinions.

  8. So if scientists see trouble ahead, should they stay silent because they cannot be 100% certain?

    • Speculation is not “seeing ahead.” The most they should say is that here is a possibility, while admitting the evidence against it.

      • “The most they should say is that here is a possibility, while admitting the evidence against it.”

        So when you say CAWG is an impossibility, you are not following your own rules

      • The belief in CAGW is like the belief in God.

        Steven Mosher, a CAGW true believer, argues the existence of CAGW, even though there is no physical evidence of it. This is the position of the traditional monotheist.

        David Wojick, on the other hand (if Mosher’s charge is correct), argues “CAGW is an impossiblity.” This is the position of the traditional atheist.

        There is a third position, however, and that is the position of the agnostic, who argues, “I don’t know, and you don’t either.”

      • “Steven Mosher, a CAGW true believer, argues the existence of CAGW, even though there is no physical evidence of it. This is the position of the traditional monotheist.”

        Invest in English Lessons.

        1. I would avoid using the word Catastrophic since it is
        A) hard to quantify
        B) emotion laden
        C) used almost exclusively by “skeptics”


        1. Recognize that climate change MAY lead to large changes
        that we are not prepared for, specifically flooding of
        areas that are currently above sea level.
        2. Since its a POSSIBILITY, its not a reality, but it still can influence
        the decisions we take today. Just like the threat of earthquakes,
        the threat of terrorists getting a WMD, the threat of an asteroid
        strike, the threat of a Carrington event, the threat of Yellowstone
        Caldera going off, etc etc.
        3. Since its a possibility its silly to talk about it never being able to
        occur or to argue that will will occur regardless.
        4. The questions for intelligent people ( not Glenn, not david )

        A) Are there things we can do to PREPARE for the possibility
        B) Are there things we can do to: Reduce the probability of or severity
        of climate change.


        Preparing: we ALREADY subsidize people building and RE BUILDING in areas that are prone to natural disasters. The first smart
        step is to start preparing for the weather of the past! we
        dont even do that. Also, We already waste too much food, and if climate change causes issues with food production, the problem will get worse.
        We already waste too much energy, so fix that first.

        So prepare a future that is at least as bad as we have seen in the past

        There is planning: a 10m wall

        And then there is planning: a 15 meter wall

        This is a metaphor.

        Mitigating. Yep reduce emissions..

        We plan and mitigate because its uncertain whether or not the changes will be catastrophic.

      • Breed and release to save ‘space’.


        Notice the dateline, for a pattern that will kill us all, 95%, not 100%. One year, you can do the math.

  9. I gave upon the New York Times and other MSM newspapers years ago. To get news, I have to scour UK and Aussie newspapers which are perhaps 1% better.

    George Devries Klein,PhD, PG, FGSA

  10. David Appell:
    “But there are no facts here, just opinion.”

    Isn’t that precisely the point of the article?

  11. One issue that worries me lately is the growing malaria, dengue, zika, and chikunguya epidemics in Venezuela. The Maduro regime is extremely incompetent, corrupt, and insists on using Castro recommended solutions to the economic crash they have experienced. This means we haven’t seen the worst.

    Associated with the economic crisis, Venezuela has a nearly complete collapse of disease prevention measures. There’s also a failure of the water treatment systems, lack of medicines, and a large portion of the population is now suffering from malnutrition.

    Tied to that, there’s a significant exodus of Venezuelans, and many of them are heading into Florida and Texas. This makes me think the USA is exposed to future introduction of mosquito borne diseases. The Obama regime, as far as I can see, is limiting itself to choking off visas for Venezuelans trying to flee.

    I think they need something more effective: request that they present a medical certificate issued by doctors vetted by the USA embassy in Caracas.

  12. This study is just typical of the kind of rubbish we see offered up in the name of science. In reallity just about any issue on the planet can (with a little imagination) be easily associated with climate and hence with climate change. If the ‘problem’ was say global cooling we would find terrifying studies of frost bite, freezing ice and glacial destruction . It’s all just an academic persuit for people with nothing better to do.
    GeoffW Sydney

  13. http://www.thevaccinereaction.org/2016/09/brazil-study-raises-major-doubts-about-zika-microcephaly-link/
    If we fund studies to find a link of microcephaly with Zika, then that’s what we’ll find. Meanwhile, we ignore potential roles of malnutrition, poor sanitation (much of Recife is without sewer hookups) and heavy pesticide use.

  14. If NY Times Zika story is hype, would “Is the Arctic sea ice ‘spiral of death’ dead?” be underhype?

    • There’s no such thing as a spiral of death for Arctic sea ice. Ice doesn’t “die”. So the name is simply a propaganda trick. Based on what I’ve seen over the last 25 years, it does look like the Arctic sea ice is getting thinner and covers less area. This isn’t necessarily such a big deal, and it should help develop Russia’s oil and gas resources in the Kara Sea.

      Because climate models are too coarse and inaccurate to project a regional climate over the next 100 years, right now all we have is guesses. And these aren’t enough to make me support the COP21 “2 degree C limit” emissions restrictions. I do support geoengineering research and the development of new nuclear plant concepts, just in case.

      • > There’s no such thing as a spiral of death for Arctic sea ice. Ice doesn’t “die”

        It doesn’t spiral either. Metaphors don’t die too.

        Does it mean that “Is the Arctic sea ice ‘spiral of death’ dead?” was propaganda, Fernando?

        It’s not science, but it’s important.

      • I see It this way: if you use something like spiral of death, it’s propaganda. If somebody responds “your spiral of death is dead” it could mean your propaganda isn’t working. On the other hand it’s not sound to state the ice is recovering.

        Maybe the best option is to stop using propaganda, unless it’s for clearly political purposes such as making fun of Trump’s wig or Hillary’s shoe.

      • > Maybe the best option is to stop using propaganda

        But then nobody would profit from your online contributions, Fernandoé

  15. Global Warming violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Heat transfer is from a warmer to cooler body, never vice versa. A cooler atmosphere cannot warm a warmer earth. Not many scientists around anymore. Just conjured up nefarious lies by our EPA and the U.N..

    • Well, no.

      Global warming is possible and more CO2 should have some effect.

      Given that the mean absorption distance is decreased, more energy is “queued” in the atmosphere before release to space.

      Since gas temperature is defined in terms of energy per unit mass the gas has to be warmer.

      As far as the warmer to cooler. If you wander out on a 90 degree day and a 30 degree day in your shirt sleeves you notice a big difference. Both days were colder than body temperature.

    • Global Warming violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
      No, it doesn’t.
      Net heat transfer tends toward warming the cooler body.
      But both bodies radiate.
      Wrt global warming, adding CO2 to the cooler body ( the atmosphere ) increases it’s emissivity and thus reduces the net loss of the surface ( which must exist to balance the solar gain ).

      Global warming is real in principle.
      Global warming is a hoax of exaggeration, mostly of the extent, and including this aspect of mosquito borne illness.

  16. Sorry to say David, but this is last year’s news (with a scary update).
    Same theme next mosquito season (with a scary update).

  17. This post is not about zika. It is about a form of hyperbolic, scary writing that is used for a great many speculative CAGW scares, to promote bad government policies. There are specific writing forms that are used repeatedly to hype scares. It is important to recognize these forms and to call them out accurately.

  18. It seems to me that both DW and DA have valid points that are not mutually exclusive.
    As for disease bearing mosquitoes, IIRC in David Hackett Fischer’s brilliant biography of Champlain both locals and French Voyageurs suffered from various mosquito born diseases in the further northerly reaches of the Great Lakes in the17th Century. In Quebec there is frequently snow on the ground through May. I have never been to Alaska, but I hear that there are clouds of hungry mosquitoes there. It seems to me that climate change has little to do with this ubiquitous pesky, disease carrying insect though I would like more information on this particular disease.

  19. I met the physician who treated the last case of local malaria here at latitude 42 degrees North when he was first went into practice in 1937. Prior to the introduction of DDT during WWII, draining swamps was the methodology for mosquito control; hence, malaria control.

    Out on the prairie as depicted by Laura Ingle Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, “summer fever” was a prevalent feature of life on the prairie until droughts and swamp drainage for agriculture use controlled mosquito populations.

    After WW II, DDT application reduced the mosquito population such that malaria transmission, i.e., the mosquito needing to “bite” two people, one with malaria and another who did not to transmit the parasite became a numbers game the malaria life cycle couldn’t survive.

    The Panama Canal, completed in 1914 was able to be constructed because Walter Reed MD demonstrated that the virus that causes Yellow Fever was transmitted by mosquito bite and instituted mosquito control particularly around worker’s living quarters. The mosquito involved usually travels in an 150 foot diameter so local surface open water control was mostly effective.

    With today’s modern global travel and the relatively benign symptoms of Zika virus infection, it is not surprising that this infection has established a toe-hold in the Americas. Again, the mosquito has to bite an infected person as well as an uninfected person to transmit the virus. As with malaria, it is a numbers game: either lots of people infected with Zika virus or lots of mosquitos biting and infecting people. As the Zika virus appears to be relatively new in the Americas, controlling the mosquitos is the more likely course of public health action.

    Now let me see. The mosquito that can carry malaria, Denge, Zika, West Nile virus and a host of other infections is prevalent, but not in the density required for mass infections. Each infection having its own mosquito density requirements as well as human population density requirements to remain endemic in the community.

    I am really trying to see how climate change figures in all of this Zika virus picture. The swamps have been drained for 80 years in these parts of the country. Local water surface mitigation to combat mosquito egg laying is broadcast as a public health matter. Local application of chemical mosquito control is instituted as a public health matter.

    Maybe, climate change has nothing to do with the spread of these infections. Maybe, the money spent on mitigating climate change is taken from the budgets of public health departments which in turn reduce the surveillance of mosquito born diseases which in turn means more money needs to go to climate change mitigation which in turn means….

    Ah hah, Now I understand.

    • RiHo08, “I am really trying to see how climate change figures in all of this Zika virus picture. The swamps have been drained for 80 years in these parts of the country.”

      Restoring wet lands and allowing drainage canals to revert to natural while fighting just about any form of pesticide is the new normal so the biggest connection will likely be climate change policy impacts on Zika virus spread. One noble cause undoing another noble cause. Interesting times.

  20. “You would never guess this from the headline or the first paragraph, which uses a question to make an accusation, a classic form of innuendo:”

    “What happened to those pesky droughts?”

    • Global warming doesn’t cause droughts.

      • TE
        Does it cause more evaporation, thus humidity and thus rain?

        Does greening of African Geen period relate to setter rain bands and then drying out due to global warming or other factors.

        Interested in thoughts and references.

      • ““You would never guess this from the headline or the first paragraph, which uses a question to make an accusation, a classic form of innuendo:”

        some people.

        Then comes TE..

        Here is his settled science “Global warming doesn’t cause droughts.”

        Start by citing the actual science first to avoid a strawman argument.
        Then, explain your points of agreement and disagreement.
        If you use data, show your data. if you apply a method, explain it and show your code.

        But if you just want to do rhetoric… then

        Global warming does so cause droughts, so there! I just disproved your assertion.

        Jeez science is easy.

      • Well, I was baiting the hook for Mosher, but like a wise Brook Trout, he’s too suspicious of the fly. I was motivated by this shameless scare piece by the usual suspects ( isn’t Yale embarrassed by Climate Connections? ).
        Trenberth: “Global warming doesn’t cause drought”

        Trenberth is quick to establish this, because he knows by far the largest determinant of drought is precipitation which results from unpredictable dynamics.

        But he perpetuates the meme and goes on with “but it does intensify drought when it occurs.” Like other aspects of global warming, this is true, in principle, but a hoax of exaggeration. It’s an exaggeration because temperature is but one factor of evaporation and evaporation is but one factor of drought.

        To be sure, drought as measured by soil moisture, is caused by a deficit of precipitation with respect to evaporation( or more accurately evapo-transpiration ). But one of the most important factors on the rate of evaporation is soil moisture( the presence of water to evaporate ). Evaporation is greatest when the soil is moist. Evaporation goes to zero when the soil is dry. Therefore the effect of ANY factor of evaporation is greatest at the beginning of drought and decreases ( toward zero ) as a drought ensues.

        Factors affecting evaporation include:

        temperature, wind, sunshine, and exposure. ( Humidity of the air, and vegetation activity are also factors ). Focusing on a small change in one factor, but ignoring the others typifies the exaggeration that goes on.

        It wouldn’t matter so much, but the calculated effect on the public, regardless of the caveat: “Global warming doesn’t cause drought”, is for them to assume drought is bad and getting worse, when just the opposite is true.

      • With respect to the African Geen period it appears to me that the factor at work is the range of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. The convergence occurs from polar air masses encroaching from each hemisphere. If the cooling rate of each hemisphere were roughly balanced, the ITCZ would seem to be more around the equator. If one hemisphere is cooling at a greater rate, it would tend to push the ITCZ into the opposite hemisphere. This is consistent with seasons. It also appears to be consistent with paleo events.

        I ran the radiance model on notionally applicable environments for the Eemian, LGM, HCO, PreIndustrial, 2010, 2100 with 800ppm CO2 and 10% less sea ice, and 2100 with 800ppm CO2 and ZERO sea ice. The results were that during the Eemian and the HCO, Northern summer radiative surplus implies the Southern hemisphere pushed the ITCZ northward during NH summer ( SH did not run a similar surplus compared to other scenarios ). That’s consistent with the Greener Africa during those periods. And the LGM had more balance ( both NH and SH summers ) indicating a more constrained ITCZ, and desertification at the marginalized zones:

        By comparison, a doubling of CO2 to 800ppm has practically no effect on the radiative balance of the hemispheres and presumably on the location of the ITCZ.

        Now, if ALL sea ice disappears ( year round in this scenario, but summer is when the albedo effect is present ) , there is a larger change, but still less than half of the difference from modern times and the HCO.

      • TE
        THanks. Lots to digest.

        I respect your posts as a neutral and scientific observer.

        Moshpit adds a sense of humor and irony but not too neutral or scientific.

      • I respect your posts as a neutral and scientific observer.
        Flattery will get you everywhere.
        But believing one is unbiased is a bias – so either way, we’re all biased, and mine are leaking out in the form of snark.

        Maybe perhaps bias isn’t so bad if it motivates to honestly demonstrate phenomena.

      • Is climate change a ‘ruin’ problem?

      • “TE
        THanks. Lots to digest.”

        Not really. TE is mostly rhetoric, anecdote, and BS.

        At some point he may do a proper study. you know with data and methods

        As it stands he does comments.

        good humor but, I cant think of a serious scientist who would cite one of his comments, or build any science on it.

      • Thanx Mosh! ( for reminders and motivation ).

    • > a question to make an accusation, a classic form of innuendo

      What about half-questions like “Lies, damned lies, and science(?)”

      • I prefer better speeches

        “Of course I’d step on the weak. Would I step on the strong? Of course I would take from the weak—would I take from the strong?”

        “In this world, the weak are always trampled by the strong,”
        “Both in the past millennium and the millennium to come, the strong will take from the weak. The only truth in this world is that the strong will take possession of the weak! The strong… will stomp all over and take from the weak! This is the truth that shall never change!”

      • Mosher, such imperiousness.

        And you believe you are amongst “the strong”?

      • “And you believe you are amongst “the strong”?”

        You ding dong.

        The speech is ironic since the character (a noble man) giving the speech was defeated by the peasant and body guard of 정도전.

        정도전. who created the constitution and laws of Joseon held that the government and the king himself, existed for the sake of the people. Its legitimacy relied on benevolent public service. He was instrumental in freeing slaves and in land reform 계민수전, which basically took land from powerful individuals and redistributed it based on the number of people.
        Crafty devil burned all the land deeds.

  21. Nary a hint the Zika virus may have been carried into the USA by illegal aliens from south of the border who enter with all sorts of undetected diseases. The NYT, media in general, and those who support open borders are blind to all the baggage illegal aliens and refugees bring to this country. In this case, it’s always “global warming.”

    • You forget that climate change causes indigenous peoples to leave their harmonious origins on a harrowing journey to a better life in societies fueled by fossil fuels. Of course, the evil fossil fueled societies caused the indigenous to become displaced. If not for that there would be no better place to run to and everyone would be happy.

  22. I agree the writer above that the NYT and other liberal publications are strongly biased and use propaganda techniques in most pieces related to climate change (and all other political / policy subjects) and employ full time editors, journalists and writers to craft messages mainly supporting liberal causes.

    Propaganda is information, especially biased information, used to promote or publicize a favored political point of view. Propaganda is often associated with application of measured psychological techniques in order to influence and change attitudes of a group of people toward a specific cause, position, or political agenda, in an effort to form a consensus regarding a belief or beliefs. Propaganda is biased information, i.e., misinformation used primarily to influence emotions, attitudes and opinions of an audience to further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis and drawing false connections (e.g., cause and effect linkages), and/or creating biased messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.

    Faux opinion polls of experts (Delphi poll) are completed to support propagandist claims … such as “97% of scientists agree that climate change is real and happening now… ” which is incomplete and untrue in fact but created to sway the general masses, specific groups and the policy decision makers.

    Garth Jowett and Victoria O’Donnell define propaganda as “the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.” Richard Nelson definition is better, “Propaganda is neutrally defined as a systematic form of purposeful persuasion that attempts to influence the emotions, attitudes, opinions, and actions of specified target audiences for ideological, political or commercial purposes through the controlled transmission of one-sided messages (which may or may not be factual) via mass and direct media channels.

    One reason (there are many) many people have turned to Trump now is they are tired of having their opinions controlled, managed and manipulated – the current president / administration has done this better / more than any other in history. (I find appalling that) …a national news media group, the League of Information Experts (LIE), awarded its annual Saul Alinsky Silver Serpent Award (in 2012 following the election) to President Obama’s reelection campaign for “outstanding application of time-honored propaganda techniques. http://skinnyreporter.com/obamapropaganda.html.

    “The president as well as all the president’s men are doing a fantastic job of employing tactics that would have made the Kremlin proud” (said LIE Director George Stephanopoulos)… (T)hey are adept at employing all the well-known logical fallacies as well as other proven methods of persuasion, such as evasiveness, misrepresentation and fabrication.” “Obama has shown ” exemplary leadership in using quotes out of context, employing straw man arguments, effective use of nonfactual information and changing the subject that he and his staff deserve timely recognition.” “Obama team impressed with its ability to misuse statistics…. such as its false claim that his administration had increased domestic oil production even though they have made every effort to reduce it.” “… Obama doesn’t even blink when he says something that is not true… I’ve never seen anybody speak with forked tongue so convincingly, which is why the Silver Serpent Award is entirely appropriate.” Even in filling of key cabinet positions like Energy is done (in part) for propagandist reasons… such as Stephen Chu who had no political or administrative experience but had won a Nobel Prize (on laser optics) – recall how many times did Chu was forced to stand beside the president while being introduced as “his Nobel Prize winning Secretary of Energy…”

    • Your thoroughly thought out and long considered analysis was not lost to some of us. Thank you Danley for sharing. I, speaking for myself, think you got to the heart of what David Wojick hoped to bring to the fore with his article. Food for thought and my thanks to you both.

  23. Toenail Fungus Epidemic, a Warning on Climate Change

    Over the coming decades, global warming is likely to increase the infection and transmission of the fungi responsible for fungal nail infection, encouraging the spread from person to person into temperate countries like the United States.

    With rising temperatures, “You’re actually speeding up the whole reproductive cycle the fungus,” said Wagathon who has been studying the mushrooming rate of the spread of alarmism in Western academia. “You get larger populations in warm, moist places and you have this kind of amplification of the risk of getting infected, especially when walking barefoot in public.”

  24. Someone used to publish an ever growing list of all the terrible things that AGW was going to cause. Is that still around?

    • For crying in a bucket David! It’s called Climate Etc. Dude, what happened to your sense of humor.

      • Not following you, John. No idea what you are talking about. Sorry.

      • Hi David. I like what you say, a lot. I don’t ask you to follow me. Please return the consideration. You are a smart guy and knew exactly what I meant. But you blew me off. Fair enough, this is your pond, not mine. A know nothing lurker who hovers on the fringes of your leard-ed pontifications and only found the courage to voice my ‘anthropoid’ opinions because the host(ess) was gracious enough. Stomp on me if you wish but doesn’t that just make you part of the establishment that you are denigrating. I bring this on myself, Mea culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

      • I don’t think he is John. I didn’t understand your response to the list of items linked to CC either.

      • Thank you Tim. (and David). You are being the voice of reason. David said ‘a penny for your thoughts’ and got my two cents worth. ( I think he doubled his investment). For what it’s worth. As for your understanding what I meant, ‘it’s not important for you to know, it’s only important for me to know’.

    • I think you mean the ‘warmlist’. John Brignell stopped updating this in 2012.


    • Sorry, John, I did not grasp that your pronoun “it” referred to the list I asked about, so I could not understand the sentence. I have trouble with pronouns, just ask my wife. For that matter, pronouns are a big reason why computers cannot read well.

  25. There are of course also zika-climate hype articles in the scientific literature. For example (from a quick look):
    “Zika virus: A call to action for physicians in the era of climate change”

    “Zika Risk Governance and Climate Change”

    “Impacts of Climate Change: Communicable Diseases”

  26. AP’s Seth Borenstein probably holds the record for MSM climate hype. Here is his latest entry. As usual the alarmist headline is posed as a question, but works as an assertion. It even starts with a pitiful picture, rather than using it as a sidebar.

    He also has this from four days ago. We are “sizzling.”

    Note that the number who read just the headline is likely a hundred or thousand times those who read the article, so the alarmist headline is the first thing to hit back at.

  27. Climate change – the perfect liberal cause – because liberals can blame every thing on it. As Glenn Stehle commented in the spiral of death post, point to any unseemly event — almost any event will do — and blame it on burning fossil fuels. No demonstration of causation is needed. This is the sad state of climate “science”.

  28. New climate hype letter to Trump from National Academy warmer scientists. Here is a key misrepresentation of skepticism:

    “Others argued that no action is warranted until we have absolute certainty about human impacts on climate. Absolute certainty is unattainable. We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks: to our ability to thrive and build a better future, to national security, to human health and food production, and to the interconnected web of living systems.”

    They are certain beyond a reasonable doubt but many of us are not (including Trump). Absolute certainty is not the issue, as these folks well know, making this a hyperbolic claim.

    Note that the lead signatory is Ben Santer, the DOE scientist who famously doctored an IPCC report. He has been at this a long time. I would call these folks irresponsible scientists.

    • Trump should eliminate this bureaucratic department ASAP.

      Implications for US National Security of Anticipated Climate Change
      Wednesday, September 21, 2016
      from the report:
      “Climate change is projected to produce more intense and frequent extreme weather events, multiple weather disturbances, along with broader climatological effects, such as sea level rise. These are almost certain to have significant direct and indirect social, economic, political, and security implications during the next 20 years. These effects will be especially pronounced as populations continue to concentrate in climate-vulnerable locales such as coastal areas, water-stressed regions, and ever-growing cities. These effects are likely to pose significant national security challenges for the United States over the next two decades.”

  29. What on earth happened to watchdog journalism?

    This is worse than Pravda – Idiocracy here we come.

  30. Pingback: NYTimes & Zika: a brief case study on climate change hype | budbromley

  31. Pingback: Rafe’s Roundup Sept 27 | Catallaxy Files

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