Last year, a website called “Breitbart” ran a piece about the growing El Niño in the equatorial Pacific, a climate pattern that shifts weather across much of the Earth.
Without evidence – let us be clear, the author of the piece offers a chain of cobbled together logical fallacies but zero evidence – Breitbart’s Chriss Street warns ominously that El Niño means “millions of impoverished peasants may soon be headed for the United States” – an evidence-free stretch to turn a normal piece of science journalism into racist clickbait, fueling and fueled by fear of a brown hoard of “other” poised on our southern border. It was true-to-form Breitbart – “a site known for its nationalist, racially charged, conspiracy-laden coverage“. Breitbark is a masterwork in hateful, but remarkably, frighteningly successful, propaganda.
The former proprietor of that site, Steve Bannon, was just named “chief strategist and senior counselor” to president-elect Donald Trump.
This cannot be normalized.
I’m with you completely, John. Regardless of political identification, we as a country, a public and a science-minded people cannot permit falsehoods and propaganda to fly as “fact.” More and more is coming out about the fusillade of “fake news” assaulting us, especially as it is increasingly dispersed on social media (mainly Facebook). This goes far beyond Breitbart, but that site now seemingly sits at the center of misinformation.
Zuckerberg promises Facebook action over fake news
Thank you, John. The children’s book A Wrinkle in Time tells the story of a star that gives its life to shed some light in a dark place. I hope truth telling never becomes that dear; but it could. Until then, keep that light burning. 😉
never let the turkeys get you down!
we know what is right, keep doing it
and fighting for the rest of the creatures
on this planet.
A sad commentary on what has happened in this country. Frightening for us, the globe and all ecosystems including human.
People the world over have no problem accepting the fact that changing a relatively small patch of the South Pacific less than hand full of degrees F and the resultant El Nino river of warm waters across the Pacific can have a profound change in yearly climate. Not only here in the USA but the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Africa as well. The reality of changing a much larger patch of the Arctic from supper cold ice to +32 F open waters on our boarders an assuming it will be inconsequential defies reason.
That’s exactly right, Leif. It’s really amazing, especially since it’s not like there are two different groups of scientists or climatologists–the El Nino people and the climate change people–and they are at war. It is astonishing will cognitive dissonance, with impossible consequences.
While I agree that the Arctic is important, be careful about the length scales. While it may be a small patch of the Pacific, the ENSO warming region is about 70% of the size of the Arctic Ocean. Combine that with equivalent region that cools in the western Pacific and you can see why it affects global weather.
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