Hurricane Politics: The Left’s Unscientific and Embarrassing New Low

By Vijay Jayaraj Published on September 26, 2018

Hurricane Florence made landfall September 14 near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. While the states of North Carolina and South Carolina were preparing, the media were shamefully exploiting a sensitive moment.

Natural disasters are known to bring unity among people. People from all walks of life come together to help. Such was the case during the recent flooding where I live in India.

But the Leftist mainstream media in the U.S. have been instilling hostility in people’s minds. They do this even at times that demand utmost focus on preparing for and recovering from natural disasters.

For example, the Washington Post declared that President Donald Trump was complicit with extreme weather events. He was allegedly worsening the situation by not taking steps to tackle extreme weather events like Florence.

The claim was based on the opinion that Trump was making environmental disasters worse. How? By failing to adopt policies that aim at reducing climate change.

The article stated that “the president has cemented the GOP’s legacy as one of reaction and reality denial. Sadly, few in his party appear to care.”

Irresponsible Journalism

This attitude is dangerous for three reasons:

First, there has been no increase in the frequency or size of hurricanes during the past ten decades of global warming. The roughly 1˚C of warming during the past 100 years has failed to cause an increase in the frequency of hurricanes. Or for that matter, any extreme weather event.

Available data show no observable pattern in the frequency or the magnitude of hurricanes over the period.

Major landfalling hurricanes in the U.S. have fallen by 50 percent since the 1930s. Even the most alarmist climate models suggest that hurricane frequency will not increase.

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Second, there is no way Trump can have contributed to the occurrence of hurricanes or the damage they cause. Two years of any nation’s policies cannot change weather events like hurricanes.

Third, the media departed from the helpful role they have played in times of trouble. Their portrayal of Trump’s approach to Hurricane Florence as lackluster was false. He received a hurricane briefing at the White House situation room. He told state officials the federal government “stood ready and prepared to assist with anything.”

In times of trouble, politics shouldn’t matter. Using the weather to attack Trump’s environmental policies at a time when millions of people are at risk is irresponsible journalism.


Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England), Research Associate for Developing Countries for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, lives in Chennai, India.

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