The Politics of Weather

The Washington Post can’t understand why Republicans won’t get with the global warming program:

Nearly 150 million Americans were under heat alerts Tuesday, after July marked the planet’s hottest month on record. Devastating downpours dumped two months of rain on Vermont in two days. Smoke from Canadian wildfires choked East Coast skies, causing the worst air quality on record for some locations. And Hawaii is reeling from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century.

Yet while there is wide public concern over extreme weather, Americans are deeply divided — along partisan lines — on whether climate change is helping to drive these events, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.

The survey was conducted from mid- to late July, at the height of some of the hottest days the Earth has experienced in over 100,000 years.

That is a false statement. In fact, the Earth has been warmer than it is now for most of the 12,000 years since the last Ice Age.

But when asked if they think climate change is a major factor in those extremely hot days, 35 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say it is, compared with 85 percent of those who lean Democratic.

Of course, a fundamental question is whether extreme weather events are in fact increasing. The contribution of human activity to climate, if any, is a matter of debate and opinion. But the actual frequency of extreme weather events is a question of fact.

In 2023, 87 percent of Democratic-leaning adults say extreme weather is becoming more severe, up slightly from 82 percent in 2019. By contrast, 37 percent of Republican-leaning adults say extreme weather is becoming more severe — ticking down from 42 percent in 2019.

The Post thinks that Republicans are troglodytes, somehow willing to buck the opinions of “the vast majority of scientists.” But in fact, the majority of Republicans are correct. Severe weather events have not become more frequent.

We have written about this many times, but to summarize: Hurricanes have not increased in either frequency or magnitude. Tornadoes are down. Acres burned by wildfires are at an all-time low. (Globally, 2022 was the lowest year for wildfires on record.) Neither droughts nor floods have increased. Heat waves not become more common, nor have cold snaps.

The Democratic Party media have been peddling the “extreme weather event” lie for some years now. It is not surprising that, according to the Post’s poll, more than half of Americans, including nearly all Democrats, have been fooled by the hype. What is more noteworthy is that so many know better. And, among Republicans, the number who reject the false “extreme weather event” narrative is growing. This is one more example of the left-wing media–the Washington Post–not being able to dictate to many millions of Americans, who have access to more reliable sources of information.

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