From the Think Progress Wonk Room.
Atop the Drudge Report right now:
Do the stories behind these headlines tell the tale that global warming alarmists have “hijacked” the political debate despite a “lack of natural disasters” and no global warming “since 1998”?
DRUDGE HEADLINE #1: REPORT: GLOBAL TEMPS ‘HAVE NOT RISEN SINCE 1998’
This claim has been thoroughly debunked every time it’s popped up. The oil-backed global warming denier Dennis Avery first made the claim — which hinges on the fact that 1998 was an exceptionally warm year (but not the warmest ever) — in 2006.
A chart prepared by NASA’s Goddard Institute clearly shows that the climate continues to warm, with the eight warmest years on record occurring since 1998.
DRUDGE HEADLINE #2: LLOYD’S: Lack of natural disasters putting pressure on insurance firms
The reporter in this story about Lloyd’s record profits in 2007 describes how compared to the devastating year of 2005 — which saw an unprecedented Atlantic hurricane season including the double punch of Katrina and Rita — 2006 and 2007 were easier on insurance firms. His emphasis is misleading, as the actual quotes from the CEO of Lloyd’s warn primarily about the exposure of the insurance industry to the growing global financial crisis, as “insurers derive much of their income from investments”:
“On the back of a good performance in 2007 we need to sound a note of caution for 2008 because of softening market conditions and because of the financial turmoil we have seen,” said Richard Ward, chief executive of Lloyd’s.
As a better report on the same Lloyd’s news indicated, Lloyd’s had limited exposure to England’s terrible floods last year and that its “21 per cent return on its investments in bonds, money market instruments and other assets, as well as releases from reserves set aside for earlier claims. Mr Ward said it would be hard to reproduce last year’s investment performance in the current market.” In addition to the worsening economy, 2008 is predicted to have a very strong hurricane season on top of the freak floods, storms, and droughts already experienced here in the United States and around the world.
DRUDGE HEADLINE #3: World Bank accused of climate change ‘hijack’…
The “hijack” referenced in this story describes the distrust poor nations feel about the World Bank, which is largely “under the control of the Group of 8 (G8) richest countries,” in being able to properly address the climate crisis:
Developing countries and environmental groups accused the World Bank on Friday of trying to seize control of the billions of dollars of aid that will be used to tackle climate change in the next four decades.
Drudge has strung together a climate-denier myth, a poorly reported story about the financial crisis, and a report about how developing nations are under the threat of climate change to give support to his right-wing fantasy world. The rest of us, however, live in the real world.