‘Trump hasn’t been in office nearly long enough for his policies to alter the earth’s greenhouse gas levels…’
But The Washington Post’s latest frontal assault on Trump might leave even the president’s most fervent detractors scratching their heads.
According to the paper of record’s esteemed editorial board, Trump is responsible for Hurricane Florence—the hurricane, turned tropical storm, turned tropical depression—that slammed into North Carolina over the weekend.
In an article titled, “Another hurricane is about to batter our coast. Trump is complicit,” the Post claims that “when it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump” is partly to blame.
Put another way, the Post is accusing Trump of colluding with global warming.
“He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks,” the editorial board said.
“The president has cemented the GOP’s legacy as one of reaction and reality denial. Sadly, few in his party appear to care,” they concluded, seemingly unaware of the article’s blatant political bias.
The media has already taken shots at Trump over Hurricane Harvey, which hit Houston, Texas last year, and is still hammering him over purported hurricane related deaths in Puerto Rico—in spite of dubious fatality statistics and poor island infrastructure.
The attacks are reminiscent of how Republican President George Bush was blamed for Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Somehow, President Obama went unscathed during his eight-year administration.
“Trump hasn’t been in office nearly long enough for his policies to alter the earth’s greenhouse gas levels. In fact, his plan to repeal Obama’s ‘landmark’ climate change regulation has not yet been implemented,” Agresti explained.
As the basis for their argument, the Post’s authors claimed that Hurricane Florence has been “feeding off unusually warm ocean waters.” They cited a May 2018 paper that reported warm ocean temperatures as the cause of Hurricane Harvey’s “cataclysmic wetness” in 2017.
“Harvey could not have produced so much rain without human-induced climate change,” the study’s co-author Kevin Trenberth was quoted saying in the article.
But as Agresti points out, Trenberth is hardly a disinterested climate researcher offered up by the Post to explain climate science to its readers.
Rather, he has a history of “grossly misreporting the facts about global warming and hurricanes,” as evidenced in public press conference a decade ago when Trenberth worked for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC.
As a result of his partisanship, fellow IPCC scientist Chris Landsea resigned, saying “I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.”
Perhaps, accusing the president of the United States of being complicit with a hurricane also qualifies as having a pre-conceived agenda that is scientifically unsound.