Fox's Baier misrepresented Gore's comments about Myanmar cyclone

››› ››› JEREMY SCHULMAN & LAUREN AUERBACH

Fox News' Bret Baier claimed that in an interview on NPR, "Former Vice President Al Gore says global warming is to blame for the cyclone in Myanmar." In fact, while Gore did discuss the cyclone in the context of global warming, he also stated -- just moments earlier -- that "any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming."

During the May 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report, guest host Bret Baier claimed that in an interview on National Public Radio, "Former Vice President Al Gore says global warming is to blame for the cyclone in Myanmar." Baier subsequently stated: "But many experts say it is impossible to credibly make such a link. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics tells Fox, quote, 'It is an alarmist statement, and Vice President Gore wants to confuse the crowd,' adding, 'There is no way to blame any single event on CO2 and global warming.' " In fact, while Gore did discuss the cyclone in the context of global warming, he also stated -- just moments earlier -- that "any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming." Gore said that "the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming -- we've always had hurricanes -- nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms, the larger ones, and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming."

From the May 8 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

BAIER: And guess what Al Gore blames for that cyclone in Burma? We'll see if you're right after the break.

[...]

BAIER: And now, for the most tantalizing two minutes in television, some fresh pickings from the "Political Grapevine."

Former Vice President Al Gore says global warming is to blame for the cyclone in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. In an interview with National Public Radio, Gore called the storm one of the, quote, "consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with global warming."

But many experts say it is impossible to credibly make such a link. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics tells Fox, quote, "It is an alarmist statement, and Vice President Gore wants to confuse the crowd," adding, "There is no way to blame any single event on CO2 and global warming."

That's a sentiment supported by Dr. Adam Lea at the University College of London, who says, quote, "It's impossible to say."

And Jeff Poor of the Business and Media Institute writes that "[u]sing tragedy to advance an agenda has been a strategy for many global warming activists."

In fact, when asked about Hurricane Katrina on the May 6 edition of NPR's Fresh Air, Gore stated: "It's also important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming -- we've always had hurricanes -- nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms, the larger ones, and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming." Moments later, Gore said: "And as we're talking today, Terry [Gross, host], the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China. And we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming. And the entire north polar ice cap, normally the size of the lower 48 states, give or take an Arizona, is melting before our eyes 40 percent melted in the last 20 years. And in the summer months it could be completely gone, according to one scientific estimate, in as little as five years."

From the May 6 edition of NPR's Fresh Air:

GROSS: You know, in your book you mention that you think Katrina, Hurricane Katrina, convinced Americans to look differently at climate crisis --

GORE: Some, mm-hmm.

GROSS: -- even though no one can say for sure whether Katrina was directly a result of the climate crisis or not. But, you know, one reaction to Katrina, one now-famous reaction was from Pastor John Hagee, whose endorsement John McCain sought.

GORE: Mm-hmm.

GROSS: And on our show about Hurricane Katrina, he said, "All hurricanes are acts of God because God controls the heavens. I believe that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that. I believe that Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans." And he went on to explain that this was punishment for a gay pride parade that was about to happen that promised to reach a level of sexuality never demonstrated before in all of the gay pride parades. So what do you think about when you hear a reaction like that to Katrina?

GORE: Well, my friends in New Orleans said, "Well, if that's the case, how come God spared the French Quarter?" Of course that's silly. It's also important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming -- we've always had hurricanes -- nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms, the larger ones, and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple hundred feet of the ocean, which drives convection energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful.

And as we're talking today, Terry, the death count in Myanmar from the cyclone that hit there yesterday has been rising from 15,000 to way on up there to much higher numbers now being speculated. And last year a catastrophic storm last fall hit Bangladesh. The year before, the strongest cyclone in more than 50 years hit China. And we're seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming. And the entire north polar ice cap, normally the size of the lower 48 states, give or take an Arizona, is melting before our eyes 40 percent melted in the last 20 years. And in the summer months it could be completely gone, according to one scientific estimate, in as little as five years.

Baier also quoted Jeff Poor of the Business & Media Institute, who wrote that "[u]sing tragedy to advance an agenda has been a strategy for many global warming activists." According to its website, the Business & Media Institute "is a division of the Media Research Center," a conservative media watchdog group.

Posted In
Environment & Science, Climate Change
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bret Baier
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume
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