“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'” — Isaac Asimov
While California communities await the worst, El Niño is already taking a toll on local wildlife
As West Coast communities brace for what many are calling “Godzilla” El Niño, scientists are looking beneath the waves to learn more about the upcoming storm season. And if this year’s wildlife anomalies are any indication, this El Niño could be the strongest in decades. In this America Tonight excerpt, Joie Chen looks at what could be the strongest El Niño on record.
“I don’t see what all those environmentalists are worried about,” sneers your Great Uncle Joe. “Carbon dioxide is harmless, and great for plants!”
Okay. Take a deep breath. If you’re not careful, comments like this can result in dinner-table screaming matches. Luckily, we have a secret weapon: A flowchart that will help you calmly slay even the most outlandish and annoying of climate-denying arguments:
Imagine the hottest day you’ve ever experienced. Now imagine it’s six, 10 or 12 degrees hotter. According to climate researcher Alice Bows-Larkin, that’s the type of future in store for us if we don’t significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions now. She suggests that it’s time we do things differently—a whole system change, in fact—and seriously consider trading economic growth for climate stability.
More than a year ago, in my very first article for Slate, I spoke with the Weather Company’s CEO, David Kenny, about this troubling trend. At the time, he told me he thought people reacted so strongly to the network’s experiment with reality programming because they “feel like they have part ownership of the Weather Channel. They grew up with it.” Now, Weather Channel executives seem to have finally given in: The weather nerds have emerged victorious.
In a series of sweeping changes on Wednesday, the network has decided to phase out “original nonweather entertainment programming”, commit to changing roles for high-profile weather anchors Sam Champion and Al Roker, and will now feature more frequent on-air deep dives into the science behind the weather.
At the top of that heap is the Weather Channel. The network and its holding company are for sale, with industry analysts saying its owners may be forced to split the TV channel from the rest of the business—mostly because no one seems to want it. Weather.com—that bastion of clickbait—seems to be the crown jewel, as well as smaller divisions of the company that specialize in, among other things, mining huge amounts of weather data for trends in retail consumer behavior. Kenny admitted as much in an interview with CNN this week: “we’re now a technology company that owns a TV channel, not a TV company.”
On Thursday at 12pm EDT VICE News environment editor Robert Eshelman (https://twitter.com/RobertSEshelman) joins On The Line to discuss this year’s record-breaking temperatures, as well as the Obama administration’s response to climate change.
Read: Obama Is Heading to Alaska to Highlight Climate Change — Despite Arctic Drilling Approval – http://bit.ly/1VwdyPJ
Louisiana is currently losing around a football field’s worth of land every hour to the encroaching ocean. The erosion is due to an array of factors, from an ill-conceived historic levee system, the legacy of oil and gas drilling and, of course, the area’s susceptibility to hurricanes.
VICE News travels to the site of one of the largest man-made environmental and economic disasters in US history to see what can be done as the situation continues to deteriorate.
In this excerpt, VICE News heads to Isle de Jean Charles, an island in Louisiana considered by many to be beyond saving from the rising tide.