Over the past week, you were unlikely to see in the major news outlets, with the exception of Breitbart News, a story about the destruction of the bulk of an entire coral reef in the Cayman Islands.
In fairness, it bubbled up in a variety of low volume publications but even then, the story was curiously crafted. The slant was about a yacht and its crew that pulled the anchor chain across 14,000 square feet of reef, damaging more than 80% of the coral in a quarter-acre of protected territory. Little blame was attributed to its owner, the billionaire Paul Allen, Democrat and “conservationist.”
The yacht Tatoosh is the size of many WWII naval vessels (nearly the size of a football field), but it is not the biggest personal yacht Allen operates. His yacht Octopus has even bigger fossil-fuel-consuming tentacles. Is it absolutely necessary for a conservationist to own at least two giant, fossil fuel-burning ships and to fly in his personal Boeing 737 down to the warmer climates during the colder months? Moving those floating hotels around to pick up Mr. Allen can overwork a crew and perhaps make them less vigilant. Thus, the poor little rocky Cnidarian polyps were the victims of Tatoosh’s anchor chains.
I wonder if this story will be released every few months for the next several years with a style of language that could induce a reader, years from now, to think it just happened a few days ago. You know the style: “Coral Reef Recently Devastated” or “Coral Reef Damage in the Caymans Continues” or “Behemoth Yachts Must Be Banned from the Caymans” with no other reference to the calendar. Some media guys are so “clever.” If you need a reminder of how low ethical behavior in the media can go, please refer to Jan 9, 2016 Newsweek Special Edition’s “Climate Change Denier on the Take,” with what was supposed to pass for an on-line ad. I wonder if that sort of aberrant behavior is linked to the plummeting of their circulation? My, oh, my.
Why would we ask such a question? Unethical media types repeatedly pander to Greenpeace as they report, over and over – literally for years – that they have “discovered from FOIA documents” that Dr. Willie Soon has received $1.2M from fossil fuel corporations over the last decade to produce false environmental research. Besides being a whopper of a lie on both points, Dr. Soon has never received any such payment, so why does such an old item keep being refreshed and in such a way as to seem to be news? No such checks of that magnitude were ever written to Willie Soon. His employer, the Smithsonian Institution, almost assuredly received such funds and, after absorbing the lion’s share as overhead during that ten-year period, did pay Dr. Soon a modest salary. Modest, certainly, compared to any number of payments made to proponents of global warming catastrophism. These alarmists’ dire predictions turned out to be only 100% in error, but the radicals in the press still propagate their claims as if reality had not exposed their scams. Can we say: “Al Gore and no more ice caps by 2014 and a 21 foot ocean rise”? How about the disgraced IPCC Chief R.K. Pachauri and his idiotic “no more Himalayan glaciers by 2035”? No pun intended, but these two examples are but the tip of a huge iceberg of one lie after the other.
It is more than a little interesting that during that same period, a poor government employee such as EPA chief Gina McCarthy, received somewhere around $2M paid to her directly in salary and benefits which will continue, substantially, for her entire lifetime. She was certainly not alone in grabbing the big bucks as thousands of EPA employees have been raking it in while slinging climate alarmism. So, how is it the Dr. Soon story is worthy of dozens of press releases over the past several years, but the media does not even whisper about Ms. McCarthy and the herd of alarmists the taxpayers are forced to subsidize?
The real issue regarding our climate lies in the lack of ethics shown by our government and much of the media.
Dennis M. Mitchell, CPA/QEP has been professionally involved in environmental and tax compliance, air and water analyses, and science and business education for over 40 years. David R. Legates is a Professor of Climatology at the University of Delaware. All views are their own.