NPR Watch – 6/22/15


I was listening to National Public Radio this late afternoon on my way home from work. Just ‘tween you ‘n me, they seem to be gettin’ just a tad desperate. This is an aside…not the topic of this NPR Watch feature, but I’ve been so struck lately by it, that I had to mention it as well.

Their feature was on “Climate Change,” and they pulled out all the stops. Melissa Block, one of the afternoon anchorettes, seemed genuinely puzzled as she asked some “reporter,” what was wrong with the “Climate Change deniers,” and might they be able to persuade the “deniers” by doing this or that, and what is motivating the “deniers,” and all that.

My aside: NPR considers “denier” to be a slur. “Denier” is not a label for them, it’s an accusation. To come out with “denier” — repeatedly — in the same “news” feature flushes out their agenda. In the piece, they made no bones about who were the good guys — people calling for “action against climate change” — and who were the bad: the “deniers.”

Now, I love a good propaganda piece as much as anyone else, but it’s downright funny how glaringly obvious it was that this particular feature was rather artless propaganda, and not anything resembling news.

Now, with the aside done, here’s the other thing the piece wasn’t: informative in any way.

In the feature, the “reporter” (I forget her name, and I was unable to locate the printed copy at npr.org) said, rough quote, “Climate change will kill 57,000 people and cost 100 billion dollars before the century is over.”

Ooooookay. Sounds pretty bad, eh? Well, let’s run those numbers, shall we? We’re in 2015 now. That means there are about 84.5 years left in the century. 84.5 * 365 = 30,842.5. Let’s call it 30,000, to use round numbers… that’s approximately the number of days left in the century. Okay. 57,000 divided by 30,000 equals 1.9 people dying each day for the rest of the century.

Let’s follow the money now: 100 billion divided by 30,000 is the amount of money “lost to climate change” for the rest of the century. That represents every day about a third of Rhode Island’s daily budget.

Ooooooooooo…

Let’s think about that a bit. That means that automobile accidents are a vastly greater problem in America. Heart disease is a greater problem than climate change.

Guess what: at, on average, 1.9 deaths per day, jaywalking is a more serious problem than climate change.

Oh, and gum chewing. Yes, more people die from choking on chewing gun than are projected to die from climate change.

Know what else is worse than climate  change? Sleeping in such a way that you cut off blood flow to an extremity, causing yourself a fatal stroke. Also: bee stings, falls from rooftops, allergies of any kind, drowning, workplace accidents, and falls. And sneezing. Yes, more people die from sneezing each day than would die from your government’s projection of the deaths caused by climate change.

I hear you, I hear you… the 57,000 and 100 billion figures are annual figures. Well, are they? I don’t know. And you wouldn’t know either from NPR’s piece. The point is that NPR didn’t tell us over what time the death statistics and the dollar figure span.  They said, rough quote, “Climate change will kill 57,000 people and cost 100 billion dollars before the century is over.”

You tell me. What does that mean?

Which meant that the alarmist, no-doubt-about-who-the-bad-guys-are NPR piece told us … absolutely nothing.

Your tax dollars and mine pay for these schlocks.

— xPraetorius

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